21 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Well, a relatively clear night with light winds out of the south and you would expect a surge of migrant activity.  But it was really rather muted.  We did get a smattering of 20+ dBZ returns; i just expected a much deeper and widespread response.

Arrivals, or increased reporting: Vaux’s Swifts and Wilson Warblers.

Two notes — another well organized low is headed our way (read, more rain) and there was a pretty interesting flight path down the Columbia and out to the coast that can be seen in last night’s loop; i don’t recall seeing that before.

18 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Crimony. Is it ever going to stop raining?  Thank goodness we have a president that is gutting all of out climate change initiatives and research.

Anyway, we can see some decent movement between the rain cells here in the Metro area.  But if you want to see really dodgy flight behavior take a look at the Aberdeen (ABR) loop i put in the gallery today! And a static shot of the National Composite — lots going on last night.

Western Wood Pewees in San Diego, while up here: more Nashville Warblers, Yellow Warblers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Warbling Vireos and even a Hermit Warbler.  All pretty much on schedule.  Shorebird migration is underway as well.

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.

13 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Moderate flights between weather.  With a pretty decent exodus from the Sauvie Island WMA/Ridgefield NWR complex.

Speaking of Sauvie Island; Oak Island and the west side units are due to open to public access on Sunday the 16th.  East side units will remain closed until May 1.

A Gray Flycatcher was reported in the Central Valley and Cassin’s Vireo and Evening Grosbeaks in the Metro Area.  I forget if i mentioned it earlier but both Chipping and Vesper Sparrows have also shown up.

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.

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.

07 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

A few rain cells had to be dodged last night but the birds were out in front and then came in behind the largest of them.  I didn’t hear of any new arrivals just more of the ones mentioned yesterday.

The real news is the powerful and well organized spring cyclone that will rake the Oregon and Washington coasts with gusts up to 70 mph. The winds will initially be out of the south and maybe some diurnal migrants will take advantage.  HERE is a great write up about the forecast by Cliff Mass.

When you look at the Wind Power Density map you can see two things jump out — the power of the approaching storm and the stream lines out of the south right up the Central Flyway — and indeed that flyway was very active last night; from Brownsville to Minot.