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.

24 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Personally, i am really tired of: 1) being time constrained due to obligations during the work week and 2) RAIN.

I only have one static image from Friday/Saturday, when it wasn’t raining for most of the night, that shows a really nice flight up the Pacific Flyway.

But birds are finding a way to push north.  Lots of new arrivals: American White Pelican, Black-headed Grosbeak, Warbling and Cassin’s Vireo, Wilson, Yellow, Hermit and Nashville Warblers, all expected Empids, Western Tanager, Vaux’s Swift, Cinnamon Teal, Sora, American Bittern, Bullock’s Oriole, Western Kingbird and in San Diego Lazuli Bunting.

A lot of these birds are slightly ahead of schedule

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.

11 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

It took a while for the conditions to clear but around 3:30 AM the feathers were flying; even some bands of 20 dBZ or better.

Lots more Orange-crowned and Black-throated Gray Warblers and a first Western Flycatcher.

21 March 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Rain, heavy at times and easing up through the night.  Sigh.

There was a nice south wind, so anxious birds braved the weather and picked their way north.  Not in great numbers but fairly widespread as the weather would allow.  It’s tough to pick them out between the rain cells so we have the Hydrometeor loop today to aide in finding the birds; a little like finding Waldo.

American White Pelicans have been reported in the region, a few more Western Kingbirds and Osprey as well.  Ruby-crowned Kinglets are starting to sing.  It’s a wonderful song and we only get a small window in early spring to hear it before they clear the area as they head north to the breeding grounds.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher reported in the Central Valley is a first arrival.

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:”

 

19-20 March 2016 PNW Migration Update

Really nice movement over this weekend.

In San Diego:
More Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Bullock’s Orioles and Wilson’s Warblers.

Central Valley:
Black-throated Gray Warbler

Willamette Valey:
Orange-crowned Warblers, and a solid push of Violet-green Swallows.

I’m having problems uploading the loop from last night — i’ll try later.