15 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

The RTX radar is on the fritz again

Message Date:  May 13 2017 23:26:26

KRTX will remain out of service until further notice due to failure of a critica
l component.

So, i grabbed the Gray’s Harbor (LGX) loop from last night.  Migrants are still on the move and staying out in front of the rain squalls.

Still no Willow Warblers in the northern Willamette Valley.  But the Bullock’s Orioles’ main contingent has arrived as well as the Yellow Warblers, Western Tanagers and Black-headed Grosbeaks.

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

09 May 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Light to moderate migration last night.  The high pressure ridge we were watching at the end of last week moved north instead of inland.  That kept the winds out of the north.  Birds are moving through just not at peak densities.

Looks like it was a good weekend to be looking for shorebirds on the north coast – if timed right.  Take a look at what my friend Bob scrounged up HERE>

I haven’t caught up with the listserves but Western Tanager, Cassin Vireo, Yellow-breasted Chat and Lazuli Bunting are in.  And this morning i heard the flight calls of Swainson’s Thrush overhead; at least a half a dozen.

Nationally birds were dodging some heavy weather but in the breaks and clear air heavy migration was taking place.

29 April 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Last night was another night of moderate migration, just like yesterday.  A high pressure system is pushing in from the south and the winds at the head of the ridge are out of the west.  Crosswinds are not too much of a problem but certainly no incentive.

Heard around the listserves, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Dusky Flycatcher, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Western Tanager, Bullock’s Oriole; all being reported in the region.  Even a Lazuli Bunting report.

HERE’S a great read on PNW migration.  Put into perspective with migrations in other N American Regions, by luminary David Irons.

One of the things he brings up is a pet peeve of mine; the use of the term “fallout” in the Pacific Northwest.  There is no such thing here.  There may be a temporary bunching up of migrants in certain weather conditions where you might get to see 50 Yellow-rumps instead of 25.  That, folks is not a “fallout”  THIS is a “fallout”.

I miss John Stewart, sorry Trevor, you don’t cut it.  So, “Here it is, your moment of zen:”

 

18 April 2016 – PNW Migration Update

It’s been a non-stop bird fest throughout the weekend.  We’ve had heavy migration with more new arrivals being reported in the Region: Vaux’s Swift, Nashville Warbler, Yellow Warbler, Wilson’s Warbler, Western Tanager — all come to mind and i’m probably forgetting a few.

Notable departures: Sandhill Cranes are WAY down on Sauvie Island, it’s hard to come by any more than a few straggling ducks except residents and Green-winged Teal.  I haven’t seen a Pintail in a week or so.  Junco’s are back up in the hills and Varied Thrush have disappeared as well.

Full regional coverage today.  The weekend looked about the same.

12 April 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Another night of moderate migration.  Seems like most movement was departures.

House Wren seems to be the new wave of summer residents to arrive en mass. But reports of early Western Tanagers and Swainson’s Thrush are popping up in the southern reaches of Oregon.

A new low pressure system is building offshore. If it holds off from forming rain cells we might get a nice southerly wind to push migrants northward tomorrow.