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.


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!”

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.

28 August 2015 – PNW Migration Update

As suspected the southerly winds of the advancing cold front shut down migration last night.  There was a bit, but probably just repositioning..

The radar just shows the clouds moving in so we’ll leave that out to save space and just put up the wind map today.

27 August 2015 – PNW Migration Update

Migration is still concentrating in the east counties but picking up in the west.

It looks like we have a well organized low coming in from the Gulf of Alaska. The leading edge will put up stiff southerly winds that will probably keep all but the most hardy or determined birds grounded for the next day or two.  But the back side of the system, as it passes through, should be golden.  Depending on the strength, it may even pull in some vagrants.

Here it is, your moment of zen:

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.

25 August 2015 – PNW Migration Update

Pretty much the same as yesterday – movement, but moderately so.

It’s always a good thing to keep up with what’s going on up north at the BC Tatlayoko Bird Observatory.  They get a few birds that move over to the Central Flyway but many more that are headed our way.  So, for instance, they will see the Fox and Golden-crowned Sparrows before we do and it is nice to know what’s in the pipeline.

Here it is, your moment of zen: