30 April 2018 – PNW Migration Update

In the Pacific Northwest (PNW) we’re throwing a bit of a headwind and scattered showers at the migrants.  If they are content with where they are for the moment, they’re not going to get up and waste energy fighting that.  So, they didn’t.

There’s always somebody on the move, but it was at very low densities.  New arrivals being reported include; Hermit Warbler, MacGillivray’s Warbler, Yellow Warbler and increasing numbers of Warbling Vireo, Vaux’s Swift, Lazuli Bunting, and Black-headed Grosbeak.

Since our flight was puny, we’ll look at the National scene.  Mississippi and Central Flyways were rocking and a glance at the Winds of the Earth plot tells the story.

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25 April 2018 – PNW Migration Update

Lot’s of activity last night.

Western Tanager, Warbling Vireo, Black-headed Grosbeak, Vaux’s Swift and Lazuli Bunting;  all being reported.  Some in increasing numbers, some vanguards.

05 April 2018 – PNW Migration Update

Caspian Terns have made it to Astoria, Black-throated Gray and Yellow Warblers , Vaux’s Swifts to Eugene, Western Tanagers to Bandon and Black-necked Stilts at Basket Slough.  Game on folks!

I had Dunlins in alternate plumage and a Cinnamon Teal yesterday on the sump i bird every weekday.

Last night’s radar is a bit of a mess but early on you can make out movement that reaches the 20 dBZ level in patches.

15 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Another solid night of migration with returns into the 20+ dBZ range.  More noticeable migrants pile out of the Nisqually Basin and into the Vancouver Basin.

Reports of more Cackling Geese, first Hermit Thrushes on the valley floor, Fox and Golden Crowned Sparrows as well.  We are well into the season and trips into the field this weekend should yield plenty of FOS birds.  The Chapman School Vaux’s Swifts are still piling into the chimney by the thousands each night.

Barn Swallows continue to roost and fly-out at dawn along the Willamette River in Yamhill County.  The evening roost flight was particularly dense last night.

28 August 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Slow but steady.  Mainly shorebirds on the move but the ducks should be showing up soon.

The Vaux’s swifts at Chapman School in Portland are returning in good numbers; around 3000 were counted last night.

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.

24 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Personally, i am really tired of: 1) being time constrained due to obligations during the work week and 2) RAIN.

I only have one static image from Friday/Saturday, when it wasn’t raining for most of the night, that shows a really nice flight up the Pacific Flyway.

But birds are finding a way to push north.  Lots of new arrivals: American White Pelican, Black-headed Grosbeak, Warbling and Cassin’s Vireo, Wilson, Yellow, Hermit and Nashville Warblers, all expected Empids, Western Tanager, Vaux’s Swift, Cinnamon Teal, Sora, American Bittern, Bullock’s Oriole, Western Kingbird and in San Diego Lazuli Bunting.

A lot of these birds are slightly ahead of schedule