15 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Another solid night of migration with returns into the 20+ dBZ range.  More noticeable migrants pile out of the Nisqually Basin and into the Vancouver Basin.

Reports of more Cackling Geese, first Hermit Thrushes on the valley floor, Fox and Golden Crowned Sparrows as well.  We are well into the season and trips into the field this weekend should yield plenty of FOS birds.  The Chapman School Vaux’s Swifts are still piling into the chimney by the thousands each night.

Barn Swallows continue to roost and fly-out at dawn along the Willamette River in Yamhill County.  The evening roost flight was particularly dense last night.

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14 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

There’s still a lot of smoke in the air which is spiking returns along the Cascades.

Speaking of which the divers are now passing through the high lakes; loons, grebes, and diving ducks are being reported.  There is still sizable movement of shorebirds and the first Cackling Geese are being reported.

The Barn Swallows continue to put on a show at dawn.

13 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Another solid night.  We see an uptick in activity from yesterday with many readings at 20+ dBZ.  Also note the late night push down the I5 and into the Vancouver Basin.

Barn Swallows continue to put on a show both coming to roost and leaving in the morning.  The start coming in at 00:38 UTC (5:30 PM PDT) and ending around 02:25 a couple of hours later.

 

12 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

A solid night for migrant movement but on the modest side of things.

Today’s local radar loop has yesterday’s Barn Swallow flyout and the evening roost settling in it.  These can be seen along the Willamette River in Yamhill County.

I put in the National Composite Radar today.  The Central and Mississippi Flyways are packed, especially in the north.  And as you would expect behind the remnants of Irma — not much.

11 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

OK — now we’re talking!  And there are A LOT more ducks in the area.

Radar was lit up into the 20+ dBZ range throughout the night.  We had good images too; starting before the night bloom and into the dawn.

As a plus we have the Barn Swallow roost in Yamhill County along the Willamette River.  In the first loop we can see them put down before dusk.  I added a short loop so we can see them take off at dawn; which is much more pronounced.  If you look closely you can see a few more dawn fly-outs; a couple in southern Marion County and one along the Columbia in Columbia County.

Oh, i heard of a Bufflehead sighting; something i usually associate with the last legs of the fall migration.  A vanguard no doubt, but odd none the less.

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.

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.