14 September 2015 – PNW Migration Update

We still have a nice weather pallet for migration; light winds mainly out of the north, no rain, and a persistent, but weak, high pressure ridge out in the Pacific.

But, movement is moderate at best here in the Pacific Northwest.  It’s one of those days where i go looking for the hot spots; pull up Paul’s archived image from last night, look for the action, and then pull up the loop from that station.  And that’s how the town of Jacksonville Florida ends up in the tag cloud.

Here it is, your moment of zen:

Yeah, those returns are pushing 40dbz, for a significant amount of the night — MILLIONS of birds on the move.

11 September 2015 – PNW Migration Update

The ridge of high pressure remains in place – sort of.  It has been displaced a tad more out into the Pacific and that may account for the easterly offshore flow.

Whatever the case, migration last night was unremarkable and ended quite early.  I think this is just a pipeline issue as there has been some significant weather up north, probably holding back the migrants.

10 September 2015 – PNW Migration Update


Another solid night of migration.  This high pressure ridge just wants to stick around.  That brings gentle winds out of the north and makes excellent conditions for southbound migrants.

Greater White-fronted Geese, Sandhill Cranes, and more winter sparrows are all being reported in the area.  It’s a good time to get out into the field.

Here it is, your moment of zen:


09 September 2015 – PNW Migration Update

I’m having a bit of trouble using WordPress — it keeps crashing and i am losing my drafts.

This is the third attempt and i’m just going to post the radar and wind maps i intended to comment on.

Update: Here’s a great article on Radar Ornithology that Tom Auer (his web site is found in the side bar) just tweeted.


08 September 2015 – PNW Migration Update

Just a quick post today.

Light winds out of the north brought some quite heavy migration across the area.

Let’s have a look:

Update:  I wanted to add that the first Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows are being reported in the Metro Area.

04 September 2015 – PNW Migration Update

Another solid wave of migrants moved through, and into the area last night.  Not quite as robust as yesterday, but still decent.

The drop in density is probably due to the nature of yesterday’s event.  When migrants are held up for a while i suspect they build up a bit of “pressure”; in both numbers and urges.  So that when the weather conditions change favorably, they kind of pour forth to relieve the pressure.

You can see from the wind map our weak high pressure system is still in place giving us these calm winds out of the north.  It looks like this will persist for a day or two as well.

I put in the National Composite today — take a look at the west side of Lake Michigan!  From Green Bay to Chicago the movement was extreme.  Heavy yellow returns across the board.  To save space i did not put up a loop from either of the three stations, but if your curious what a mega event looks like take a look at Green Bay’s loop on the DuPage Weather Lab.  I did archive the loop and may put it up later if there is nothing going on here.


03 September 2015 – PNW Migration Update

OK this is more better.

With the winds shifting on the shoulder of a weak high pressure system, a bit of the pent up migration urges were released last night. We had a fairly heavy passing last night — even a tiny touch up into the 30 dBZ zone (yellow).  Nothing like Duluth a couple of days ago, but still pretty solid.

For today’s moment of zen we have Cameron’s Winds of the Earth,  the loop from our local RTX station, and a static shot of the National Composite archived over on Paul’s website.

I pulled back on the WOTE snap shot so we can see the line of typhoons out in the Pacific.  Anytime you see red in the Wind Power Density plot, just hope it’s not headed for you.

02 September 2015 – PNW Migration Update

The radar was obscured by the weather last night.  We could make out very low level movement between the cells but nothing to write about.  I did hear a number of Swainson’s Thrush nocturnal flight calls the past couple of nights.

Up north in BC at the Tatlayoko banding station the first Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows were banded and a flock of Greater White-fronted Geese were seen.

As David LaPuma would say, “look busy … birds are coming!”