21 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Well, a relatively clear night with light winds out of the south and you would expect a surge of migrant activity.  But it was really rather muted.  We did get a smattering of 20+ dBZ returns; i just expected a much deeper and widespread response.

Arrivals, or increased reporting: Vaux’s Swifts and Wilson Warblers.

Two notes — another well organized low is headed our way (read, more rain) and there was a pretty interesting flight path down the Columbia and out to the coast that can be seen in last night’s loop; i don’t recall seeing that before.

12 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

A solid night of ….. rain.  I’m sure birds are slipping through, we just can’t see them.

So i put in the National Composite (thanks Paul) and the wind map.  A good study today about migration and weather.  Big flight up the Central Flyway,  shut down behind the squall line but advancement up the Atlantic Flyway ahead of the weather.

Central Valley is reporting Bullock’s Orioles, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Purple Martins, House Wrens, Wilson’s, Nashville and Yellow Warblers.  The Yellow and Nashville Warblers have made it to the Metro Area as well as the Purple Martins.

07 April 2017 – PNW Migration Update

A few rain cells had to be dodged last night but the birds were out in front and then came in behind the largest of them.  I didn’t hear of any new arrivals just more of the ones mentioned yesterday.

The real news is the powerful and well organized spring cyclone that will rake the Oregon and Washington coasts with gusts up to 70 mph. The winds will initially be out of the south and maybe some diurnal migrants will take advantage.  HERE is a great write up about the forecast by Cliff Mass.

When you look at the Wind Power Density map you can see two things jump out — the power of the approaching storm and the stream lines out of the south right up the Central Flyway — and indeed that flyway was very active last night; from Brownsville to Minot.

 

21 March 2017 – PNW Migration Update

Rain, heavy at times and easing up through the night.  Sigh.

There was a nice south wind, so anxious birds braved the weather and picked their way north.  Not in great numbers but fairly widespread as the weather would allow.  It’s tough to pick them out between the rain cells so we have the Hydrometeor loop today to aide in finding the birds; a little like finding Waldo.

American White Pelicans have been reported in the region, a few more Western Kingbirds and Osprey as well.  Ruby-crowned Kinglets are starting to sing.  It’s a wonderful song and we only get a small window in early spring to hear it before they clear the area as they head north to the breeding grounds.

Pacific Slope Flycatcher reported in the Central Valley is a first arrival.

17 March 2017 – PNW Migration Update

First clear night in a LONG time and winds out of the south = a pretty decent and widespread movement of north bound migrants.  Decent enough that i even put in the loop from Gray’s Harbor (LGX)

Looking at the wind map we can see why there was very little movement up the Atlantic Flyway and some decent flights up the Central Flyway.

A few shorebirds are popping up, swallows are becoming more widely reported including early vanguard Cliff and Northern Rough-wing, and the Snow Goose numbers are way down on Sauvie Island.

13 March 2017 – PNW Migration Update

As suspected (but not verified because of the terrible weather recently) migration is in full tilt.  Mostly, waterfowl are on the move it seems.  I’m not seeing any reports of widespread passerine movement.  There has been reports of Violet-green Swallows and a few reports of vanguard Osprey.  Last night’s movement was aided by a SE wind.

20 October 2016 – PNW Migration Update

It might be the winds out of the south or it might be that we’re getting a little long in the tooth, but the migration last night was pretty weak.  Best action was up against the spine of the Cascades.