01 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

And then there were birds!

Big weekend for the Pacific Flyway.  I have the Friday/Saturday loop, but left in on another computer; it looks pretty much like today’s Sunday/Monday loop.  Saturday/Sunday was muted by weather.

More arrivals: Western Kingbird, Western Tanager, Lazuli Bunting, Black-headed and Evening Grosbeak,  Bullock’s Oriole, Sora, Empids, Wilson’s and Nashville Warbler, and Cassin’s and Warbling Vireo.  All five Swallows have now been reported as well as Vaux’s Swift. Big numbers of the early migrants as well, House Wren, Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers.  Pelicans and Purple Martins are more widely reported on Sauvie Island.

Many birds are already on, or building, nests and even some fledglings are being seen.  I even saw a Green-winged Teal male transitioning to eclipse plumage this weekend.

I haven’t seen or heard a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in a while; Golden-crowned Sparrow numbers are down, Migrant Fox and Lincoln’s Sparrows are pretty much off the radar.  Water Fowl numbers are dropping as well.

Let’s see, what’s left?  From memory (so don’t hold me to this) Swainson’s Thrush,  Yellow Warbler, Western Wood Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo (rare but annual nesting resident) Willow Flycatcher and ……?

I really should change the title of these posts.  The Pacific Northwest is a big place and i don’t keep tabs of much outside of the Portland/Vancouver Basin and the Willamette Valley.  So, for example, when the Puffins return to the coast, i’ll miss it by a couple of weeks to a month, they’re back, but i’m not sure of when they arrived.

10 March 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Well,  The birds have been picking their way north for a few weeks now, but because of the nearly constant rain it has been damned hard to pick them out of the radar noise.  Even the HC was not reliably designating biological returns.

Last night however, once the rain moved through, we got a decent migration signature.  On today’s loop, wait for the rain to pass and you will see the flight — up into the 20 dBZ range.

Tree and Violet-green Swallows as well as Turkey Vultures have made it to the Portland area.  Even Barn Swallows are being reported in Clallam County in Washington.  Western Kingbirds are in the Central Valley in California as well.  Waterfowl numbers are down a bit too.

03 October 2016 – PNW Migration Update

It’s not been a great past few days to be looking for the radar signatures of southbound migrants.  Heavy cloud cover, precipitation, and southerly winds are the real conspiracy theory.

Last night in the face of some moderate south winds only a few migrants were moving around.  The Cascades had the heaviest movement in the region.

Haven’t seen the Barn Swallow signature in a while either.

(today’s static image of The Winds of the Earth shows the strength Hurricane Matthew)

29 September 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Another solid night of migration in the Metro Area.  Migrants again favored the western flanks of the Cascades.

Barn Swallows can be seen going to roost and leaving the roost again in today’s loop.

28 September 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Back from a wee vacation.  Only one birding stop.

Last night saw heavy movement along the I5 corridor from the Canadian border south.  In the Metro area the east counties had the bulk of the movement.  Lots of divers and errant ducks being reported from the high Cascade Lakes.  I haven’t had time to catch up on the listservs to see what has been trickling in but i did see large skeins of Cackling Geese in the Portland/Vancouver Basin when passing through.  The waterfowl will be making up the bulk of the migrants from here on out.

The Barn Swallow roost is still putting on a dawn show down in Yamhill and Marion Counties along the Willamette River.

22 September 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Well, not as exciting as yesterday but lively none the less.  East counties saw the bulk of the movement again.

Barn Swallows exiting their roost is rather impressive this morning.  It looks quite a bit bigger today.  Perhaps more swallows are congregating as they stage for their migration.

21 September 2016 – PNW Migration Update

BOOM!

Favorable north winds bring; Spectacular, heavy and widespread migration last night.  From the Canadian border down the I5 corridor, and up and down the region’s coast line.  Take a look!

Note on the RTX loop at the beginning and the end we again see the activity of the Barn Swallow hoards along the Willamette River.