Friends of Marymoor Park

Report for April 13, 2017                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We had a fine morning at Marymoor today. There was a bit of sun, especially early, quite a bit of overcast, but just a touch of mizzle at about 8:30. Really not too bad, and while not warm, it wasn’t too chilly either. It was fairly birdy. Our big group found a lot of birds.


  • Common Loon – one well out on lake
  • Western Grebe – about 3 well out on lake
  • Great Blue Heron – heard the "grum grum grum" of baby(s) in nest
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard and saw one very early
  • Great Horned Owl – Matt heard 2 near mansion very, very early
  • Four woodpecker day – Missing Hairy
  • LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE – continues, East Meadow
  • Violet-green Swallow – several hundred, with some Tree, Cliff, and a couple of Barn
  • HERMIT THRUSH – one seen poorly, Big Cottonwood Forest; one seen well, Rowing Club.
  • American Pipit – one in East Meadow that flew to the Dog Meadow
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – finally, but only one, heard-only, south of Dog Meadow
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – Mostly “Audubon’s”, numerous, mostly males
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – several; migration pulse

Hermit Thrush and Orange-crowned Warbler were new for 2017.

For the day, 68 species, with a good number of additional species seen earlier in the week.

== Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl.  Photo by Matt Bartels

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Fungus.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Loggerhead Shrike.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Loggerhead Shrike.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Loggerhead Shrike, 2017-04-11.  Photos by Bob Asanoma

Loggerhead Shrike eating a beetle, 2017-04-11.  Photos by Bob Asanoma

Report for April 6, 2017                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We were dampened by drizzle/light rain for a couple of hours this morning, then had a little bit of clearing, then more drizzle.  Skies were mostly gray.  Unsurprisingly, the birds weren’t as active as they might have been.  I think it’s pretty typical to feel that “Spring is late”, and there’s certainly no evidence to the contrary this year.  But looking at past years, we’re often still waiting for the bulk of the spring migration at this date.  I think we’re just perennially impatient.
  • 9 species of duck
  • Pied-billed Grebe – only one; quite possibly they won’t nest at Marymoor again this year
  • Wilson’s Snipe – might have heard a winnow at dawn
  • Barn Owl – adult brought prey to the windmill before 5am, Matt heard the baby(s)
  • SAY’S PHOEBE – One in the East Meadow gave us great looks
  • COMMON YELLOWTHROAT – Several males; first of 2017 for us, but seen as early as last weekend by others
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - ~20 "Audubon's" and 1-2 "Myrtle’s".  Singing. 
Still no Orange-crowned Warbler, and we haven’t seen a Brown-headed Cowbird yet.  Both should be there next week.  There’s a long list of fairly rare birds that could show up next week too, though subsequent weeks look even better.  PATIENCE.
For the day, 56 species.  For the year, the park is up over 100.
== Michael Hobbs

American Robin.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Say's Phoebe.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Say's Phoebe.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Tree Swallow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Bill Fletcher

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Bill Fletcher

Luzia tent for Cirque Du Soleil.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for March 30, 2017                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

It was overcast, with annoying drops of water occasionally landing almost exclusively on binocular eyepieces this morning. Nothing you could really call precipitation, so it was easy to forget to put the rain cap back over the binocs. For birds, it was a pretty good day. A couple of mammal sightings were possibly the best highlights though.


OSPREY – at least one – first for 2017|
Red-tailed Hawk – one on new nest built near site of fallen odd-snag
Western Screech-Owl – one right next to the trail, east of boardwalk, 6:15
Short-eared Owl – one briefly over East Meadow, 6:20
Red-breasted Sapsucker – several
Pileated Woodpecker – finally got a distant look, after hearing several times
Northern Shrike – Seen a couple of times; should leave soon
American Crow – one eating a baby garter snake, Compost Piles

After the walk, I made a swing past the East Meadow and added:

SAY’S PHOEBE – north end of the meadow on a post; new for 2017
BARN SWALLOW – first for 2017, and our 5th earliest ever

The animal highlights were great looks at a LONG-TAILED WEASEL in the NW corner of the Dog Area, and soon after, a RIVER OTTER on the far side of the slough just above the weir. Both new for 2017. The weasel was great, since it made at least 3 forays out from the same blackberry clump across the grass.

For the day, 63 species of bird. I believe we’re up to 97 species for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

One of several Red-breasted Sapsuckers for the day.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Long-tailed Weasel.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Diving River Otter.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Bald Eagle on distant nest (SE of Viewing Mound).  Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Crow eating a baby Garter Snake.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for March 23, 2016                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

It was sunny with some clouds, and an on-and-off (but mostly off) breeze today. Lots of blue sky, and lots of birds. We didn’t find any hoped-for Say’s Phoebes or Mountain Bluebirds, but we can’t complain!


Band-tailed Pigeon - 2 flybys - first of 2017
Rufous Hummingbird - Several – first of 2017 (seen earlier this week too)
Virginia Rail - Heard east of East Meadow – first for 2017 (alive)
TURKEY VULTURE - Four flying north, far to the west (possibly over SR-520)
                                       First for 2017
Barn Owl - Seen over meadows east of WLS Pkwy early
Great Horned Owl - Heard near concert venue early
Short-eared Owl - One hunting East Meadow, 6:15ish
Red-breasted Sapsucker - Ubiquitous
Northern Shrike - Watched a long chase (of a finch?) – unsuccessful I think
COMMON RAVEN - Two flew over Dog Meadow – first of 2017
Savannah Sparrow - Several – first of 2017 (seen earlier this week too)

For the day, we had 68 species, as well as a couple more that we probably heard (but didn’t hear a 2nd time). For the week, at least 71 species.

== Michael Hobbs

In the field, the string of geese could not be identified beyond "white-cheeked" geese.  Close inspection of this photo, by Ollie Oliver, seems pretty convincing for
CACKLING GEESE based on short necks and tiny bills.

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.  (Stupid branch)

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Tree Swallows at the martin gourds.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Tree Swallow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ollie Oliver played peek-a-boo with a juvenile White-crowned Sparrow to get this photo

Female Purple Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Coot.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ring-necked Duck pair, with burgundy ring showing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Ring-necked Duck.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Anna's Hummingbird on the nest at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Anna's Hummingbird on the nest at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for March 16, 2017                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

We were a bit impatient for spring today, I think. It was breezy, but pretty warm (40’s) and SUNNY, and we wanted spring birds NOW. We only got a couple. But a pretty nice day anyway.


  • Trumpeter Swan – Matt heard some pre-dawn, then we saw 7 silent swans fly overhead
  • Anna’s Hummingbird – Female on nest at Rowing Club, males displaying
  • Short-eared Owl – One flying the East Meadow just after 6:30am
  • 4 woodpeckers – Missing Hairy
  • Northern Shrike – Nice looks, East Meadow
  • Tree Swallow – ~10, very actively making claims on nest boxes
  • Violet-green Swallow – 50-60. First of spring
  • “Slate-colored” Junco – 1 along slough
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – Several, including singing male “Audubon’s”
  • W. Meadowlark – A half dozen west edge of Fields 7-8-9

We searched for, and were unhappy that we didn’t find, Rufous Hummingbird, Say’s Phoebe, or Mountain Bluebird. Next week. They’ll be back next week. Count on it!

For the day, 54 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Three of at least five Wilson's Snipe across the slough.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Tree Swallows, just back and already claiming nest boxes.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Northern Shrike.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Anna's Hummingbird on the nest at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Green-winged Teal at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

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