17 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Friday through Sunday: Friday not so much, Saturday bada bing, Sunday ??? the radar is wonky.

Friday/Saturday the rain kept our friends pretty much grounded; some decent movement but on the  light side.

Saturday morning i went into the coast range and found the Sooty Grouse, Mountain Quail and Gray Jays calling. Didn’t see either chicken but the Jays were conspicuous. My usual transect is being radically altered by logging and i did not hear one Red-breasted Nuthatch; lots of Orange-Crowns but still a bit early for MacGillivray’s or Hermit Warblers.

Saturday/Sunday was the first green doughnut of the season.  I went out to Sauvie Island on Sunday morning and i have never seen so many butter-butts; there were thousands of them.  As one woman said when i facetiously asked her if she’d seen any Yellow-rumps today, “Good Lord! I’ve never seen so many!”  And there was a smattering, but decent representation of Organe-crowns and Black-throated Grays as well.  Golden-crowned Sparrows are thinning out, the Purple Martins are back as well as the House Wrens.  Some sneaky Starling tried to trick me into thinking the Western Wood Pewees were back as well, but fool me once ……

Last night, Sunday/Monday, the radar only picks up around midnight; not sure what that’s about but we can see a decent flight for a bit.

A reported influx of Hammond’s and Pacific Slope Flycatchers hit the Metro area this weekend. Nashville Warblers and Cassin’s Vireos also showed up on the listservs.

14 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

We had an abbreviated flight last night; lasting from about 8 PM to 2 AM, and it wasn’t particularly widespread.  I’m pretty sure the birds are as sick of the rain as i am but at least it  was spread out and not too heavy.

Big night for the Atlantic and especially the Mississippi Flyways.

San Diego is reporting the first Lazuli Buntings and Western Kingbirds.  We don’t usually get Ash-throated Flycatchers in the Metro area but the Central Valley (CA) is now reporting them.

Locally: Hammond’s Flycatchers, House Wrens, Bullock’s Orioles and Yellow Warblers have now been reported.

29 April 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Last night was another night of moderate migration, just like yesterday.  A high pressure system is pushing in from the south and the winds at the head of the ridge are out of the west.  Crosswinds are not too much of a problem but certainly no incentive.

Heard around the listserves, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Western Tanager, Bullock’s Oriole; all being reported in the region.  Even a Lazuli Bunting report.

HERE’S a great read on PNW migration.  Put into perspective with migrations in other N American Regions, by luminary David Irons.

One of the things he brings up is a pet peeve of mine; the use of the term “fallout” in the Pacific Northwest.  There is no such thing here.  There may be a temporary bunching up of migrants in certain weather conditions where you might get to see 50 Yellow-rumps instead of 25.  That, folks is not a “fallout”  THIS is a “fallout”.

I miss John Stewart, sorry Trevor, you don’t cut it.  So, “Here it is, your moment of zen:”

 

11 April 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Since i take the weekends off from this project i’m not sure what the birds were up to Friday and Saturday night.

But i do know what they were doing in the field.  Duck numbers are down, Snow Geese are gone but there are plenty of Cacklers still around.  A few more shorebirds are around.  The snipe are winnowing, Sooty Grouse are booming and a few cranes are practicing their mating dance.  Common Yellowthoats are firmly entrenched. Chipping Sparrows are dotting the landscape.  And northbound Blue-winged Teal are popping up in their usual low density numbers but to the delight of those who happen upon this strikingly beautiful bird.

On the listserves; MacGillivray’s Warbler, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Western Tanager have made it to the Willamette Valley.

Outliers of Hammond’s Flycatcher, Swainson’s Thrush and Western Wood Pewee have been reported as well.  Treat those as you will.

Last night we had light to moderate migration across the region so i am going to conserve cloud space and only put in the RTX loop today.  LGX and ATX both had approximately the same density.

07 April 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Interesting night.  It starts off with low to moderate flight but builds to a heavy flight around midnight onward.  We can see this on the RTX (Portland) and LGX (Gray’s Harbor) radars.  So i suspect these are not departures but arrivals.

In the news; MacGillivray’s Warbler, and Hammond’s Flycatcher have been reported in the Portland/Vancouver Basin.

And another pitch for Cornell’s Birdcast, a weekly guide to regional migration forecasts.

Here are last night’s radar loops: