In response to Bob’s excellent post, let me add a coupla things. 

First, the first real cool front of the fall is the best day of the fall for birding, and sometimes for the entire year. In the old days, when I did my graduate work on SGI, I had literally hundreds of some species, in the 70s. 

Second, it’s a great opportunity to observe circum-Gulf migrants alongside trans-Gulf species. Many swallows and other birds like Palm Warblers and flickers will be flying all morning east along the Coast, following the shores to the southern tip of Florida and beyond. They are the conspicuous birds. [Authors of old, like my dad, used to call them “Peninsular migrants,” for obvious reasons, until we realized they were flying *around* the Gulf on both sides.]

Third, some species not normally seen on our Coast, may turn up on these days, whether it’s because there are more birds, or the west winds that often precede the front displaces them to the east. As an example, my only Mourning Warbler in Florida was on a fall cool front many years ago. 

Fourth, you can’t beat the cooler, drier air, after what seems like eons of muggy, stuffy, blistering, birdless air from late May well into September. You’ll feel young again, which for some of us, is very welcomed!   :0

So, quit your job, leave your post, grab your binoculars and be at the Coast at dawn tomorrow! I’d give anything to be there!


From: mailto:[log in to unmask] 
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2014 9:39 AM
To: [log in to unmask] ; [log in to unmask] ; 'FLORIDABIRDS' 
Subject: [SPAM][nflbirds] Frontal passage & birding prospects


Hi all,

               The first strong front of the season is expected tonight, with surface winds moderate N early tonight increasing to fresh NE during the night. Upper level winds are favorable (2600 ft) as well, NW in the New England area this morning and NE south of that around 20 - 30 mph. That should be a good impetus for lots of birds to move south. No rain is expected along the front (low odds) so most birds will be moving over the Northern Gulf Coast non-stop, but in large movements, some always put down.

               The front is expected to go stationary in the northern Gulf with fresh E  & NE winds persisting through Friday, so birds will be on the move the next few days, but usually the main pulse is right behind the front. So my bet is that tomorrow should be good at the migrant traps from St. George Is. to the MS coast. This all depends, of course, on the accuracy of the Marine Forecast. Since weather stations sample the upper atmosphere twice a day, around 7 am & 7 pm, if anything should change, I will post it tonight.

               So far, it has been a lackluster migration, with fewer birds than usual at Ft Pickens and our yard for this time of year. Let’s hope it changes tonight.

Bob Duncan

Gulf Breeze in the w. Panhandle



Posted by: "Lucy & Bob Duncan" <[log in to unmask]> 

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