Weds 11 April 2012 – PNW Migration Update

Local conditions have changed a bit over night as the low pressure system made landfall yesterday and crept up over the coast range with some precipitation in hand.  Not enough to ground every bird and the winds remained light.  Some migration can be seen between the showers, but not much and mostly they are headed out of town.

In the field: stopped by Camassia to take a quick spin around the loop.  Not much happening there.  A few Orange Crowns and a smattering of flashy Audubon’s; Bushtits nest-building; the Osprey is back on the cell-tower: and lots of raptors soaring the updraft off the river.  On last night’s dog walk along Columbia Slough (boat launch site off of Airport Way) in low light i had a pair of probably Northern Rough Wing Swallows hawking the slough  and headed west — not a hundred percent certain though.

Regionally the composite from KMAX out of Medford shows showers dominating the landscape and no movement of birds.  On the national composite you can see this same scenario play out all along the Pacific Flyway — nothing happening last night.

(just as a side rant: not only does the east coast harbor more birds per cubic meter than we do during migration, but they have more radars!  Just not fair i tell ya.)

Nationally: the low pressure system that has been dominating things back east has moved eastward a bit and the birds are responding.  Strong WNW winds and a frontal boundary set the northern limits of migration in an arc from Minnesota to the Carolinas.  Below that the gulf and plains states are doing just fine.    A small window of dead calm in the eye allowed for a light flight in New England last night. Take a look at the national picture play out here on the national composite loop.