02 October 2017 – PNW Migration Update

NOUS66 KPQR 010407
FTMRTX
Message Date: Oct 01 2017 04:08:15

As of 0400 UTC Sunday, October 1, 2017, KRTX radar continues to experience signi
ficant technical issues which prevent the reliable operation of the radar. Howev
er, KRTX has been repaired to the point where NWS Portland can run the radar a f
ew minutes at a time before KRTX fails again. Until further notice, this will on
ly be done for testing purposes or if threatening weather approaches. /Weagle

Yeah, that sucks.

On the ground:

Timothy Lake had tons of Western Grebes, reports of dozens of Common Loons on Saturday but i didn’t see any on Sunday but it was raining pretty steadily, Barrow’s Goldeneye are still on the lake and a lone Red-necked Grebe was seen.

On the valley floor Varied Thrush and Dark-eyed Juncos are moving in, i saw, and most remarkably heard still singing a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows are increasing in numbers, Cackling Geese are being reported into the thousands, Sandhill Cranes are into the hundreds, a few Mallard and Green-wing Teal males are coming out of eclipse, House Wrens and Western Wood Pewees are apparently gone.  Still no reports of Buffleheads.

Since RTX is down i’m throwing in the loop for ATX (Seattle).  We still have solid movement through out the Sound and most noticeable across the Strait.

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19 September 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Another night obscured by clouds.  But the birds are still moving south tonight,  we just can’t see them organized.  I know they are on the move because i’m hearing Greater White-fronted Geese flocks going overhead tonight.

We’ll take another look at the National Composite Radar. I put in a static shot, but remember you can always go to Paul’s Archive and see the whole loop, like last night’s HERE.

With pretty robust southerly winds moving across the Great Plains the Central Flyway, especially in the north was again on the moderate to light side of things.  But the eastern flyways had some pretty intense movement last night.

18 August 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Steady but light migration continues.

Shorebird migration is apparent but sightings are dictated by water levels.  We may have even passed the peak according to some observations and comments — seems pretty early to me.  But then; the first reports of Greater White-fronted Geese are in and they’re a couple of weeks early.

Today’s gallery:

The wind map is from a different perspective — more northerly.  That’s where the birds are coming from for the most part and it shows why competitive listers head to the Aleutians and Western Alaska this time of the year hoping for some Siberian to be blown off course.

15 August 2017 – PNW Migration Update

With a high pressure system out in the Pacific we have some gentle northerly winds.  These will begin to pick up as the system moves ashore later in the week.

All good news for southbound migrants as the season gets underway.  Take a look:

24 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

The RTX loop from last night shows what migration looks like as it begins to wind down.  Pretty decent conditions and diminished movement.  But there are still birds in the pipeline as the radar from Medford (MAX) shows.

Another sign that the end is nigh — predawn Violet-green Swallows twittering (not Trump’s type of twittering) in the dark sky above.

Today’s wind map shows two things — the first is the advance of another high ridge; could get windy out of the north as it advances.  The second is the pressure differential between the east side and west side of the northern Cascades.  Hey Seattle — that’s where your winds are coming from.  Check out Cliff’s excellent ‘explainer’ on his blog today.

22 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Our ridge of high pressure is holding and we should have another day or two of this exceptional weather.  There is a deep trough behind it that we need to keep an eye on though.

Last night was another good night for night flight.  It petered out in the northern portion of the I5 corridor but still decent.  Medford had one of it’s best nights of the season.  So, i’m putting up the I5 radar loops; Medford to Seattle in today’s gallery.

I didn’t find any Willow Flycatchers this weekend but they are definitely filling in as seen HERE. I did come across my first Lazuli Buntings, but they have been here a couple of weeks now; i just can’t get out into the field as often as i like.  HERE is their map.

17 May 2017 – PDX Migration Update

The Willow Flycatcher is on the MAP.  Only a couple but that is how it starts; i expect them to be filling in over the next week.  We should definitely be able to hear them this weekend.

More rain in the Metro area last night and any migration that took place was subdued and opportunistic as they dodged the rain.  Winds died down over night but they still have a northerly component due to the advancing high pressure ridge.  It looks like we are still in for a break in the rain and probably for an extended period; should be great birding weather this weekend.

Looking at the wind map you can pretty much picture the migration scene on a national level, but to confirm your mental image i put the National Radar Composite in the gallery today.