Forecast and Analysis

Abridged Regional Migration Forecast: Eastern US 31 October – 4 November 2012

Andrew Farnsworth The Cornell Lab Oct 31, 2012

With the departure to the Northeast of Hurricane and Post-Tropical Cyclone Sandy, westerly flow prevails outside the Northeastern US across a huge portion of the Eastern US from the western Great Lakes through peninsular Florida. In many areas, despite the late date, later season migrants including waterfowl and passerines will take flight. Widespread light to moderate movements are likely, with some locally heavy movements, over the coming nights. Additionally, with the strong westerly and northerly winds moving toward the Atlantic, many areas will see good diurnal flights of late season passerines including blackbirds, pipits, finches, and American Robins as well as raptors, waterfowl, and gulls. Birders in many areas of the East should be on the look out for Cave Swallows (and perhaps other “western” vagrants as well), as there had been a significant movement of these pre- and during Sandy. Additionally, keep an eye skyward for any swallows, martins, or swifts, as lingering Sandy-driven birds may be moving in the more favorable conditions and keep an eye toward ridgelines, river valleys, and coastlines to watch for any straggling hurricane-driven seabirds and waterbirds that are lingering or attempting to make their ways back to the ocean. Finally, the massive high pressure that blocked Sandy’s path into the Atlantic likely brought some amazing vagrants, including Ross’s Gull and Northern Lapwing, into the Northeast. Unseen vagrants may still be lurking, so birders (especially along the immediate coast but inland as far as the Appalachians) should keep a watchful eye for additional Eurasian waterfowl, shorebirds, and gulls.