This is the final forecast and analysis report for the Fall 2013 season. Please continue to visit BirdCast.info for updates and commentary on noteworthy movements of birds during the coming months, and look for weekly forecasts to resume on 1 March 2014.
Diminishing returns aside (no pun intended), the West saw local light to moderate movements continue as the East saw a last large pulse of moderate to heavy movements. Birds on the move this week included Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Red-breasted and Hooded Mergansers, Bonaparte’s Gull, Tree Swallow, Gray Catbird, Palm and Yellow-rumped Warblers, and American Tree Sparrow.
California and the Desert Southwest were the most active areas this week, continuing to experience scattered light to moderate movements over the course of the forecast period. However, farther North, several rounds of scattered precipitation and unfavorable conditions kept movements isolated and very light, if present at all. Birds on the move this week included Cackling Goose, American Wigeon, Northern Shoveler, Bufflehead, Red-breasted Merganser, and Bonaparte’s Gull.
Light movements with some local moderate movements kicked off the weekend in some portions of the region, especially farther South and East from Nebraska into Oklahoma. These movements quickly dissipated to minimal if any movement by the end of the week as precipitation moved through the region. Isolated light to moderate movements occurred in the eastern central Plains on Monday night, with the only other substantive movements of the period occurring later in the week in the southeastern reaches of the region over Kansas and Oklahoma. Birds on the move this week included Snow and Cackling Geese, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Hooded and Red-breasted Mergansers, Killdeer, American Avocet, Franklin’s Gull, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Lapland Longspur, and Chipping, Savannah, and Lincoln’s Sparrows.
Upper Midwest and Northeast
Light to moderate movements occurred from the Mississippi River valley East across the southern Ohio River valley into portion of the mid-Atlantic and greater New York metropolitan area to begin the weekend. Some of these movements were locally heavy. The weekend saw these movements expand in many areas, with the exception being portions of the mountains from Pennsylvania through the Adirondacks. By Sunday night most movements were confined to the East of the Appalachians, with some moderate and locally heavy movements in the DelMarVa and New York – New Jersey region. By Monday night only some locally light to moderate movements were apparent, diminishing further by Tuesday and Wednesday nights. However, Wednesday night saw a post-frontal movement of light to moderate magnitudes in the Mississippi River valley, expanding but at diminished intensity over much of the remainder of the region on Thursday night as the front passed offshore. Birds on the move this week included Tundra Swan, Lesser Scaup, Bufflehead, Common Goldeneye, Long-tailed Duck, Black Scoter, Red-breasted and Hooded Mergansers, Common and Red-throated Loons, Bonaparte’s Gull, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Snow Bunting, and American Tree Sparrow. An aside for this week’s analysis: as forecast in a previous post, Cave Swallows appeared in several locations in the region associated with the passage of an early period low pressure center. This system also brought Cattle Egret in small numbers into the region. We will discuss these patterns in upcoming posts, please stay tuned.
Gulf Coast and Southeast
Widespread moderate movements, some of which included locally heavy movements, occurred on Friday night, the only exception being the immediate Atlantic coast which was drenched by frontal precipitation. These movements continued into Saturday night with similar intensity, including some heavy flights at the Georgia – Florida boundary, as well as on Sunday night, though with decreasing extent primarily East of the Mississippi River valley. Widely scattered light movements followed to begin the week. However, by Wednesday night light to moderate movements were in effect again West of the Mississippi River as scattered light to locally moderate movements occurred in the Southeast. These movements became more widespread to end the period, with light to moderate movement occurring in most areas from Texas to the Atlantic coast. Birds on the move this week included Gadwall, Lesser Scaup, Hooded Merganser, American Pipit, Orange-crowned Warbler, Indigo Bunting, and Chipping Sparrow.