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Nocturnal Migration April 27, 2012

posted by Tim Avery at
on Friday, April 27, 2012 

It's been a wild week of migration to say the least.  The beginning of the week saw our biggest flights of the year, while the middle of the week saw decent flights early in the evening that fizzled out shortly after midnight.  And last night put an exclamation on the week when migration was put to a halt by a large storm passing through northern Utah.

Let's talk about last nights storm:

This was taken just before 10pm as this massive cell passed over the lake.  For several hours it was very windy followed by the thunder, lightning, and then several hours of rain fall.  By about 3 am the storm was mostly cleared out, with the tail end to the east and north of the lake.

Quite the contrast to just a few hours earlier.  Had this storm come through a couple hours earlier or later, migration might have been a very different story last night.  I would expect things to start picking back up tonight, with decent movements as the weekend progresses.

The next three weeks will bring an onslaught of birds through our state as the height of passerine migration hits in mid May (or should hit in mid May).  Shorebird migration should start to slow down after this week.  Typically this last week of April brings in some of the best shorebirding of the year.  The past couple of years shorebird migration has peaked later into May providing great shorebirding through the middle of the month.  Based off current trends I would speculate this year will be more on par with the usual migration patterns and things should start to slow.

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