Friends of Marymoor Park

Recent Bird Sightings

Report for July 12, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

A gorgeous summer day, with clear skies and temps that reached 75 degrees before 11 a.m. Maybe too nice for really good birding, but still a good day. Our species list was VERY similar to last week’s – 64 species each of the two days, with 60 species in common between them, which is what I’d expect this time of year.


  • Canada Goose – at least 5; not seen last week
  • Wood Duck – each week there seems to be a new clutch of ducklings
  • Killdeer – adult with three tiny babies below weir
  • Glaucous-winged Gull – 2 that looked to be hybrids – not seen last week
  • Green Heron – juvenile below weir
  • Pileated Woodpecker – at least 2; adult foraging and feeding a young bird near mansion
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – at least one, silent
  • Yellow-warbler – only two heard singing (one glimpsed)
  • BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER – two males in cottonwoods near Dog Central – New for 2018
  • Western Tanager – one heard, one glimpsed – not seen last week

Great looks at birds were scarcer than last week; the PILEATED WOODPECKERS were best of show, as we watched the two birds forage all around the mansion area, with them mostly staying low to the ground.

Critters included American Beaver and Muskrat. (Forgot to mention that, last week, Matt had pre-dawn bats to go along with bunnies, beaver, bucks, and bullfrogs).

Misses today included Pied-billed Grebe, Rock Pigeon, Spotted Sandpiper (seen last week), and Warbling Vireo (seen last week). The other two species seen last week but not this week were Peregrine Falcon and Red-breasted Sapsucker. Tree Swallow numbers were down last week, and way down this week; they are likely to depart soon for the year.

For the day, 64 species. Adding Black-throated Gray Warbler, the 2018 Marymoor Park list is up to 142 species.

== Michael Hobbs

American Crows clean up after movie night.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Crows and Bald Eagle in the sun.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

The adult Bald Eagle posed very nicely.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Long-billed Curlew.  Photo by Kaylin Ingalls

Yes, there are babies under the adult Killdeer.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Female Purple Martin.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Adult male Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Adult and juvenile Pileated Woodpeckers.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult and juvenile Pileated Woodpeckers.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for July 5, 2018                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Well, the doldrums are here. Our most unexpected bird was a Peregrine Falcon, and I believe that 56 of our 63 species are ones for which we have confirmed breeding evidence within the park, with several more clearly nesting nearby annually. But just because the bird list is very predictable at this time of year doesn’t mean there’s nothing to see. For a change, several “hard to see” species put on great shows for us. The weather was gorgeous too, with a few clouds to make for a memorable sunrise, and then clearing (but temps maxing out below 75 degrees). Mammals and dragonflies added to the interesting things to oogle this morning.


  • Wood Duck – again, many clutches of babies
  • Killdeer – young baby below the weir
  • Spotted Sandpiper – still at least 1 adult below weir
  • – black-wing-tipped gull sp. – one
  • Green Heron – adult and juvenile posed for great looks below weir
  • Cooper’s Hawk – one flew right past us with prey, heading towards Big Cottonwood Forest
  • Red-tailed Hawk – Nest west of Rowing Club may have fledged 2
  • Barn Owl – Matt heard baby in windmill in the middle of the night, again
  • WESTERN SCREECH-OWL – Matt had 2 near east end of boardwalk; at least 1 was juvenile
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one heard
  • PEREGRINE FALCON – nice, close flyover. Heavily speckled, dark bird
  • Purple Martin – active at gourds
  • Swainson’s Thrush – many singing – great looks
  • Bullock’s Oriole – Adult male gave fabulous looks; first year male and a female seen near a nest
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – one heard singing
  • Lazuli Bunting – at least 1 male, one female and/or juvenile chased by male at 5:20 a.m.

Mammals: many Eastern Cottontail, American Beaver pre-dawn, Mule Deer (large buck pre-dawn, doe at Rowing Club), Eastern Gray Squirrel

Near Dog Central, a SWAINSON’S THRUSH was gathering insects in the gravel of the path and carrying them to an unseen nest near the slough. We got great close-up looks, and very nice to get breeding confirmation of a very secretive nester.

Earlier, we had an adult male BULLOCK’S ORIOLE in all of his glory also feeding on the gravel path. Got to watch him at close range for over a minute. Just past Dog Central, we had a first-year male singing, and then spotted him with a drab oriole visiting a nest in a cottonwood.

As I said, for the day, 63 species. Misses were pretty much limited to Canada Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, and Rock Pigeon.

== Michael Hobbs

Sunrise.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Green Heron.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Swainson's Thrush.  Photo by Milt Vine

Male Purple Martin.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Wood Ducks at the Lake Platform.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for June 28, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

A nice, if mostly cloudy day today. Lots of baby birds, but still many males singing.


  • Band-tailed Pigeon – adults and at least 1 juvenile
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – juvenile in Pea Patch
  • Spotted Sandpiper – at least 2 near weir
  • Caspian Tern – one flying down the river
  • VIRGINIA RAIL – adult and 3 babies across slough
  • Barn Owl – baby(s) inside windmill, heard 3:30am
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt even got photos this morning around 4am
  • Black Swift – three above south end of Dog Meadow
  • Lazuli Bunting – 2 males singing, one north and one south of Fields 7-8-9
  • Bullock’s Oriole – female/juvenile in large cottonwood

The VIRGINIA RAILS were the big highlight. We haven’t even heard a rail since April, but today we heard what Matt thought were rail noises from across the river a little south of the Dog Meadow. About a minute after I played the call and got a response, Karen noticed an adult rail on mud across the river. As we watched over the next few minutes we spotted one, two, and then three black puffball babies following the adult around. Dare I say “cute”?

Earlier, we were happy to find TREE SWALLOWS feeding a baby in a hole in a cottonwood snag. Many pairs nest in boxes and gourds each year, but seeing them nest in natural holes is quite uncommon at Marymoor.

Immature birds noted today included DOWNY WOODPECKER, MARSH WREN, SPOTTED TOWHEE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and at least 16 additional species.

For the day, 63 species. Last Thursday evening, my wife and I heard a COMMON NIGHTHAWK, new for 2018. I believe that brings the park year list to 141 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl on a branch near east end of boardwalk. Photo by Matt Bartels

Vaux's Swift.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Adult Bald Eagle.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Tree Swallow baby inside natural nest hole in snag.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Swainson's Thrush.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

This juvenile Red-tailed Hawk continuously screamed for food and attention from the nearby parent.  The evenly spaced spotting all over an evenly colored breast seemed quite unusual to me. Photo by Bob Asanoma

One of the three baby Virginia Rails who were following after their parent on the far side of the slough.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Wood Duck family.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for June 21, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

An unexpected day at Marymoor today. Thankfully, the predicted rain held off, and we only had minor, intermittent sprinkles. There was a fair amount of activity, but no great push of migrants like I’d hoped. We did have several new arrivals, some on the early side, but great views of birds were scarce.


  • Spotted Sandpiper – one below weir
  • Bald Eagle – juveniles and adults hanging around weir all morning; ducks frightened
  • WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE – one or two, south end of Dog Meadow – First of 2018
  • SWAINSON’S THRUSH – Matt heard several pre-dawn, we heard and some saw one, Dog Meadow. Calls only First of 2018
  • Cedar Waxwing – 3-4 flying over Dog Meadow. First since January
  • EVENING GROSBEAK – 1 or 2 flying over Dog Meadow. First of 2018
  • WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – one in Pea Patch – LATE! First of 2018
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – heard only, 2-3
  • Yellow Warbler – one heard only, south end of East Meadow. First of 2018
  • Wilson’s Warbler – notably abundant, singing, several seen
  • Western Tanager – 2-3 males
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – numerous singing males
  • LAZULI BUNTING – tight foraging flock of 3 males, Pea Patch. First of 2018

We’ve seen WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE as early as May 4, but May 10 is still the 6th earliest arrival date. The SWAINSON’S THRUSH is on the early side of normal arrival date. And this is the 3rd earliest we’ve ever had LAZULI BUNTING; earlier sightings were 2004-05-05 and 2015-05-07.

Conversely, this is definitely our latest spring date for WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. They are never common at Marymoor in spring (less than 40 records total for January-May). We’ve only had three April sightings, and our only previous May date was 1994-05-05. So that’s only 5 sightings later than March 27th. Today’s bird was drab and poorly marked.

So, only 60 species for the day, but six new species for the year, to bring our 2018 list to 128.

== Michael Hobbs

The soon-to-be-fledged Great Blue Herons manage to squabble and "sibble" quite ferociously as they get too big for their nest.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Singing Marsh Wren.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Eight Purple Martins and four gourds (there's 1 barely visible in the back right gourd)
Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Purple Finch eating European Hawthorn "haws".  Photo by Bob Asanoma

One of about a dozen Eastern Cottontail rabbits we saw.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

One of two male Mule Deer in the East Meadow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

One of two male Mule Deer in the East Meadow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Both of the two male Mule Deer in the East Meadow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for June 14, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

The rain did NOT clear off early. In fact, we had everything from mist to rain until about 9:00 a.m., which, ah, put a damper on things. We did eventually get sunshine, and luckily mist and mizzle dominated. It was pretty birdy, though birds were not always easily visible. Lot of baby birds about, which also meant lots of squeaks and chirps in the bushes.


  • Wood Duck – female with a host of small ducklings, several adults too
  • Hooded Merganser – a couple of flybys
  • Pied-billed Grebe – adult from Lake Platform; first since the end of April
  • Band-tailed Pigeon – especially numerous
  • Mourning Dove – one along weir; always possible but never expected at Marymoor
  • Black Swift – two distant birds
  • Green Heron – flyby
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard and saw one ~4:15, east of boardwalk
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – nest hole with baby(s) near Dog Central in old cottonwood
  • Peregrine Falcon – 2nd week in a row; adult flew past Pea Patch heading west
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – at least one
  • MACGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER – singing, and glimpsed, west edge of Dog Meadow. First of 2018, and first since 2015
  • Western Tanager – female-type. Not expected this time of year.
  • Lazuli Bunting – 2-3 males singing near Viewing Mound, giving great looks

MACGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER is just shy of outright rare at Marymoor, with only 22 sightings, and reports from only 12 of the last 25 years. Today’s sighting was the latest spring date ever by four days, and only the 2nd June sighting ever. Most sightings have been in May, September, and October, with a few more in spring than in fall.

Baby birds included (incomplete list): Wood Duck, Mallard, Rufous Hummingbird, Great Blue Heron, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Black-capped Chickadee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Bushtit, Red-breasted Nuthatch, American Robin, European Starling, Savannah Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.

For the day, 68 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Band-tailed Pigeons.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for June 07, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

Today we were missing many of our regulars, all headed down to the WOS Conference this weekend. Nevertheless, nine of us took to Marymoor Park for the weekly walk. It was cool-ish and overcast, with a little breeze, but a very pleasant day with decent #s of birds, but no rarities. Well, two rarities: Great to see Grace & Ollie Oliver back again!


  • Wood Duck - several clutches - I counted 13 babies pre-dawn at the viewing platform. Overall, around 30 Wood Ducks on the day.
  • Killdeer - copulation - below the weir
  • Spotted Sandpipers - 2 pairs nearby as well
  • Band-tailed Pigeon - 20 or more, including close looks at adult & immature, and one flock of 13
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove - Brian Bell had one as he left for WOS
  • Western Screech-Owl - heard pre-dawn - first in over a month
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker - feeding young at nest at dog central
  • Merlin - one fly-by early at viewing mound
  • Western Wood-Pewee - not huge #s , but the first week we’ve had regular vocalizing around the park this year
  • Purple Martin - 2 at the lake viewing platform gourds - first time in gourds this year for us
  • Swainson’s Thrush & Cedar Waxwings - very numerous again today , though Swainson’s remained invisible
  • Bullock’s Oriole - 2 males around ‘singing’
  • Red-winged Blackbirds - a pair copulating at weir, followed by a couple watching young ones trying it out as well!
  • 5 species of warbler - Orange-crowned, Wilson’s & Yellow-rumped heard only, Yellow & Common Yellowthroat seen & heard
  • Lazuli Bunting - 3 males, 1 female

I don’t believe we had any species new for the park year list - we’re about all done with new arrivals for the summer

For the day, 61 species

Matt Bartels [subbing for Michael Hobbs]

Adult Spotted Sandpiper below weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Great Blue Heron below heronry.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Band-tailed Pigeon.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Band-tailed Pigeon.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Osprey.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Purple Martin in nesting gourd.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Purple Martin on gourd hanger.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wood Ducks.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Barn Swallows.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Barn Swallow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Barn Swallow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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