Fri 04 May 2012 – PNW Migration Update

Admin Note: Last update until Monday the 7th – see post below.  Data problems continue: the local KRTX loops are time shifted a few hours earlier and end around 1 AM PDT.  I’ll see what i can do to get that fixed over the weekend.

Locally some stiff winds in the afternoon and early evening, with gusts out of the SW up to 35 knots, blew all of the clouds away and opened a window for some migration last night.  In between the clouds you can see the birds take flight through most of the evening. It being shut down a bit early with the arrival of the rain in the early morning.  It was a moderate flight, but the best we’ve seen over the last week.  May be an interesting day in the field given the combination of a flight and early morning rain putting the birds down.  I look forward to some local reports to see just what showed up – if anything.

In the field we’re picking up a few more reports of the Buntings showing up, mainly in the southern sections of the valley.  A few more shorebird reports, but not much else really.  Could just be lack of coverage.  The lone Swan found Monday in a rural swale was still there.  A small mixed flock of white-cheeked geese was joined by a Greater White-fronted Goose in the same puddle.  So despite less than ideal conditions birds are finding a way to trickle north.

The outlook for the weekend has improved a bit.  The chances for rain tonight have diminished and Saturday looks to be clear all day.  Some mixed winds tonight are forecasted to turn out of the north as the current low moves east and remain there from Sunday through the early parts of next week.  They should be light enough, under 10 knots, that the birds will slog through them.  Temperatures should begin to rise over the weekend making Sunday quite pleasant birding, and with luck, bring a decent wave of migrants into the area.

Regionally the Rogue River area had a decent flight up over the Siskiyous and we’ll be listening in on the chatter down there today.  Conditions should be conducive for continued nocturnal flights through next week, priming the pump for possible waves of migrants to stream into the Portland area.

Nationally — well, its birdapalooza across all three flyways.  More migrants are streaming in from Mexico, and the evening exodus flight out of the Gulf states was exceptionally heavy.  It is well worth the time to take a look at the national loop hosted by Paul Hurtado.  There were some local storms to deal with from northern Missouri to New England, and a patch up in the Dakotas.  Bird/rain interactions gets everybody whispering “fallout”.  I prefer to reserve that term for the trans-gulf migrants hitting a stationary barrier along the coast line. I’d possibly extend it to some Great Lakes situations. Instead i call these inland events “potential concentrating” events.  Where northbound birds run into an impassable situation.  Be it severe rain or stiff north winds.  Inland, the timing has to just right to concentrate the birds because they have so many options to avoid the unnecessary expenditure of energy.

Anyway — 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.

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