30 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

The radar tells the story — birds are moving but in a very subdued and patchy fashion.

Like the Willow Flycatcher in spring it’s the Bufflehead that i look for in fall to signal “the end” of migration.  Not actually the end because there will still be migrants filling in from behind.  And here i;m not talking about vanguard individuals but a bulk presence; some sense of a density that signals “arrival”.

So, on Sunday (non-hunt day) is traveled a couple of the accessible areas on Sauvie Island. Bufflehead, Canvasback, Lesser Scaup, Dusky Canada Geese and Tundra Swans had all arrived is solid numbers.  And filling in from behind are large numbers of Cackling and Snow Geese, Northern Pintails, Ring-necked Ducks, and American Coots.

There’s still time up on the Cascade Lakes for transiting divers, and if you have the privilege of free weekdays, taking advantage of this weather to scout them may be worthwhile.

I’ll keep an eye on the radar and an ear to the ground, but unless we get a new surge, and the radar returns remain feeble this may be the last post of the season.

So, here it is, “your moment of zen”

Advertisements

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.

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.

27 October 2015 – PNW Migration Update

Winds continue out of the SSW; stronger along the coastal lands and weakening inland.  There are still light to moderate levels of migration taking place.  The moderate levels come in short waves; which is pretty cool because you can pick out individual flock movement.  But this season is getting long in the tooth.

Most folks on the listservs are out chasing this season’s rarities so the reports for regional migrant status dwindles a bit.  More Buffleheads and Common Mergansers but still no Swans.

20 October 2015 – PNW Migration Update

Well, yesterday’s flight along the Washington coast went undocumented on the Washington listserv.  Perhaps today’s heavier flight will garner a comment or two.  But it is the middle of the week and the area is not heavily populated.  Today’s flight along the coast was no doubt aided by the ridge of high pressure that has sneaked in bringing a nice northerly flow – stronger along the coast.

Oregon’s flight last night was anemic but birds are still crossing the Straight in heavy numbers.  The Puget trough and western Cascades in Washington had a decent flight late into the evening.

Well, the first Buffleheads are being reported,  Swans will be next; that’s usually when i shut down for the season.

So, here it is, your moment of zen:

 

05 October 2015 – PNW Migration Update

I went out this weekend to do some ground proofing.

Snow Geese are now on Sauvie Island,

no signs of Swans along the Columbia,

Ruby Crowned Kinglets are back in numbers and can still be heard singing as they arrive,

shorebird numbers are down,

duck numbers are up; with Rudy Ducks, Common and Hooded Mergansers being the new comers (Buffleheads close out the season in my reckoning),

wintering sparrow numbers are up; with Fox, Lincoln’s, and White-throated all being detected,

DC Cormorant numbers are increasing

and pink footed gulls are beginning to arrive as well.

Migration in the Metro Area last night was light to moderate, but to the north, in the Puget Sound area, there was a heavy flow of birds across the Straights.  So, here it is, your moment of zen: