Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 4
January 22-28


Rarities for Week 4:

Dunlin 25-Jan-07  
American Tree Sparrow 22-Jan-09 Compost Piles.  Present 15-Jan to 19-Feb

Report for January 25, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

The weather wasn’t too bad, without a drop for the first couple of hours and nothing worse than drizzle the rest of the morning. Not too cold either, though sometimes a bit dark with the overcast.


  • Cackling Goose – nice flock of 1000+ on grass soccer fields
  • Trumpeter Swan – two flew east over slough near lake, calling. First of 2018
  • American Wigeon – heard pre-dawn from Dog Meadow area
  • Northern Pintail – flyover flock, 5 birds with 2 other ducks – First of 2018
  • Green-winged Teal – heard pre-dawn from east of East Meadow, 6+ at Rowing Club
  • Western Grebe – two well out on lake
  • Great Blue Heron – at least 18 on/near nests in heronry
  • Green Heron – one at Rowing Club
  • Northern Harrier – one flew north over Dog Meadow
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one near slough below weir – tiny
  • BARN OWL – stood on Viewing Mound and watched it flying from ~7:00 til we left at 7:50. Later, saw roosting in willows east of East Meadow. One more seen
  • DOWNY WOODPECKER – two near Dog Central – FIRST for 2018 finally!
  • Hairy Woodpecker – Near Downy
  • Pileated Woodpecker – across the slough from Big Cottonwood Forest
  • Merlin – nice looks, perched and flying, mansion area around 8:00 a.m.
  • Cedar Waxwing – again, 30+ birds near Dog Central

Misses included Hooded Merganser, Cooper’s Hawk, Steller’s Jay, Bushtit, and Pacific Wren, but we added 3 species to the 2018 list.

For the day, 56 species. For 2018, we’re up to 70 species.

== Michael Hobbs

7:42 a.m.  The little dot in front of the willows and above the post is a Barn Owl, still flying around.  Seen from the Viewing Mound.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Two male Common Goldeneye in the slough.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male American Robin.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Great Blue Herons visiting the heronry.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

That post-dawn Barn Owl apparently didn't go far.  The dot in the middle of the willows at 10:22 a.m. turned out to be ----->

...a roosting Barn Owl.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

A sea of Cackling Geese.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Banded Cackling Goose.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Cackling Goose with neck collar 7 7* was at Marymoor on 1/25/2018, and was at Lake Sammamish State Park on 1/22/2018, giving us evidence that the flock moves around a wide area, breaking into different sub-flocks that spend time on different fields.  The goose was banded as a juvenile, under a program run by Pacific Flyways, on 7/30/2011 on the Yukon-Kuskokwim Delta in Alaska.

Report for January 26, 2017                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The weather was decent enough – overcast, and just a smidgen of mist, if that. Not cold, not windy. But the birds were a bit scarce today, though some of them were beginning to show signs of spring thoughts.


- 9 species of duck -
Horned Grebe                    2 out pretty far on lake
Great Blue Heron               11 seen on nests or immediately adjacent
Green Heron                      1 at beaver lodge again
Red-tailed Hawk                Rebuilding nest on odd-snag
Western Screech-Owl        2 heard, south of East Meadow, very early
Red-breasted Sapsucker    1 near windmill
Northern Flicker                1 drumming, some calling a variety of calls
Bewick’s Wren                  Singing
Song Sparrow                    Many singing
Red-winged Blackbird        Okalee songs

We also had two RACCOONS on the far side of the slough, our first since November, 2015.

For the day, 54 species. Nothing new for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Female scaup, possibly Greater.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

Common Merganser female.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Belted Kingfisher, male.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Ring-billed Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Flicker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Flicker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for January 28, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Another dark, wet morning, this time with a bit of warm breeze. Not very birdy at all.


Horned Grebe                 1-2 well out on lake
Western Grebe                4 even further out on lake
GREEN HERON            Juvenile at Rowing Club south pond
HERRING GULL           1-2 with large mixed gull flock
Northern Shrike               Juvenile north of Fields 7-8-9 again
Yellow-rumped Warbler  4-5 birds

A COOPER’S HAWK caught a WILSON’S SNIPE in the grass east of the East Meadow. A little later, a COYOTE walked south along the east edge of the East Meadow.

Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Rock Pigeon, woodpeckers (not even Northern Flicker today), Steller’s Jay, Bushtit, Marsh Wren, and any finch except House.

For they day, 46 species, same as last week. Nothing new for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Pair of Common Goldeneyes in the slough in the rain.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

The juvenile Northern Shrike likes the rusty goalposts.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Ring-billed Gull.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Herring Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Herring Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for January 22, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

A bit disappointing to have clouds and mist (and rain by 10:30) after the gorgeous day yesterday. Not the nicest welcome back for me after my vacation. But it was nice to see friends and to see many of the regular birds of Marymoor. We managed a tiny increase in our species count to 58, after 3 straight weeks of 56 species, plus we added a few new birds for the year (FOY). But these winter walks are often fairly predictable in terms of the species list, and today was no exception.


Cackling Goose               Hundreds flew over at 8:15, but didn’t land
American Wigeon            One male in slough well north of the weir
Green-winged Teal          20+ in slough well north of the weir
Northern Pintail               One male in sough well north of the weir – FOY
Horned Grebe                 3 far out on the lake
Great Blue Heron             Many sitting near or on nests, some pairs
Wilson’s Snipe                 Early crew heard some – FOY
California Gull                  One in smallish gull flock – FOY
Barn Owl                         Sounds and glimpses early
N. SAW-WHET OWL   Matt had great looks, 5:45a.m., just east of boardwalk
PEREGRINE FALCON One cruised by south of East Meadow
Bushtit                             One large flock, Dog Meadow edge – FOY
Dark-eyed Junco             Notably large flocks

The nice mixed flock of DUCKS in the slough at the north end of the “Transition Zone” (the area they mow north of the weir) was a highlight, as was a mixed flock of woodpeckers in a tree far across the slough, which yielded terrible looks at Downy, Hairy, Flicker, and PILEATED WOODPECKER. The rest of the morning was q u i e t.

For the year, I believe we’re up to 72 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Northern Pintail drake across the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-tailed Hawk in Snag Row.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-tailed Hawk fleeing mobbing crows.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for January 23, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

There was a bit of a chill breeze, but nothing much in the way of fog, and the clouds even moved off to bring us blue skies and sunshine. Yet the birds were scarce and quiet.

Highlights, such as they were:

Cackling Goose                Many large flocks overhead, but none landed
Green-winged Teal           In slough, and in Rowing Club pond
Greater Scaup                  Female in slough - First of year (FOY)
Horned Grebe                  I saw 4 on lake, late - FOY
Bald Eagle                        Many sightings, 4-6 birds
Pileated Woodpecker       Seen distantly twice, heard more
Merlin                              Grace & Ollie had one around 8:00

As has been the case in recent weeks, no real passerine highlights. We were happy to actually see some of the birds we heard, and to have heard the birds we expect. Only finches were a few HOUSE FINCH. Only 5 species of sparrow (SPOTTED TOWHEE, FOX (heard only for most people), SONG, and GOLDEN-CROWNED, and DARK-EYED JUNCO.

For the day, just 49 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Merlin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Greater Scaup.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Greater Scaup.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Anna's Hummingbird at Park Office.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal at Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Flicker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for January 24, 2013                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

Thankfully the weather lived up to this morning’s forecast, not last night’s. It was a delightful day, with temps in the upper 30’s, sunshine, no wind, and just a touch of fog. And while it wasn’t birdy the whole morning, we did pretty well.


Greater White-fronted Goose At least 5 with Cackling Geese
Green-winged Teal                 A dozen below the weir
Lesser Scaup                          Four at lake (one might have been Greater)
Western Grebe                       Two, far out on lake
Great Blue Heron                   Several sitting on, or next to, nests at heronry
Virginia Rail                           Again heard, east of East Meadow
Western Gull                         1-2, with other gulls, grass soccer fields
Barn Owl                               Matt & I watched them catch prey twice
Red-breasted Sapsucker       1 at Rowing Club
Hairy Woodpecker               1 near first dog swim beach
Pileated Woodpecker           One far to the west of the slough
Northern Shrike                    Two seen simultaneously
Varied Thrush                       Female at Rowing Club
Red Crossbill                        ~20, mansion and Rowing Club

One or two Barn Owls gave a great show over the East Meadow around 7:15. We had three sightings, and twice (about 10 minutes apart), we watched a Barn Owl drop into the grass on, taking flight a moment later with a furry snack to carry back into the willows.

We also had RIVER OTTERS at the lake, and a MUSKRAT at the Rowing Club.

For the day, 64 species! Lesser Scaup, Western Gull, Pileated Woodpecker, and Varied Thrush were new for 2013. Brian Bell had a Snow Goose, Peregrine Falcon, and California Gull there on Sunday, bringing the year list to 79.

== Michael Hobbs

Pileated Woodpecker, very far west of the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal in the slough below the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Several Great Blue Herons were on nests, or near nests.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Great Blue Heron on nest in heronry.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Purple Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Purple Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Foggy morning.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Greater White-fronted Goose with Cacklers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cackling Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for January 26, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

The torrential rains let up by 6:00 a.m., and it was barely raining at all when we started at 8:00. The first hour was very birdy, as all the birds seemed ecstatic to have a morning free of rain and snow. But before long, the rain started again, not letting up until about 11:00. By the time we got to the Rowing Club, however, it was sunny and gorgeous.


Wood Duck               At least 2 males and a female
American Wigeon       3 on grass/gravel parking lot, maybe more flybys
Northern Pintail          Flock of ~dozen flew north over us
Horned Grebe            One well out on lake
Western Gull              One in the sunrise gull flock
California Gull             Matt had one even earlier
Barn Owl                    Matt had many good looks after 6 a.m.
Northern Shrike          Closer to the model airplane fields today
Western Meadowlark One at Compost Piles

Ducks are pairing up. Bewick's Wrens, Brown Creeper, Song Sparrow were singing. Hazelnuts are blooming.

There was a MUSKRAT at the Rowing Club pond.

For the day, 53 species.

For the year, adding WESTERN GULL, CALIFORNIA GULL, and WESTERN MEADOWLARK, we're up to 72 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Western Meadowlark. Photo by Lillian Reis

Western Meadowlark. Photo by Lillian Reis

Muskrat at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Muskrat at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Female Gadwall, 2012-01-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Gadwall, 2012-01-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male (left) and female Hooded Merganser, 2012-01-25.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Rock Pigeon, 2012-01-23.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pied-billed Grebe, 2012-01-23.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Downy Woodpecker, 2012-01-21.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for January 27, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

I think there were something like 16 of us enjoying good weather under the fog today.   We even got a few minutes of blue skies showing through the clouds, but no actual sunshine.  Water levels remain high, and tall rubber boots are still necessary to walk the whole loop.
When I arrived a little after 6:30, there was a GREAT HORNED OWL hooting east of the East Meadow.  Then, right around 8:00, maybe 1200 CACKLING GEESE, a couple of hundred CANADA GEESE, and 3 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE landed on the grass soccer fields and remained all morning.  It's probably the largest number of geese we've had land in the park ever.  Some other days in 2010 may have rivaled the total number, but at least one day I can think of had flock after flock flying *over* the park and not landing.
Other highlights:
American Wigeon        A handful still enjoying the flooding
Cooper's Hawk            Two calling to each other, 3 more sightings
MERLIN                      Ollie had one fly through
Western Gull               One with other gulls on grass fields
Hairy Woodpecker       Four seen (2 pairs)
Northern Shrike           One around 8 a.m. north of fields 7-8-9
Ruby-crowned Kinglet  Suddenly abundant, 1 singing
Evening Grosbeak       Matt and others had 3(?) flying over
Birds heard singing today:  Virginia Rail, Great Horned Owl, Black-capped Chickadee, Bewick's Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Purple Finch, and House Finch
After the walk, I found 3 Common Merganser at the north end of the lake that we'd missed earlier.  That brought the day total to 57 species.
Merlin, Western Gull, and Evening Grosbeak were new for the year, bringing the 2011 total to 78.

= Michael

Female Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Purple Finch, male, in Oregon Ash.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Less than a third of the Cackling Geese that landed on the grass soccer fields.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bald Eagles watching the lake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Greater White-fronted Goose with Cackling Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Flicker, 2011-01-26.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for January 28, 2010

The weather was fine (high overcast, warm), but the birds were pretty scarce.  We did our normal walk-through at our normal pace, but after 9:00 we didn't see much.  There was almost nothing to photograph.

Scattered across the morning were  a few highlights:

Greater White-fronted Goose 1 with Canadas, new for 2010
Green Heron                          A fixture at the Rowing Club pond
Bald Eagle                              Pair entwined talons for a mid-air swirl
Sharp-shinned Hawk              One near weir, new for 2010
Western Gull                          One on grass soccer fields, new for 2010
Barn Owl                               Seen early
Western Screech-Owl            Heard southwest of windmill early

With so many birders (16), there were lots of eyes.  Four species were added to the list by Scott Ramos, who left early and had some luck that we didn't on his way out.

For the day, 57 species.  For the year, 71 species.

== Michael

Matt looks for owls in a cedar

Black-capped Chickadee.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Anna's Hummbingbird

Ollie Oliver's photo of the same Anna's Hummingbird

Greater White-fronted Goose with Canada Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Ring-necked Duck at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Witch Hazel in bloom.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Tiny fungus on the end of a twig.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Face hidden in the roots of a tree along the shore of the slough.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Heron cloud.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Female Common Goldeneyes. Photo by Scott Ramos

Report for January 22, 2009

It was 32 degrees, foggy and damp, and there was a slight breeze. That kind of weather sucks the heat out of your core. Hours later, I'm *still* cold.  We had a really good day birding, though I missed some of the best stuff.


Matt and Scott had an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW again.  I think they saw it
around 7:30 a.m., and like last week, it was at the Compost Piles.  We couldn't really find ANY sparrows there when we passed the area at about 11:00.

Matt and Scott also had BARN OWLS early on.

A large flock of CACKLING and CANADA GEESE on the grass soccer fields also contained one SNOW GOOSE and one GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE.

We had a decent day for ducks with AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARD, RING-NECKED DUCK (10 crowding the Rowing Club pond), GREATER SCAUP, BUFFLEHEAD, COMMON GOLDENEYE, HOODED MERGANSER, and COMMON MERGANSER.  We thought we were hearing some Green-winged Teal as well, and Brian may have seen some Gadwall flying.

There as a fairly large flock of WESTERN GREBES out on the lake, visible from the lake platform - perhaps 20 in all, though only a few were really close enough to identify.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen in several locations in the Dog Meadow, East
Meadow, and the southeast portion of the park.

We flushed an owl near the windmill that was probably a GREAT HORNED OWL.

At the Rowing Club, we had distant views of a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER.

For the day, we managed 59 species.  Our year total grew to 73 species.

== Michael

Adult Bald Eagle in a Black Cottonwood near the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Adult Northern Shrike in the Dog Meaodw.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Ollie's photo of American Goldfinches in a Red Alder just south of the dog area

Female Greater Scaup at the lake

Ollie's photo of the same scaup

A few of the Cackling Geese on the grass fields by our cars

Fresh workings by a Pileated Woodpecker in a Western Red Cedar near the mansion

Mallards and Ring-necked Ducks at the Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Ollie

Close-up of two male Ring-necked Ducks.  Photo by Ollie


Report for January 24, 2008   

It was a beautiful, frozen day, though with a bit of overcast. There was a ring around the sun for most of the morning.  Twelve of us enjoyed the day, not complaining too much about the cold hands, though it did manage to make us forget to write down several species on our lists - it wasn't worth pulling off the gloves to write them down at the time.

It was pretty birdy.  Highlights:

Greater White-fronted Goose    2 adults
Cackling Goose                        350-400
Horned Grebe                          1-2 at the lake
Wilson's Snipe                          2 at weir, 1 at Rowing Club
Barn Owl                                 Many sightings, 2+ birds, early
Pileated Woodpecker              One flying west north of weir
Northern Shrike                       East edge of East Meadow
Winter Wren                            Heard one well by the windmill
Western Meadowlark               Three at the East Meadow

The Barn Owl apparently gave quite a show at the windmill at 6:30.  I was still at home then.  I managed to get down to the East Meadow at 7:00, and a few minutes later, a mob of crows rousted a Barn Owl from the Compost Piles, and we saw it fly around in a game of keep away, before the owl finally made its way to cover to the southeast.

It took us forever to get out of the parking lot, since we were awed by the large flocks of (mostly) Cackling Geese that were flying in to the grass soccer fields.  Amazing scene.  We managed to pick out the two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE among them; the white-fronts were not together.  The geese were all still there at noon when we passed through again.

For the day, 58 species. For the year, 70 species (PIWO and WIWR new this week).

== Michael

Mount Rainier at sunrise

Frost on blackberry leaves

Cackling Goose flock preparing to land

Ollie Oliver's photo of an adult Cooper's Hawk

Ollie Oliver's photo of a Fox Sparrow

The same Fox Sparrow from the rear

Ollie Oliver's photo of a male Spotted Towhee

Male Downy Woodpecker

Getting through to the boardwalk

Song Sparrow

Adult Greater White-fronted Goose with Cackling Geese

Rear view of the same geese

Report for January 25, 2007

We had a glorious morning for our first Thursday walk today. I must say, I was twitchy yesterday morning being home instead of at Marymoor as usual, but today was a good day to welcome in a new day of the week for my Marymoor walks.

There were FOURTEEN of us today. The morning broke entirely cloudless, with some wisps of fog, especially over the eastern part of Marymoor.  We had a great sunrise - the kind that makes you feel satisfied about the day before you even see your first bird.

We did see birds - the day had its slow moments, and there were notable misses (i.e. almost no sparrows).


DUNLIN                       Four flew north over lake platform
Wilson's Snipe               1 flushed from boardwalk, 1 at Rowing Club
Barn Owl                       Matt had one early over the East Meadow
Anna's Hummingbird      Male singing next to boardwalk
Pileated Woodpecker    One flew south at the start of our walk
Northern Shrike             Many looks at this nice adult
Western Meadowlark    One north of grass soccer fields

When we were at the lake platform we were looking into the sun.  So after the walk, I went to the cabana at the condo place where I've gotten  permission for the occasional visit, so that I could see what we couldn't  see before.  Sure enough, there were several HORNED GREBE, which we thought  we might have seen earlier.  Also there, though, were a half-dozen RUDDY DUCK - a very nice bird to see.

A COYOTE walked across the runway area of the model airplane field; we
watched from the Compost Piles.

For the day, ~55 species, though there were several species that we thought
was saw, but couldn't quite be sure.  For the year, we're up to 74 species.

= Michael

Northern Shrike - unusual in that it was atop a tall Cottonwood

Great Blue Heron along slough (a favorite perch)



Bird Sightings Week 4
January 22-28



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