Thursday, April 23, 2015

April 23rd, 2015

High pressure dominates the center of
the continent

Tonight, the winds have panned out exactly as predicted, with winds being unfavorable in most places. Overall in Illinois, we could generalize by saying that we will see little more than light migration any time tonight. Driven by high pressure across the Midwest, northerly winds are the rule, keeping birds grounded and waiting for the next batch of tailwinds. As birders, listers, chasers, and feederwatchers, we're down here waiting with them.

But as with most rules, there are exceptions tonight. Far Southern and Southwestern Illinois, as was forecast last night, are receiving slightly altered winds tonight. Winds there have taken on a much stronger easterly component, being either east/northeasterly or even east/southeasterly depending on where/when you look. What does this mean? It means that in Far Southern and Southwestern Illinois, birds are moving tonight, perhaps even reaching moderate concentrations by later tonight (that's around 71-227 birds per cubic kilometer of sky, whereas light migrations are only 59-71 birds). If you're birding in those regions tomorrow, expect some arrivals and influxes.

Tonight's winds
Let's look at the wind forecast now. Tomorrow night shows some promise, with favorable southerly winds predicted in Southern and Central Illinois, but confused directionality and weakness in those winds may disappoint. That, we shall see. From there, winds are forecast to be unfavorably northerly all the way until Thursday the 30th. Though this may mean limited migration until then, consider this: if the forecast holds true, how much migration will be itching to happen that Thursday night? The answer to that question gets me excited.

Winds forecast for next Thurs.,
April 30th
Curious what species you'll find out there? As always, eBird provides resources to save the day.

With that, I will bid you all ado for the night. Good birding!

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