Friends of Marymoor Park


What to see in April?


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This is the month that spring migrants come through. Some of our summer birds arrive too, though by no means all. And it’s the departure time for many of our winter-only birds, so the great thing about April is that every visit is so very different from every other.

Take note of the ducks before they depart for the year. Amongst them might be a migrating Cinnamon Teal, always a treat. Most of the gulls leave too.

Watch the nest pole near the Velodrome (along SR-520 towards the east end of the park) for the return of the Ospreys. Or watch for them fishing the slough and the lake. You might also see one break a branch off a tree to freshen up the nest for a new breeding year.

Other returning summer birds will include Green Heron, Band-tailed Pigeon, Cliff and Barn Swallows, Common Yellowthroat, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

Migrants might include Say’s Phoebe or Mountain Bluebirds in the East Meadow, Hermit Thrush dashing off the path, American Pipits on the mowed fields, and Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, Nashville, and Black-throated Gray Warblers, especially in Willows and Alders.

April is second only to May for the number of rarities recorded, which have included Surf Scoter, Red-necked Grebe, Great Egret, Sora, Sandhill Crane, Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpiper, Dunlin, Bonaparte’s Gull, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Burrowing Owl, Barred Owl, Red-naped Sapsucker, Hammonds’ Flycatcher, Loggerhead Shrike, Hutton’s Vireo, Horned Lark, House Wren, Townsend’s Solitaire, Sage Thrasher, Bohemian Waxwing, American Tree Sparrow, Chipping Sparrow, Brewer’s Sparrow, and Sagebrush Sparrow.

Mountain Bluebird, 2011-04-03.  Photo by Tim Kuhn

Loggerhead Shrike, 2010-04-11.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

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