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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18 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

There is not much to see on the radar due to the clouds and rain so we’ll save some disc space today and leave out the radar loop.

Over the weekend FOS  and changes noted: Sandhill Cranes are back by the hundreds, Great Egrets are staging in the hundreds, Cackling Geese numbers reaching the thousands, Golden-crowned and Fox Sparrows are showing up, Lincoln’s Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco numbers are increasing on the valley floor as they come down out of the mountains, and Double-crested Cormorants are moving inland.

I probably missed a few as well.

A static shot of the National Radar Composite shows the very active Mississippi Flyway but with good movement down the Atlantic and moderate movement along the Central Flyway

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.

01 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

And then there were birds!

Big weekend for the Pacific Flyway.  I have the Friday/Saturday loop, but left in on another computer; it looks pretty much like today’s Sunday/Monday loop.  Saturday/Sunday was muted by weather.

More arrivals: Western Kingbird, Western Tanager, Lazuli Bunting, Black-headed and Evening Grosbeak,  Bullock’s Oriole, Sora, Empids, Wilson’s and Nashville Warbler, and Cassin’s and Warbling Vireo.  All five Swallows have now been reported as well as Vaux’s Swift. Big numbers of the early migrants as well, House Wren, Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers.  Pelicans and Purple Martins are more widely reported on Sauvie Island.

Many birds are already on, or building, nests and even some fledglings are being seen.  I even saw a Green-winged Teal male transitioning to eclipse plumage this weekend.

I haven’t seen or heard a Ruby-crowned Kinglet in a while; Golden-crowned Sparrow numbers are down, Migrant Fox and Lincoln’s Sparrows are pretty much off the radar.  Water Fowl numbers are dropping as well.

Let’s see, what’s left?  From memory (so don’t hold me to this) Swainson’s Thrush,  Yellow Warbler, Western Wood Pewee, Red-eyed Vireo (rare but annual nesting resident) Willow Flycatcher and ……?

I really should change the title of these posts.  The Pacific Northwest is a big place and i don’t keep tabs of much outside of the Portland/Vancouver Basin and the Willamette Valley.  So, for example, when the Puffins return to the coast, i’ll miss it by a couple of weeks to a month, they’re back, but i’m not sure of when they arrived.

14 September 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Pretty solid flight last night around the Metro Region.

In today’s loop: just as it starts look at the Yamhill/Marion County border along the Willamette River — Barn Swallows coming into roost!  It starts around 5:00 PM (00:00 UTC) and lasts a few hours until around 7:00 PM (02:00 UTC).  Then this morning around 6:30 AM (13:00 UTC) they begin to disperse for the day — mainly headed north.

First Ruby-crowned Kinglets are being reported as well as the first (Sooty) Fox Sparrows and quite a few more Cackling Geese showing up,

06 September 2016 – PNW Migration Update

While there was light movement last night most of it was obscured by clouds.  So we’ll take a look at the Hydrometeor Classification Loop so we can pick out the biological returns. (brick reddish signal)

On the ground; reports for Fox, Golden-crowned and Lincoln Sparrows, Hermit and Varied Thrushes, and the continued passage of shorebirds.  So far it’s been an unusual season — lots of birds moving through but at a low, but consistent pace.

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: