Friday, October 30, 2015

Oct 31: Autumn 2015 Conclusion

Hello birding friends,

Seems like this fall has gone by quickly so far! I do hope these migration reports have been as helpful as they were in the past! This is the final migration report of autumn 2015, and I have decided that - this being a trial season for me continuing the reports - I will indeed continue to write these next spring, with the "precursor" sent out in early March and consistent reports posted throughout April and May.

This report will be divided into three sections:
1) Forecast for tomorrow
2) Analysis for what has happened thus far this fall
3) Prediction for the rest of the fall/winter

TONIGHT'S REPORT:
Tonight, a huge rain system is moving into the state - which will sadly be dampening the conditions for Halloween. This means that little to no migration will be occurring tonight and rain pretty much all day tomorrow throughout the state will be limiting any birding opportunities, including hawk watching also. For anyone interested, the rain system can be viewed on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

ANALYSIS SO FAR:
Now, here is an analysis for exactly what has happened so far this far, from July all the way until now, in bullet-point list format:

Please note: I am sure I am missing some interesting birds and some of the details might be a day or two off, but I did the best I could!

  • Multiple Scissor-tailed Flycatcher sightings in the central and southern parts of the state in July
  • Magnificent Frigatebird seen by Josh Engel heading north over Fullerton on the lakefront in Chicago on July 8
  • Long-tailed Jaeger on Horseshoe Lake in mid-July
  • Piping Plover in Livingston on July 18
  • Violet-green Swallow at Montrose Point on July 22
  • Red Phalarope at Lake Mavaiseterre on July 27
  • Neotropic Cormorant seen at Emiquon in mid August
  • Red-necked Phalarope shows up at Maple Park on August 16
  • Royal Tern at Waukegan Beach on August 19
  • 46 Hudsonian Godwits at Goofy Ridge on August 23
  • Swallow-tailed Kite seen in Effingham, then up to Champaign, starting August 23
  • Steve Huggins records 6000+ Common Nighthawks migrating on September 2
  • Harris' Sparrows start arriving September 30 (this may not have been first arrival, though)
  • First of the Pine Siskins are reported to be migrating in 1000+ numbers at the IBSP Hawk Watch
  • White-rumped Sandpiper "invasion" starts around October 3, this anomaly was caused by strange easterly winds prevailing this autumn
  • Mottled Duck at Hazlet State Park on October 4
  • Bullock's Oriole is photographed in River Forest, a suburb of Chicago, on October 14
  • First Northern Saw-whet Owl of the Saw Whet Surveys is recorded at IBSP on Oct 15
  • Spotted Towhee at Greene Valley Forest Preserve on October 17
  • Little Gull & Red-necked Grebes found at Lake Shelbyville on October 18
  • First Snowy Owl of the season is reported in LaSalle County on October 21, very early
  • Red Crossbill seen in Centennial Park in Springfield, first possible migrant (i.e. not a Sand Ridge SF bird)
  • Pacific Loon seen on Lake Springfield on October 26
It has certainly been an interesting fall! One of the most interesting parts for me was seeing all of the reports of White-rumped Sandpipers across the state because of the predominating easterly (!) winds blowing them off of their usual migratory trajectories. 

PREDICTIONS FOR THE REST OF AUTUMN, ALSO WINTER 2015/2016:

This coming week, southwesterly wind flow will predominate over the state - meaning that nocturnal migration will be limited; however, this is conducive for typical late-season vagrants from the southwest. Cave Swallow, Ash-throated Flycatcher, and Franklin's Gull come to mind. Keep your eyes open!

Waterfowl: November is THE month for waterfowl migration! Starting anytime now and going through the entire month, I encourage birders all across the state to get out there and look for rarer species such as the Scoters and anything else that could be lurking in your local lake. Throughout the winter, whenever water is not frozen over, get out and admire those diving ducks - especially on Lake Michigan - while you can!

Falcons/Hawks: November is still a great month for raptors, but I would suggest that you try to go and watch these in the first or second weeks of the months because they will be slightly more productive (based on annual averages) and probably less cold.

Shorebirds: These species should continue to diminish in presence here in the state. Get out and go see any of the remaining White-rumped Sandpipers while you still can - as I said, it is quite a treat to have so many this fall!

Gulls: These have already started arriving and I would highly suggest scouting out North Point Marina, Lake County Fairgrounds, and any other renowned sites (especially near Lake Michigan) for our more uncommon colder-month gull species starting to appear around now!

Snowy Owls: With the recent high numbers of sightings in Wisconsin as well as a smattering from Illinois, I have reasons to believe that this winter could be another "echo" Snowy irruption, so be on the lookout for these beauties whenever you are in grassland, agricultural, or other open habitats from now until late February or so. These typically come into the state in greater numbers starting the third week of November, and even more so starting the first week of December. These owls usually are found throughout the winter here in Illinois and some have been known to stay as late as April in extreme cases!

Red-breasted Nuthatch: Always a few of these are seen every winter, but this season is not expected to be a great one to see these cuties.

Bohemian Waxwing: There is a chance a few individuals of this species could end up in Illinois this winter, given a predicted overall southward an eastward movement from the Boreal Forest.

IRRUPTIVE FINCHES: 
Please visit the Winter Finch Forecast for more details: http://www.jeaniron.ca/2015/forecast15.htm

Based on the winter finch forecast and other sources, here are my predictions on a 10-point scale of how likely an irruption (many individuals of the species) of the particular species into Illinois is this winter. 10/10 is obviously most likely with 0/10 being no chance at all.

Pine Grosbeak: 1/10
Purple Finch: 10/10
Red Crossbill: 6/10
White-winged Crossbill: 4/10
Common Redpoll: 9/10
Hoary Redpoll: 1/10
Pine Siskin: 10/10
Evening Grosbeak: 2/10

Until next March, folks, I will be posting sporadically about any Illinois birding I do (I am going out into my backyard to make sure there are no rogue Saw-whet Owls right after I post this - I kid you not!). Always feel free to reply to this email or contact me at trumpetswan@comcast.net 

Happy birding!

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Oct 30, 2015: 2nd-to-last Report of Fall!

Hello birding friends,

I have decided to only post reports in the months of August - October and April - May in order to keep my sanity. This means that this is the second-to-last report of the season. I'm sure all of you busy people out there can understand. :-)

Fall migration; however, does certainly not end with the conclusion of these reports tomorrow. In fact, many aspects of migration like, as we are seeing, winter finches, owls, and waterfowl are only just in their beginning stages. I will post a much more comprehensive analysis of the fall and what is to come this late autumn/winter season tomorrow night.

As for tonight, Illinois is seeing some rather strange migration levels. The northern third is seeing light migration, the central third has no migration over it, and the far southern third has light to moderate levels of migrants in its skies. This can all be seen on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

Hawk Watching Forecast: In northeast Illinois tomorrow, fairly good conditions will be prevailing for raptor migrations. Satisfactory viewing conditions - partly cloudy skies - coupled with southwest winds that will be pushing any migrating raptors towards the boundary of Lake Michigan's shoreline, may result in a nice push for raptors tomorrow at sites like Greene Valley, Fort Sheridan, and IBSP.

To find out exactly which species are in our area, please consult:
BirdCasts's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-23-30-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In summary, tomorrow should be a fairly productive day across the state for arrivals and influxes and also a fairly productive day for hawk watching, at least in the northeast corner of the state.

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Oct 28 - 29, 2015

Hello birding friends,

This is the combined migration report for tomorrow and Thursday. As you can see from the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif), migration is nonexistent due to rain across the state tonight. These rain showers will continue moving northward, only affecting northern Illinois tomorrow. This means that despite no turnover from tonight, birds will be active tomorrow in southern Illinois since birds tend to be overly active after storms, making up for the foraging they missed during the storm.

Hawk Watching Forecast: It will be rainy in northern Illinois tomorrow, so obviously not a hawk-watching day tomorrow. :-) Thursday could possibly be PRODUCTIVE; however, because of westerly winds & cloudy skies for NE Illinois.

Thursday should be pretty different from tomorrow, because a fairly moderate flight should happen tomorrow night across the state. This means that morning birding should be productive pretty much anywhere in the state on Thursday. Also, west winds combined with cloudy skies in northeast Illinois in Thursday will make for good hawk watching conditions, so you should get out to IBSP, Fort Sheridan, Greene Valley, or other locations to look for migrating raptors then!

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-23-30-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In summary, tomorrow it would be worth birding in southern Illinois due to the likelihood of sheer activity, but not the turnover, of birds there. It will be raining in northern regions of the state so no birding there! Thursday should be productive throughout the state with a possibility of great hawk watching conditions in northeast Illinois.

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Monday, October 26, 2015

Oct 27, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing very little avian movement, as evidenced by the almost complete lack of blue radar noise over the state on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif). This means that avian turnover will be negligible tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

Hawk Watching Forecast: Tomorrow, east winds with rain in the forecast for the afternoon for northeast Illinois make for poor hawk watching conditions - it is not recommended for tomorrow.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-23-30-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In summary, tomorrow (Tuesday) should not be a great day for birding across the state.

Good(ish) birding,
:-)
Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Oct 26, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing a moderate to moderately-heavy avian flight. As seen on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif), the northern three quarters of Illinois are experiencing moderate levels of migration while the far southern quarter is sporting slightly heavier migration tonight.

Hawk Watching Forecast: Easterly winds predominating tomorrow in northeast Illinois should not be pushing hawks towards the lakefront, and when combined with less-than-optimal viewing conditions for hawks - mostly sunny skies - tomorrow should not be a productive day for raptor migration.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-23-30-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Oct 25, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Welcome to the last full week of migration reports for autumn 2015! I plan on posting every day this week except for Wednesday night. This Friday, October 30th will be the last migration report of the season because it would be a bummer to have to write one on Halloween and I don't plan on reporting in November. I can't believe how quickly this autumn season has gone by!

As seen on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif), Illinois is experiencing varying levels of migration tonight. Northeast Illinois is experiencing a light to moderate flight, northwest Illinois is experiencing a moderate flight, southeast Illinois is experiencing a moderate to heavy flight, and southwest Illinois is experiencing a heavy to very heavy concentration of migrants tonight.

Hawk Watching Forecast: Tomorrow, conditions in northeast Illinois look rather unfavorable for hawk watching because although raptors will have a tailwind tomorrow, winds will be out of the northeast, meaning hawks won't be pushed to the Lake Michigan shoreline by westerly winds at all. Also, viewing conditions should be unfavorable with sunny to partly sunny skies expected.

Some species to start looking out for should be Snow Bunting (lakefront & agricultural areas), Lesser Scaup, Bonaparte's Gull, Common Loon, Horned Grebe (water bodies), and Horned Lark (grasslands & agricultural areas). Also, a large low pressure system that will be entering the area has the chance to turn up some western vagrants (Cave & Violet-green Swallows come to mind). Keep your eyes peeled!

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's updated regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-23-30-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding!

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Monday, October 19, 2015

Oct 20 - 24, 2015

Hello birding friends,

This is a report covering tonight all the way to this Saturday, the 24th. Tonight, Illinois is experiencing absolutely no migration - as evidenced by the complete lack of radar noise over the state on the current national composite radar, seen here: http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif

After consulting the Weather Channel for wind forecasts, here is what this week should look like in terms of arrivals and influxes into the state:

Tonight: Almost no movement
-
Tomorrow (Tuesday) night: No movement expected in northern part of state, possible light concentrations in southern Illinois
-
Wednesday night: Moderate to heavy concentrations in northern part of state, negligible to light movement in the south
-
Thursday night: Moderate to heavy concentrations in northern part of state, negligible to light movement in the south
-
Friday night: Due to statewide rain, very little migration should be expected, if any at all.

Hawk Watching Forecast: Note, this is for northeast Illinois because Greene Valley, Fort Sheridan, and IBSP Hawk Watches are located there.

Tuesday: Light to moderate movement possible, partly cloudy skies
Wednesday: Light to moderate movement possible, partly cloudy skies
Thursday: Light movement possible, partly cloudy skies
Friday: Negligible movement, mostly cloudy skies.
Saturday: Light to moderate movement possible in the afternoon with mostly cloudy skies.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-16-23-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In summary, the best days to look for newly arrived species this week should be Thursday & Friday and although hawk watching isn't forecast to be overly remarkable in northeast Illinois this week, your best chances at seeing some raptor movement would be tomorrow (Tuesday), Wednesday, or Saturday afternoon.

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Friday, October 16, 2015

Oct 17 - 19, 2015

Hello birding friends,

I am extremely, extremely busy with musical commitments for the next 7 days so in order to balance out schoolwork and music, I will only be posting again on Monday night and then on the following Saturday night (!). Wish I could post more frequently, but the life of a musician can be hectic (but fun!)...

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing uniform moderate to moderately-heavy concentrations of migration, as seen by the fairly even blue radar noise showing up across the state on the current national composite radar: http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif

Here is the day-by-day breakdown of what to expect:

Tonight: moderate to heavy movement
Tomorrow: favorable conditions for hawk watching in NE IL
Tomorrow night: moderate movement likely
Sunday: favorable conditions for hawk watching in NE IL
Sunday night: very little movement expected
Monday: semi-favorable conditions for hawk watching in NE IL

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-16-23-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Oct 16, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing light to moderate concentrations of avian movement. The northern half of the state is experiencing movement more towards the moderate end of the spectrum, whereas the southern half is experiencing lighter concentrations. This can be seen on the current national composite radar, which is showing some rain cells that are most likely disrupting migration in southern Illinois: http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif

Hawk watching forecast: If you are in northeast Illinois, GO HAWK WATCHING TOMORROW! Perfect conditions, 10-20 mph northwest winds will be in effect, spurring raptors to migrate and funneling them towards the lakefront sites such as IBSP, Fort Sheridan, and, to a lesser extent, Greene Valley.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-9-16-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Monday, October 12, 2015

Oct 13 - 15, 2015

Hello birding friends,

This week is turning out to be very busy for me, so the only other days I will be posting reports will be Thursday and Friday nights. This report, therefore, covers tomorrow (Tuesday), Wednesday, and Thursday.

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing moderate to locally heavy concentrations of migration, especially in the western part of the state, as seen by the blue and green radar noise on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

Tomorrow night, favorable winds should bring moderate to heavy concentrations of migrants again, and Wednesday night should be fairly productive again in the southern half of the state but much less so in the northern half.

Hawk Watching Forecast: Tomorrow (Tuesday) and Wednesday look extremely favorable for hawk watching conditions with respectively northwest and west winds on both days in northeast Illinois. It would be very worthwhile to get out to Fort Sheridan, IBSP, or other hawk watching locations tomorrow and/or Wednesday to see the raptor spectacle!

In summary, here is what to expect over the next few days:

Tuesday: Favorable for overall turnover as well as hawk watching.
Wednesday: Favorable for overall turnover only in southern half of state, but favorable for hawk watching in the northern half.
Thursday: Favorable for overall turnover in the southern half of the state but unfavorable in the northern half due to rain.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult these helpful resources:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-9-16-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's Illinois species occurrence chart: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Oct 12, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing the lowest migration level I have seen so far this autumn. :-) This is due to strong southwesterly winds that are blocking the birds from migrating, and this can be seen by the lack of radar noise over Illinois on the current national composite radar: http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif

Hawk Watching Forecast: As Adam Sell has already reported, tomorrow and Tuesday should both be productive days to visit Greene Valley, Fort Sheridan, or IBSP due to westerly winds which will be pushing hawks toward the Lake Michigan shoreline.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-9-16-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Oct 11, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, the northern two thirds are receiving almost no migration while the southern third of Illinois has increasing migration levels up to some moderate movement over the far southern tip. This can all be seen on the national composite radar: http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif

Hawk Watching Forecast: Tomorrow should bring southerly headwinds to the entire state, meaning negligible raptor movements. Also, tomorrow night will have very little movement due to southerly winds forecast to remain in the state.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-9-16-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In summary, tomorrow (Sunday) and Monday mornings look like they will play host to very little, if any, avian turnover in most of the state.

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Friday, October 9, 2015

Oct 10, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Illinois is experiencing MODERATE to locally HEAVY levels of migration tonight, meaning tomorrow morning should be a stellar morning to get out, go birding, and look for new arrivals and influxes! Movement can be seen by the widespread blue and even green (indicating heavy avian concentrations) radar noise on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

Tomorrow (Saturday) afternoon into tomorrow night, winds will shift to being out of the southwest for most of the state, meaning lower concentrations of birds will be moving once again tomorrow night. This means you should really get out tomorrow morning, but Sunday should be less productive with regards to arrivals and turnover.

Migration is definitely metamorphosing across the state as warblers are on the way out, sparrows such as Nelson's are just starting to peak, Purple Finches and Siskins are appearing, American Pipits are making their presence known, hawks are beginning to move (but tomorrow shouldn't be noteworthy with regards to hawk watching), and even waterfowl are showing signs of movement - especially in the more northern parts of the state.

Hawk Watching Forecast: Tomorrow, winds are forecast to be out of the southwest across northeast Illinois, meaning hawks and other raptors will not be migrating in huge numbers due to the unfavorable headwinds.

A few species for which to look in the next week or so:

Aquatic birds - Northern Pintail, American Wigeon, American Black Duck, Northern Shoveler, Wilson's Snipe
Passerines (songbirds) - Rusty Blackbird, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, American Pipit, Orange-crowned Warbler, Nelson's Sparrow, Le Conte's Sparrow, Brown Creeper, Winter Wren,

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-9-16-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Go birding tomorrow (Saturday) morning!

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Oct 7 - 9, 2015

Hello birding friends,

A couple things - this report will be more succinct than usual since I am in dire need of sleep already this week! :-) Also, I will not be able to post tomorrow (Wednesday) or Thursday nights, so I will go over those nights in this report, as well.

Tonight Illinois is experiencing MODERATE to HEAVY migration levels - see all the radar noise on the current national composite radar? (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif)

Tomorrow (Wednesday) night, Illinois should experience moderate movements again throughout the state. Rain and southerly winds will return Thursday night; however, so little migration should be expected then. So in summary, go birding tomorrow (Wednesday) and Thursday mornings!

To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-2-9-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Go birding tomorrow and Thursday mornings!

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/home

Monday, October 5, 2015

Oct 6, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Today the northern two thirds of Illinois are experiencing light levels of migration while the southern third is experiencing moderate avian movements, as seen from the current national composite radar - which is thankfully working for me again! (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif)

This means that it would be worth birding pretty much anywhere in the state, but birders in the southern third of Illinois should really consider getting out tomorrow (Tuesday) morning.

Tomorrow night looks like it will have a very similar migration pattern with southerly headwinds dominating over the northern half of the state and northerly tailwinds over the southern half.

Hawk Watching Forecast: Tomorrow should possibly bring a light movement of raptors, but nothing more than light, because winds are forecast to be out of the due north in northeast Illinois during the day. This means that raptors will probably be moving; however, they will not exhibit their "funnel" effect of using the lakefront to guide them as when winds are out of the northwest (not due north like tomorrow).

To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-2-9-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding!

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/home

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Oct 5, 2015

Hello birding friends,

A slightly more "unsure" report tonight because all of my helpful migration links, including the national composite radar and the wind map, are oddly malfunctioning on my computer tonight. I hope it is better tomorrow!

So, that means a bit more guesswork than usual for tonight's report - for the northern half of Illinois, light northeasterly winds are dominating but with overcast skies, so I would predict only light migration for the northern half of the state tonight.

For the southern half, light northwesterly winds are present but under mostly clear to partly cloudy skies, so I would predict that there are moderate concentrations of birds moving over southern Illinois tonight.

Keep your eyes out for PINE SISKINS! Reports have been popping up over northern Illinois during the last few days and I even had five flyovers on an Oak Park Bird Walk this morning!

Hawk watching forecast: This will be a new October feature of the migration report specific to northeast Illinois because that is where Greene Valley, Fort Sheridan, and the IBSP Hawk Watches are located. Tomorrow should be a rather unfavorable day for raptor migration along the lakefront (so Fort Sheridan and IBSP) due to winds out of the northeast, pushing any raptors that would already be migrating there to more inland locations. Hawk watching may prove to be a bit better at the Greene Valley location tomorrow because of its inland orientation; however, it is still close to the lake in relative terms.

To predict which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
-and-

Good birding!

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Oct 4, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, the whole of Illinois is experiencing negligible avian movements. This is evidenced by possibly one of the lowest levels of radar noise seen so far this season on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

Again, this could be due to a number of factors including gusty winds which the birds could be judging to be too dangerous to migrate, as well as overcast skies which could be impairing many birds' navigational awareness.

On another note, with winds out of the north and cloudy skies tomorrow, tomorrow should be a fairly PRODUCTIVE day for HAWK-WATCHING.

Illinois is forecast to experience northerly winds tomorrow night, as well; however, they will be much weaker and the skies will be a bit clearer, which will hopefully be two factors contributing to a possibly moderate to heavy movement tomorrow (Sunday) night.

The turnover (at least in the Chicago area) the last few days has been quite impressive! My predicted transition from Swainson's to Hermit Thrushes has occurred and the mixed flocks of warblers have, for the most part, been replaced by steady streams of Yellow-rumps (with the occasional Palm or Orange-crowned), as well as other species like White-throated Sparrow and the omnipresent Golden-crowned Kinglets. Southern Illinois should be experiencing this transition within a week at most.

To predict which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-2-9-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In summary, tomorrow (Sunday) could very well turn out to be a PRODUCTIVE day for HAWK-WATCHING but probably NOT for finding large influxes of passerines.

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Friday, October 2, 2015

Oct 3, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight Illinois is experiencing uniformly negligible to only extremely light concentrations of migrants in our skies, as evidenced by the relative dearth of radar noise across the state on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

Although winds are out of the north (northeast) which should be acting as favorable tailwinds for migration, there are two factors one should consider which could be currently grounding many birds: 1) with the very strong, gusty winds across the state, it may be TOO windy for the birds to migrate. This has been known to happen in Illinois in the past. 2) Illinois is shrouded by overcast clouds, and since many theories conjecture that some birds rely somewhat on the stars for navigation while migrating during the night, this may also be playing a part in the relative lack of movement tonight.

So tomorrow (Saturday) morning should be a good day to find the last of those interesting warblers (for southern Illinoisans) and to admire mid-to-late migration species such as Golden-crowned Kinglet, White-throated Sparrow, Hermit Thrush, and Peregrine Falcon (for northern Illinoisans).

Tomorrow night should display nearly identical weather conditions as tonight except for slightly lighter winds across much of the state, so movement should be about the same tomorrow night; maybe slightly more if anything.

To predict which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-2-9-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In summary, very few arrivals and influxes should be expected tomorrow (Saturday) morning, which only slightly better prospects for Sunday.

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Oct 2, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing very uniform moderate migration, meaning that tomorrow morning would be about as good as any to get out and start seeing some of those mid-to-late migration species, depending upon where you are in the state. Although Illinois is certainly experiencing northerly tailwinds (as we've also recently seen from the recent drop in temperatures), tonight the winds are just a bit too strong in northern Illinois for huge quantities of birds to be migrating through, as can be seen on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif) - note that radar noise in southern Illinois is accordingly a tad stronger than that in more northern regions.

With almost exactly identical wind conditions tomorrow night, Saturday morning also looks like it should be moderately productive with some nice turnover. Speaking of turnover, my predicted wave of Hermit Thrushes has arrived in the Northern parts of Illinois! This turnover is also evident in other species such as both Kinglets moving through northern Illinois profusely, warblers like Black-throated Green and Blackpoll starting to retreat to only the southern portions of the state, and even raptors such as Accipiters and Peregrine Falcons are on the move now! To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult these helpful resources:

BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-25-september-2-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

So in summary, both tomorrow (Friday) and Saturday mornings should be fairly productive with regards to avian arrivals and influxes.

Good birding,

Henry
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sept 29 - 30 + Oct 1, 2015

Hello birding friends,

This will be a combined forecast for tomorrow (Tuesday, Sept 29) through Thursday (Oct 1) mornings since I have choir tomorrow and Wednesday evenings.

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing widespread MODERATE migration as evidenced by fairly uniform blue radar noise across the state on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif). Please note that the much more scattered and green and yellow markings are rain showers as part of the weather systems that are currently sweeping across the midwest. So, tomorrow morning should be a good morning to get out...if it is not raining in your part of the state, that is.

Northerly winds with less rain both tomorrow and Wednesday nights should mean that some nice turnover, arrivals, and influxes should be evident Wednesday and Thursday mornings. Pretty soon I bet those Hermits will start replacing Swainson's Thrush in northern Illinois - get ready!

To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-25-september-2-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In summary, birding should be fairly productive across the state tomorrow (Tuesday) morning, but even more so on Wednesday and Thursday mornings!

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Sept 28, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, Illinois is again experiencing only negligible to light levels of migration, as evidenced by the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif), due to dominating southerly winds. Of course, tomorrow (Monday) morning should be as good as any to get out while there is still a moderate variety of warblers and other migrants about; however, no huge arrivals or influxes should be expected.

Tomorrow night, winds are forecast to shift to be out of the north; however, showers are expected over much of the state which could disrupt migration then. I will be monitoring the situation closely weather-wise.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-25-september-2-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Sept 27, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Negligible to light migration is occurring throughout the state tonight due to southeasterly headwinds, as seen on the current national composite radar which shows very little radar noise across the state (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

These unfavorable conditions should be similar tomorrow night, meaning that little turnover/arrivals and influxes should be evident tomorrow (Sunday) or Monday mornings.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-25-september-2-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Friday, September 25, 2015

Sept 26, 2015: Moderate Migration

Hello birding friends,

First of all, tomorrow (Saturday), I will be birding at Montrose Point Bird Sanctuary with the Illinois Young Birders Club from 7:00am to about 8:45am. I would love to meet anyone who has any questions or feedback about this season's migration reports...I will be with the probably large and excited group of young birders in the said time period, so I don't think it would be hard to find me there... :-)

Tonight, the entire state is experiencing MODERATE levels of migration, spurred on by nice northeasterly tailwinds. This can be viewed on the current national composite radar, the patchy green radar noise indicating moderate levels of migration throughout the state (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

So go birding tomorrow! It should be fairly productive with some further turnover evident...probably birds such as Ruby-crowned Kinglets and White-throated Sparrows should be a bit more abundant in northern parts of the state come tomorrow morning. Also, influxes of species such as Brown Creeper, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Winter Wren should start to become fairly evident throughout parts of the state in the coming days.

Tomorrow (Saturday) night appears to be a bit less conducive for migration, as winds will be gradually shifting to be from the southeast, especially in northern parts of the state. (how confusing!)

To predict exactly which species you may find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-25-september-2-october-2015/#MidwestNortheast
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

I hope to see you at Montrose tomorrow (Saturday) morning between 7:00 and 8:45am!

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Sept 24-25, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Due to a choir concert tomorrow night, this migration report will be covering forecasts for both tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday.

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing uniformly light-to-moderate migration as seen by the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

Northeast winds throughout the state are fueling this small boost in migration tonight, and birders: it wouldn't hurt going birding tomorrow because there is enough migration tonight to make things interesting but not for those pockets of mid-migration warblers such as Black-throated Green or Bay-breasted to completely disappear.

Friday: wind conditions will be similar tomorrow night to tonight, so I also encourage birders to get out Friday morning as well, if they have the chance. Other typical mid-migration species that might start winging their way south after the next big overnight migration push include Veery, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, and others - so get out there before the trees are completely inundated by Sapsuckers and "Butterbutts!" (Yellow-rumped Warblers)

Liz Day Shorebird Migration Forecast: This concludes the autumn shorebird migration reports because as autumn migration wears on, many birders' primary focus transitions from shorebirds to songbirds (the stage at which most birders are now), raptors, and eventually, waterfowl. Again, my sincerest condolences go to Liz Day's family - a true gem was lost from the birding community this season and in memory of her shorebird report request, the shorebird segment of these migration reports will be dedicated to her as long as I am writing them.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-18-25-september-2015/
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Sept 23, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Shorter report tonight - Illinois is experiencing widespread light migration as evidenced by the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif).

This more widespread migration is due to light and variable winds across the state. Tomorrow (Wednesday) night, winds should shift to be noticeably more northerly for the entire state, so I would expect moderate turnover on Thursday morning.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to encounter and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-18-25-september-2015/
-and-
eBird's Illinois species occurrence chart: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In summary, it would be worth birding both tomorrow and Thursday mornings, but especially on Thursday.

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/



Monday, September 21, 2015

Sept 22, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, Illinois is experiencing the same avian migration trend as yesterday. Southerly winds over northern Illinois are grounding birds over the northern two thirds of the state while northerly winds in southern Illinois is creating some light movement in the far southern third of the state, as seen on the current national composite radar: (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif)

This wind and resulting migration pattern, looking at various local forecasts, should also occur tomorrow night.

In summary, it would of course be worth birding tomorrow to see all of the migrants that are currently stuck in much of the state since they will be gone in due time; however, there shouldn't be much evidence of turnover tomorrow morning.

Liz Day Shorebird Forecast: Not much new in this department.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-18-25-september-2015/
-and-
eBird's Illinois species occurrence chart: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Sept 21, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight all of Illinois, except for, strangely, the northwestern region, is receiving fairly uniform light migration. The current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif) is also detecting some patchy areas of moderate migration in the southern regions of the state tonight.

Tomorrow night should bring very similar conditions; southerly winds over the northern half of the state will likely contribute to little migration there while northernly winds in the southern half may cause some movement in the southern half of Illinois.

I certainly noticed some turnover today. On my Oak Park Bird Walk, characteristic late-migration species such as Yellow-bellied Sapsucker and Yellow-rumped Warbler were detected for the first time in my neighborhood this fall.

Liz Day Shorebird Forecast: Nothing really new in this department as we are nearing the end of shorebird migration. Keep checking Lake Michigan as well as inland locations like Emiquon and Chautauqua, etc. Due to shorebird migration diminishing over much of the state, I am going to stop doing these mini shorebird reports until next spring starting in about a week or so.

To predict exactly which species you are likely to see and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-18-25-september-2015/
-and-
eBird's Illinois species occurrence chart: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Sept 20, 2015: Widespread Movement

Hello birding friends,

Due to light northerly winds across ALL parts of Illinois tonight, Illinois is experiencing WIDESPREAD MODERATE to HEAVY migration, which can be seen on the current national composite radar: (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif)

So I strongly encourage birders in all areas of the state to get out and go birding tomorrow (Sunday) morning. Looking ahead to tomorrow night, it appears that northern areas of the state will be receiving southerly headwinds and therefore little migration will occur there, while southern areas will receive northerly tailwinds which could cause a larger turnover in southern Illinois; however, it will more likely cause a phenomenon where birds moving out of the state will not be replenished by influxes from the north, meaning Monday morning should be much less productive than tomorrow across most of the state.

Liz Day Shorebird Forecast: Late-migration shorebird targets for Illinois include American Golden-Plover, Greater Yellowlegs, Stilt Sandpiper, both (or one?) Dowitchers, and Wilson's Snipe. Look for the Golden Plover in sod farm habitats, Snipe in overgrown wetland areas, and all others in mudflat and other wetland areas.

To predict exactly which species you may see and when, consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-18-25-september-2015/
-and-
eBird's species occurrence map for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Go birding tomorrow (Sunday) morning!

Henry
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Friday, September 18, 2015

Sept 19, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Tonight, wherever it is not raining in Illinois, the state is experiencing light concentrations of migration. This does not mean a large influx of birds will be easily noticeable tomorrow morning, but there is more movement tonight than for most of this week, as evidenced by the uniform blue radar noise on the current national composite radar as of posting time at 10:35pm: (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif)

Also, the fact that birds are migrating where there is not storms means that southern Illinois should be experiencing more movement than northern regions of the state tonight due to the bulk of the precipitation once again being in the northern part of the state.

What to expect for the next couple of days? Maybe slightly more arrivals and influxes tomorrow morning; however, I am forecasting a big push of birds arriving Sunday morning after the first night of light, northerly winds following a week of headwinds - meaning that birds that have been grounded for a relatively long time will "spring into action" tomorrow night and turnover should be visible on Sunday.

Liz Day Shorebird Forecast: Basically as I have been saying over the last few days, there are some perks to looking for shorebirds late in the season for rare possibilities such as Red Knot; however, I believe that many birders should be focusing their concentration now on the migrant warblers and other songbirds because before we know it, many will have left by the time October comes around - which is when I will terminate these mini shorebird reports until next April. Enjoy the neotropical migrants while you can!

To predict exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's new regional migration forecast for this coming week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-18-25-september-2015/
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

I love migration. Today just while walking home from school I saw a Great Blue Heron fly over my hometown Oak Park, which is an anomaly because OP is relatively far away from the nearest water source (Des Plaines River). It is only the fifth GB Heron I have ever seen here, and they have all been flyover sightings. I hope all of you are getting out and enjoying the magic of migration! I will certainly be doing so this weekend by leading two Oak Park Bird Walks (btw, the Sunday 8am walk still has 3 spaces open!).

So it wouldn't hurt to go birding tomorrow (Saturday) morning; however, I strongly encourage that birders try to get out on Sunday!

Good birding,

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Sept 18, 2015

Hello birding friends,

The entire state of Illinois is experiencing a dearth of migration tonight. The northern half is currently experiencing southerly headwinds and thunderstorms will later move in, further grounding bird's movements. Across the southern half of the state, little precipitation is expected; however, southerly winds will be keeping birds from migrating the entire night. All of this lack of movement and abundance of storms moving into the northern half of the state can be seen on the current national composite radar: (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif)

Analyzing the hourly and daily forecasts on the weather channel for multiple locations across the state, it appears that storms will be abundant in the northern half of the state over the next 24-30 hours while southerly winds will be reigning in all parts of the state roughly during that same time period. These are all factors that will prevent birds from migrating in large quantities until Saturday night, so Sunday morning should be the first morning with noticeable turnover in the near future.

Liz Day Shorebird Forecast: Keep checking Lake Michigan lakefront locations and inland shorebird "hubs" for shorebirds! Although it is late in the season, good species are still being seen at various Lake County lakefront sites, and inland, more southerly locations such as Emiquon and Chautauqua. Sanderling and Semipalmated Sandpiper should be some of the more common shorebird species (depending on habitat) migrating through that are slightly more late-shorebird-migration-prone in their habits.

To forecast exactly which species you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-11-18-september-2015/
-and-
eBird's species occurrence map for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

In conclusion, tomorrow and Saturday mornings should yield little turnover for the state whereas Sunday morning has the possibility to be quite productive.

Good birding!

Henry (Oak Park, Cook County)
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Monday, September 14, 2015

Sept 15 - 17, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Due to commitments tomorrow and Wednesday evenings, I will not be posting reports until Thursday night. That means that this report is covering Tuesday through Thursday mornings.

I can tell you, folks, that you will not be missing out on much by my not reporting because the national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif) looks extremely quiet tonight, and with the southerly winds that are forecast to remain in place until Saturday, not many new arrivals and influxes will appear in our state until about Sunday morning if the forecast remains the same. If an anomaly happens; however, and there is an unexpected big push of migrants before Thursday, I will try to post a quick note to warn everyone.

In summary, not much turnover should be expected until Sunday morning, when I am predicting a pretty huge push of new migrants will come into the state.

Liz Day Shorebird Forecast: Shorebirds continue at many locations throughout the state; however, in lesser densities. Locations such as Emiquon or Chautauqua should still be checked for any remaining large flocks and any interesting species such as lingering godwits. Also, lakefront locations like Montrose Beach (especially in very early morning to avoid the dogs!) would be worth checking for species such as Sanderling and Black-bellied Plover or perhaps any of the southbound Illinois-fledged Piping Plovers...?

To predict exactly which species you are likely to see over the next few days, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-11-18-september-2015/
-and-
eBird's Illinois species occurrence chart: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding!

Henry
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Sept 14, 2015

Hello birding friends,

Illinois is experiencing negligible migration tonight due to southerly headwinds that are currently in place and should unfortunately stick around until Friday or Saturday. One can see this lack of migration very plainly as evidenced by the lack of radar noise on the current national composite radar (http://tempest.aos.wisc.edu/radar/us3comp.gif), especially when compared to the recent bursts of green radar noise we have recently been spoiled with here in Illinois.

The birding won't be bad, per se, because this is, after all, the middle of fall migration so many migrants are essentially "trapped" in Illinois by these unfavorable southerly winds. The next big push/turnover of migrants should happen Saturday morning for northern Illinois and Sunday morning for more southern regions. The forecast could always change; however, and I will be monitoring the situation.

Liz Day Shorebird Forecast: Shorebirds are continuing to wind down; however, one could still expect anomalies such as Al Stokie's recent Lake Michigan shoreline Long-billed dowitcher!

To predict exactly which birds you are likely to find and when, please consult:
BirdCast's regional migration forecast for this week: http://birdcast.info/forecast/regional-migration-forecast-11-18-september-2015/
-and-
eBird's species occurrence chart for Illinois: http://ebird.org/ebird/GuideMe?src=changeDate&getLocations=states&states=US-IL&parentState=US-IL&reportType=location&monthRadio=on&bMonth=08&eMonth=11&bYear=1900&eYear=2015&continue.x=63&continue.y=9&continue=Continue

Good birding,

Henry
trumpetswan@comcast.net
ilmigration.blogspot.com
worldbirding.travellerspoint.com
sites.google.com/site/opbirdwalks/