Friends of Marymoor Park

Recent Bird Sightings

Report for November 1, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

Today was most notable for being dark, unsurprising as we are approximately at the cross-quarter (Samhain), and entering the darkest quarter of the year. Abandon all hope... There were short drizzle squalls, and bits of mist and mizzle, but it really wasn’t too rainy. With temps right around 60 degrees, even the occasional gusty winds merely meant our optics needed to be dried occasionally; it’s not like it was uncomfortable. But it WAS dark, and fairly quiet, except for the huge number of American Robins.


  • SNOW GOOSE – flyby of flock of nearly 40
  • Cackling Goose – flock size increasing; maybe nearly 100 today
  • American Wigeon – flyby flock of 4
  • Northern Pintail – flyby flock of about 6
  • Green-winged Teal – just 2 below the weir
  • Ring-necked Duck – two near the cabana again
  • Wilson’s Snipe – at least two flushed as we walked the boardwalk
  • Mew Gull – First of Fall; flock of maybe 50
  • Green Heron – one again at Rowing Club pond
  • Barn Owl – Matt saw one early
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard one early near boardwalk; first in 7 weeks
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – One; only woodpecker besides Northern Flicker
  • MERLIN – one flew past the Pea Patch
  • Cedar Waxwing – still a few good-sized flocks
  • Dark-eyed Junco – Our most numerous sparrow, and at least one “SLATE-COLORED” type
  • Western Meadowlark – at least 1 with huge flock of starlings
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – Three

One juvenile SNOW GOOSE was seen this weekend, which was the First of Fall for Marymoor; today’s flock was the First of Fall for the survey.

Misses were notable today: Gadwall, Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser (possibly glimpsed in flight), Western Grebe, Virginia Rail, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull (though we failed to ID several gulls), Sharp-shinned Hawk, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Shrike, Bewick’s Wren, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, and Lincoln’s Sparrow have all been seen on at least 12 years of the last 24 for this week of the year, but not today!

For the day, 52 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Michael Hyman

American Coots.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Wood Duck being followed by American Coots.  Photo by Michael Hyman

Report for October 25, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

Samhain is only about a week away, and the switch-over to winter birds has definitely begun. Marymoor is a great place to bird at all seasons, and just when we feel the weekly species list is getting short and predictable, the seasons and the birds change over, and we’ve got new excitement. Today’s rain came on in fits and starts, with long clear periods, before the rain started to increase in earnest around 11:30. For most of the morning, it was really quite nice, and with temps in the 50’s-60’s and no wind, we didn’t mind getting damp much.


  • Northern Shoveler – 37+ birds; high count of 40 probably beat today, but not sure. First of 2018
  • Wilson’s Snipe – some heard pre-dawn, one seen well below weir. First sighting of fall, though heard previously
  • First good fall gull flock, with Ring-billed, California, Glaucous-winged
  • COMMON LOON – juvenile eating fish on lake
  • Green Heron – one at Rowing Club pond
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one predawn
  • Cooper’s Hawk – several sightings; could have been one bird
  • Barn Owl – seen from Viewing Mound after 7am
  • Pileated Woodpecker – two views
  • MERLIN – two views
  • Northern Shrike – juvenile, with prey, calling, east of East Meadow – First for 2018
  • Cedar Waxwing – still several around
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – one
  • Western Meadowlark – nine north of Fields 7-8-9
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – our only warbler

While this was our first NORTHERN SHRIKE of the year, there was a report from a couple of weeks ago. Today’s bird was quite drab and brownish, and easy to overlook if it hadn’t been calling.

For the day, 58 species. With two new birds for the year (Northern Shoveler, Northern Shrike), I think we’re now at 151 or 152 for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Common Merganser.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Canada Geese.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Western Meadowlark (European Starling in the background).  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 18, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

A gorgeous day, but rather uneventful birding. Very few surprises, but a wonderful time to be out anyway. Temps ranged from 39-64, and the early morning fog burned off quickly.


  • Cackling Goose – a couple of big flocks few north before 7:30 – first large flocks of fall
  • Ring-billed Gull – First of Fall (FOF), but only 1
  • Green Heron – one along the slough
  • Barn Owl – Matt saw one, East Meadow, before 7
  • SHORT-EARED OWL – FOF – accidentally flushed from east of East Meadow
  • NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL – FOF – Matt heard one (maybe 2) south of East Meadow, early
  • American Pipit – one flew over us, NE of Viewing Mound
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – our only warblers

For mammals, besides Eastern Gray Squirrel, we had a young buck MULE DEER. Along the near edge of the slough, just south of the Dog Area, was a deceased AMERICAN BEAVER. Looked like it just climbed up out of the water and died. ?!?!?

Misses today included Wood Duck, Gadwall, Virginia Rail, Mew Gull, California Gull, and Lincoln’s Sparrow.

For the day, 53 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Cackling Geese before sunrise.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-winged Blackbirds.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Green Heron on the beaver lodge across from Dog Central, a favorite location.
Photo by Hugh Jennings

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Coot.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Dead American Beaver.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Short-eared Owl.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Short-eared Owl.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for October 11, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

We had significant fog for the first several hours this morning, which limited our viewing. We ended up doing lots of birding by ear. Our species count grew slowly, though there were notably many birds of certain common species, so there were times when there were plenty of birds to look through. Not a lot of surprises today, but by the end, a decent showing.


  • Ring-necked Duck – probably the same two tentatively ID’d last week. Officially First of Fall today
  • Virginia Rail – two responded to clapping
  • Wilson’s Snipe – heard predawn for 2nd week; still awaiting a fall sighting
  • Green Heron – one at Rowing Club
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one east of East Meadow
  • Cooper’s Hawk – probably had 6-7 sightings; 2+ birds
  • Barn Owl – one glimpse in the fog predawn at south end of East Meadow
  • Pileated Woodpecker – heard very close (and distantly) but unseen
  • Merlin – landed in Snag Row
  • Cedar Waxwing – still large flocks overhead; saw none perched
  • American Pipit – 5 west of easternmost ballfields
  • Western Meadowlark – 5 with pipits

Misses today included Cackling Goose, Gadwall, Western Grebe, gulls besides Glaucous-winged, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Harrier (seen 50% of previous years), Savannah Sparrow, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. Fog played a role.

For the day, 54 species.

== Michael Hobbs

American Crows.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings.  Appears to be a different bird, based on facial markings and spots on back.

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Bob identified these as Needle Bonnets.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Needle Bonnet.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Bob identified this as Vulger Bonnet.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Vulgar Bonnet.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 4, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

A very nice morning today, with partly sunny skies and no wind. Temps moderate. Birds really quite good.


  • Cackling Goose – About 35 total – First of Fall (FOF)
  • Ring-necked Duck? – or let’s say “some brownish diving ducks – FOF”
  • Western Grebe – a few on lake
  • Wilson’s Snipe – Matt heard a couple pre-dawn – FOF
  • Northern Harrier – at least 1
  • Cooper’s Hawk – many sightings – three total birds?
  • Violet-green Swallow – 3
  • Barn Swallow – 1
  • CLAY-COLORED SPARROW – one in weeds and blackberries near Viewing Mound, new for 2018
  • WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – One with GCSP below weir – FOF
  • Common Yellowthroat – maybe 3 juveniles

Jordan’s photos helped us be sure it was a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and not a Chipping Sparrow; the differences can be subtle. This is the 5th or 6th Clay-colored we’ve found at Marymoor, all in the Sept-Nov period. It’s the 3rd time we’ve had CCSP in Week 40, the other times being in 2005 and 2006.

For the day, we got 60 species (counting the diving ducks). Purple Finch and Lincoln’s Sparrow were in the “probable but not quite listable” category. Other than that, our only obvious “miss” for the day was Hooded Merganser.

The year list is now at 150 +/- 1

== Michael Hobbs

Double-crested Cormorant.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Clay-colored Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Clay-colored Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Northern Flicker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for September 27, 2018                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Michael was out and Brian Bell & I substituted as leaders. After all the goodies of last week, we had hopes of this week holding surprises. Alas, we hit one of those lulls in the pulses of migration — we saw some good birds, but overall the species count and species seen were not all that remarkable.


  • River Otter - 4 of them near dog central
  • Green-winged Teal - a pair flew by along the slough
  • Virginia Rail - one or two responded to clapping along the slough
  • Osprey - still one present , seen multiple times
  • All 5 expected woodpecker species seen
  • Merlin - one from the lake viewing platform
  • Peregrine Falcon - one soaring around late, as we were nearing the Pea Patch
  • HUTTON’S VIREO - still pretty unusual at Marymoor. We had one near the windmill.
  • American Pipit - five flying overhead in the north fields
  • Fox Sparrows - singing away in the good weather
  • For warblers, we only had a single Orange-crowned, a few Common Yellowthroats, and maybe 15-20 Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Misses for the day included owls, any swallows to species [we did have a flock of a dozen too far out to get beyond swallow sp], ducks beyond Mallard, Wood Duck, Common Merganser, and the teal, and the longed-after rarity.

For the day, 52 species

Matt Bartels, Seattle, WA

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Killdeer.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

River Otters.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

River Otters.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

River Otters.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Spider on her web.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for September 20, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

The day dawned dark, with rain threatening but never arriving. Viewing was awful. Birds were kind of scarce. But after about 9, the day brightened and the birds CAME OUT. It turned out to be a stupendously good day. The highlight was a First for Marymoor RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at the north end of the lake. But it was only one of the...

Highlights: (FOF=First of Fall)

  • American Wigeon – FOF, photographed from the Lake Platform, and ID’d later (thanks, Bob)
  • Green-winged Teal – FOF, small fly-by flock
  • Horned Grebe – FOF, at least one from Lake Platform
  • RED-NECKED GREBE – First for 2018 – at least 2 from Lake Platform, confirmed by photos (thanks, Bob)
  • Mourning Dove – two near mansion
  • Vaux’s Swift – seemed to be streaming south – 25 minimum; probably a lot more
  • Virginia Rail – FOF, heard from Lake Platform
  • RED-NECKED PHALAROPE – New for the Marymoor List – #235
  • Double-creasted Cormorant – FOF, one
  • Green Heron – TWO at Rowing Club ponds
  • TURKEY VULTURE – FOF, one over mansion area
  • Osprey – still one or two; should be leaving soon
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1-2
  • Cooper’s Hawk – 1-2
  • Barn Owl – Mark & Lee spotted one pre-dawn, south of East Meadow
  • - four woodpecker day – and we *may* have seen incredibly distant Red-breasted Sapsucker, which would have been #5
  • MERLIN – two in quick succession at Rowing Club (unless one executed a very quick circle; two passes 10-15 seconds apart)
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher – two glimpses for me, great look for Hugh and Sharon; three birds probably
  • Violet-green Swallow – 100?
  • Cliff Swallow – latest ever for Marymoor; two glimpses
  • Barn Swallow – 150-300
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet – FOF, maybe 3 total
  • Swainson’s Thrush – still about 5-6 heard, mostly pre-dawn
  • American Pipit – FOF, one heard north of Viewing Mound
  • EVENING GROSBEAK – FOF, flock of 8 over Lake Platform, heading east
  • Fox Sparrows – at least a dozen, with quite a bit of singing
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow – at least 4, with one singing
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – maybe 8, some very drab green, some yellowish with grayish heads
  • Yellow Warbler – 1-2 at Rowing Club
  • WESTERN TANAGER – male at Rowing Club – getting late for them

Lots of FOFs; an amazing return of fall birds, but still good representation of summer birds (though most of those are clearly migrants passing through from further north). Definitely a feeling that ANYTHING could have shown up.

For the day, 72 species! On Tuesday, a trip led by Sharon to Marymoor had HOODED MERGANSER, CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY, TOWNSEND’S WARBLER, and BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, to make 76 species for the week so far.


We also had fabulous looks at an AMERICAN BEAVER at the Rowing Club ponds.

== Michael Hobbs

Red-necked Grebe taking off.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-necked Grebes.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-necked Phalarope, facing right, at extreme distance and magnification.
Photo by Michael Hobbs

American Wigeon.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Pacific-slope Flycatcher.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Lincoln's Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Back to BirdBlog index


Home | Mission | Members | Events | News | Maps | Getting There | Contact Us | Links | Search
Meeting Summaries |
Wildlife at Marymoor | Birding at Marymoor Park

Problems, comments, suggestions?  Email the FOMP webmaster at