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.

RTX just came back on line — just in time to log the rain.  So we’ll save some disc space.

Message Date:  May 16 2017 08:17:05

KRTX has returned to service.  5/16 1 am PDT (08Z)

Still no northern Willamette Valley Willow Flycatcher reports (which is a bit odd), but the Eastern Kingbirds are back out on the Sandy River Delta.  Nationally migration moves apace very nicely.

The weather looks bleak for the next day or two but there is a nice high pressure ridge building over the Pacific that should move the storm track to the north and bring in some very nice, and needed relief.  It looks really broad so we may get extended nice weather through the weekend.

11 May 2017 – PNW Migration Update

A low pressure system has made landfall.  The leading edge winds are out of the south and ahead of the rain we had a decent flight last night in the Metro area.

I had to look to the southern Willamette Valley to find our first reports of Willow Flycatcher; one in Lane and one in Benton County.  These are a week old and may be vanguard birds. But, Fittzz Bewww could be heard, maybe this weekend, in the Portland/Vancouver area.  That would leave only the Common Nighthawk to bring up the rear.

And a look at the national radar composite.

02 May 2017 – PDX Migration Update

Muted at best.  They probably made the big push this weekend at the first decent weather. Winds are not optimal either.

Only new reports are from the Central Valley — Black Terns.

28 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

I think it is a season’s first, but maybe not.  There is a big high pressure system out in the Pacific, centered west of California.  But it is big enough to throw north winds down the I5 corridor.

Combine that with marginal, at best, weather the last couple of days and you get the lack luster migration we’ve been seeing.  Birds are on the move, just not enthusiastically.

So, we’ll look elsewhere: