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.

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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.

20 September 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Light but favorable winds over the region last night, especially along the coast.

Again most of the action was in the east Counties along the spine and western flanks of the Cascades.  There was a nice, and interesting flight from Vancouver Island that washed down the Olympic Peninsula coast line (LGX radar). I don’t recall seeing such an organized flight in this area before, but don’t hold me to it.  On the ATX radar (not shown) it was weird; it seemed there was little movement except at moderate levels restricted to the shores of the Puget Sound.

If i had the day off i would head up to the Cascades and check out Clear and Timothy Lakes.  I see the divers are starting to arrive; there have been reports of C. Loons and RN Grebes come in to the review queue this morning. (Timothy Lake)

12 October 2015 – PNW Migration Update

Heavy migration last night as the south winds and occasional rain cell that moved through over the weekend abate. The winds are still out of the south but mainly along the coast and to a lesser extent inland.

I did make it up into the Cascades this weekend.  The big lakes and reservoirs were covered in Mergansers, Common Loons, Western and Horned Grebes.  Western Grebes being in the vast majority of divers.  Good numbers of California Gulls as well.  But away from the water — not much was going on that i could detect.

Looking at the wind map one would expect late migrants taking advantage of the northerly flow down the Central Flyway.  The National Composite Radar shows just that.  I have a snap shot of the flight but i encourage the curious to watch the loop where the movement through Kansas and Nebraska is pretty cool.  You can actually see migrant flocks move through from radar station to radar station.

Here is Cameron’s Winds of the Earth loop, and here is Paul’s archived Radar Composite from last night.