Today I write to forum to throw an idea out there that may or may not have been discussed and/or studied already.
In the past two to three weeks, I've read with great interest and wonder all the wonderful warbler species and numbers being observed in central and northern Missouri, and while I do understand that migration is not yet at peak, this SEMO birder is observing less (minimal) activity of warblers this year than in the previous four years I've lived here.
Before this past weekend, I had only observed 6 spring migrant species of warblers. This weekend while volunteering an event "Birding the Bottomlands" along the Mississippi River with Mark Haas, Bob Gillespie, Dennis and Buzz. Seventy-six Conservation Area yielded still only 5 new warblers for me personally this season.
I can only wonder if I might be observing a weather related system/result, or if it's simply all in my head. While living on the bluff southwestern Michigan about 1 mile from Lake Michigan, countless times we'd brace for a snowy winter storm from the west, and we'd watch as we'd only receive 10-12 inches of snow while 10 miles "inland" farther east would received 24-36 inches of snow. The winds coming across the featureless Lake Michigan would hit the bluffs forcing an updraft, raising the snow higher in altitude then carry it and deposit it farther inland.
The recent strong south and southwest winds we've been experiencing here in the Bootheel have me wondering if maybe this could be what's happening to all the warblers (as well as other migrating passerines). You guys/gals are seeing some wonderful birds that seem to be bypassing the southern/eastern part of topographical Crowley Ridge formation. Maybe the strong winds racing across the flat Bootheel and hitting the southern part of Crowley Ridge lifting the warblers/passerines to a higher altitude carrying them farther north in MO.
Am I loopy? Does this make sense? Is this plausible?
Has anyone experienced a similar type situation? Has this possible effect been studied, and if not, would it be a good candidate for a graduate student project? I would imagine that Fallout has been and will continued to be studied.
Thanks for taking a moment to ponder with this uneducated birder on this possible matter.

Good Birding and keep the great reports coming!

Chris Barrigar
Stoddard Co.
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