26 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

The rain and clouds cleared out over night.  The winds, not optimal, but not a real challenge to flight.  Birds were heavily on the move. A “green doughnut” night.

The Central Valley CA, added Western Wood Pewee and “Western” Flycatcher to the list of neotrops.

Oregon added Northern Rough-winged Swallow and Common Yellowthroat.  Molting Dunlin flocks are being seen as well.

19 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

A few more Violet-green Swallows but that is about it for now.  We are still seeing a pretty solid movement of winter residents.  Again, i think these are all waterfowl with a small mix of the vanguard migrants.

Down in the San Diego area more House Wrens and the first Cassin’s Vireos now being reported.

18 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

The San Diego area is reporting the first Wilson’s Warblers and House Wrens and  Western Kingbirds and Bullock’s Orioles have made it into the Central Valley.

I’ve been keeping an eye on the National radar as well over on Paul’s archive.  I haven’t seen anything spectacular.  It’s pretty much all low density movement much like we’ve been seeing here in the Pacific Northwest.

But, birds are still moving north and you can see them dodging the rain cells in last night’s radar capture.


17 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Many of our summer residents are nest building: Chickadees, Crows, House Finches, Lesser Goldfinches, Anna’s and Rufous Hummingbirds …..

More Ospreys are being reported but that is about it.  The movement is still wintering birds staging north.

And it was pretty heavy last night; up the I5 corridor and along the coast.  I have put all three PNW radar loops in today’s gallery. RTX – Portland, LGX – Gray’s Harbor, ATX – Seattle.


16 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

The weekend storm — wet and more wet.  Heavy cloud cover obscured any movement that might have taken place.

Last night a bit of a window opened up and a few birds continued north.  No mention of any new arrivals in the PNW, so again this is probably just our winter visitors staging north.

All the way down in San Diego the first Gull-billed Terns are being reported.

13 Mar 2015 — PNW Migration Update

Perhaps sensing the looming trough birds filled the airspace last night.

There isn’t any new migrant reports so this has to be staging waterfowl.  I am still puzzled about the density of birds headed up the spine of the Cascades.  Perhaps they use the Columbia Gorge to get to the east side?

Anyway, since it was a nice night to take wing and it looks like the next couple of days, maybe not so much, i put in all three PNW radar loops in today’s gallery.  RTX is Scappoose, LGX is Gray’s Harbor, and ATX is Seattle.

12 Mar 2015 — Migration Update

The recent cloud cover and scattered showers have dampened, but not extinguished the movement northward.

Only reports of migrant movement of note in the PNW are the push of Rufous Hummingbirds, scattered Turkey Vultures, and a couple of early Ospreys.

I put both the Base Reflectivity and the Hydrometeor Classification (HC) returns from yesterday.  With the HC it becomes easier to pick the birds out of the  clouds. The BI (biological) returns are colored a brick red and really stand out.

10 Mar 2015 — Migration Update

Andy Williams, Edward Pola and George Wyle just weren’t birders.

This, right now, coming out from the winter gloom and into a promise of full on returns  — this is The Most Wonderful Time of the Year.  Well, OK, everybody gets their pick, but this is mine.  I just love Spring and the arrival of our migrant birds, the emergence of the Dragonflies, Butterflies, and Spring Wildflowers.  Mourning Cloaks, Grass Widows, Desert Parsley, Forktails — it is all happening NOW.

Barn Swallows, Ospreys, Sora, Swainson’s Hawks — they are all in the pipeline, and vanguards are being reported.  RC Kinglets have been singing for a while now.  Same with White-crowned Sparrows.  Bushtits are pairing up and the roving flocks of 20-30 birds are dissipating. It doesn’t get much better than this!

09 Mar 2015 — Migration Update

OK — now we’re getting serious.  First Ospreys are showing up in the Portland area.  In the San Diego area we have reports of Warbling Vireos, Wilson’s Warblers and Pacific-slope Flycatchers.

Not a solid green doughnut last night, but pretty darn close.  Movement probably mostly staging winter residents but some vanguard neo-trops could be sneaking in as well.  As the woodcreeper says. “birds are coming, look busy”

06 Mar 2015 — Migration Update

Looks like the birds are enjoying the unseasonal weather as well.  Last night we got our first peak at some rather heavy movement.  Green radar returns for a good portion of the night and more widespread than last night’s assault on Mt Hood.  That assault repeated, but we had heavy movement up the Willamette Valley and into the Puget Trough.

I still think these are staging waterfowl and not vanguard neo-trops.  List chatter is only reporting Turkey Vultures and Rufous Hummingbirds.  Much further south, like Anzo Borrego, Swainson’s Hawks are on the move.

I threw in the Hydrometeor loop today, just to confirm what is pretty obvious, these returns are indeed biological.