18 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

The slowing of migration continues.  In fact it is barely noticeable in the Portland area.  So we’ll take a look at the ATX (Seattle) radar where the migration returns are more pronounced, especially across the Strait.

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06 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

FTMRTX
Message Date: Oct 05 2017 16:24:38
The Portland National Weather Service Doppler Radar will be down periodically fo
r routine maintenance until around noon. PT 10/05/2017 924 am PDT 1624 UTC.

FTMRTX
Message Date: Oct 06 2017 00:09:15
Doppler radar KRTX, serving NW Oregon and SW Washington, will be out of service
for unscheduled maintenance. A return to service is unknown at this time, but is
expected to be Friday.

Sheesh.

I’m not seeing any new reports except a Palm Warbler invasion along the coast.  I have noticed a sizable increase in pink-footed gulls around the metro area however.

The Seattle radar shows the same pattern as yesterday; good movement across the Strait, probably duck outflow from Nisqually, and use of the western flanks of the Cascades.  We haven’t really had any spectacular “green doughnut” days this fall so let’s take a look at Duluth MN to remind us of what that looks like.

While poking around Twitter i came across a very interesting abstract that may be of interest: HERE.

Innovative Visualizations Shed Light on Avian Nocturnal Migration

A bunch of science types put together an open source visualization package that ends up with something like this:

Pretty cool!  Maybe i can figure out how to use this research.  But not this year, maybe a winter time project.

05 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

RTX is still down.

Long-billed Dowitchers and American Pipits are being reported in movement type numbers.  Same with Turkey Vultures.

The Seattle Radar shows moderate to heavy migration in places.  Most noticeably along the Strait,

04 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

00
NOUS66 KPQR 040345
FTMRTX
Message Date: Oct 04 2017 05:28:01

As of 0525 UTC Wednesday, October 4, 2017, KRTX radar continues to experience si
gnificant technical issues which prevent the reliable operation of the radar.

And so it continues … bummer.

So, up in Seattle there was a light to moderate migration signature.  Nationally a squall line from New Mexico to Michigan held up some birds; most pronounced in the norther sections.

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.

06 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

RTX is back on line but there is so much smoke and ash in the air it is probably unreliable.  It is also possible that the birds are not flying into the area to avoid this crap.

Up in Seattle there were some isolated movements, notably off the southern tip of Vancouver Island.  Usually i see these birds head directly south into Clallam County but the birds last night headed SE into Kitsap — odd…

Anyway, the movement would best be described as light.

01 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

RTX is still off-line.  We’ll use ATX again today.

Looks like a slight up-tick in activity last night, but that may be just birders flocking to the MEGA rarity that showed up yesterday.

Either way, the returns are a bit brighter showing more density.  For the last couple of nights i have been hearing the nocturnal flight calls of Swainson’s Thrush as they pass overhead.