Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Migration forecast 5/5-5/9

Here is a quick rundown of what I feel will occur in the next several nights in terms of migration:

  • Tonight: Very heavy migration will occur across the state and surrounding region. Birds will be equally dispersed in all areas Thursday morning. Some locations will see 12-18 species of warblers. Any location will yield migrants.
  • Thursday night: Light migration only, mostly in the southwestern part of Connecticut, in the wake of a cold front. Focus on coastal hot spots.
  • Friday night: Heavy migration across Connecticut. The chance of showers and thunderstorms during what may be a very strong night of movement leaves us with a moderate chance of fallouts, birds that are stopped in the middle of the night by rain and concentrated in extreme numbers in a small area. Saturday morning may be very interesting. If you hear thunder overnight, you should get out the door in a hurry! Additionally, if you do not immediately find birds, do not be deterred. You never know where a fallout will put down a large group.
  • Saturday night: Light migration, focused primarily along the coast.

The only problem that may occur on Friday night is that if showers and thunderstorms are spread across the state before the birds can even get to us it will stop them from getting in at all. Ideally, (for bird watchers, not the birds themselves!) the rainfall would move in after newly arriving birds have taken off from areas to our south and made it into the state. I definitely advise anyone looking to head out on Saturday morning to keep a close eye on the Friday night weather forecast.

Severe thunderstorm as seen from Stratford Point last August. See the swallows on the wire?

This is the best time of year to go outside on a clear and pleasant night and listen to the skies. You may be surprised at how many chips and calls you hear from birds flying overhead. Listen very carefully when migration is heavy and keep in mind you will not hear any songs - only a variety of notes and flight calls. Tonight is a very good night to try it, but make sure you still get to bed early for what should be an active and exciting Thursday morning.

Photo © Scott Kruitbosch

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