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.
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.
Base Reflectivity – RTX
Winds of the Earth
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.
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.
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.
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.