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.

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08 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

RTX is back on line!  Whew; that can take over a week sometimes.  Came back on line late Friday.

Migration is entering it’s peak phase.  Most, but not all vanguards have arrived and are being followed by the trailing hoards.

Wilson’s Warblers were over the top conspicuous when i was in the field Saturday.  A few more reports of Swainson’s Thrush and i definitely heard my first Western Wood Pewee on Sunday and a handful of other reports are up on eBird.  Lazuli Buntings are filling in.  Bullock’s Orioles have made it to the Seattle area. No sign of Willow Flycatchers yet.

The Atlantic Flyway was the only flyway that was underwhelming in regard to it’s capacity.  The rest look to be at full tilt.

I threw in the Seattle (ATX) loop today for good measure:

05 May 2017 – PDX Migration Update

Message Date:  May 05 2017 05:02:56

KRTX Doppler Radar serving SW Washington and NW Oregon continues to be unavailab
le. Some data was recently received and transmitted but was deemed to be unrelia
ble. Further updates will be sent as information becomes available. /JBonk

So there’s that: not great timing from my perspective.  So i went north and grabbed the Gray’s Harbor (LGX) loop for today’s gallery at the end of the post.

First reports of Lazuli Bunting are in on the valley floor as well as Hermit Warblers and Swainson’s Thrush in the coastal foothills.  Another Olive-sided Flycatcher. Increasing reports of Yellow-headed Blackbirds.

 

04 May 2017 – PDX Migration Update

We’ve had a couple of excellent nights for migration back to back.  And the whole Pacific Flyway was lit up last night.

But our local radar, KRTX:

68
NOUS66 KPQR 040251
FTMRTX
Message Date:  May 04 2017 06:20:01

THE KRTX (PORTLAND) RADAR HAS FAILED AND WILL BE DOWN UNTIL FURTHER NOTICE. TECH
NICIANS ARE ASSESSING THE ISSUE.

Anyway: Nashville and Orange-crowned warblers are moving through in extraordinary numbers.A lone report of an Olive-sided Flycatcher, scattered Bullock’s Orioles and Western Kingbirds are also in the area. Waterfowl numbers continue to drop. Locally we’re waiting on Swainson’s Thrush, Western Wood Pewee, and Lazuli Bunting.

Nesting and even some fledglings are now being reported (and seen) as well.

 

 

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.

26 April 2017 — PNW Rain Report

It’s going to continue to be VERY rainy.  All kinds of known records are being broken from San Fransisco to Vancouver BC, and it is not going to let up anytime soon.  Cliff Mass deserves a permanent link and i’ll get around to it.  In the mean time, go ahead and check out his weather blog.

I have no idea how the birds are picking their way north but they continue to slog their way through the dreary.  Some reports of early Western Wood Pewee and Olive-sided Flycatcher and one “dubious” report of a singing Swainson’s Thrush.

There are no regional radar loops worth looking at over the last couple of days, so i am going to save disk space.

Oh, hey Wedgwood – throw me a life preserver if you have one to spare.

19 September 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Well, after a pretty miserable few days it looks like the current system weakened a bit last night.  We still had onshore crosswinds but the birds were on the move in the metro area last night.  It didn’t sustain heavily through the whole night and again the east counties had most of the action.

Quite a few more ducks are being reported.  The Sandhill  Crane numbers have dramatically increased on Sauvie Island.  I’ve been quite busy so i wasn’t paying attention to the listserves last week.  I only got out into the field once this weekend and it was pouring rain, so it was a short trip.  But there were quite a few Swainson’s Thrushes moving just before dawn.