Birds seem to have become restless after so many days of waiting on a front to move. Heavy migration was evident over the northern third of the state, spilling over into Central FL. Overall a SW wind flow was funneling birds that flew out over the Gulf into the Tampa Region. Winds may have pushed the action inland into Central FL migrant traps, but also at tried and true traps such as Fort DeSoto and also parks like Sawgrass Lake Park, John Chesnut and Boyd Hill. Looking farther south we expect the best birding to be at inland and east coast locations, the west coast may have had birds fly past with SW winds. Looks like exceptional numbers of migrants flew over coastal sites along the east coast, thrush and Bobolink were likely easy to pick out in a pre-dawn listen of the sky.
Flights out of South FL heading straight for the Andros Island in the Bahamas were very visible on radar. Birds were flying high and precipitation was lacking and sporadic, this usually leads to huge flyovers, but with this kind of movement we expect true migrant traps to have birds in the ground. Coastal and inland migrant traps along the east coast the the metropolitan areas should see new faces today. From Jacksonville to Miami birds were migrating and dropping in over the night, birds that were fueled up flew past the coast, birds that were tubing low on fuel definitely landed to refuel. Early morning will be the best time to catch concentrations of migrants, as the day goes in birds will disperse into the habitat. Look for migrants at locations that will provide ample food source, these are the places that birds look for during their short diurnal movements.
Get out and take a look around, birds are here today! Come back and let us know what you see :)
Our computer is still down and we were unable to download and post the radar as usual so we are doing the second best thing. Below is a list of links to radar loops from 2am-6am.
The regional radar is in reflectivity mode which is best used to quantify birds and to get a picture of where they are moving from. The rest of the radar links are velocity radars, these are best used to determine speed and direction of travel. With these images you are looking at light blue-dark blue returns (incoming birds) and yellow-orange (outgoing birds). The grayish line between the two colors is the line of axis, this line will give you an idea of which direction birds are entering the radar from and which direction they are flying as they exit radar range.
As always Badbirdz depends on its readers to help us understand the magic of bird migration. We ask our readers to take a minute to email us at badbirdz-reloaded@..., post a comment on the site or share what you are seeing on our Facebook page. As a whole the Florida birding community is large and enthusiastic about bird migration, lets join together this year to make Badbirdz an integral part of every birders toolbox. Together we can track and monitor birds and learn more about this phenomenon called MIGRATION!
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Angel & Mariel