So, i said i would put up a migration update the rest of this season if anything extraordinary came up. While the RTX (Portland) radar was a solid green (heavy migration) doughnut last night, take a look at what’s going on in Gray’s Harbor!
Right around 09:00 UTC (02:00 AM PDT) the returns start to go into the yellow range. That is EXTREME! This only happens one or two times a season, if at all. So, if you want to see tens of thousands, and maybe hundreds of thousands, of shore birds today — head on over, it will probably be quite the show.
Base Reflectivity – LGX
Also, i have updated the migrant watch list. Using eBird data i added the first reported date for those little fluff balls that are on the watch list — except for those that also winter here like Yellow-rumped Warbler.
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.
Moderate levels of migration last night trickling off as a little rain started moving through and putting a damper on continued flight. Could be a good day to check your favorite patch in the Metro area. There could be a concentration of birds from the pile up that the rain can cause.
No word on the Western Wood Pewee or Willow Flycatcher yet.
Moderate to heavy migration took place all weekend. New arrivals were everywhere out in the field. I still haven’t seen any reports for Western Wood Pewee or Willow Flycatcher. Good numbers of Swainson’s Thrush were out and tonight, in a clear, full moon sky, i heard about a half a dozen nocturnal flight calls in the two minutes i spent listening.
The Atlantic Flyway finally got some love last night. For a full report head over to Tom’s recap.
No tail winds, but no significant deterrents as well. There was a moderate amount of movement last night and even heavy in patches.
We’re still waiting on reports for Willow Flycatcher and Western Wood Pewee to close out this season. But with a Blue Grosbeak and a White Wagtail in the area i doubt many will be paying close attention.
Winds are shifting to out of the north and there are cells of showers moving through the area. No surprise that the migration last night was moderate at best.
A Swainson’s Thrush was reportedly heard in the area and a Western Tanager was seen in the Corvallis area. Below the gallery is an update list of the migrant watch. We are down to six species and two of those (Gray Flycatcher and Red-eyed Vireo) are not detected every year. The Red-eyed Vireo has set up a breeding range locally around the mouth of the Sandy River so it will eventually be reported.
Update: an Olive-sided Flycatcher was reported 4/27.
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.
More Western Kingbirds, first Dusky Flycatcher and Bullock’s Oriole. I’m sure i’ve missed something over the weekend. I’m pretty sure a Western Wood Pewee has shown up in southern Oregon. Anyway, weekends are hectic and with the sun rising earlier it’s tough to do much but get out in the field and tend to chores.
Last night was a bit unusual as a weak little rain cell moved through the area at the time of nocturnal bloom (1 hr after sunset). So there is no big flight taking off. Maybe a couple of opportunistic flocks that found a hole in the weather. But then, after the cell moved through a significant flight takes place at around 1:00 AM (18:00 UTC). I don’t think i’ve seen that before. If i have i don’t remember it. Have a look:
Shorebirds continue to move through the area. Found in those isolated spots with suitable habitat. I don’t think anything new, that hasn’t been mentioned earlier, has shown up in the area. But i’ve been quite busy with other tasks and i may have missed something.
Take a look at the winds aloft plot and you can see a concentrated low has formed bringing cold air out of the Gulf of Alaska and turning the winds to a more favorable direction for northbound migrants.
Unfortunately there are associated rains and that always dampens determination. But give a bird any break in the weather and they will take advantage of that. I put in the HC plot today so it is easier to pick out the birds from the weather. It looks like they had a few hours of flight before giving up for the night.
If you look again at the winds aloft plot one might surmise a continental scenario: looking good for the Central Flyway, and not so good for the Atlantic. So i put in a snapshot of the National Radar Composite to see if that is how it played out last night.
Wow — it’s getting hard to keep up. Western Kingbird, Willow Flycatcher, Lazuli Bunting, Solitary Sandpiper, Chipping Sparrow, Yellow-headed Blackbird, and probably some i am forgetting, are now in the Portland area. Lots of these birds are setting new early arrival dates and it makes me wonder why they left their wintering grounds so early?
Anyway, another great night for nocturnal flight. Heavy migration was underway along the whole Pacific Flyway. We have an advancing high pressure system and the leading edge north winds may put a damper on migration over the next couple of days. It depends on how strong the winds are once they make landfall. So i put a wind map in today’s gallery to visualize whats going on.