Sunday, April 19, 2015

Weather makes it happen! Good bird forecasting...

A few thoughts...

1.) - Monday is looking pretty good
2.) - Rare birds occur with unique weather (a recent case study)
3.) - Late April looks bad :(

NAM 4km model run for 8am Monday... South winds, STRONG low... Although it's looking occluded, so maybe short lived (and not a "rarity alert" type storm)...  

Winds Sunday evening. Blistering NE winds brought a LOT of Bonaparte's to my place on Lake Ontario and two big year Little Gulls... The low is pretty nice lookin!

For tomorrow, I'm hoping for a full day of good birds... Morning flight of waterbirds/songbirds and hopefully a flight of Broad-wings during the day. We'll see how it all shakes down though - little bands of rain can really mess things up (and are impossible to know exactly when/where they'll be)...

(Sunday PM)


RARE Birds = Awesome weather!!!

The forecast for tomorrow is exciting to me, but it isn't a perfect situation... The good thing about birding is that a single Smith's Longspur or Glossy Ibis can make the day :)

We've had an excellent start to the spring vagrant season in southern Ontario... Some notables include the spectacular Tricoloured Heron, Avocets, Yellow-throated Warblers, Henslow's Sparrow, Lark Sparrow and more! 

Now, I'm going to tell you something that will blow your mind.
All of these rarities came from a SINGLE day & weather event... It happened back on April 9th .... There was a severe weather outbreak in the United States, bringing vagrants on strong 850mb winds below the subtropical jet. It brought us all of these birds!!! The main reason we (as birders) don't really recognize this, is because we don't find the vagrants as soon as they arrive. They get scattered all around the great lakes, take time to be found, and then *gasp* they may fly somewhere else and get found days later.

Case in point - the Tricoloured Heron. Darn thing showed up at Pelee, then days later appeared at Holiday Beach. Had the bird not been seen at Point Pelee immediately after the spectacular weather on Apr 9 - it would have been much harder to see the correlation to it's occurrence in Ontario with the weather. 

Surfacce archive from late on Apr 9th... The subtropical jet is pushing over Ontario and violent winds/tornadoes are smashing the USA... This is a SUPERB rarity setup for the spring (it's different in the fall)... 


SO - is this going to happen again soon?


CPC 6-10 day climate outlook... WOW that looks bad eh? This map is telling us that there is a 70-90% chance that temperatures will be BELOW seasonal from April 25th-29th... This is my favourite time of year for birding (sometimes) if things get warm and we have severe weather in the old'e USA... Some MEGA rare birds have occurred at this time (Black-capped Vireo)... But it's hard to get too excited about this forecast....

The 8-14 day outlook is similar. 50-60% chances of below seasonal through MAY 3rd! Yikes... Things change, and it only takes 6 hours of 20C weather to bring migrants and vagrants, but i'm predicting the start of insane migration (neotropical) won't be until May 3-6th ish... Check back here for updates ;)
It still only takes one bird! 

Coming soon to a woodlot near you!


  1. massive precip-related dud today... currently at the office :(

  2. Do two Glossy Ibis near Ottawa count? Sunday (19th), east of town on the Quebec side.