|Tonight's perfectly southerly winds|
Tonight was a great day indeed to be a birder, celebrating the progression of seasons through this next arrival of migrants. Today we witnessed new sparrows, warblers, thrushes, flycatchers, and more in numbers that hint at what's yet to come. We're still a week or so away from peak spring migration, which means we still have much more to celebrate. Luckily, it appears that today's celebration won't be cut short, as favorable southerly winds are continuing into tonight. Birds are continuing to seize these opportune tailwinds, jetting northward en masse in moderate to heavy concentrations. As often appears to be the case, migration is heaviest in Southern Illinois, whereas it is moderate elsewhere. Regardless, the excitement many felt birding this morning will absolutely be transferrable to tomorrow. Another thing to note: areas where precipitation is forecast to hit tonight, keep an eye out for fallouts tomorrow morning. This will be especially noticeable the closer rainfall is to sunrise.
Even more hearteningly, it seems the excitement will extend far into this week. While a cold front looms ominously over the continent northwest of Illinois, it seems it will only disrupt our favorable conditions tomorrow night. At that time, it's likely that migration will continue with tonight's vigor in Central and Southern Illinois, while migrants in Northern Illinois will be kept down a little more. Regardless, after tomorrow night, winds are forecast to remain favorably southerly at least until Saturday. Here's hoping that forecast stays true.
|Winds forecast for tomorrow night|
As we move forward into this week, it will be interesting to see when birds aren't moving in moderate to heavy concentrations. While birds are often in more of a hurry in spring migration, stopovers are necessary, so it's possible that some nights in the coming week won't quite be spectacular. If we do observe that, it will be intriguing indeed to extrapolate what other factors are at play. Migration forecasting, as I'm sure you've all realized, is not an exact science. When something doesn't happen quite how you think it will, you never know when your explanation may be the right one. So in the face of uncertainty, I invite you all to keep predicting with me, and, if possible, share your explanations! All said, definitely be ready for the avifauna in your area to be very different by the end of this week.
How will it be different? How convenient you ask! This eBird Page and the latest BirdCast Forecast answer just that question.
Good luck to all those birding tomorrow. Should be another great day to get out there.