16 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

MIA end of last week because the rain obscured any migrant returns, if any.

Last night we begin to see the waning of the season.  Fairly light across the Metro Region.  Most decent returns are along the western flanks of the Cascades.

Ducks are coming out of eclipse plumage.  Ruby-crowned Kinglet numbers are up as are the wintering sparrow numbers.  Pine Siskins are invading coastal counties. And a first report of a Rough-legged Hawk, also on the coast.

The Snow Geese are back on Sauvie Island.

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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.

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,

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: