17 Apr 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Yesterday the west side of Sauvie Island WMA opened — i was there at first light and did not take the time to post an update.  Just like the weekends.  Anyway, the migration that night was solid, but on the moderate side.

Unlike last night!  Green doughnut night with some returns in the heavy to extreme range.

Its getting hard to keep up with the migrant influx along the Pacific Flyway. In the Portland area: a whiff of Wilson’s Warbler, a hoard of House Wren, a pulse of Purple Martin, and a mote of MacGillivray’s  Warbler.

It looks like Paul has ironed out the kinks in the national composite radar archive.  So head over to take a look. The Mississippi Flyway, behind the front moving across the country, filled in nicely.  A Cuban invasion of neotrops hit Key West.  And the Pacific Flyway was lit up from San Diego to Seattle.

 

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18 Apr 2014 PNW Migration Update

Mixed bag of sketchy weather.  It’s really kind of disorganized out there weather wise.  So, while some birds are still pushing north in spite of it all, not many.  There will be some turnover at your favorite spring patch, but better days are ahead.  Vanguard Vaux’s Swifts are being reported, hopefully reliable – early Swainson’s Thrush, Wilson’s Warblers, and Black-headed Grosbeaks.  Shorebirds are definitely on the move.  In a mad dash past my local mud puddle there were 40ish Dunlin poking around and well on their way to full breeding (alternate) plumage.  Let’s take a look at some radar.

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

18 Apr Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

18 Apr HC - Portland (KRTX)

And because it is always a treat to watch the flight over the straits of Florida here is the Reflectivity loop from Key West last night:

18 Apr Base Reflectivity – Key West (KBYX)

Here is the grand view of the winds aloft from Earth:

18 Apr  Earth

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view)

28 Mar 2014 PNW Migration Update

The birds found a window from sundown until around 1:00 am, where there was mainly an exodus from the Portland area and up the I5 corridor.  Then some significant weather moved in and it looks like they put down for the rest of the evening.

Winds will remain out of the south as a new low moves in.  But this one is much more organized and may have some heavy precipitation in it’s bowels, and with few breaks.

For those that are new to reading the radar loops: As you look at last night’s loops right around 02:30 Zulu (UTC) you will note a strong radial signal coming from the west of the radar.  That is the sun going down and is termed a “sun strobe”.  If you see one coming out of the east, that is sunrise.  Anyway, under normal circumstances in the PNW the birds take flight shortly after sundown and you can see the migrant bloom.

Since World War II, birds, bats, and bugs – the biodetections that appeared on military radar and subsequently on weather radar-have been considered a nuisance to be filtered out. Because they appeared at night and disappeared at dawn and were wispy and ethereal the detections of migrating birds on radar were termed “angels” by early radar technicians.  Angels indeed.

Pacific Northwest Radar: (Click on the links below to open the .gif files in a new window)

28 Mar Base Reflectivity - Portland (KRTX)

28 Mar Base Velocity - Portland (KRTX)

28 Mar HC - Portland (KRTX)

And because it is always a treat to watch the flight over the straits of Florida here is the Reflectivity loop from Key West last night:  It’s a long loop so wait for the sun strobe and then … boom!  Birds!

28 Mar Base Reflectivity – Key West (KBYX)

Here is Paul’s archived National Radar Composite from yesterday. We see the first significant movement along the SE Atlantic states, and some massive movement into Texas and up the Central Flyway.

And here are the weather maps (click on any image to bring up a full gallery view).

I will again be taking the weekend off from the updates, but i will check the radar and save any loops that show significant movement and get them posted on Monday.