Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. Tim Lenz/Macaulay Library. eBird S31793165.
Widespread light to moderate movements dominated the first half of the forecast period in the West and featured Cackling Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Dunlin, Varied Thrush, Hermit Thrush, American Pipit, Yellow-rumped Warbler and Palm Warbler, Golden-crowned Sparrow, while pulses of moderate to very heavy flights graced the East and featured Pied-billed Grebe, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Sprague’s Pipit, Orange-crowned Warbler, Rusty Blackbird, Brewer’s Blackbird, White-throated Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.
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Moderate to heavy flights occurred across the region during this period, with some of these movements less widespread than others. Friday through Monday was a particularly active and extensive period of such movements, nicely highlighting the arrival of two different bouts of favorable air masses in which birds moved. Note also, some lucky observers experienced these locally intense movements, a nice description of which comes in this account of a fallout event on 23-24 September from John Kearney in Nova Scotia. The second half of the forecast period saw generally less extensive movements, though still similarly intense; mostly the extents were restricted by disturbances and their associated precipitation passing through the region.
Increase from Last Week
% of Checklists Reporting
Le Conte's Sparrow
Decrease from Last Week
% of Checklists Reporting
Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Tom Murray/Macaulay Library. eBird S31811371.
Gulf Coast and Southeast
Light to moderate flights were the norm for the weekend, as less than favorable migration conditions persisted in most areas. Monday night brought the arrival of some changes, including the passage of a frontal boundary that spawned significantly heavier movements west of the Appalachians through Texas. However, some lingering poor visibility conditions associated with the passage of the frontal boundary resulted in an dangerous combination of artificial light and nocturnally migrating birds flying into the unfavorable conditions and was responsible for killing more than 250 birds in Tennessee (see this story). With the passage of this frontal boundary, generally favorable migration conditions prevailed for the remainder of the period, when moderate to heavy flights dominated the migration scene across much of the region.
Moderate to very heavy flights arrived on Saturday and Sunday nights with the passage of a cold front, ushering in a wave of migrants across the region. As high pressure built in following this frontal passage, conditions became generally more marginal and unfavorable for widespread movements. Intensities waned to light to moderate levels in many areas, and the extents of these flights was also significantly more restricted relative to the weekend’s flights. By the end of the period, migration was limited to isolated areas of the central and southern Plains, with high pressure and southerly flow in control and keeping most birds on the ground.
Widespread light to moderate flights kicked off the beginning of the period across much of the region. These flights continued in many areas into the work week, though with lesser intensity. As the period drew to a close, scattered precipitation kept birds grounded in many areas, and less than favorable winds kept movements light and local in most areas free of precipitation.