The remnants of Sandy, huge as they are, have a circulation that has just passed Philadelphia, PA. All of the meteorological forecasters involved in predicting the path of this system did quite an amazing job – now, team eBird and BirdCast will get to see how we did at predicting the ornithological outcome. Tuesday morning is going to see a large exodus of displaced and entrained birds in the Delaware River; however, those that are farther inland in Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland and farther north up the Delaware River may see birds linger on inland water bodies as rain continues to fall. Unlike most tropical systems that come ashore, with near immediate clearing, this hybrid system will have much precipitation lingering through the end of the week that may keep birds from moving back to the ocean.
Note that the present forecast path suggests that western Pennsylvania and western New York are now in the hot zone for potential entrained birds. This suggests that points even farther west, in Lake Erie, possibly the Ohio River Valley, may eventually see the effects of the passage of this storm in addition to more direct effects that Lake Ontario will likely experience. Additionally, birders in the Finger Lakes should be watchful when it comes to all bodies of water, large and small, as this system moves north and east into Lake Ontario later on Wednesday.
In coastal areas to the north and east of landfall, many displaced birds should be apparent beginning at first light. Given the forecast for southerly flow that will still be quite intense, displacement will continue to occur. The combination of Monday’s easterlies into Long Island Sound and Tuesday’s forecast southerly winds should make for an interesting and confusing combination of bird movements – displaced birds moving up and down river, birds moving into Long Island Sound, and birds moving out of Long Island Sound. Despite landfall occurring 100-150+ miles away, the Hudson Valley, western and central Connecticut, and even Massachusetts may see birds inland away from the coast – birders should be diligent, after being safe (!), about checking inland areas as well as coastal locations.
Again, aside from being safe, which is priority number one, please enter all of your observations into eBird!