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.

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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.

12 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

A solid night of ….. rain.  I’m sure birds are slipping through, we just can’t see them.

So i put in the National Composite (thanks Paul) and the wind map.  A good study today about migration and weather.  Big flight up the Central Flyway,  shut down behind the squall line but advancement up the Atlantic Flyway ahead of the weather.

Central Valley is reporting Bullock’s Orioles, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Purple Martins, House Wrens, Wilson’s, Nashville and Yellow Warblers.  The Yellow and Nashville Warblers have made it to the Metro Area as well as the Purple Martins.

01 April 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Same as yesterday — light winds in the eye of the ridge and birds are on the move!

Lots of new migrants to report: in the San Diego area – Western Tanagers, Nashville Warblers, Wilson Warblers, Warbling Vireos, Black-throated Gray Warblers and Bullocks Orioles.

In Oregon: Chipping Sparrows, more Purple Martins, Cliff Swallows, Caspian Terns, Black-bellied Plovers, flocks of Dunlin, Calliope Hummingbird, and White-throated Swifts.

I threw in a loop from Key West in today’s gallery because it is always cool to see birds taking off from Cuba and head across the Florida Straights.

30 March 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Things are picking up across the region so i surveyed the PNW’s three radar stations and we had sizeable flights detected on each.

New to the area: increasing Barn Swallow and first Purple Martins.  The latter out on Sauvie Island.