Some early, but light, rain dampened the exodus. However, the urge north is upon us.
It’s the departure of the winter residents more than the spring arrivals that marks this time of year. Wintering sparrows and raptors are thinning out. That said, I was in Klamath Falls this weekend and the transition highlights were: dancing Grebes, Swainson’s and Ferruginous Hawks, Eared Grebes in breeding plumage, Prairie Falcons making a nest, and singing Canyon Wrens.
Looking at last night’s radar we can see low level migration but with 20+ dBZ patches coming from the Counties of Benton/Polk/Marion and Multnomah/Clark (WA). Which are home to Finley/Basket Slough/Ankeney (FBA) NWR, and Sauvie Island WMA/Ridgefield NWR. Note how the birds that take off from FBA split. Some head to the coast and some head up the valley. Curious. There is also a slug of migrants heading up the western slopes of the Cascades. Again, curious.
Well, after a week of rain we finally got a clear night. Birds took flight but in very moderate numbers. There were a few patches where the density reached the 20 dBZ level but not many. It’s still early.
In the region: first Violet-green Swallows, Turkey Vultures are increasing, Black-bellied Plovers have been seen and the first reports of returning Osprey.
In the San Diego area the Swainson’s Hawks are staging in Anzo Borego, and the first Pacific Slope Flycatchers are being reported.