Friends of Marymoor Park

Report for July 20, 2017                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Mostly cloudy and a bit breezy, and QUIET. We’re pretty much into the post-breeding lull; birds have left the park, and not much has moved in. Really noticeable change from last week, though some of what we missed today might just have been that we missed them.


  • Rufous Hummingbird – two at south end of Dog Meadow, after zero last 2 weeks
  • Spotted Sandpiper – at least 1 adult, at least 2 babies, at weir
  • Great Blue Heron – could only see 2-3 still-active nests in the heronry
  • Osprey – especially numerous; young may have fledged from both nearby nests
  • Cooper’s Hawk – Dog meadow, caught *something* that was approximately robin-sized
  • Barn Owl – As late as 5:10 in the East Meadow
  • WESTERN SCREECH-OWL – baby just SE of East Footbridge!
  • Hairy Woodpecker – flew across Dog Meadow
  • MERLIN – flew low over boardwalk, causing consternation amongst swallows
  • BANK SWALLOW – one from Lake Platform

Brian and I found the WESTERN SCREECH-OWL at 4:30 precisely one of the places adult Screech were frequently seen this spring (near the old “willow” interpretive sign). It was fledged, but still in juvenile plumage, very similar to this photo from Paws:  I believe this makes the baby somewhere in the 4-6 week-old range. We did not see an adult nearby, but as it was still very dark, there may well have been one. Given that we had a pair of adult Screech-Owls well into May, and now (at a date just perfect for incubation+fledging) we have a juvenile, it appears highly likely that they nested in that immediate area!

At the Lake Platform, we stood around for AT LEAST 10 minutes, with no sign of any PURPLE MARTINS. Then, just as we were about to leave, two emerged from the gourd(s), surprising us all.

The really notable thing today was all of the species we didn’t find, or where the numbers were WAY down from last week. We had only a single WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, and that was heard-only. Misses included Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Purple Finch (might have heard one), Yellow Warbler and Yellow-rumped Warbler (or indeed any warbler besides Common Yellowthroat), Black-headed Grosbeak !!!, Lazuli Bunting, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

On the mammal front, Brian and I had myotis sp. bats from the boardwalk.

For the day, just 54 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl,
juvenile plumage - 5 to 8 weeks old perhaps? Overall very gray. Fine, dense, medium-gray horizontal barring on frontside, darker crown. Did not appear to have fuzzy down on head, so not real, real young.
Cellphone photo by Michael Hobbs

Spotted Sandpiper at the weir (about 3 pixels near the far side)  :)
Photo by Bob Asanoma

Hooded Merganser at the Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Female Mallard and babies at the Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Muskrat at the Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Fairly young Red-eared Slider at the Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for July 13, 2017                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was overcast this morning, but not too cold, and it was pretty birdy. There’s not too much chance of surprises at this time of year, but the birding remains very good anyways. We’re beginning to see a little bit of post-breeding foraging, so a few species showing up that didn’t actually nest in the park.


  • Rock Pigeon – a couple of flyovers – first since early April
  • Virginia Rail – one heard across the slough – first since early April
  • Spotted Sandpiper – two at the weir
  • Glaucous-winged Gull – at least 6 – first group of gulls since mid-May
  • Cooper’s Hawk – two flying together doing a bit of a dance
  • Barn Owl – two that looked to be juveniles, flying the East Meadow 4:45-5:10
  • ALL SEVEN SWALLOW SPECIES – Including a lone BANK SWALLOW and about a half dozen NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS over the East Meadow
  • Cedar Waxwing – our first juveniles of the year
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – What appeared to be a family group with at least 2 juveniles and at least 1 adult, just north of the heronry – First since early May
  • Savannah Sparrow – several juveniles
  • Lazuli Bunting – Male singing from his usual perches near the Viewing Mound
  • Bullock’s Oriole – Adult pair and a couple of young ones at 2nd Dog Swim Beach

At the lake, we saw some Wood Ducks fleeing from a couple of RIVER OTTERS. We did not see the BOBCAT photographed yesterday, however.

For the day, 61 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Bobcat along East Meadow trail, 2017-07-12.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for July 6, 2017                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

High summer - a time of few unexpected species, plenty of baby birds, and nice weather.


  • Pied-billed Grebe - adult in slough - First since early April
  • Barn Owl - many nice looks from Viewing Mound until just after 5am
  • - all 5 woodpeckers - but some heard-only
  • WESTERN MEADOWLARK - one north of Fields 7-8-9
    First July sighting ever, and only 4th sighting ever for June-August
  • Bullock's Oriole - adult male and female feeding 2 juveniles, Dog Central

Misses included Canada Goose, Rock Pigeon, Spotted Sandpiper, Steller's Jay, Cliff Swallow, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Lazuli Bunting.

Still, we managed 57 species for the day.

- Michael Hobbs

Willow Flycatcher.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult male Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult female Bullock's Oriole, with juvenile (left).  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Juvenile Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cedar Waxwing reaching for a cherry.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-breasted Sapucker drumming on the metal trim.  Photo by Brian Bell

Female Belted Kingfisher at Rowing Club.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Hot air balloon, off to the north.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Barn Owl, East Meadow, 2017-07-03.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Barn Owl, East Meadow, 2017-07-03.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for June 29, 2017                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

Today should have been amazing, and it wasn’t. First warm day of the year, though we were underneath thick fog for most of the morning. Things didn’t liven up when the fog burned off though. It was just QUIET.


  • Canada Goose – at least 3 clutches of goslings below the weir
  • Spotted Sandpiper – two on far side of slough below weir – First of 2017
  • Ring-billed Gull – one adult – getting late for them
  • California Gull – two adults, one subadult – getting late for them
  • Barn Owl – seen just south of Cirque du Soleil at about 5:10am
  • Hairy Woodpecker – at least 2
  • Merlin – one flew over us as we started the walk and landed NE of mansion
  • American Pipit – six on grass soccer fields
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – saw one, heard about two more – First of 2017
  • For warblers, we had 1-2 ORANGE-CROWNED, a handful or two of “Audubon’s” YELLOW-RUMPS, one heard-only BLACK-THROATED GRAY, and one heard-only WILSON’S. Pathetic.

We did have a LONG-TAILED WEASEL that gave us a few glimpses.

Today, not amazing, with 58 species, and low counts for many birds. Two new species for the year. I believe we’re up to 127 species for 2017.

== Michael Hobbs

Domestic back-cross Mallards.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Killdeer.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Great Blue Heron.  Note plumes at base of throat and on back, black-and-white crown, black streaks on upper neck, chestnut-and-black shoulders, pink/purple tinge to neck.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Juvenile Great Blue Heron. Note overall uniform pale gray color, gray streaks on throat and belly, dark gray (not black) on crown.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Purple Martin at the gourds.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Band-tailed Pigeon.  Photo by Milt Vine

Preening Tree Swallows.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult White-crowned Sparrow in the Pea Patch.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Wood Ducks at Rowing Club.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Green Heron at Rowing Club.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Bullfrog at Rowing Club.  Photo by Milt Vine

Mule Deer at Rowing Club.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for June 22, 2017                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

Our summer solstice edition of the survey was gorgeous, sunny, windless, birdy, and a rather chilly 45 degrees to start! Baby birds were everywhere. We had a very enjoyable, relaxed pace walk, and we spent a long time trying to get looks at birds. Still managed to hear-but-never-see several species.


  • Wood Duck – 2 adult females and ~5 ducklings at lake
  • Hooded Merganser – first since April; eclipse male at Rowing Club
  • Rufous Hummingbird – probably ten juveniles noted, plus some adults
  • Spotted Sandpiper – two adults and a downy baby below weir
  • CASPIAN TERN – three flew down the slough – First of Year
  • Great Blue Heron – fledged young all around the park, nests active with a variety of ages of young
  • Green Heron – adult and juvenile seen from Lake Platform
  • Barn Owl – Matt heard young in windmill *again* – 3rd clutch???’
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – One fledged baby and one still in the nest in snag near east end of boardwalk, both being fed
  • - All 5 common woodpecker species -
  •  MERLIN – flew through Tree Swallow swarm over Pea Patch
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher – heard singing, eventually saw west of Dog Meadow
  • - All 6 common westside swallow species -
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – one, looked to have bathed recently, possible juvenile
  • Wilson’s Warbler – one heard singing near Rowing Club building

Babies/juveniles were noted of the following species: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Rufous Hummingbird, Spotted Sandpiper, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Red-breasted Sapsucker, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, American Robin, European Starling, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, and Red-winged Blackbird.

For the day, 67 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Female Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Band-tailed Pigeons.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Willow Flycatcher.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Purple Martins.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Hooded Merganser in eclipse plumage.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

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