26 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Nighthawks have arrived in Oregon.  HERE is the map – not too impressive and these are the first arrivals to be sure.  But — This kind of ends the arrival notifications for the season; birds are still on the move however; they are settling in and looking for summer nesting locations; filling in the gaps.

It is the beginning of a long weekend and after that i will be far afield and unplugged.  There are a couple of days next week i will be checking in on migration; if i see anything pronounced i’ll post it — but i doubt that will happen.

Blue-winged Teal have been popping up here and there in the remaining wetlands throughout the region HERE  This is a spring ritual as they are late migrants and occasional breeders that winter to our south.  They are such magnificent birds it is always a treat to come across them.

The Mississippi Flyway is still electric when the conditions are favorable so we’ll take one last look at the National Composite Radar in today’s gallery as well.

24 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

The RTX loop from last night shows what migration looks like as it begins to wind down.  Pretty decent conditions and diminished movement.  But there are still birds in the pipeline as the radar from Medford (MAX) shows.

Another sign that the end is nigh — predawn Violet-green Swallows twittering (not Trump’s type of twittering) in the dark sky above.

Today’s wind map shows two things — the first is the advance of another high ridge; could get windy out of the north as it advances.  The second is the pressure differential between the east side and west side of the northern Cascades.  Hey Seattle — that’s where your winds are coming from.  Check out Cliff’s excellent ‘explainer’ on his blog today.

17 May 2017 – PDX Migration Update

The Willow Flycatcher is on the MAP.  Only a couple but that is how it starts; i expect them to be filling in over the next week.  We should definitely be able to hear them this weekend.

More rain in the Metro area last night and any migration that took place was subdued and opportunistic as they dodged the rain.  Winds died down over night but they still have a northerly component due to the advancing high pressure ridge.  It looks like we are still in for a break in the rain and probably for an extended period; should be great birding weather this weekend.

Looking at the wind map you can pretty much picture the migration scene on a national level, but to confirm your mental image i put the National Radar Composite in the gallery today.

RTX just came back on line — just in time to log the rain.  So we’ll save some disc space.

Message Date:  May 16 2017 08:17:05

KRTX has returned to service.  5/16 1 am PDT (08Z)

Still no northern Willamette Valley Willow Flycatcher reports (which is a bit odd), but the Eastern Kingbirds are back out on the Sandy River Delta.  Nationally migration moves apace very nicely.

The weather looks bleak for the next day or two but there is a nice high pressure ridge building over the Pacific that should move the storm track to the north and bring in some very nice, and needed relief.  It looks really broad so we may get extended nice weather through the weekend.

11 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

A low pressure system has made landfall.  The leading edge winds are out of the south and ahead of the rain we had a decent flight last night in the Metro area.

I had to look to the southern Willamette Valley to find our first reports of Willow Flycatcher; one in Lane and one in Benton County.  These are a week old and may be vanguard birds. But, Fittzz Bewww could be heard, maybe this weekend, in the Portland/Vancouver area.  That would leave only the Common Nighthawk to bring up the rear.

And a look at the national radar composite.

10 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

The clear passage brings a river of birds.  I wonder if it gets as congested as I5 up there?

So, let’s take a look at the I5 corridor from Medford to Seattle today (and the National Composite – just to keep tabs.)

Still no Willow Flycatcher; May 13 is median arrival date for the Willamette Valley.

09 May 2017 – PDX Migration Update

Clear skies, negligible wind and primordial urge — migration continues.  Still no Willow Flycatcher.

I put in the National Composite today to show why birding the Gulf Coast is so rewarding.  The static image is from about 3 PM Monday.  Note the 20-30 dBZ returns along the coast.  Those are trans-gulf migrants making landfall and they need a rest.