Weds 02 May 2012 – PNW Migration Update

Locally the rain backed off prior to the evening flight hours.  We had a westerly cross wind, up to around 10 knots, as the low passed to our north.  That shouldn’t be too much of a problem for the birds, but the well is dry.  We can see a moderate flight taking place last night between the clouds – even with the radar in precipitation mode.  We may get a trickle of new birds today but that’s about it.

In the field: good numbers of shorebirds continue to be reported along the coast and a few are turning up inland as well.  Other than that, the listerves are pretty quiet for the area.

Regionally: Siskiyou pass had a light to moderate flight last night into a light headwind.  Nothing to get excited about, but even a few birds is welcome news at this point.  The CA Central Valley continues to see moderate to heavy migration.  It must be getting crowded down there.  If anyone knows of a decent listserve for the Sacramento area, let me know and i’ll listen in on the chatter.

Our outlook over the next few days continues to be bleak.  The forecast has moved a bit from yesterday and there looks to be a window for some movement tonight.  The chance for rain and crosswinds increases through the night, but there is an opening, and right now, i’ll take whatever we can get.

While some folks have the great fortune to be able to bird during the week, many of us don’t.  The outlook for the weekend is not all that great.  With few new birds to our south, and more north winds predicted, even a decent flight opportunity will only bring a scattering of new birds.  The PDX outlook right now is for conditions to be best for migrants on Saturday night.

Nationally: the weather provided an excellent window for all of those neotropicals that have been flooding the gulf coast in recent days to move north.  We can see the heaviest returns further north in all three flyways.    There are some local storms to deal with, but where the air is clear the birds are filling the skies.  Notably heavy migration, with returns into the 25 – 30 dBZ area, are being seen from Nebraska to Indiana.  And really heavy in Illinois — my old stomping grounds (sigh). It’s stuff we, out here in the west, can only dream of.

For migration updates in other regions check-
Michigan’s Upper Peninsula – The Northwoods BIRDAR by Max Henschell <- NEW this season!
New England – Tom Auer’s blog
PA/Ohio Valley – Nemesis Bird by Drew Weber
NW Ohio – Birding the Crane Creek by Kenn Kaufman
Arizona – Words About Birds by Tim Schreckengost <- NEW this season!
Florida – Badbirdz Reloaded by Angel and Mariel Abreau
Continental US – eBird BirdCast Forecast & Report by Team eBird

Also under NEXRAD Trackers in the sidebar to the right.