Friends of Marymoor Park

Recent Bird Sightings

Report for April 18, 2019                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

We were beset by a hour of unmitigated rain, followed by almost another hour of drizzle. The precipitation didn’t let up until we were at the lake platform. So the morning was pretty quiet. We’re not sure if some of the birds we missed are gone for the season, or were simply hiding. The rest of the morning was pleasant, but not tremendously birdy. Great birds *next week*.


  • Cackling Goose – should be leaving very soon, but we still had several flocks of 50+. 200+ birds total
  • Green-winged Teal – pair copulating below weir
  • Ring-necked Pheasant – he was in the Compost Piles area, and earlier heard southeast of the Viewing Mound
  • Pied-billed Grebe – only 1 seen
  • American Coot – only 1 seen
  • Wilson’s Snipe – still 2-3 below the weir
  • Osprey – two seen at new nest, two seen at old nest
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – at least 1 from Lake Platform
  • BARN SWALLOW – 1 from Lake Platform. New for our 2019 list
  • American Pipit – good looks at 4 in grass/gravel lot north of Viewing Mound
  • Western Meadowlark – 1 at north end of East Meadow
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – only 1, heard singing, unseen

Misses today included Bufflehead (may have been out-of-sight to the east of the Lake Platform), Band-tailed Pigeon (still waiting on our first of the year), Belted Kingfisher (one may have been heard), Red-breasted Sapsucker, Cliff Swallow (still waiting on our first of the year), Fox Sparrow (it was raining hard when we went past the best locations for them, but they’ve often just left by Week 16), and Lincoln’s Sparrow.

For the day, 59 species. Only BARN SWALLOW was new for our 2019 list.

== Michael Hobbs

Canada Geese  Photo by Hugh Jennings
Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Robin and Western Meadowlark.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for April 11, 2019                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Today was yet another day when paying little attention to the gloom and doom weather report paid off. We were pretty much precipitation-free for all but the Rowing Club, with just a few sprinkles beforehand. It turned out to be a nice, if overcast day, and the birds were fairly cooperative. Lots of new birds for the year for us.


  • Cackling Goose – still had several hundred fly by right around sunrise. Getting late for them
  • Common Goldeneye – at least 5; they should be heading out soon
  • Great Blue Heron – maybe it was just the weather, but adults seemed to be sitting in the nests today for the first time this year. Eggs?
  • OSPREY - 2 at the velodrome nest, 1 at the Bellefield nest, but could have been one of the velodrome birds.  First of the year for us.
  • Five woodpecker day – Again
  • MERLIN – one flyby heading towards the mansion area
  • NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW – at least one seen from the Lake Platform amongst hundreds of Violet-greens – New for 2019
  • Bushtit – we now know of two nests
  • MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD – female in southern part of the East Meadow – probably the same bird reported on 4/9 and 4/10 – New for our 2019 list
  • AMERICAN PIPIT – probably at least a couple of birds, in flight. New for our 2019 list, though one was photographed back in February in the park
  • Western Meadowlark – five in East Meadow
  • ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER – at least a couple, singing. New for our 2019 list
  • Common Yellowthroat – back in numbers now, though still waiting to see a female

In the afternoon, I needed to return to the park for a meeting about future surveys of Marymoor West. Highlight for me was hearing at least one CALIFORNIA QUAIL near the Rowing Club parking lot.

Lots of singing today – 21 species heard.

The only real miss today was Rock Pigeon, but while we had 68 species today (counting my afternoon quail), Week 15 has the 3rd-best cumulative species list for any week of the year. Only Week 16 and Week 18 have higher. So we had 68 out of the 133 ever seen for this week. Our highest total of the year, but our 3rd lowest percentage. :)

We’re up to 98 species for the year. A few additional species have been reported by others on eBird.

== Michael Hobbs

Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Female Mountain Bluebird.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for April 4, 2019                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

The “overcast” from the forecast today turned out to be a tiny bit of thin high clouds. It was basically sunny, and it warmed up well. A really nice day. A large, but great, group of birders today.


  • Cackling Goose – maybe 500 flew by just before 7 am
  • Great Blue Heron – a great number of sticks and twigs being brought in to heronry
  • Green Heron – seen twice (or 2)
  • Red-tailed Hawk – pair copulating, seen from Rowing Club
  • Wilson’s Snipe – still at least 1 below weir
  • GREATER YELLOWLEGS – one heard flying south past the Viewing Mound just before 7 – First of Year
  • Western Screech-Owl – seen well again around 6 am
  • Five woodpecker day – with Flicker and Downy excavating holes, and Pileated seen near nest
  • Hermit Thrush – one just south of Dog Area
  • Bushtit – nest found in hawthorn in Dog Meadow
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – at least 2 – First of the year for us
  • COMMON YELLOWTHROAT – our first of the year – two

Towards the end of the day, I realized that today marked the beginning of the 26th year of my Marymoor surveys. I had been to Marymoor previously, dating back to 1990, but starting March 31, 1994, I’ve been almost every Thursday since then (except for the years we met on Wednesdays).

For the day, 63 species, and abundant evidence that there’s no reason to stop after 25 years!

== Michael Hobbs

Male Common Merganser.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Great Blue Herons seem to prefer alder branches for building up their nests.
Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Hairy Woodpecker hops a few inches up the trunk and finds a grub.
Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Bushtit nest in a hawthorn.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for March 28, 2019                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

A touch of frost in shadowed areas this morning, but the day warmed quickly under mostly sunny skies. It was quite birdy early, but then got inexplicably quiet. We are transitioning from winter to spring, though we lacked any new-new-new arrivals (everything new for the Survey was seen between last Thursday and this Thursday)


  • American Wigeon – one below weir with Gadwall
  • Ring-necked Pheasant – calling, skulking, in Pea Patch
  • Horned Grebe – one WELL out on lake
  • Rufous Hummingbird – At least 2 females, plus displaying males – first seen for the year last Friday
  • Great Blue Heron – two juvenile eagles caused consternation at the heronry
  • Red-tailed Hawk – seen copulating near Rowing Club
  • Bald Eagle – there are now TWO Bald Eagle nests (four adults) in the SE portion of the park!
  • Western Screech-Owl – seen as late as 6:20 a.m.
  • Five woodpecker dayPileated seen excavating nest hole in snag in Big Cottonwood Forest
  • Savannah Sparrow – First sightings for Thursday survey of the year, incl. one quietly singing in East Meadow

Every passerine species we saw today sang (except those passerines that don’t have a real song).

We saw a beaver near the lodge across from Dog Central. Some of the group saw a LONG-TAILED WEASEL go into a lidded bin in the Pea Patch. A rat tried to escape, screaming, and was pulled back into the bin! Also, the first garter snakes of the year, and the first Salmonberry blooms. Willows, Indian Plum, and some decorative fruit trees were also blooming. Various shrubs are leafing out.

For the day, 58 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Green-winged Teal drake.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Juvenile Bald Eagle in the heronry.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Male Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Tree Swallows.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for March 21, 2019                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

The equinox edition of the survey started a little bit chilly, and there was a bit more breeze than ideal. From the Lake Platform, most birds were too backlit to identify. The Marymoor survey crew still haven’t seen a Rufous Hummingbird at the park this year. And despite seeing a Savannah Sparrow last Monday, we couldn’t find one today. That’s about it for downsides today.


  • Cackling Goose – at least 1000 streamed by just before sunrise in many string flocks
  • Wood Duck – flock of 7 seen from the Lake Platform; pair at Rowing Club
  • Great Blue Heron - 75+ birds, with something like 65 at/near the heronry
  • Green Heron – at Rowing Club, on our way out
  • Cooper’s Hawk – adult with full crop flew south down the East Meadow
  • Red-tailed Hawk – AT LEAST four adults and a juvenile
  • Bald Eagle – birds in the air all morning; AT LEAST six adults and a juvenile
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt came face-to-face with one near the boardwalk predawn
  • LONG-EARED OWL – flushed from along boardwalk as we passed by; perched about 15 yards off the boardwalk for good looks for all. First at Marymoor since 2013
  • Five Woodpecker Day – with a female Hairy showing up at the Rowing Club to complete the pentafecta
  • SAY’S PHOEBE – one at the model airplane field
  • Northern Shrike – adult in breeding splendor in East Meadow; checked carefully to rule out Loggerhead
  • Violet-green Swallow – First of Spring for us
  • HERMIT THRUSH – one just south of the Dog Area along slough trail

 Bob & I enjoyed Venus and our Super Worm Moon shadows predawn at the Viewing Mound, while Matt was seeing the screech...

Misses included Ring-necked Duck, Rock Pigeon, Rufous Hummingbird, Virginia Rail, Savannah Sparrow, and Western Meadowlark.

For the day, though 62 species. We’re up to 90 species on the year. It was a good day.

== Michael Hobbs

Predawn Western Screech-Owl.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Predawn Western Screech-Owl.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Male Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Virginia Rail, earlier in the week.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Hermit Thrush.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Long-eared Owl.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Long-eared Owl.  Photo by Mason Flint

Anna's Hummingbird at nest.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Green Heron, during the week.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Male Rufous Hummingbird, during the week.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for March 14, 2019                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

Well, it was a fine day at Marymoor. But... You know those signs in bars, “Free beer TOMORROW”? Well, today’s motto became “Great birds NEXT WEEK”, for except for the continuance of TREE SWALLOWS, we didn’t have any new spring birds. Still, on a nice morning with lingering overcast but no wind, we managed 59 species, and really CAN’T COMPLAIN. Still, spring has to spring sometime soon.


  • Cackling Goose – maybe 1000 in large strings of birds flying southeast
  • American Wigeon – at least 1 well out on lake; pair yesterday
  • Mallard – pair copulating at Rowing Club; also intersex bird below weir
  • Ring-necked Pheasant – doing crow and flutter in Pea Patch
  • Great Blue Heron – pairs sitting on nests, maybe 45 birds total!
  • Green Heron – one near Rowing Club dock, skulking
  • Killdeer – pair copulating below weir
  • Wilson’s Snipe – three on far side of slough below weir
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt had one before 6 at east end of boardwalk
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – three sightings
  • Northern Shrike – one just before 7:30 a.m., north of Fields 7,8,9
  • Tree Swallow – seen over many parts of the park – low numbers though – maybe 8. First of Spring last Monday.
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet – many singing
  • Varied Thrush – at least 2 heard east of the slough
  • Lincoln Sparrow – 1 near West Kiosk
  • Western Meadowlark - 5+, East Meadow

59 species today, plus 3 more earlier this week. Not bad, but still waiting on Rufous Hummingbird, Say’s Phoebe, Mountain Bluebird, Osprey, Savannah Sparrow, etc.

Great Spring Birds NEXT WEEK.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Mallard.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Great Blue Herons at the heronry.  More than 50 birds.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Killdeer copulation.  Photo by Jordan Roderick
Or maybe they're practicing to join Cirque du Soleil

Killdeer copulation Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Male Ring-necked Pheasant.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Male Ring-necked Pheasant.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

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