27 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Excellent night flight, and as i write this it is still at full tilt.

Only new migrant reported that i saw listed was Purple Martin on the southern Oregon coast.

But tonight is one of those teachable moments on the interaction of the weather and migration.  So we’ll look at the conditions at 850 mb heights — note the stream lines and the ridge in the west and the trough in the east.  Then check out the static image of the national radar composite.  (The full loop can be viewed over at Paul’s archive: here)

The Pacific Flyway from the Mexican border to the Canadian border is solid blue with birds.  Everywhere else?  Central and Mississippi Flyways — nada.  Atlantic Flyway? — just a tiny bit on the SE coast ahead of the advancing cold front.

Big picture gallery today.

26 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

The rain and clouds cleared out over night.  The winds, not optimal, but not a real challenge to flight.  Birds were heavily on the move. A “green doughnut” night.

The Central Valley CA, added Western Wood Pewee and “Western” Flycatcher to the list of neotrops.

Oregon added Northern Rough-winged Swallow and Common Yellowthroat.  Molting Dunlin flocks are being seen as well.

25 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Heavy cloud cover and scattered rain the last two nights have left us without any usable radar images.

Reports from the Central Valley: Black-throated Grey Warblers, Western Kingbirds and Bullock’s Orioles.

Probable migrant Orange-crowned Warblers reported in the Willamette Valley.  First Barn Swallows and Chipping Sparrows as well.

23 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Just a bit of narrative today as the radar images are a bit insipid.

Ospreys are back in force and already rebuilding their nesting platforms.  Rufus Hummingbirds are staking out territories. Northern Rough-winged Swallows and Barn Swallows are being reported to the south of us.  Great Blue Heron rookeries look to be ready for egg laying.

Looks like the Tundra Swans have left.  I only saw one the whole weekend.  Duck numbers are down, as are Golden-crowned  and Fox Sparrow numbers.  I had two Fox Sparrows in song this weekend.

19 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

A few more Violet-green Swallows but that is about it for now.  We are still seeing a pretty solid movement of winter residents.  Again, i think these are all waterfowl with a small mix of the vanguard migrants.

Down in the San Diego area more House Wrens and the first Cassin’s Vireos now being reported.

18 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

The San Diego area is reporting the first Wilson’s Warblers and House Wrens and  Western Kingbirds and Bullock’s Orioles have made it into the Central Valley.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the National radar as well over on Paul’s archive.  I haven’t seen anything spectacular.  It’s pretty much all low density movement much like we’ve been seeing here in the Pacific Northwest.

But, birds are still moving north and you can see them dodging the rain cells in last night’s radar capture.


17 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Many of our summer residents are nest building: Chickadees, Crows, House Finches, Lesser Goldfinches, Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds …..

More Ospreys are being reported but that is about it.  The movement is still wintering birds staging north.

And it was pretty heavy last night; up the I5 corridor and along the coast.  I have put all three PNW radar loops in today’s gallery. RTX – Portland, LGX – Gray’s Harbor, ATX – Seattle.


16 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

The weekend storm — wet and more wet.  Heavy cloud cover obscured any movement that might have taken place.

Last night a bit of a window opened up and a few birds continued north.  No mention of any new arrivals in the PNW, so again this is probably just our winter visitors staging north.

All the way down in San Diego the first Gull-billed Terns are being reported.

13 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Perhaps sensing the looming trough birds filled the airspace last night.

There isn’t any new migrant reports so this has to be staging waterfowl.  I am still puzzled about the density of birds headed up the spine of the Cascades.  Perhaps they use the Columbia Gorge to get to the east side?

Anyway, since it was a nice night to take wing and it looks like the next couple of days, maybe not so much, i put in all three PNW radar loops in today’s gallery.  RTX is Scappoose, LGX is Gray’s Harbor, and ATX is Seattle.

12 Mar 2015 — Migration Update

The recent cloud cover and scattered showers have dampened, but not extinguished the movement northward.

Only reports of migrant movement of note in the PNW are the push of Rufous Hummingbirds, scattered Turkey Vultures, and a couple of early Ospreys.

I put both the Base Reflectivity and the Hydrometeor Classification (HC) returns from yesterday.  With the HC it becomes easier to pick the birds out of the  clouds. The BI (biological) returns are colored a brick red and really stand out.