If you’re out chasing or looking for rare and uncommon birds and are using Twitter, make sure to trend #sandybirds so we can keep tabs on all of the rare birds throughout the region! Also, check out the Tropical Storm Sandy Rare Bird Live Blog over at the Nemesis Bird!

credit: NOAA

BirdCast: Upper Midwest and Northeast 5 – 12 October

Here’s this weeks Migration Forecast from BirdCast for 28 September through 5 October:

Upper Midwest and Northeast

“A strong low over the Great Lakes spawns widespread moderate and heavy movements across many areas of the region; however, rain will shut down movements in some areas, and create local fallouts where birds meet light rain and low cloud ceilings. These areas may also have higher than typical rates of nocturnal calling, so anyone in areas with high levels of light pollution, cloud cover, and low cloud ceiling will likely experience heavy bouts of flight calling from passing migrants. As this system departs to the east over the course of the weekend, widespread heavy movements continue across the region. Birders along coastlines and ridgelines should watch in the early hours of the weekend for morning flight. As the week begins, more southerly flow moderates movements in all but the Atlantic coastal portions of the region and New England, where heavy movements will continue. By midweek, the pattern of southerly flow moves east, and all but the northern and western most areas around the Great Lakes will see much more widely scattered light to moderate movements. By Wednesday night, as the next low pressure system moves through the region, highly favorable conditions for heavy movements, high bouts of nocturnal calling, and fallouts return as northerly flow and precipitation are forecast. Birders should watch this system closely, as the timing and character of it suggest the potential for large sparrow and kinglet fallouts, among other species.”

For the Migration Forecast in your area check this weeks regional forecast.

For daily migration forecasts and updates for the northeast check out Drew Weber’s posts over at Nemesis Bird.

Good birding.

BirdCast: Upper Midwest and Northeast 28 September – 5 October

Here’s this weeks Migration Forecast from BirdCast for 28 September through 5 October:

Upper Midwest and Northeast

“Moderate to heavy movements will occur across the Great Lakes, Mississippi and Ohio River valleys, and western Appalachians to begin the weekend, expanding east later in the weekend as a low pressure mess moves east out to sea. Birders should watch carefully for conditions in which northerly winds prevail, but low cloud ceiling, light rain, and poor visibility also exist – these conditions bring major fallouts when they occur at this time of the year.  By Sunday, another low pressure system forming over the Great Lakes continues to bring favorable conditions for moderate and heavy movements to the Mississippi River valley, but much less favorable conditions to much of the eastern seaboard. As this next system moves east to begin the week, westerly and northerly winds again spawn moderate to heavy movements in many areas, and Tuesday morning birding in coastal locations should produce morning flights in many areas. The arrival of a new system in the northern Great Lakes by midweek divides the region, with moderate to heavy movements widespread over many western areas and primarily light or no movements in eastern areas, particularly where rain occurs. Skies clear and moderate to heavy movements prevail as this system passes on Thursday, again bringing favorable conditions for morning flight in coastal locations. However, by Friday, wet conditions may shut down movements in all but the western most areas, where light movements will occur, with some locally heavier farther North and West in the region.”

For the Migration Forecast in your area check this weeks regional forecast.

For daily migration forecasts and updates for the northeast check out Drew Weber’s posts over at Nemesis Bird.

Good birding.

In Search of Migrants

For the past couple of weeks, Kyle Horton and I have been searching for the perfect migrant spot in southern Delaware. We’ve tried Cape Henlopen State Park, various local parks in Lewes, Rehobeth, and Milton, the University of Delaware College of Marine Studies campus, the local Kmart parking lot, and a nice piece of Nature Conservancy land this evening. Every morning and night we are checking the radar and weather patterns (radar at Nemesis Bird) to try and predict bird movements. Also, we are occasionally listening for flight calls throughout the night and have had a few excellent nights and mornings.

Fall migration is definitely upon us in southern Delaware and may have peaked already, but we are not finding the birds. Despite our efforts, we are dipping incredibly hard on flocks of migrants. We have come across five to ten species of warblers on a few days, but our counts are usually less than five species. We’ve tried early successional habitat, scrub-shrub, edges of fields, and mixed hardwood forests and have come up with barely any noteworthy results.

Thrushes are a different story. We’ve heard several Veery and Swainson’s and Gray-cheeked Thrushes flying over throughout the night and have not found a single migrant thrush in the area. We even looked on eBird and there are almost no reports of Catharus in southern Delaware. I’ve experienced the same phenomena in central Pennsylvania with thrushes. There would be hundreds of thrush calls just before sunrise, but then we could not locate any on the ground. At least Scotia was awesome for warblers.

Where are we going wrong? What should we do? Where should we look? Are there any Delawarians out there that could provide some insight or a solution to our problem? I haven’t even grabbed a nasty shot of a warbler yet this fall. This is the best I have done:

Prairie Warbler at the University of Delaware in Lewes, Delaware on 9-24-2012

Please post in the comments if you have any suggestions or tips for birding migration in southern Delaware. Thanks!