Migration is on across Ohio (and the North East)

The past few days have seen a flood of migrants pouring through Ohio, so here is a quick recap of which species made a big push north this weekend.

North winds late last week kept many birds from moving into the north eastern US (including Ohio)…

US Composite Radar: Friday, 28 April 2012, 10:11pm EDT

US Composite Radar: Friday, 28 April, 10:10pm EDT. See the full radar loop here.

… until this weekend when winds out of the south started over the weekend, and the birds have been trickling north ever since.

US Composite Radar: Sunday, April 30 2012, 2:41am EDT.

US Composite Radar: Sunday, April 30, 2:41am EDT. See the full radar loop for Sunday night here.

So what birds moved into Ohio?  A quick survey of the Birding Ohio facebook group turned up movements of migrants that spend their winters in southern North America, like Lincoln’s, White-throated and White-crowned Sparrows, as well as a mix of neotropical migrants like Gray Catbirds, Rose-breasted Grosbeaks, Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, Baltimore Orioles, Eastern Kingbirds, Least Flycatchers, and a decent mix of everyone’s favorite spring migrant: warblers.

These south winds have also apparently brought a few rarities into Ohio, including a good movement of water birds.  A huge flock of Willets showed up on Hoover Reservoir on Saturday the 28th with other flocks also being found across the state that day.

Western Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus inornata)  [6 of 7] on flickr.com

Western Willet (Catoptrophorus semipalmatus inornata). Part of a flock of 124+ seen resting on the Galena boardwalk on Hoover Reservoir, 28 April 2012.

The third state record Royal Tern(!) showed up at St. Mary’s Fish Hatchery on Sunday the 29th, as did a good mix of gulls and terns around Columbus including Caspian, Forster’s and Common Terns, an adult Laughing Gull at Alum Creek reservoir on Monday the 30th, an adult alternate California Gull(!) at Hoover Reservoir on Sunday and Monday, and just today, a Black-throated Gray warbler at Maggee Marsh. If I missed anything, feel free to mention it in the comments below.

So what’s next? For those predictions, I’ll point you towards woodcreeper.com (which has links to other related websites) and the weekly BirdCast posts by the eBird team at eBird.org. You can also check historical Arrival and Departure dates for your state, county or even local hotspots here on the ebird website.

Good Birding!
-Paul

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