Weather Conditions Held Steady

March 27, 2019 by By David Aborn

Weather conditions held steady but not as much migration action as anticipated.

First male Hooded Oriole at feeder this morning! Photo by: Carla (Ivins, UT; 03/20/2019)

Dear Journey North members,

Not Much Migration Action

Well the first full week of spring did not see as much migration as I anticipated, especially in the eastern United States. I am not sure why, since there was plenty of good weather; it just goes to show that the birds do not always read my weather reports!  The first Great-crested Flycatchers and Orchard Orioles of the season arrived in South Carolina. A birder in Maryland saw their first Common Yellowthroat. The good weather at the end of last week allowed Tree Swallows to make it to Ohio. Another birder saw a Yellow-throated Warbler in Indiana.

Migration was more active out west, with birders recording sightings of Lucy’s Warblers and Black-chinned Hummingbirds in Arizona. Birders in California were treated to Scott’s Orioles, Plumbeous Vireos, the first spring Western Kingbirds, Black-throated—gray Warblers, and Orange-crowned Warblers. Good weather helped push a Varied Thrush, Rufus Hummingbirds, Barn Swallows, and many Tree Swallows into Oregon.

Does the coming week look more promising?

For the eastern part of the United States, as well as the Gulf coast, it does not look good right now. You can see a cold front moving in, with rain and north winds. (We are going to go from the 70’s down to the 50’s here in Chattanooga!) In the Midwest, where winds have turned to the south, any migrants that are around will have good flying weather, so birders should see some new arrivals. There is high pressure bringing north winds to the Rockies, so migrants will be staying put for another couple of days, but the Southwest is on the backside of the highs, so clear skies and south winds mean good migration weather. Those birds had better get moving quick, however, since you can see another storm system moving in from the Pacific. That will bring poor flying weather to the west by mid-week, into the Midwest toward the end of the week, and into the east by the weekend.

It is still early in migration season, so there is plenty of activity to come. I may have a special report to send you next week, so stay tuned!

Take care.

David Aborn