a difference a week can make. Last week it was snowing here in Chattanooga
and yesterday it was 75! Those southerly winds have done more than
warm things up; they have started bringing in migrants from the tropics!
Some of the early species started showing up all along the Gulf Coast
a couple of days ago, including Purple Martins, Tree Swallows, Barn
Swallows, and Northern Rough-winged Swallows. Birders in Louisiana
also reported the first Ruby-throated Hummingbirds and Chimney Swifts.
March 8 and 9 also brought the first reports of Purple Martins and
Northern Rough-winged Swallows right here in Chattanooga. The southerly
winds have also allowed some of the other early-migrating species to
arrive, including a Common Yellowthroat in west Tennessee, 3 Blue-headed
Vireos in southern Georgia, and a Blue-gray Gnatcatcher and White-eyed
Vireo along the North Carolina coast. Any of you who live farther west
should also better get ready, since 4 species of swallows and a Blue-gray
Gnatcatcher showed up in San Diego, California.
Does This Week’s Weather Mean for Migration?
That was quite a lot of movement in the past week. What will this week
be like? Let's look at the weather map:
high-pressure area off the southeast coast will continue bringing
southerly winds to the East Coast for another day
or two. That means people along the southeast and mid-Atlantic coasts
should keep looking for those early migrants as they make their way
A cold front is bringing rains to the central US
and Gulf Coast. Any migrants arriving will be forced to land, so
people along the coast may see some fallouts. As the front moves
east over the next couple of days, any migrants that did not take
advantage of the good flying weather will be grounded.
Farther west, there is another front bringing rain
to the Southwest. That will keep a lot of birds from coming up through
Mexico. In another day or two, however, people should definitely
keep an eye out for new arrivals! That second front will move across
the country right behind the first.
By the weekend, the skies should finally clear and
winds should become more southerly, allowing a new group of migrants
to arrive. Thus, this weekend and early next week would be good time
to get out and see what is around!
In my report last week I did not expect as many arrivals as actually
occurred, so you never know what may happen. This next week could
be good, and we are only at the very beginning of migration!
Chickamauga Creek Conservancy