[CT Birds] Migration forecast?

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Wed Mar 31 12:10:59 EDT 2010

Without doubt the early spring migration has begun.  There was an 
interesting post on the OHIO bird list  (see below)  about prospects for migration in 
the near future.  of  course it was targeted towards the midwest.  I wonder 
if some of our gurus  would venture a similar prognostication for the 
period after the monsoon has  passed and the warm days the weather guy is 
promising arrive.  Should we be  looking at  the radar sites for guidance, and if 
so, what areas or states  are likely staging areas for our birds?
Don Morgan
Date:    Tue, 30 Mar 2010 05:43:56 -0700
From:     Greg Miller <hawk-owl at YAHOO.COM>
Subject: Migration  Musings

Birds seem to follow the calendar despite weather  conditions.  Wind, 
temperature, and humidity only seem to augment or  degrade the volume of migrants.

That said, weather does appear to merit  consideration to maximize a 
birder's succesa with limited time in the  field.  So here are some of my musings. 
 Totally unscientific and  unsubstantiated, these are just personal 
opinions of mine.

* A moderately  cold day or two doesn't appear to have much affect on 
migration numbers. An  extended cold snap of 3-5 days, however, seems to really 
slow things down to a  trickle.

* The first warmer day or two after a prolonged cold snap  appears to be 
the "best" time for birders to enjoy a great volume of  migrants.  After two 
days of warmer temperatures and southerly winds  migrants seem to clear out.

So here are my predictions for the week  (using weather.unisys.com's GFXs 
850mb weather models or about 5,000 feet in  elevation--about the elevation 
used by waterfowl and  shorebirds):


Excellent migration conditions in TX, OK, KS,  NE, & SD
Poor migration conditions East of Mississippi River
OHIO: not  so great


Excellent migration conditons from NM and TX to  the Great Lakes, and 
warmer upper air accross the entire Gulf of Mexico
OHIO:  pretty good; above average


Same as Wednesday, but even  warmer with highly favorable wind direction 
from TX to MI
OHIO:   excellent!!


Temperature will push close to record highs;  favorable conditions continue 
in all of the East and extend into Southern  Canada
OHIO:  excellent!!


Favorable conditions  continue East of the Mississippi River and across the 
Gulf; low pressure forming  from TX to MN with colder upper air may create 
unstable conditions and  t-storms
OHIO:  excellent conditions, but how many migrants will remain  and how 
many new will have arrived?


Cooler upper  air and less favorable conditions
OHIO:  if the low pressure tracks  North of us birding may be closer to 
average for this time of year; else, it  could be cooler and less an enjoyable 
than expected

So my take from this  for Ohio migration this week:

* Thursday will probably be the best day (a  wild guess!)
* Birds I would look for include:

Snow  Goose
White-fronted Goose
White  Pelican
American Golden-Plover (maybe in better numbers than  normal)
Yellow-headed Blackbird
California Gull
Sage Thrasher (Eastern MA RBA)
Townsend's Solitaire (NYC RBA)

You may think of some others.   The first warm air will come up through 
Mexico into Texas and will push  northeast on a line from TX to OH--who knows 
what that may bring.  I'm just  curious.

-Greg Miller
Sugarcreek,  OH

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