Sunday, March 20, 2011

Light migration

Today I saw something you don't see very often on Sandy Hook: raptors getting up in thermals and crossing New York Bay toward Coney Island in Brooklyn. Many times, hawks and vultures will come up to the tip of the Hook, see water and turn around. Local conventional wisdom holds that northeast winds are worst for hawk migration over the Hook, but given sunshine and the resulting thermals, light NE winds apparently enable raptors to get a bit of lift from light head winds, just enough to make the crossing.

The Osprey pictured above did that, as did several Turkey Vultures and a couple of immature Red-shouldered Hawks. These birds got high enough and did not come back.

The weather forecast for the rest of the week looks bleak: rain and snow, and unfavorable winds. The next warm front seems to be more than a week away; when it gets here, it should bring a batch of new arrivals in.

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