15 September 2015 – PNW Migration Update

In spite of decent conditions, migration in the area remains tepid at best.

So, lets look elsewhere.  Today we’ll look at the national level and one curious spot. Nationally take a look at the Wind map, note the strong flows up the Central and Mississippi Flyways, and then note the paucity of migrants.  The east coast, with milder conditions, dominates the scene last night.  Since we showed Jacksonville recently i’m leaving that out, but it was jamming again last night with returns again pushing the 40 dBZ levels.

So, take a look at the loop from El Paso, TX from last night.  What i am curious about is the ring of returns that pops up for about an hour — just before avian migration takes place.  Look for it in the lower center of the frame over in Mexico.  I’m GUESSING, bats.  But, if anyone knows for sure – let me know.  Whatever they are, there are a ton of them dispersing from a single point.


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.


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.

01 September 2015 – Migration Update

Looking at the wind mapping you can see that the inland pipeline is still being hampered by strong southerlies, especially in BC.  But the strong fliers coming out of Alaska may just hitch a ride out over the ocean and pass up Washington and Northern Oregon.  Eh, who knows.

In any event, migration in the metro area was muted and probably limited to reshuffling.  So lets take a look at the National Composite (thanks Paul!).  Pretty muted, but more widespread — except for this season’s darling – Duluth!

So i cherry picked that loop; and note the EXTREME radar returns way into the 30 dBZ zone, which is off the charts crazy.


31 August 2015 – PNW Migration Update

We had a wild weekend.  There was very little that could be seen through the heavy weather and i doubt very much was on the move.

We still have some pretty stiff winds to our north but things calmed down a bit in the metro area.  There was some moderate levels of migration last night but that was about it.

Looking at the wind map this morning and we find most of the flyways being challenged with strong southerly winds.  The effect of which is low levels of migration and can be seen on Paul’s archived national composite from last night: here.

26 August 2015 – Migration Update

Meh, we still have not had any major influx of migrants.  We are getting reports of arriving ducks (they all look just brown to me this time of year); Shovelers, GW Teal, and Pintails. So migrants are on the move — just not spectacular masses of them – yet.

The local radar image looks just like yesterday so, instead, lets look at the national composite, archived by Paul, and cherry pick –  Duluth!  I added a shot of the Winds of the Earth to show the north winds that are facilitating the flight down the Mississippi Flyway.

07 May 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Chilly north winds kept migration to a minimum last night in the metro area.

However a strong river of southerly winds crammed a boat load of birds up the Central and Mississippi Flyways.  I have static images of the Winds Aloft and the National Composite Radar in today’s gallery.  But, head on over to Cameron’s and Paul’s sites to get the dynamic view of this marvelous show.

Well, the Western Wood Pewee and Willow Flycatcher have been ticked.  The former in Clackamas County and the latter in Clark.  So that wraps up this season – well, except for the Common Nighthawk, and it is not detected every year.  With the NAMC this weekend and a scheduled trip to Malheur NWR next week, the only posts i’ll be putting up this season will be if something exceptional takes place.  There’s still plenty of birds to move through so use the links on the side bar to keep in the loop.

Specie         Sig Freq

TRESWA     15-Feb          reported

TURVUL      1-Mar           reported

RUFHUM   8-Mar           reported

VIGRSW     8-Mar           reported

BARSWA    22-Mar         reported

ORCRWA    22-Mar         reported

CLISWA       1-Apr            reported

COMYEL     1-Apr            reported

NRWISW    1-Apr            reported

BTGYWA    8-Apr            reported

CHISPA          8-Apr            reported

HERTHR      8-Apr            reported

YERUWA    8-Apr            reported

CASVIR       15-Apr          reported

HAMFLY     15-Apr          4/26/15

HOUWRE   15-Apr          reported

NASWAR    15-Apr          reported

PASLFL        15-Apr          reported

WILWAR     15-Apr          reported

BLHEGR      22-Apr          4/27/15

DUSFLY       22-Apr          reported

GRAFLY       22-Apr          ????

HERWAR    22-Apr          reported

MACWAR  22-Apr          reported

PURMAR    22-Apr          reported

TOWWAR  22-Apr          reported

WARVIR     22-Apr          reported

WESTAN     22-Apr          4/28/15

YELWAR      22-Apr          4/27/15

BULORI       1-May           reported

LAZBUN      1-May           reported

OLSIFL         1-May           4/27/15

SWATHR     1-May           4/28/15 (heard only)

WESKIN      1-May           reported

WEWOPE   1-May           5/6/15

BANSWA    8-May           4/26/15

YEBRCH       8-May           reported

WILFLY        15-May        5/6/15

REEYVI        1-Jun            5/3/15

COMNIG    8-Jun             ????

05 May 2015 — PNW Migration Update

A turn in the weather put a bit of a damper on last nights trip north.  There were birds in the air, just not many of them — comparatively.  Still no word on our last two holdouts.  But, the Red-eyed Vireos have shown up at their preferred haunts on the Sandy River Delta.

Big flights last night along the Central, Mississippi, and Atlantic Flyways.  Check out Paul’s archived National Radar Composite, and Cameron’s wind map for insight on what made that happen.

Since the flight last night was light to moderate and through some heavy cloud cover, today’s loop is the Hydrometer Classification so the Biological returns stand out.

20 April 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Yesterday in the narrative we had twelve migrants yet to be reported in the Northern Willamette Valley.  To day we are left with eight.  Yesterday there were reports of Yellow-breasted Chat, Yellow Warbler, Hammond’s Flycatcher, Black-headed Grosbeak.  To our south in the Shasta area a Common Nighthawk was reported.

Great conditions, clear skies and a nice tail wind – BOOM!  Heavy migration last night, all night.  The loop says it all.

Take a look at the wind map and you can predict the scenario.  Northeast – shut down.  Mississippi and Central – pile up in Texas and continuation behind the weather.  Pacific – open for business.