16 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

MIA end of last week because the rain obscured any migrant returns, if any.

Last night we begin to see the waning of the season.  Fairly light across the Metro Region.  Most decent returns are along the western flanks of the Cascades.

Ducks are coming out of eclipse plumage.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet numbers are up as are the wintering sparrow numbers.  Pine Siskins are invading coastal counties. And a first report of a Rough-legged Hawk, also on the coast.

The Snow Geese are back on Sauvie Island.

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10 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

RTX is on line but it is still a bit wonky

There was a dramatic drop off in migration last night.  It could be the winds out of the SE but i don’t think so.  Maybe just pulse beat in wave movement.

09 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

RTX is back on line … for now:

497
NOUS66 KPQR 070250
FTMRTX
Message Date: Oct 07 2017 02:56:19

Dopper Radar KRTX, serving SW Washington and NW Oregon was returned to service s
everal hours ago. So far, so good.

It was a spectacular flight last night!  Solid returns across the region.  Highlight was the coastal flight returns.  We don’t get to see these often and are the result of high flying migrants.

I didn’t get into the field much this weekend, just a walk down Rentenaar Rd on Sauvie Island, so i don’t have any ground reports of note.  Hunting season starts next weekend on ODFW Wildlife Management Areas – Saturday 14 October.  There’s not much water in the seasonal units like Rentenaar, Mudhen and Dead Willow.  Except for flyover Cackling Geese i didn’t see a single duck.

 

06 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

FTMRTX
Message Date: Oct 05 2017 16:24:38
The Portland National Weather Service Doppler Radar will be down periodically fo
r routine maintenance until around noon. PT 10/05/2017 924 am PDT 1624 UTC.

FTMRTX
Message Date: Oct 06 2017 00:09:15
Doppler radar KRTX, serving NW Oregon and SW Washington, will be out of service
for unscheduled maintenance. A return to service is unknown at this time, but is
expected to be Friday.

Sheesh.

I’m not seeing any new reports except a Palm Warbler invasion along the coast.  I have noticed a sizable increase in pink-footed gulls around the metro area however.

The Seattle radar shows the same pattern as yesterday; good movement across the Strait, probably duck outflow from Nisqually, and use of the western flanks of the Cascades.  We haven’t really had any spectacular “green doughnut” days this fall so let’s take a look at Duluth MN to remind us of what that looks like.

While poking around Twitter i came across a very interesting abstract that may be of interest: HERE.

Innovative Visualizations Shed Light on Avian Nocturnal Migration

A bunch of science types put together an open source visualization package that ends up with something like this:

Pretty cool!  Maybe i can figure out how to use this research.  But not this year, maybe a winter time project.

05 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

RTX is still down.

Long-billed Dowitchers and American Pipits are being reported in movement type numbers.  Same with Turkey Vultures.

The Seattle Radar shows moderate to heavy migration in places.  Most noticeably along the Strait,

04 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

00
NOUS66 KPQR 040345
FTMRTX
Message Date: Oct 04 2017 05:28:01

As of 0525 UTC Wednesday, October 4, 2017, KRTX radar continues to experience si
gnificant technical issues which prevent the reliable operation of the radar.

And so it continues … bummer.

So, up in Seattle there was a light to moderate migration signature.  Nationally a squall line from New Mexico to Michigan held up some birds; most pronounced in the norther sections.

02 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

NOUS66 KPQR 010407
FTMRTX
Message Date: Oct 01 2017 04:08:15

As of 0400 UTC Sunday, October 1, 2017, KRTX radar continues to experience signi
ficant technical issues which prevent the reliable operation of the radar. Howev
er, KRTX has been repaired to the point where NWS Portland can run the radar a f
ew minutes at a time before KRTX fails again. Until further notice, this will on
ly be done for testing purposes or if threatening weather approaches. /Weagle

Yeah, that sucks.

On the ground:

Timothy Lake had tons of Western Grebes, reports of dozens of Common Loons on Saturday but i didn’t see any on Sunday but it was raining pretty steadily, Barrow’s Goldeneye are still on the lake and a lone Red-necked Grebe was seen.

On the valley floor Varied Thrush and Dark-eyed Juncos are moving in, i saw, and most remarkably heard still singing a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows are increasing in numbers, Cackling Geese are being reported into the thousands, Sandhill Cranes are into the hundreds, a few Mallard and Green-wing Teal males are coming out of eclipse, House Wrens and Western Wood Pewees are apparently gone.  Still no reports of Buffleheads.

Since RTX is down i’m throwing in the loop for ATX (Seattle).  We still have solid movement through out the Sound and most noticeable across the Strait.