Mon 16 April 2012 – PNW Migration Update

The rain associated with the advancing low pressure system hit the area before the bird’s scheduled flight.  It was a light rain with SSW winds so some birds may be adventurous enough to dodge the rain drops, but we’ll never see them through the radar noise of the precipitation.  It looks like this system is staging to hang around a while with a break here and there.  So, i don’t expect much in the way of epic migration waves.  However, it seems a few birds always find a way to move north, so keep an eye to the sky.

In the field: Saturday a lone Vaux’s Swift was seen hawking the Coffee Creek Wetlands, and lots of Snipe were mucking around.  The wooded area along Coffee Lake had an abundance of Yellow-rumps with few Orange Crowned and Townsend’s mixed in.  Yellowthroats were abundant in both locations. From the listserves: in the valley were also seen Purple Martins, Black-throated Grays, and Caspian Terns.

Regionally: as you can see from the KMAX composite, this system has blanketed the I5 corridor from north to south.  In better news, the Central Valley was rockin’! I’s always nice to see the pipeline getting primed.  The whole southern portion of the Pacific Flyway was seeing decent movement last night.  The north winds, where encountered, were very light and obviously not a deterrent.

Nationally the extreme weather continues and it’s effects can be seen on the national composite.  Out in front of the system migration is in full swing across most of the east; local conditions permitting.  Behind the system, where the winds aren’t too strongly out of the NNW, like in Texas, birds are on the move.  But, where they meet those strong NNW winds they are hunkered down waiting for a better day. The 850mb wind map is a good reference for wind speed.  The national composite loop can be seen here.