Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 6
February 5-11


Rarities for Week 6:

Barrow's Goldeneye 08-Feb-07  
Iceland Gull (L. g. thayeri) 11-Feb-16  

...American Tree Sparrow


Report for February 8, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

A pleasant morning at the park, with temps in the low 40's, and only a touch of mizzle for a few minutes.

  • Cackling Goose - Numbers are down from the thousands earlier in the winter to a few dozen
  • American Wigeon - Lone female in the Rowing Club pond
  • Ring-billed Gull - Total of at least 30 birds
  • Accipiter spp. - Two seen briefly. One might have been a Sharpie.  The 2nd bird seemed bigger.  Mobbed by crows.
  • Barred Owl - One loud "Hoo-aw" along the slough pre-dawn
  • NORTHERN SHRIKE - One briefly visible north of Fields 7-8-9.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - About 10  I saw over half of them well, and all were Myrtle type  
A pair of Canada Geese were in the eagle nest visible from the Lake Platform.  Though built within the last two years, I don't believe eagles have ever nested in this nest.  Possibly because there are already two nests in the park.  Let's see if the geese can hold the nest.

River Otters were in the slough (FOY).

A late scan of the lake was very successful, adding 5 species for the day.  A female BELTED KINGFISHER was atop the beaver lodge across from the Lake Platform.  Also near there were a pair of HOODED MERGANSER.  Just beyond the buoys was a shining male GREATER SCAUP (FOY).  COMMON MERGANSERS and RING-NECKED DUCKS were off to the east.

Notable misses today were limited to just Marsh Wren and White-crowned Sparrow.

For the day, 55 species, and we're at 68 species for 2024.

= Michael Hobbs

Golden-crowned Sparrow. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for February 9, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We had a great day at Marymoor, with ridiculously good weather.  Temps were in the high 40's, no wind, thin high overcast, essentially no precipitation (about two dozen drops per person, spread out over time).  It was birdy too.  Most of the birds were the expected ones, but we did have some nice surprises too.

  • Trumpeter Swan - Six silent swans over the start of the boardwalk. Neck extension appeared too long for Tundras (and Trumpeter area the expected species at Marymoor)  First of Year (FOY)
  • Northern Pintail - One flyby female at the Lake Platform (FOY)
  • Great Blue Heron - Quite a few on the nests, with one bird adjusting some twigs.  Nest rebuilding will begin in earnest soon
  • Western Screech-Owl - One heard, seen predawn.  Then during the main walk, one sitting in the nest hole, nicely visible in daylight!
  • Northern Flicker - Large amounts of calling, interacting, drumming, etc.  Quite a few birds total, I believe
  • Marsh Wren - One sang a partial song predawn from along the boardwalk
  • Varied Thrush - One, maybe two, at the start of the boardwalk
  • Cedar Waxwing - Flock of eleven atop tall cottonwood at Dog Central (FOY)
  • Lincoln's Sparrow - One in Pea Patch
We also had RIVER OTTER on the far side of the slough, and a RACCOON (FOY) high up in a cottonwood near the east end of the boardwalk

For the day, 54 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Raccoon near the east end of the boardwalk. Photo by Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl. Photo by Michael Hobbs

Report for February 10, 2022                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

We had a misty moisty morning today, with only a brief clearing mid-morning but mostly a lot of gray.  Not terribly birdy, and there were long stretches with virtually nothing seen or heard.  But the relatively warm temps, the moderately dry conditions, and the low wind allowed us to track down a few birds.
  • Greater White-fronted Goose – one in a flock of 450+ Cackling Geese.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Northern Pintail – two drakes below the weir (FOY)
  • Ruddy Duck – a late scan of the lake turned up two females in the NE corner
  • Twelve species of duck and three species of goose for 15 species of waterfowl total
  • Barn Owl – Matt had one calling on the windmill at 5:30 – first one there in a very long time
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – one east of the mansion
  • Bushtit – more than a half-dozen being very elusive in the willows below the weir.  Amazingly FOF
  • Western Meadowlark – I think we had 3 total
We also had 5 RIVER OTTERS seen from the Lake Platform in the slough, and our first turtles of the year – one each of Red-eared Slider and Painted Turtle at the Rowing Club.
The biggest highlight today was the number of species SINGING:  Anna’s Hummingbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Marsh Wren, Bewick’s Wren, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, Song Sparrow, WESTERN MEADOWLARK, and Red-winged Blackbird.  The Great Blue Herons were hanging around actually in the heronry trees (V – Visiting Nest Site).
Misses today included American Wigeon, Virginia Rail, Cooper’s Hawk, Northern Shrike, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Purple Finch, and Pine Siskin.
Despite that long list of misses, we managed 56 species.  More than usual were detected by only 1 or 2 people and/or were heard-only, however.  Still, not a bad day.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for February 11, 2021                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It wasn’t too cold, and it wasn’t too windy, and we only had a dozen snowflakes this morning, under a high blanket of clouds.  It was pretty birdy at times, though this being February, there wasn’t really anything unexpected.
  • Wood Duck – pair in slough
  • Wilson’s Snipe – about 6 below the weir, including four that gave us very good looks
  • Cooper’s Hawk – adult in willows below the slough
  • Hairy Woodpecker – one very low in the willows, from the boardwalk
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one heard distantly
  • Bushtit – flock below the weir; our first after a two week absence
  • Varied Thrush – two males SW of the windmill
  • Cedar Waxwing – about a dozen SE of the Dog Meadow
  • WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – one tan-stripe bird at the NE corner of the Pea Patch, with ten White-crowned Sparrows
With today’s sighting of CEDAR WAXWING for Week 6, we’ve now seen them during each week of the year, at least once over the last 25 years.
The only notable misses were Hooded Merganser and Northern Shrike.
A late scan of the lake turned up about 4 SCAUP spp., 2 COMMON MERGANSER, and a single RING-BILLED GULL.  These late additions brought our day’s total to 63 species!  But nothing was new for the year.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for February 6, 2020                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

A bit of an understatement to say it was damp at the park today.  Lake Sammamish is now at about 29.4 feet lake level.   At 28 feet, we start to see notable flooding at the park.  Anything over 29 feet is major flooding.  Water levels were so high that we were unable to get even within view of either end of the boardwalk, and thus had no looks at the lake at all.  We had to skip the whole south end of the park.
But there were plenty of “lakes”, such as the flooding that filled the center portion of the Dog Area, and the large pond at the NE corner of the grass soccer fields.  Lots of room for ducks, and they were spread thinly but widely.  But few little birds, especially in the steady rain, despite the warm and windless conditions.
  • Only 9 species of waterfowl!  So not very good diversity, despite the huge amount of habitat
  • Ring-necked Pheasant – Lonesome George II lives on in the Pea Patch
  • Accipiter sp. – Brief look at one bird; maybe a male Cooper’s Hawk?
  • BROWN-HEADED BLACKBIRD – near NE baseball fields – First of Year
This is our first BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD for January, February, or the first half of March (and we’ve only had ten March sightings total).  In Fall, we’ve only had four September, one November and one December sighting.  So a very unusual sighting today.  Possibly the bird was flooded out of whatever agricultural land it had been wintering on.
We did hear 9 species singing today, including BROWN CREEPER and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET.
Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Virginia Rail, Northern Shrike, Marsh Wren, House Finch, and Purple Finch.  WE HAD NO FINCHES.  We also missed squirrel and bunny.
For the day, 46 species.
= Michael

Report for February 10, 2019                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

It was bitterly cold, but sunny, when I arrived just after 8. Within an hour, clouds rolled in, and the temperature rose but stayed below freezing. Away from the slough, birding was very quiet. I quickly learned to look in any bare patches under trees, as that’s where the passerines were. In the first of those sunny bare patches was a SONG SPARROW puffed up spherically. It was asleep (which became apparent when it startled awake as I approached). In the second was an almost insensate BARRED OWL. It was almost certainly hypothermic and was very far gone. I didn’t really have anyway to help it, and I hoped that the bright sun would warm it. Unfortunately not; when I checked on it later, it had succumbed. I’m afraid many other birds have perished in the cold overnight.


  • Greater White-fronted Goose – lone adult NE of the mansion next to a picnic table in a small patch of bare grass
  • Northern Shoveler – male seen on lake – First of Year (FOY)
  • 11 species of duck total
  • Wilson’s Snipe – 5-7 below weir
  • Ring-billed Gull – one at lake
  • BARRED OWL – see note above – FOY
  • Northern Shrike – singing/calling from NE of Fields 7-8-9
  • Bushtit – flock of around 15 near stage
  • Varied Thrush – one flyover
  • American Goldfinch – 2 near start of boardwalk
  • Western Meadowlark – one under a tree near concert ticket booth
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – at least 2 at Rowing Club, one of which appeared to be a Myrtle x Audubon’s intergrade

For the day, 61 species, including seven species not seen last Thursday. For the year, adding Northern Shoveler and Barred Owl, we’re at 81 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Photo by Michael Hobbs

Photo by Michael Hobbs

Barred Owl.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Adult Greater White-fronted Goose near the mansion.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Pacific Wren near the windmill. Photo by Michael Hobbs

Photo by Michael Hobbs

Report for February 7, 2019                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

What a difference a week makes. Last week was spring, this week was the deepest depths of winter. Temps were in the upper teens to start, but with the sun and lack of wind, it did warm up to about the freeze by the time we were done. It was a gorgeous day, and very birdy.


    • Wood Duck – at least 7
    • Gadwall ~40
    • American Wigeon ~20 – First of Year (FOY)
    • Mallard – 35?
    • NORTHERN PINTAIL – 5 males below weir – FOY
    • Green-winged Teal ~35
    • Ring-necked Duck – male and 1-2 females – FOY
    • Lesser Scaup – 2 females seen pre-dawn – FOY
    • Bufflehead – maybe 20
    • Common Goldeneye – 3-4
    • Hooded Merganser ~14
    • Common Merganser ~8
  • Wilson’s Snipe – 3-4 below weir
  • California Gull – FOY
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – adult at Rowing Club – FOY
  • Cooper’s Hawk – adult at Pea Patch
  • WOODPECKERS – the same 4 species (Downy, Hairy, Pileated, Northern Flicker) that we’ve had every week for the last 8 weeks, and 10 of the last 12 weeks
  • HERMIT THRUSH – one near windmill – FOY
  • Varied Thrush - 2+ near mansion – FOY
  • SPARROWS, SPARROWS, SPARROWS (no unusual species, but high counts)
    • Spotted Towhee - 30+
    • Fox Sparrow – 40+ (easier to see than usual in the snow)
    • Song Sparrow - 50+
    • LINCOLN’S SPARROW – 1 below weir – FOY
    • White-crowned Sparrow – only 6 or so
    • Golden-crowned Sparrow – maybe 12-20
    • Dark-eyed Junco – 50+
  • Western Meadowlark – one on slough edge below weir, flew to Madrona tree
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – 1-2 at Rowing Club

It’s very clear that frozen water and fields in the Sammamish and Snohomish valleys have pushed ducks down to Lake Sammamish and the slough!

A late scan of the lake added HORNED GREBE, a very distant LOON, MEW GULL, and the RIVER OTTERS we’ve seen every week this year so far. Also, an most interesting, was a AMERICAN x EURASIAN HYBRID WIGEON, something never noted at Marymoor before, to my knowledge. The head was rufous with a buffy forehead like a Eurasian Wigeon, but the body was not gray, but rather brownish like that of an American Wigeon.

Some birds were singing, despite the cold. These included Anna’s Hummingbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Bewick’s Wren, House Finch, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, Dark-eyed Junco, and Red-winged Blackbird. Spring is still happening, an a frozen way.

Misses included Virginia Rail, Ring-billed Gull, Northern Shrike, Bushtit, and Marsh Wren.

For the day, 63 species + the wigeon hybrid. For the year, adding 9 species, we’re up to at least 79 species.

= Michael

Predawn at the Lake Platform.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Dawn, looking east.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Wigeon, with American Coot.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Frosty Killdeer in the slough.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Northern Pintails with Mallard.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Northern Pintail.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Coots.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Crow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Pine Siskin.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Song Sparrow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for February 8, 2018                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

The good news was that it was warm (51+) and not raining; we got only a few minutes of breeze-blown mist, and the rest of the morning was dry. There was a bit of breeze when we were out in the open, especially atop the Viewing Mound, but the lake was pretty calm. It was darkly overcast, however. It was also VERY quiet, with low numbers of most species, and our lowest species count yet for 2018.


  • Cackling Goose – many large flocks between 7:30 and 8:00, heading southeast – 1500 birds
  • Horned Grebe – one far out from the Lake Platform
  • Barn Owl – Matt had one at the windmill very early, and we had one from the Viewing Mound at 6:45am
  • Belted Kingfisher – two males
  • Hairy Woodpecker – one at Rowing Club, near and simultaneously with our only Downy
  • PEREGRINE FALCON – juvenile flying southeast over East Meadow – new for 2018
  • NO FINCHES AT ALL – I don’t think that’s ever happened before
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow – especially numerous
  • Dark-eyed Junco – probably 2nd most abundant species after Cackling Goose
  • YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER – 1 Myrtle type seen, at least 1 more heard – First for 2018.

Anna’s Hummingbird, Brown Creeper, Bewick’s Wren, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and Red-winged Blackbird were heard singing today.

Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Steller’s Jay, Bushtit, and House Finch – a short list considering how few species we had today. But the 2nd week in February has our second lowest cumulative number of species seen, beating out only the last week in January, 96 vs. 94, so a short list is to be expected now.

For the day, we did manage 48 species, with two new ones (PEFA and YRWA) to bring the 2018 list to 73.

Oh, and at the Rowing Club pond, we had our first turtle of the year, a Red-eared Slider.

== Michael Hobbs

Photo by Bob Asanoma

Photo by Bob Asanoma

"Myrtle"-type Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Hilary Barnes

Green-winged Teal pair at Rowing Club.  Photo by Hilary Barnes

Short-eared Owl in the East Meadow, 2018-02-05. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Short-eared Owl in the East Meadow, 2018-02-05. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for February 9, 2017                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

“Après moi, le deluge.” Apparently, the old french guy visited last night, because it was pretty much a deluge this morning. And three of us definitely show all the signs of compulsive behavior, because I was joined by Brian Bell and Matt Bartels joined me. Everyone else managed to find somewhere else to be...

Unsurprisingly, birds were scarce, but we were not totally bereft of sightings. And the morning was not too cold, and the wind and thunder held off until after the walk, so things really weren’t that bad. Except for being really, really wet.

Most notable was seeing all of the damage from Monday’s snow. Small deciduous trees and shrubs were especially hard hit. Fruit trees were hammered, and we lost many alders and willows as well. Large deciduous trees, and conifers, appeared only to have lost a limb or two.

Bird highlights:

- 8 species of duck -
Western Grebe               One in slough out from Dog Central
Cooper’s Hawk              Viewing Mound before 7:30 – our only raptor
California Gull                 1 adult – First of Year
HERRING GULL          1 adult – First of Year
Northern Shrike              1 around 11, north of fields 7-8-9
Fox Sparrow                  Notably abundant
Western Meadowlark     At least 7, north of fields 7-8-9

For the day, we managed 46 species, which I feel is pretty good.

== Michael Hobbs

Bob Asanoma came through the park in slightly better weather later in the day, and photographed some of the same birds and scenes we'd had, only with less rain.

Male Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Common Merganser male.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Robin.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Western Grebe.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for February 11, 2016                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

A really nice start to the morning, with warmth, sunshine, and birds. Slowly the weather deteriorated, but only got as bad as overcast with a few sprinkles. The birds got a lot quieter though.


Wood Duck                Handsome male in slough, first since Week 1
Greater Scaup             Adult and subadult male in slough again
Horned Grebe             3 far out on lake
Western Gull               At least 1-2 with flock of large gulls
ICELAND GULL       "Thayer's"-type.  At least 1 with flock of large gulls
N. Saw-whet Owl       Matt heard one calling distantly, east of boardwalk, 6am
Pileated Woodpecker  One near mansion, 7:45 a.m. – First of Year
Northern Shrike           Between Viewing Mound and model airplane field today OR.-CR. WARBLER  Gray-faced bird in blackberries
                                     just outside NW corner of Dog Area -  FOY
 Y.-rumped Warbler     Numbers growing: 10-12 today
Purple Finch                 1 bird east of weir in large cottonwoods
RIVER OTTER            1 in slough south of Dog Area

There were at least 30 GREAT BLUE HERONS in a cottonwood 100 feet north of the heronry. At least 1 bird was flying around with a stick as if to demonstrate his abilities. Five birds were seen at the heronry, including 2-3 standing on nests.

The ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER was quite a surprise. This is our first February sighting ever. We’ve only had 1-2 sightings ever in January, and 3 for December. We’ve had about a sighting or two each week in March, but they are not commonly at Marymoor before April. The bird was cooperative as it hopped around the wall of blackberries, acting like a Ruby-crowned Kinglet, quite close to us.

One species we did not have today, nor have we had for several weeks, is Barn Owl. They have been conspicuously and unexpectedly absent from the meadows visible from the Viewing Mound in the pre-dawn hours. Last week, we did find quite a few Barn Owl pellets under the cedars next to the windmill though.

For the day, 55 species. For the year, adding "THAYER’S" ICELAND GULL, PILEATED WOODPECKER, and ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, we’re up to 73 species for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

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

Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Great Blue Herons in tree 100 yards north of heronry.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Great Blue Heron on nest in heronry.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for February 5, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Yeah, yeah. It rained. Just as promised, it was dark and rainy. That said, there was an awful lot of time this morning when it wasn’t raining, and for about a half hour, we even had some sun. Well, for part of that sunshine period, it rained, BUT HEY! It was a good day for February, and Spring definitely feels like it is arriving. Most of our resident birds were singing, though of course it’s still too early for Spring arrivals.

Highlights: (FOY – First of Year)

Greater White-fronted Goose  Adult in flock of late-arriving Cacklers
Wood Duck                            Pair across slough from Dog Central
Cooper’s Hawk                      Juvenile with unusual WHITE nape
Western Gull                           “Olympic” gulls, + 1 that looked pure Western
California Gull                         One with the other gulls, grass soccer fields
White-throated Sparrow         One at Rowing Club with Golden-crowneds. FOY

Pretty much everything else were the expected birds, but we had very few “misses” today. We had 3 species of goose, and 10 species of duck. Matt and the early gang had NO OWLS today, but Grace&Ollie had 2 NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWLS and heard a GREAT HORNED OWL (FOY) on Saturday, 2015-01-31.


For the day 57 species. For the year, adding GHOW and WTSP puts us at 76 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk with an unusually white nape.  Photo by Hugh Jennings
American Coots in the slough.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

California Gull (right) with Glaucous-winged Gull.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Greater White-fronted Goose.  Photo by Marvin Hoekstra

Ring-necked Duck female (lower left), and Mallards watching an American Coot do calisthenics.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow at Rowing Club parking lot.  Photo by Marvin Hoekstra

Report for February 6, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

A bit of background here: I did the Wenatchee CBC this winter, and was assigned as my sector the Horan Wildlife Area and about six square blocks of downtown that were mostly filled with warehouses. All in all, it was about a quarter of a square mile, and I spent the whole day walking around birding there. One thing I noticed was that some species came into the sector as dusk approached. I found quite a few species after lunch that we didn’t find before lunch, even though I was birding the same set of trails and roads.

So I decided I should try the same thing at Marymoor sometime, and the first reasonable “sometime” was today. Three of us arrived before 6:30, and the rest arrived at 7:30. We birded until a little before noon, went out to lunch at Panera, then came back for another couple of hours. By that time everybody was cold, tired, and had the feeling there were few additional species to find, so we went home. But I returned for another go from 5:00 to 6:00.

The morning was frigid, with the temperature at 15 degrees at 6:00 a.m., remaining at that temp when we started at 7:30. It rose all the way to 31 degrees when we broke for lunch, but by then the wind had picked up and the sky clouded over, so it chilled us quite thoroughly. The temperature quickly dropped back to 29 degrees.

The pre-dawn owling produced a heard-only VIRGINIA RAIL for Matt, and nothing else. But once we started the regular walk, it was clear it was going to be a good day. The slough was filled with waterfowl. We did our regular walk in the regular fashion. After lunch, we walked the East Lake Sammamish Trail along the east edge of Marymoor, walked the Marymoor Connector Trail from the model airplane field east to the ELS Trail, and then we made a brief stop at the Viewing Mound again. From 5-6 p.m., I came back and did a quick loop from the East Kiosk around the boardwalk and back. We never did get to the area west of the slough and north of the Rowing Club that I had hoped to include today.

Highlights: (FOY – First of Year)

Greater White-fronted Goose 1 adult with huge flock of Cacklers
Snow Goose                          1 juvenile joined Cacklers after lunch
Cackling Goose                      1000+
Canada Goose                        Dozens, after none last week
Wood Duck                           Pair above weir, 2 pair from lake platform
                                              10 at NE corner of lake!!! 10-16 total!
American Wigeon                   10 at weir, ~15 at NE corner of lake
Northern Shoveler                  3 at NE corner of lake – FOY
Northern Pintail                      Male at weir – FOY
Greater Scaup                       1 female in slough was our only scaup
RUDDY DUCK                    Female from Lake Platform – First since 2009
                In all, we had 14 species of duck
Horned Grebe                        Three on lake, seen from NE corner
Cooper’s Hawk                     Adult east of boardwalk area
Killdeer                                  Two with frosty backs (literally), below weir
Wilson’s Snipe                       One seen well, with frost, below weir
Hairy Woodpecker                Seen from Rowing Club dock, across slough
Northern Shrike                     Adult east of East Meadow – first since Week 1
Varied Thrush                        Pair near windmill – FOY

We had 52 species by lunchtime, which is an unusually good total for February.  We added 7 more species during the after-lunch birding.

When I arrived at 5:00 p.m., I was able to find a couple of PACIFIC WRENS in the Big Cottonwood Forest, which had been one of our biggest misses previously. As I walked the boardwalk, I heard a couple of VIRGINIA RAILS calling from the same area that Matt had heard one pre-dawn. Then, as I went north from the east end of the boardwalk, I heard a GREAT HORNED OWL (FOY) calling. This was at 5:30.

I went back via the grass soccer fields, where the huge flock of geese remained until 5:55 p.m. (almost full dark), when the finally took off and flew towards the lake all in a tight, no-nonsense flock. Standing on the Viewing Mound until 6:00 p.m., I could hear the GREAT HORNED OWL move closer and closer to the southeast, but I never saw the bird.

So, we were out for about nine hours total, across about 13 hours of the day. We managed 61 species total - not bad for February in a single square mile. Three species were seen in Week 6 for the first time in the 20 years of my surveys: Wood Duck, Northern Pintail, and Ruddy Duck. Our only notable misses for the day were Bushtit, White-crowned Sparrow, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, and House Sparrow, all of which have been seen 10 or more times in Week 6 during the last 20 years. Of those, though, only Bushtit has been seen regularly this winter. I was speculating that maybe the Bushtits were spending the day huddled together for warmth in some kind of sheltered spot.

In addition to the four species marked First of Year (FOY) above, this was the first time this year that Snow Goose had been seen on a Thursday survey. This brings our year total to 74 species. Five additional species are listed ebird (Lesser Scaup, Herring Gull, "Thayer’s" Iceland Gull, Short-eared Owl, and Common Raven). 61 of the 79 species seen so far this year seems an excellent day.

Three new species for our Week 6 list (cumulative, over the last 20 years), brings the Week 6 list to 91 species. Week 26 (the last week in June) is now the worst week, at only 89 species. Maybe we’ll have to do another Marymoor Long Day that week to bring its total up to par.

Thanks to all of the devoted crew who made this a really fun Long Day, despite the chill.

== Michael Hobbs

Two Killdeer below weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Killdeer at 15 degrees, with frost on its back.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Snipe near Killdeer.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Drake Northern Pintail at weir, with female Mallard, and American Wigeon pair.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Wood Duck, with male hidden behind.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Ruddy Duck with male Wood Duck behind.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Ruddy Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wood Duck at lake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Song Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Song Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Varied Thrush near windmill.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Varied Thrush near windmill.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Shrike east of Viewing Mound.  Photo byLillian Reis

Male Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Female Red-winged Blackbird in NE corner of lake.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Juvenile Snow Goose.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ice on the reeds.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Northern Pintail with Mallard and American Wigeon.
Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Female Lesser Scaup with female Ring-necked Duck and Hooded Mergansers.
Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Female Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Female Ruddy Duck.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Juvenile Mew Gull.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male Varied Thrush and American Robin.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male American Robin.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Snow Goose with Cackling Geese.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Snow Goose.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Report for February 7, 2013                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

The pre-dawn stiff breeze and sprinkles cleared to beautiful sunshine and warmth this morning; exceptionally nice weather for February. And, damning with faint praise, it was birdy for February too. Actually, the day was pretty good for birds as well as weather, though we didn’t have anything terribly noteworthy. For the first time this year, we had NO OWLS during our pre-dawn searching. That was disappointing.


Green-winged Teal                 5 pairs in Rowing Club Pond
Western Grebe                      One far out on the lake
Virginia Rail                            Two heard from bend in boardwalk|
Red-breasted Sapsucker        One at Rowing Club
Northern Shrike                     One in Dog Meadow
Varied Thrush                         Two on path near weir
Red Crossbills                        Continue around mansion
American Goldfinch                One at park office feeders

Singing birds included BROWN CREEPER, BEWICK’S WREN, SONG SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. The Heronry was again filled with roosting GREAT BLUE HERONS, though there was no sign of nest work.

We managed 55 species for the day, though nothing new for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Northern Shrike.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Two Varied Thrushes along the path near the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Varied Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron sitting on a nest.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-breasted Sapsucker at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Male Green-winged Teal, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Adult Bald Eagle, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Male Anna's Hummingbird, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Male Anna's Hummingbird, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Dark-eyed Junco, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Buffleheads, with one female Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Great Blue Heron, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2013-02-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Peregrine Falcon, 2013-02-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Peregrine Falcon, 2013-02-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Peregrine Falcon, 2013-02-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker, 2013-02-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for February 9, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

It was a great pre-dawn at Marymoor today. Unfortunately, I wasn't there for that. Matt & Scott had 3 species of owl - GREAT HORNED OWL near the windmill, BARRED OWL at the Rowing Club, and BARN OWL near the Cavalia tents. For the rest of us, the morning was merely a typical drizzly February day.

Non-owl highlights:

8 species of duck
Sharp-shinned Hawk             Very tough ID
California Gull                        Scott saw one early
Northern Shrike                    As usual, north of fields 7-8-9
American Goldfinch               30-35 in Snag Row

Last Thursday, Barry Brugman sent me photos of an adult accipiter that he'd seen at Marymoor. That bird appears to be a Sharp-shinned Hawk, and it may well be the "adult male Cooper's" we've seen for several weeks. We saw probably the same bird again today, and in the field there was lots and lots of discussion as to species. Wish these guys had bar codes...

For the day, 51 species. For the year, adding BARRED OWL and GREAT HORNED OWL, 75 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Northern Shrike.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Bufflehead.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for February 10, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

February typically has the lowest species counts of the year, and today was no exception, despite the glorious sunshine.  It was only about 26 degrees when we started, though with the sun, it warmed to 43 before we were done.  Plenty of birds were singing, including the first American Robin songs I've heard this year.  But we had no accipiters, no falcons, only one species of gull, and no shorebirds.  We also had nobody at the park early, and thus ended up with zero owls.  Still, it was a nice walk.

Mt. Rainier looked great at sunrise through thin wisps of fog.

The morning started with a single SNOW GOOSE calling piteously and flying to
the east southeast over our heads as we gathered in the parking lot.

We had 4 male ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS on territories around the park.

A RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER landed near us as we passed the concert venue. This was our first sapsucker of the year.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE popped up north of fields 7-8-9 just as we were leaving to drive over to the Rowing Club.

We heard a VARIED THRUSH in the early going near the mansion.

We had 2 RIVER OTTERS well out from the lake platform.

For singing species, we had:

Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Bewick's Wren, Marsh Wren, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, and House Finch

For the day, just 47 species.  For the year, adding the sapsucker, 79 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Uncredited photos by Michael Hobbs

Pacific Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Herons

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Northern Flicker.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Great Horned Owl, 2011-02-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Robins.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for February 11, 2010

Early rain and rain after, but except for the first half hour, we were blessed with another good day for birding at Marymoor.  For a few minutes around 11:00, it was actually sunny, though most of the morning was rather dark, though warm.  It certainly feels spring-like, though of course we still only have "winter" birds.

7:30 a.m. start time, Thursday morning, in the rain, during the February doldrums...  22 birders.


Cackling Goose               Good sized flock - usually scarce by February
Common Goldneye          Around 30 at lake (high count)
Green Heron                    Continues unseasonable reliability at RC
Cooper's Hawk               Adult, motionless with very full crop, at Compost Piles
PEREGRINE FALCON  In snags east of boardwalk
Rock Pigeon                     Pair copulating on NE corner light pole
BARN OWL                   Pair at windmill early, adult in nest box later
Anna's Hummingbird        At least 5 males seen.   Females on nest?
Hairy Woodpecker         Good looks south of East Meadow
Northern Shrike               Sub-adult west of grass soccer fields
Varied Thrush                  Heard near weir
Purple Finch                    ~15 along east edge of East Meadow
House Sparrow              Across the street from the Rowing Club

We also had a BEAVER just above the weir.

Matt & Scott had a pair of BARN OWLS at the windmill between 5:30 and 6:00 a.m.  They were clucking and clicking, there was quite a bit of pair-type interaction, and possible copulation.  Later, we found an adult inside the nest box, between the mansion and the stage.  The evidence of squirrel nest (twigs and leaves) had been cleared out of the box, presumably by the owl.

For the day, 58 species.  For the year, adding Peregrine, Varied Thrush, and House Sparrow. we're now at 75 species.
= Michael

Beaver just upstream from the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Barn Owl in the nest box between the mansion and the stage.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hairy Woodpecker, uncharacteristically on a twig, not a trunk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow with odd black-and-white mark on one side of the head only.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Fungus near the windmill

Lillian Reis had better weather for photographing this Fox Sparrow, 2010-02-05

Lillian caught this Red-tailed Hawk imitating the cover of the big Sibley, 2010-02-12

Report for February 5, 2009

It was a pretty quiet day at Marymoor today - frosty, with high overcast, and some thin ground fog early.  Not the warm spring day we had yesterday.  There were very few birds that gave us good looks - much of what we did see was very distant.

The AMERICAN TREE SPARROW remains active around the Compost Piles, even with road graders reworking the parking lot and a front-end loader pushing branches around the piles themselves.

Other highlights:

Bewick's Wren, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, and House Finch all singing.

I had a BARN OWL flying around the main park road at around 7:00.  The male COOPER'S HAWK was seen in Snag Row several times.

Had some good looks at PURPLE FINCH just south of Dog Central.  DOWNY WOODPECKERS and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS also showed themselves well.

We had a very distant look at the NORTHERN SHRIKE, today perched at the far side of the model airplane field.

An ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD was on one of his usual perches near the picnic shelter south of the windmill.

Really, except for the ATSP, there wasn't much of note.  Still, it beats sitting at home.

OH - we did have a COYOTE at the southeast part of the East Meadow - our first for 2009.

For the morning, 50 species.

== Michael

Frost, low ground fog, Mt. Rainier

Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ruby-crowned Kinglet hovering, as they often do

Female Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Ollie Oliver got today's best shot of the American Tree Sparrow at the Compost Piles

...and a nice shot of an adult White-crowned Sparrow

American Crow in the Community Gardens.

Adult Cooper's Hawk in Snag Row.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Double-crested Cormorant near the windmill.  Photo by Hugh Jennings.

Female Buffleheads in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Report for February 7, 2008   

I was expecting the worst, but we actually had a much better day than last week.  Although windy, it often wasn't too windy (the wind often seemed to be passing above us), and it didn't rain, and it wasn't too cold. It was, in marked contrast to last week, rather birdy.  Eleven of us had a pretty good time.


Matt and Scott had a pair of COYOTE over by the East Meadow pre-dawn.

A WILSON'S SNIPE didn't flush, but instead gave us great looks for over a minute at pretty close range, below the weir.

We had a very close encounter with a mixed flock of tiny birds - BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, RUBY and GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS, and BUSHTITS - well south of the East Meadow.  The birds were often within just a few feet of us.

An immature NORTHERN SHRIKE was vocalizing along the east edge of the East Meadow.  The bird was very drab, and would have been missed if it hadn't been making a wide variety of squeaks.

The pair of RED-TAILED HAWKS again shared a branch in a cottonwood east of the East Meadow.

The Rowing Club featured a BROWN CREEPER and a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, as well as a pair of GREEN-WINGED TEAL trying to be invisible on the far bank of the main pond.

After the Rowing Club, I went back to the park office to buy my annual parking pass.  In the tree above my car, an ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD was calling.

For the day, the Anna's made it an even 50 species.  LESSER SCAUP and RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER were new for 2008, bringing our year list to 72 species.

== Michael

A Wilson's Snipe gave us great looks just below the weir.

A pair of Lesser Scaup in the slough

Male Common Goldeneye in the slough

Nice-looking Great Blue Heron across the slough.

Very drab 1st-year Northern Shrike heard vocalizing.

Eastern The shrike was a little easier to identify from the back.

Report for February 8, 2007

Despite weather reports and the general appearance of the morning, we actually had a really nice day at Marymoor.  It was warm (45-56 degrees), pretty much windless, and we had only a moment of not-even-drizzle.  There were 11 of us birding, and (especially early on) it was quite birdy.  There weren't too many surprises in terms of unusual species, but it was a good day nonetheless.


The BALD EAGLES were seen bringing sticks to the new nest in the Big Cottonwood Forest.  Both adults were in the nest for a little while.  We'd seen no activity there for a few weeks, so this was a nice confirmation that they seem intent on nesting in such a visible location.  After the Rowing Club, I went over and walked the Redmond portion of the East Lake Sammamish Trail.  There were two adult Bald Eagles hanging around in the SE corner of the park, even while I could see at least one of the pair from the SW corner.  I was able to verify that the SE nest still exists, so it appears there will be two breeding pairs of Bald Eagle at Marymoor this year!  The nests are only a half mile (maybe 0.6 miles) apart.

Matt heard WILSON'S SNIPE predawn in the East Meadow, and we saw one flush from below the weir.

Flyby goldeneyes heading downriver included one male BARROW'S GOLDENEYE - a very rare species for the park, though I've seen them at Lake Samm. StatePark and in the slough near Redmond City Hall and Woodinville quite often.

We had a male HAIRY WOODPECKER near the first bench (just a bit south of the dog area portapotties).  Always nice to see.

Hugh identified one male PURPLE FINCH which gave us good looks a bit south of Dog Central.

An adult NORTHERN SHRIKE was working the areas north of the Compost Piles and north of the grass soccer fields.

BAND-TAILED PIGEONS were flying west of the park when we were near the windmill.

There were also many species singing.  There was one SONG SPARROW which repeatedly sang a song reminiscent of a Black-throated Green Warbler - very bizarre.  Other species singing:  RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, DARK-EYED JUNCO, MARSH WREN, HOUSE FINCH, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE, BEWICK'S WREN, and I had aWINTER WREN singing on the ELS trail.

For the day, 57 species.  The year count, adding Barrow's Goldeneye and Band-tailed Pigeon, is up to 77.

== Michael


Bird Sightings Week 6
February 5-11



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