08 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Things are picking up a bit, maybe into what i would call the Moderate range. We should be getting our first winter sparrows, but i haven’t seen any reports yet.

We have winds out of the south and a bit of weather, and all this damn smoke.  These factors may be holding things up a bit.

Also something is up with the radar image downloads; they start around 0600 UTC (11:00 PM PDT).  I used to get them starting about 4 or 5 hours earlier.  Oh well.

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07 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Migration continues to be light across the region.  I’m sticking with the Seattle – ATX loop for today because: …

there is a curious morning flyout along the Sound where the Skagit River delta is.  It starts around 13:23 UTC (06:30 AM PDT) and lasts a little more than a half an hour.  I would guess a roost of Barn Swallows like the one along the Willamette River in southern Yamhill County.

Speaking of which; that roost’s flyout is also visible at dawn but it is not as dense as the one up in the Skagit delta.  In the years watching the Yamhill roost i never remember seeing it hit the 30+ dBZ range like the Skagit signature.

06 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

RTX is back on line but there is so much smoke and ash in the air it is probably unreliable.  It is also possible that the birds are not flying into the area to avoid this crap.

Up in Seattle there were some isolated movements, notably off the southern tip of Vancouver Island.  Usually i see these birds head directly south into Clallam County but the birds last night headed SE into Kitsap — odd…

Anyway, the movement would best be described as light.

01 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

RTX is still off-line.  We’ll use ATX again today.

Looks like a slight up-tick in activity last night, but that may be just birders flocking to the MEGA rarity that showed up yesterday.

Either way, the returns are a bit brighter showing more density.  For the last couple of nights i have been hearing the nocturnal flight calls of Swainson’s Thrush as they pass overhead.

31 August 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Local radar, KRTX, is down for scheduled maintenance:

“The KRTX National Weather Service Doppler radar will go down today, August 28th,
through the remainder of this week for the second phase of upgrades to the rada
r which started last October. We anticipate the radar will return to service at
some point on Friday, September 1st. PT 8/28/2017 619 AM PDT 1319UTC.”

Regional winds are light and generally out of the north.  The Seattle radar, ATX, shows decent movement throughout the Sound and across the Strait.

Nationally birds are on the move, filling in behind Harvey.  There are still significant winds arcing over the Gulf States so Louisiana to Florida are dark.

28 August 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Slow but steady.  Mainly shorebirds on the move but the ducks should be showing up soon.

The Vaux’s swifts at Chapman School in Portland are returning in good numbers; around 3000 were counted last night.

23 August 2017 – PNW Migration Update

We’re moving deeper into the migrant season but it still seems quiet in the field.  I have missed the last couple of weekends so i am anxiously counting the days until the next.  The listserves aren’t lit up with arrivals either.

Anyway, birds are on the move; locally and nationally where conditions are favorable: