Tues 08 May 2012 – PNW Migration Update

Locally migration continues. We even had some pulses of heavy migration in the 25 – 30 dBZ range.  In the early evening a heavy wave of birds can be seen taking off from the Portland area.  As we progress through the night, the birds gain altitude and spread out.  As we approach midnight we see lots of targets in the southern valley between Corvallis and Salem and along the coast from Newport northward a bit.  These valley birds are probably the birds that crossed the Siskiyous last night.

In the field few reports came in for the local area.  I went up to Mt Tabor mid-morning and found a few migrants.  Good diversity but fairly low numbers.  Met a few other birders and they had a couple of birds I did not locate.  Townsend’s and Nashvilles were the most numerous but only found in select flocks.  A few Warbling Vireos, a couple of Tanagers and a BH Grosbeak.

The outlook remains favorable for migration.  Only issue to deal with are the building NNW winds associated with the high pressure system currently causing warm weather.  They are forecasted to stay under 10 knots for the most part however, and the birds tend to slog through winds of this magnitude.  We have some cloud cover forming over the next few days that will cool things off a bit, and that may be a good thing for birding.  I think it tends to keep the birds a bit more active mid-day. The weekend is looking to be another unseasonably warm couple of days.  Making for pleasant birding again.

Regionally we saw a heavy influx of birds over into the Rogue Valley again last night.  A good supply of fresh birds.  The whole Pacific flyway was experiencing moderate to heavy migration as well.  This can be seen on the National Composite as a solid line of blue from San Diego to Seattle.  The only breaks are where we lack adequate radar coverage.

Nationally we’re seeing a repeat pattern of heavy migration south of a storm front and spotty exodus behind to the north.  The northeast and New England areas have been bottled up with NW winds and now local rain.  Migrants are fighting for every inch up there but are taking advantage of any window.

As always — For more detailed migration updates in other regions check:

Wisconsin and New Jersey – woodcreeper by David LaPuma
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.