Wednesday 4 September 2013

Weather Lookout for NL

Following in the footsteps of BH, here's my predictions & speculation for bird movement in the near future (a few days) geared towards Newfoundland, and also applicable to the maritimes!

Best way to learn how to predict bird movements is to make predictions, learn from the inevitable mistakes, and refine them - if possible! So this is very much a work in progress...

First, I like to check the weather for locations in Eastern Newfoundland. The winds are forecasted to be consistently from the South. The Marine forecast is similar, but has more of a Southwest component to it - meaning that the winds will be coming more directly from Nova Scotia and the Northeastern US.

The question then is, how far reaching are those winds. That's when the surface maps come in handy:

Both surface maps clearly show a lot of wind headed straight for Newfoundland from further South. However, the wind isn't all coming from the desired areas - it seems that the winds from the NE US, and offshore locations are converging towards the island - which isn't optimal.

This animation pretty well sums it up & shows a different & exciting dimension. There's a huge cold front headed SE down through Ontario & Quebec. This front will certainly see birds moving South towards the Northeastern US in big numbers. These birds (and birds already on the coast) have a natural tendency to fly off the coast with the intention of flying offshore and straight to Central & South America. However, my speculation/hope is that some of these birds will be caught up in the air that is moving towards NL & Nova Scotia.

Anyway, this is a mere prediction with no credible background on my part. We'll just have to wait to see what's reported from NS & NL over the next few days. Unfortunately, I'll be busy until the weekend - which will be a regular excuse/complaint of mine for the next 4 years!

Species to watch out for, that are unusual for the Atlantic provinces, are: Canada Warbler, Black-throated Blue Warbler, Blue-winged & Golden-winged Warblers, Hooded Warbler, Red-eyed, Philadelphia, & Yellow-throated Vireos, Scarlet Tanager, Cliff Swallows, Cuckoos, Baird's Sandpiper... and hopefully more!
(in no particular order, btw...)