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:

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.

18 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Crimony. Is it ever going to stop raining?  Thank goodness we have a president that is gutting all of out climate change initiatives and research.

Anyway, we can see some decent movement between the rain cells here in the Metro area.  But if you want to see really dodgy flight behavior take a look at the Aberdeen (ABR) loop i put in the gallery today! And a static shot of the National Composite — lots going on last night.

Western Wood Pewees in San Diego, while up here: more Nashville Warblers, Yellow Warblers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Warbling Vireos and even a Hermit Warbler.  All pretty much on schedule.  Shorebird migration is underway as well.

17 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Friday through Sunday: Friday not so much, Saturday bada bing, Sunday ??? the radar is wonky.

Friday/Saturday the rain kept our friends pretty much grounded; some decent movement but on the  light side.

Saturday morning i went into the coast range and found the Sooty Grouse, Mountain Quail and Gray Jays calling. Didn’t see either chicken but the Jays were conspicuous. My usual transect is being radically altered by logging and i did not hear one Red-breasted Nuthatch; lots of Orange-Crowns but still a bit early for MacGillivray’s or Hermit Warblers.

Saturday/Sunday was the first green doughnut of the season.  I went out to Sauvie Island on Sunday morning and i have never seen so many butter-butts; there were thousands of them.  As one woman said when i facetiously asked her if she’d seen any Yellow-rumps today, “Good Lord! I’ve never seen so many!”  And there was a smattering, but decent representation of Organe-crowns and Black-throated Grays as well.  Golden-crowned Sparrows are thinning out, the Purple Martins are back as well as the House Wrens.  Some sneaky Starling tried to trick me into thinking the Western Wood Pewees were back as well, but fool me once ……

Last night, Sunday/Monday, the radar only picks up around midnight; not sure what that’s about but we can see a decent flight for a bit.

A reported influx of Hammond’s and Pacific Slope Flycatchers hit the Metro area this weekend. Nashville Warblers and Cassin’s Vireos also showed up on the listservs.

10 May 2016 – PNW Migration Update

Winds eased up a bit and shifted to a NNE direction, pushing coastal migrants offshore a bit.  And with that migration picked up as well.

Still waiting to hear of Willow Flycatcher arrivals.  There’s been one report for the metro area — closest other Oregon report is one from Skinner Butte in Eugene. I find this type of dispersion, well, curious.  The next closest report is way the hell down in Bakersfield at the south end of the Central Valley.  Their average arrival date is 13 May, so maybe they are running a bit late this year?  HERE is the 2016 distribution map.

Western Wood Pewees have been around for a couple of days.