Migration story: mid-latitude cyclones, Plains temperature anomalies, Edmund Fitzgerald, and Franklin’s Gulls

November 13 saw an epic Franklin’s Gull and Cave Swallow flight to the East Coast of the United States, the likes of which have not been previously recorded. Here, we describe in the first of a three part series how and why this unprecedented event occurred.

Will 2015 be the new 2012 for Razorbill in the southeast?

Some seriously anomalous displays of displacement, entrainment, diversion, and irruption, highlighted the birding landscape of 2012. Of particular note was the unprecedented invasion of Razorbills in the southeastern US and the Gulf of Mexico. BirdCast spent some time chronicling these events and begins a discussion of whether 2015 might see a similar occurrence.

Regional Migration Forecast: 20-27 November 2015

A late period arrival of favorable conditions will see light to moderate movements, primarily waterfowl, in the West, while the first half of the period in the East will see moderate flights scattered across the region.

Regional Migration Analysis: 13-20 November 2015

A quiet late season week in the West saw primarily scattered light movements, while a wild post-frontal passage ride of Franklin’s Gulls and Cave Swallows in the Northeast highlighted the period’s primarily localized light to moderate flights.

Regional Migration Forecast: 13-20 November 2015

Mid to late period conditions will be favorable for scattered light to moderate pulses of movements featuring American Wigeon, Cooper’s Hawk, Golden Eagle, American Coot, Snowy Owl, and Red-winged Blackbird in the West, while a strong frontal passage early in the weekend brings moderate to heavy flights of Mallard, Snow Goose, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Purple Sandpiper, Bonaparte’s Gull, and American Robin to the East.

Regional Migration Analysis: 6-13 November 2015

A generally quiet week in the West featured isolated light and moderate flights of Greater White-fronted Goose, Northern Pintail, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Western Bluebird, and Yellow-rumped Warbler, while moderate flights of Red-breasted Merganser, White-winged Scoter, Franklin’s Gull, American Robin, Savannah Sparrow, and American Tree Sparrow graced the East early and late in the period.

Regional Migration Forecast: 6-13 November 2015

A relatively quiet week of scattered light migration featuring Brant, Common Goldeneye, Barrow’s Goldeneye, California Gull, Chestnut-collared Longspur, and Golden-crowned Sparrow is in store for this late migration period in the West, while the passage of two strong cold fronts spawn the season’s last major moderate to heavy flights featuring Lesser Scaup, Long-tailed Duck, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Great Cormorant, Purple Sandpiper, and Rusty Blackbird in the East.

Regional Migration Analysis: 30 October – 6 November 2015

A quiet late season week in the West saw primarily light movements west of the Rockies featuring Brant, Red-breasted Merganser, Pacific Loon, Mew Gull, Bohemian Waxwing, Chestnut-collared Longspur, Grasshopper Sparrow, and Clay-colored Sparrow, while early and late period movements of moderate to heavy intensity in the East featured numerous waterfowl, Rough-legged Hawk, Northern Shrike, Cedar Waxwing, American Tree Sparrow, and Fox Sparrow.

Regional Migration Forecast: 30 October – 6 November 2015

Favorable conditions from the weekend through early week in the West will see light to locally moderate flights of Canada Goose, Red-breasted Merganser, Common Merganser, Ring-billed Gull, Short-eared Owl, Marsh Wren, and Golden-crowned Sparrow, while a moderate to heavy pulse Friday along the Atlantic coast and along the Canadian border on Wednesday and Thursday nights will feature Snow Goose, Tundra Swan, Redhead, Hooded Merganser, Red-throated Loon, Common Redpoll and assorted western goodies.

Regional Migration Analysis: 23-30 October 2015

Light to moderate flights earlier in the period from the southern reaches of the West featured Tundra Swan, Canvasback, Bufflehead, Bonaparte’s Gull, American Tree Sparrow, and Pine Siskin, while moderate to heavy flights last weekend and late in the current week featured Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Loon, Great Cormorant, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Snow Bunting, Fox Sparrow, and White-throated Sparrow in the East.

Regional Migration Forecast: 23-30 October 2015

A favorable beginning and end of the period for the West sees light to moderate flights of Gadwall, Bufflehead, Long-tailed Duck, Northern Harrier, Bonaparte’s Gull, Hermit Thrush, Chestnut-collared Longspur, and American Tree Sparrow, while a late weekend and late week pulse of moderate to heavy flights in the East feature Hooded Merganser, Common Loon, American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, Snow Bunting, American Tree Sparrow, and Chipping Sparrow.

Regional Migration Analysis: 16-23 October 2015

Light to moderate mid and end of week flights in the West featured numerous waterfowl, Varied Thrush, Hermit Thrush, and Pine Siskin, while extensive moderate to heavy flights last weekend saw the passage of Brant, Bufflehead, Red-throated Loon, Bald Eagle, Wilson’s Snipe, Merlin, Brown Creeper, Saltmarsh Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Regional Migration Forecast: 16-23 October 2015

Favorable conditions mid period bring light to moderate movements of American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Pied-billed Grebe, Bale Eagle, Northern Flicker, and Yellow-rumped Warbler to the West, while moderate to very heavy weekend movements of Gadwall, Ruddy Duck, Horned Grebe, Sandhill Crane, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Eastern Meadowlark, and Fox Sparrow take flight in the East.

Regional Migration Analysis: 9-16 October 2015

Light to moderate flights in the West last weekend featured Bufflehead, Cackling Goose, Ring-necked Duck, Herring Gull, Varied Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco, while several pulses of moderate to very heavy flights in the East featured Green-winged Teal, Bufflehead, Northern Harrier, Wilson’s Snipe, Hermit Thrush, Eastern Meadowlark, Snow Bunting, White-throated Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, Le Conte’s Sparrow, and Field Sparrow.

Regional Migration Forecast: 9-16 October 2015

While the favorable conditions in the West arrive during the middle of the period and bring light to moderate movement featuring Western Grebe, Northern Shoveler, Ruddy Duck, Hermit Thrush, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, White-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco, the East experiences more favorable conditions for several waves of moderate to heavy flights featuring American White Pelican, Merlin, Wilson’s Snipe, Marsh Wren, Sedge Wren, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Savannah Sparrow.

Regional Migration Analysis: 2-9 October 2015

A week of light to moderate movements in the southern half of the West featured Red-necked Grebe, Mew Gull, Hermit Thrush, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Townsend’s Warbler, and White-crowned Sparrow, while moderate to heavy flights in the East, particularly in the Upper Midwest, Appalachians, and central Plains, featured Cooper’s Hawk, American Coot, Yellow-bellied Sapsucker, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Eastern Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Swamp Sparrow, and White-crowned Sparrow.

Regional Migration Forecast: 2-9 October 2015

Favorable conditions begin and end the period in the West where light to moderate flights will feature Common Loon, Gadwall, Turkey Vulture, Ruby-crownd Kinglet, Yellow Warbler, and Lincoln’s Sparrow, while the non coastal East sees an extended period of favorable conditions bring moderate to heavy flights featuring Sharp-shinned Hawk, Northern Flicker, Blue-headed Vireo, Nashville Warbler, Pine Warbler, Palm Warbler, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Western Meadowlark.

Regional Migration Analysis: 25 September – 2 October 2015

Light to moderate flights in the West, particularly the northern extents, featured American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Northern Flicker, Varied Thrush, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco, while the East saw moderate to very heavy flights from the middle of the period that featured Tundra Swan, Northern Pintail, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Lincoln’s Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.

Update to Special alert, Upper Midwest and Northeast: Hurricane Joaquin

Update 930am EDT, 2 October 2015 The newest models from the National Hurricane Center suggest Hurricane Joaquin will stay far to the east of the Atlantic Coast. We will continue to monitor the storm, although the most likely outcome from the avian perspective is a windfall of Nearctic and Neotropical migrants in the Palearctic! Given […]

Regional Migration Forecast: 25 September – 2 October 2015

NOTE: Check out our new Traffic Reports, above! Continental Summary The West will see light to moderate flights, particularly in more northern reaches, featuring Eared Grebe, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Say’s Phoebe, Townsend’s Warbler, Brewer’s Blackbird, and Lincoln’s Sparrow, while moderate to very heavy mid to late week flights featuring Turkey Vulture, Wilson’s Snipe, Northern Flicker, Blue Jay, Black-and-white […]

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