Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 7
February 12-18


Rarities for Week 7:

Barrow's Goldeneye 15-Feb-07  
Iceland Gull (L. g. thayeri) 18-Feb-04  
Iceland Gull (L. g. thayeri) 18-Feb-16  
Glaucous Gull 15-Feb-07  

...American Tree Sparrow

12-Feb-09 Compost Piles.  Present 15-Jan to 19-Feb

Report for February 15, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

The weather wasn't very pleasant this morning; yesterday's weather would have been much better.  Cold, breezy, biting, dark, and sometimes wet.  But it was quite a good day of birding.  Go figure.

  • Wood Duck - Two males with a female in the slough near the start of the boardwalk
  • American Wigeon - One female with about 70 Mallards on the grass soccer fields
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker - One near the mansion area restrooms - First of Year (FOY) and first since August
  • Merlin - One caught and killed an American Robin at the very start of our walk.  Flew off with it to eat
  • HUTTON'S VIREO - One singing and calling, but not seen, west of the mansion (FOY) - our first since 2021!
  • Purple Finch - One near the last Dog Swim Beach (FOY) - our first in two months
  • White-throated Sparrow - One with Golden-crowned Sparrows next to the Dog Area portapotties
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - A few "Myrtle"-type birds near the Lake Platform
  • Townsend's Warbler - West of the mansion in a great mixed flock (FOY) - our first since October
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, and House Finch.

For the day, a year's best 56 species. For the year, we're at 72 species.

= Michael Hobbs

The Merlin had just caught this American Robin. Photo by Tony Ernst

Merlin just about to take off with dead American Robin. Photo by Tony Ernst

White-throated Sparrow. Photo by Tony Ernst

Male Wood Duck in the slough. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for February 16, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Another day of overly-good weather.  It was quickly above freezing after sunrise, and there was just a high, thin, wispy overcast keeping us from having shadows.  No wind, no precip.  Fairly birdy at times.  Lake and river levels remain unseasonably low; we expected to see more snipe in the exposed flats below the weir, but we had only about three.

  •     Wood Duck - Two males from the Lake Platform - first in a month
  •     Northern Pintail - One bright male with Mallards below the weir
  •     Horned Grebe - One way out there, visible from the Lake Platform
  •     Herring Gull - One adult on Fields 7-8-9, First of Year (FOY)
  •     Cooper's Hawk - Juvenile at the Pea Patch again
  •     Hairy Woodpecker - One seen near the east end of the boardwalk, high in the trees
  •     House Finch - It was amazing - we saw around three, including a singing male SE of the mansion
  •     Purple Finch - And, we heard a singing Purple Finch.  Still only four finch individuals today
  •     Lincoln's Sparrow - One seen briefly at the Pea Patch
This is the 7th time we've had HERRING GULL in Week 7 of the year.  It's the only week we've had more than three sightings, so apparently it's the best week for seeing them at Marymoor.  But we've had fewer than 25 records for this species ever, so it's always a surprise.

We also had a vole in the East Meadow; my current belief is that it was a Townsend's Vole but my ability to identify voles is very sketchy.  The tail seemed all-brown rather than bicolored, which favors Townsend's over Long-tailed.  I think those would be the two most likely voles at Marymoor, but what do I know?



For the day, 55 species plus Lonesome George II, the Ring-necked Pheasant.

= Michael Hobbs

Townsend's (?) Vole in the East Meadow.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Herring Gull on Fields 7-8-9.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Report for February 17, 2022                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

We had a pretty nice morning today.  No sunshine, but otherwise the weather was great.  Definitely still winter birding, but spring feels close.
  • Northern Shoveler – Female at Rowing Club.  Our First of Year (FOY)
  • Twelve duck species, total
  • Horned Grebe -  Five scattered across the lake, seen from the Lake Platform
  • Great Blue Heron – They’re Back – More than 60 were perched in the heronry, many sitting next to, or on nests
  • Cooper’s Hawk – One across the slough below the weir
  • Varied Thrush – Two called from straight above us on the slough trail, causing much confusion among birders (FOY)
  • White-throated Sparrow – One amongst many sparrows in the NW corner of the Dog Area
  • Western Meadowlark – Seven or more north of Fields 7-8-9, with some singing
“Singing” was the story of the day:  Ring-necked Pheasant, Anna’s Hummingbird, Steller’s Jay, Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Pacific Wren, Marsh Wren, Bewicks’s Wren, Varied Thrush, American Robin, House Finch, Fox Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, and Red-winged Blackbird.  Some of the songs were early-season and whispery (especially the Steller’s Jay). 
Misses today included Virginia Rail, Northern Shrike, and Purple Finch. 
For the day, 58 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for February 17, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

We were under cloudy skies today, but the rain held off until we were about done for the day, which was excellent.  Not too terribly birdy, but pretty good anyway.  This is February, after all...  The snow is almost completely gone from the park, and we did not see any notable damage.
  • Wood Duck – again, two pairs near the lake.  We seldom get them, most winters, but so far we’ve had 1 or 2 pair each week in 2021
  • Barn Owl – one in East Meadow, predawn.  One in meadow on west side of slough, predawn
  • Barred Owl – Matt saw one near the east end of the boardwalk.  Later, I heard one at the Rowing Club parking lot, possibly the same bird – First of Year (FOY)
  • Northern Shrike – one ENE of the Viewing Mound, seen by half the group
  • Marsh Wren – one was spontaneously singing east of the East Meadow – first songs I’ve heard from MAWR this year
  • Varied Thrush – at least two singing at the Rowing Club, one seen poorly
  • Western Meadowlark – at least two, north end of the East Meadow
A late scan of the lake turned up one HORNED GREBE.
As I was driving home, I saw a flock of geese looking like they would land in the NW corner of the park, so I made a quick right turn back into the park.  Sure enough, I found a flock of CACKLING GEESE on the grass softball fields west of the tennis courts.  Among them was an adult GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE – (FOY).  While I was viewing them, I heard a call, turned around, and found six AMERICAN GOLDFINCH in a tree in the parking lot.  So that quick stop yielded 3 new birds for the day Smile.
Misses today included Mew Gull, Bushtit, and White-crowned Sparrow.
For the day, 59 species, with two new for 2021.
= Michael Hobbs   

Adult Greater White-fronted Goose, with Cackling Geese.
Photo by Michael Hobbs

Report for February 13, 2020                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

A nice morning, mostly not too cold, mostly not raining, and mostly not too windy.  There was a brief squall that did combine cold, rain, and wind, just to keep us believing it’s still not really spring. 
The record flooding continues.  I’m failing to completely correlate official lake level data with what we’ve manually read from the lake gauge just above the weir, but it appears the lake high water occurred over the weekend.  It rose at least one, and maybe as much as two feet above our Thursday survey, over the weekend.  The lake level has dropped back some, but flooding in the park is much more extensive than last Thursday.  This is definitely the biggest flood since 2007, and may have exceeded the January 1997 flood.
What this meant for us is that we couldn’t get to much of the area we normally survey.  The Off-leash Dog Area is split into two pieces; the slough trail is closed just south of Dog Central, and from the east side, you can’t go south of the East Meadow.  The boardwalk and trails to it are entirely flooded.  The entire middle of the dog park is a large pond, and many other portions of the park are underwater too.  Made for a very different walk.
  • Cackling Goose – maybe 1000 flew past; not many landed in the park
  • American Wigeon – 2-3 seen
  • Ring-necked Pheasant – the Pea Patch was underwater over the weekend; Lonesome George II apparently fled to higher ground; he was eating seed at the Park Office
  • Virginia Rail – at least 2 heard from east of the East Meadow, predawn
  • HERRING GULL – one in the pond on the grass soccer fields – First of Year (FOY)
  • Green Heron – one at the Rowing Club – first sighting in 4 weeks
  • Barn Owl – several sightings pre-dawn
  • LONG-EARED OWL – Matt got great looks at one at the south end of the East Meadow before 6 a.m.; FOY for us, but one was photographed in the East Meadow on 2020-01-20
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one landed near us at Dog Central
  • COMMON RAVEN – three flew over the East Meadow; FOY.  This was our first raven sighting since December 2018, but there are several 2019 records on eBird, and one from 2020-01-20 as well
  • Western Meadowlark – flock of around 6; we thought we saw some fly to the East Meadow, and later found a very similar sized flock just north of Fields 7-8-9
We only had 8 species of waterfowl, with only Bufflehead and Common Goldeneye representing divers.  I wonder if turbidity in the lake and river have driven most diving ducks elsewhere?  Our only American Coots were in the interior “lake”.
For the 3rd week already this year, we had ZERO FINCHES.
Misses for the day included Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Bushtit, Marsh Wren, House Finch, Purple Finch, and Lincoln’s Sparrow
For the day 51 species.
= Michael

Report for February 14, 2019                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Marymoor was closed to the public on Tuesday, but by this morning they’d gotten the main roads clear, and a couple of the parking lots. We didn’t come close to filling Lot C this morning despite the lot being only half cleared. We were just 4, and then 3, and by 9:00am it was just me and Jordan. Snow everywhere, of course, and it froze last night, though it was 33 degrees when we started. Lots of branches and limbs down, and all the blackberries FLATTENED. The snow had a crust and a crunch to it, making walking difficult in places.


  • Greater White-fronted Goose – in the slough below the weir; later near the concert stage on a bare patch of grass
  • Cackling Goose – 50+, first since January
  • Wood Duck – 2 males, female, in slough near lake
  • Northern Shoveler – female below weir in slough
  • American Wigeon – plentiful, scattered along slough
  • Northern Pintail – pair below weir
  • 12 species of duck total
  • Horned Grebe – one very far out on the lake
  • Wilson’s Snipe – maybe 10 below the weir
  • Green Heron – on beaver lodge again
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one along the slough
  • 4 woodpecker species AGAIN – 9th straight week with ALL the regulars except sapsucker
  • Northern Shrike – seen atop cottonwood near the lake, later at north end of East Meadow; vocalizing
  • Varied Thrush – Brian had one near the Park Office; Jordan and I had two at the Rowing Club
  • LONG-TAILED WEASEL – great looks on blackberry trail that runs between the dog area port-a-potties and the Pea Patch

Missing birds today included Virginia Rail, Mew Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Bushtit, and Lincoln’s Sparrow.

For the day, 59 species. Nothing new for 2019, though repeats of birds from my walk last Sunday got several species on the Thursday Survey list.

William Fletcher got a photo of an AMERICAN PIPIT below the weir on Sunday afternoon however!

== Michael Hobbs

Greater White-fronted Goose.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Killdeer.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Hooded Merganser pair.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Varied Thrush.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Long-tailed Weasel.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for February 15, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

A very nice morning today. Well pre-dawn, Mason and I scoped Saturn to the southeast; it’s really showing its rings right now. And then we scoped Jupiter, fairly high to the south, and the four visible moons were lined up to the left. Very nice way to start the morning. The day continued well, with bits of sun, and temps rising into the 40’s. And it was birdy, with much singing.


  • Cackling Goose – large flocks still around
  • Western Grebe – one not too far out from Lake Platform
  • Green Heron – one near Rowing Club dock, seen from Dog Area
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – two sightings
  • Barn Owl – two seen, with great looks at one from Viewing Mound at 6:45am
  • Hairy Woodpecker – one across slough from Lake Platform
  • TREE SWALLOW – at least 3, first of 2018; earliest Marymoor record by a day Purple Finch – three heard popping, seen briefly, Dog Meadow. First of 2018
  • COMMON REDPOLL – one heard, (and seen by me) in flight over Dog Meadow heading west
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – one seen pre-dawn and again on the walk (NOT by me) at Viewing Mound
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – one at Rowing Club pond

Singing birds included Anna’s Hummingbird (display flights too), Northern Flicker (drumming too), Black-capped Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Marsh Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and Red-winged Blackbird. Ruby-crowned Kinglets were especially numerous today, though I only heard one sing.

In general, the number of birds of many species today was much higher than in recent weeks. But we picked up Western Grebe and Hairy Woodpecker at the Lake Platform, and didn’t add another species to the day list until we were coming out of the Rowing Club; we got things early and often, but the species total wasn’t huge.

For the day, 54 species, and adding Tree Swallow and Purple Finch puts us at 75 species for 2018. There was a River Otter seen briefly from the Lake Platform, new for the year.

== Michael

Boeing "Dreamlifter". Photo by Bob Asanoma

Mallards at the weir. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Pied-billed Grebe eating a fish...

Two photos by Hugh Jennings

Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Bushtit.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Green Heron hidden just north of Rowing Club dock.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Steller's Jay.  Photo by Bob Asonoma

Steller's Jay.  Photos by Bob Asonoma

Barn Owl flying around in the East Meadow, 2018-02-12. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Barn Owl flying around in the East Meadow, 2018-02-12. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Barn Owl flying around in the East Meadow, 2018-02-12. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Barn Owl flying around in the East Meadow, 2018-02-12. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for February 16, 2017                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

We had unexpectedly nice weather today, and over a dozen birders. The birds cooperated, making for an excellent day. It was warm, and partly sunny by our start time (though Matt got rained on pre-dawn).

After our recent rains, there was water everywhere. Large puddles in fields and parking lots, water over the paths, water over the boardwalk. It was passible with over-the-ankles boots, but just barely and only with care.

Sadly, we also noticed that the “odd-snag”, a tremendously old Douglas Fir snag that stood just SW of the park entrance, has broken off very short. For at least a couple of decades, RED-TAILED HAWKS nested atop the snag, which featured a “toothpick” spike about 6 feet tall that stuck up from above the broken-off top. The hawks would nest at the base of the spike which I expect it made the nest harder for eagles to predate (though we did once witness an eagle take a baby hawk). A few weeks ago, a Red-tail was seen building up the nest for another year; now they will have to find a new place to nest.


Northern Pintail              One male in a field puddle – First for 2017
California Gull                Maybe 3
Herring Gull                   At least 1; possibly a "Thayer’s" Iceland or two as well
Green Heron                  Continues at Beaver Lodge
SHORT-EARED OWL Matt & Sharon saw two, pre-dawn, East Meadow
R.-breasted Sapsucker   2, possibly flirting, Rowing Club
Pileated Woodpecker     Male (first year?), Dog Meadow
Northern Shrike              Seen several times
HORNED LARK          One on soccer fields west of Fields 7-8-9
- SWALLOWS -          About 6. At least one was almost certainly a TREE. CEDAR WAXWING    A flock of 11, Dog Meadow
Yellow-rumped Warbler Several “Audubon’s”
Western Meadowlark     At least 2 at model airplane field

It was a big surprise to find a HORNED LARK on the grass fields just NE of Lot C (where we meet). This is just our 3rd spring sighting ever for Horned Larks at Marymoor (and only our 18th sighting in all). The two previous spring sightings were 2002-02-15 (only one day off from today’s date!) and 2002-04-17.

It was a good day for animal sightings too. In addition to the usual Eastern Gray Squirrels and Eastern Cottontails, Matt *saw* a BEAVER pre-dawn, and we had at least 2 RIVER OTTERS on the lake. At the Rowing Club pond were at least 3 RED-EARED SLIDERS and 1-2 very bright PAINTED TURTLES.

For the day, 60 species. For the year, I believe we’re at 82 species (plus swallow sp.)

== Michael Hobbs

Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Double-crested Cormorant.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

The Great Blue Heron nests are very active.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cedar Waxwings.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cedar Waxwings.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

See if you can spot the Green Heron on the beaver lodge.  Photo by Rupali

Northern Shrike.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Northern Shrike.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Northern Pintail.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Northern Pintail.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for February 18, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We had a very nice morning today, with virtually no precipitation, and even with some hints at sunshine. Temps were in the 40’s-low 50’s. Birds were singing all over.


Green Heron                    Juvenile on beaver lodge across from Dog Central
SEVEN SPECIES OF GULL on grass fields including:
   Western Gull                 At least 1
   California Gull               Two – first since Week 1
   Herring Gull                  One
   ICELAND GULL        One "Thayer's"-type
W. SCREECH-OWL      Matt heard one in the “Mysterious Thicket”
N. Saw-whet Owl            Matt heard one near east footbridge
Pileated Woodpecker      One on far side of slough
Western Meadowlark      THIRTEEN north of Fields 7-8-9

I was ecstatic to see the GREEN HERON, for with this sighting for Week 7, we’ve now seen Green Heron at least once during each week of the year. 45 other species have been seen in all weeks.

The GREAT BLUE HERONS are being very confusing. There was only one heron on the old heronry. There were over 30 herons in three trees about 100 yards north of the heronry. They have started about a dozen nests at the new site, all but one in a single tree. It’s unclear if this is an expansion or a relocation of the heronry. If it’s a relocation, I’m baffled as to why.

As I mentioned, there was a lot of singing today. Some of the birds noted singing included AMERICAN ROBIN doing full, insistent songs, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, SPOTTED TOWHEE, DARK-EYED JUNCO doing variations on trill songs, HOUSE FINCH, and (quietly) WESTERN MEADOWLARK.

Today’s animal list included AMERICAN BEAVER (Matt saw/heard one early), and our First of the Year MUSKRAT. The Bullfrog tadpole mentioned two weeks ago turned out to be a NORTHWESTERN SALAMANDER when I examined Ollie’s photos. We had not previously documented that species at the park. It was being eaten by the juvenile Green Heron.

Tuesday, I had HUTTON’S VIREO and VARIED THRUSH at the Rowing Club, both new for the year.

For today, 57 species. For the year, adding WESTERN SCREECH-OWL, HUTTON’S VIREO, and VARIED THRUSH, I believe we’re at 76 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Bald Eagle.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Great Blue Herons at the new site, 100 yards north of the old heronry.  You can see the extent of their new nestbuilding efforts.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Green Heron on American Beaver lodge.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

All 13 Western Meadowlarks.  Some were singing.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

A close-up of some of the Western Meadowlarks.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Ring-billed Gull.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

California Gull.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for February 12, 2015                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

The weather is so nice it’s scary. There was a hint of pre-dawn fog, but that cleared by sunrise. We were left with a warm, partly sunny, windless, rainless day. Water level was highest so far this winter, just barely puddling 1 section of the boardwalk. The birds were out and about, singing and loafing. Lots to see.


Greater White-fronted Goose  Two with Cackling Goose flock near entrance
Great Blue Heron                    35+ at heronry, most bringing in twigs
Virginia Rail                             Singing Kik Kidik songs from east of East Meadow
Wilson’s Snipe                         Two flushed from east of East Meadow
California Gull                          At least 1 adult with large gull flock
HERRING GULL                    2nd winter bird with large gull flock
Northern Saw-whet Owl          Matt heard one very early
Belted Kingfisher                      Heard from lake platform. First in 5 weeks
Red-breasted Sapsucker          Big Cottonwood Forest – First of Year
Northern Flicker intergrade      Red-shafted head markings, distinctly yellow shafts
Northern Shrike                       Bright adult, East Meadow. First since Jan 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler           Myrtle’s-type
Townsend’s Warbler                One north of maintenance barn – First of Year
WH.-THROATED SPARROW Like last week, one at Rowing Club parking lot

Along with the same list of birds singing last week, add VIRGINIA RAIL, NORTHERN FLICKER, and SPOTTED TOWHEE. An ANNA’ S HUMMINGBIRD was doing display flights at the south end of the Dog Area.

For the day, 61 species! And we’re up to 79 species for 2015.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Red-winged Blackbird, singing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Northern Shrike.  Only our 2nd shrike sighting of 2015.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult California Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

2nd-winter Herring Gull.  Note eye is paling, though still somewhat dark.  Also note sparse "adult" feathers on back.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

2nd-winter Herring Gull.  Note pink legs, and largish, messy bill with a somewhat pale base and blotchy darkness at the tip.  Note, too, the dark tail band, checked upper tail coverts, and whitish rump above that.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

2nd-winter Herring Gull.  Note pattern of a dark secondary bar (trailing edge of wing near the body), a pale area covering inner primaries, and dark outer primaries.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Townsend's Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pied-billed Grebe at Rowing Club pond, in "porkpie hat" posture.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Coyote near mansion at 7:30.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Crows gathering to roost, 2015-02-18.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Report for February 13, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Matt and I got to substitute for Michael who is on the road.

The day was pretty good at Marymoor with no rain, but strong winds early.

Nice gull flock early, and we pulled out at least one Herring Gull. This is a week when we often see Herring.

Notable birds:
Herring Gull

Virginia Rail               Heard
Northern Shrike
Accipiter species      Too distant, and left quickly so couldn’t i.d. further

Great Blue Heron      At least 9 back on nests, or next to them.
                                    One snuggled down into the nest.

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA

Glaucous-winged x Western Gull hybrid.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Herring Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Herring Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

This gull spawned much discussion, as to whether the head shape, bill size, and apparent white on the underwing indicated "Thayer's" Iceland Gull.  However, in flight, there appeared to be significant black on the underwing, so it was probably a second
Herring Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pacific Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Activity increasing at the Great Blue Heron nest site.  Photos by Ollie Oliver


Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-eared Slider.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for February 14, 2013                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

The drizzle to start the day was a bit annoying, but it cleared up about a third of the way through our walk, leaving us with really a nice day. It’s February, and the birding isn’t always that exciting in February. But with the nice mild weather we’ve been having, things weren’t too bad.


Green-winged Teal           26 at Rowing Club pond
Greater Scaup                  One male in slough
Western Grebe                 One well out on lake
Northern Harrier               One west of the slough
Virginia Rail                      Spontaneously singing along boardwalk - one glimpsed
                                         More heard east of East Meadow
Barn Owl                          I saw one briefly pre-dawn
Great Horned Owl            Matt heard pre-dawn, west of the park entrance
Hairy Woodpecker           One at south end of Dog Meadow
Northern Shrike                One north of fields 7-8-9
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW Last bird of the day, Rowing Club parking lot Red Crossbills                  Continue around mansion
American Goldfinch          One at Park Office again

While we were at the Rowing Club, 20 GREAT BLUE HERONS took flight from the heronry (they’ve been hanging out at the nests, perhaps laying claim and pairing up – we haven’t seen much repair or nest building going on yet). Moments later, a juvenile BALD EAGLE flew by. The herons circled around for a while before returning to their posts.

Matt may have heard the screech of GREAT HORNED OWL babies, as well as the hoots of an adult. This is up the ravine, just west of the park entrance off West Lake Samm. Parkway.

There was a RIVER OTTER in the slough upstream of the Rowing Club dock, and a turtle (Red-eared Slider) hauled out at the Rowing Club pond. Matt also heard BEAVER pre-dawn in the slough.

For the day, a very respectable 58 species.
For the year, adding WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, we’re up to 81 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Shrike, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Male Varied Thrush on the park office, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Pied-billed Grebe, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Double-crested Cormorant, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

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

Eastern Gray Squirrel, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Report for February 16, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

I checked the weather last night, and their predictions for the day sounded horrible. So much for weather prediction. We did have rain, but much more than half the time there was no rain, and for a short while we had blue skies. We also had birds!


Greater Whte-fronted Goose           Two with Cacklers
Cackling Goose                               Flock of ~500, including 2 w/neck bands
Northern Pintail                               Two drakes in the slough
MERLIN                                        One atop tall fir south of mansion
Virginia Rail                                     2-3 responded to clapping from boardwalk
Barn Owl                                        Windmill, East Meadow, as late as 6:50
Northern Shrike                               Middle of the Dog Area
Yellow-rumped Warbler                  1 Myrtle's-type at Rowing Club

The neck-banded Cackling Geese have been at Marymoor several times this winter. They (and presumably much of this flock) are from Chevak, Alaska.

There were lots of birds singing: Anna's Hummingbird (display flight), Northern Flicker (kwik-kwik-kwik calls, drumming), Black-capped Chickadee, Bewick's Wren, Pacific Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird (okalee), Purple Finch, House Finch, Pine Siskin

Additionally, a RED-TAILED HAWK was at least visiting the old nest site atop the odd snag west of the park entrance.

For the 2nd straight week, no woodpeckers other than Northern Flicker.

For the day, a great February total of 57 species. For the year, adding MERLIN, 76 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Northern Pintails.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Northern Pintail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pair of Gadwall.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cackling Geese, including one with an odd white throat.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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

Mew Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Common Merganser, 2012-02-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit, 2012-02-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Northern Pintail, 2012-02-12.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for February 17, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

The sleet stopped just before our 7:30 start time, and we really had quite a nice morning.  No real precipitation, and the wind didn't kick up until we were past the East Meadow.  Compared with last week, it was quite birdy.


Lots of ducks - 10 species, including a NORTHERN PINTAIL that landed briefly at the weir.  Almost all of the NOPI sightings we've had at Marymoor have been flyovers.

Lots of accipiter sightings.  Matt saw a COOPER'S HAWK adult early on. During the walk, we had many sightings of immature birds, and we're confident that we had both Cooper's Hawk and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, though there were many sightings that had us confused.  We sure scrutinized some well-worn tails, and peered at breast streaking hoping for enlightenment. One gave  a great, speedy pursuit of a NORTHERN FLICKER; we concluded that one was a Cooper's.

Matt had a couple of BARN OWLS early at the model airplane field.  He also had a noisy GREAT HORNED OWL in the conifers near the mansion.  We're not sure of that's the same bird that we saw in the ivy-covered tree in the Big Cottonwood Forest near the big nest.  Seeing a GHOW there again today makes it seem much more likely that they are, indeed, nesting in the eagle-built nest.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE was atop a tall willow far off to the east of the East Meadow.

There were an extraordinary number of GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, but we were unable to find anything different in with them.  We had nary a White-crowned Sparrow anywhere in the park for the 4th straight week.


For the day, 56 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Thursday was not very photogenic, but Ollie Oliver took these shots the day before, on Wednesday, 2011-02-16
Adult Red-tailed Hawk
Steller's Jay

Pied-billed Grebes

American Wigeon pair

Gadwall pairl

Hairy Woodpecker female

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Green Heron at the Rowing Club

Report for February 18, 2010

A bit of early fog, and a bit colder than recently at the start, but another gorgeous day all-in-all.. 


Cackling Goose             Still some with Canadas on grass parking lot
Western Screech-Owl    Heard by several people way early near windmill
Pileated Woodpecker     First of the year
Northern Shrike             North of fields 7-8-9
Winter Wren                  East end of boardwalk
Cedar Waxwing             Lillian spotted 9 for us, near Dog Central
Yellow-rumped Warbler Rowing Club; also near east entrance
Lincoln's Sparrow           Compost Piles.  First since Jan. 7

Notable were all of the species heard singing::

Black-capped Chickadee
Brown Creeper
Marsh Wren
Bewick's Wren
Winter Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
European Starling
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch

For the day, 59 species.  For the year, Pileated was new.

= Michael


Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Pied-billed Grebe

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Female Bushtit.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Red-tailed Hawk, 2010-02-19.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Report for February 12, 2009

It was quite a nice day today - thin high overcast, but some sun. Frosty to start, but it warmed well enough.  Birdy enough, especially the beginning and the end.  The downer was that Scott's car got broken into between 6:30 and 7:00.  Having to call the sheriff is no way to start a morning.

The AMERICAN TREE SPARROW was again seen around the Compost Piles.  We missed it, but Jeff went back and found it, so after the Rowing Club, I went over and we found it again.  This is the 5th week for this individual.


Cackling Goose                  Big flock flew over around 8:00
California Quail                   Heard again this week, SW of the mansion
Western Grebe                   Two out on the lake
BARN OWL                     Roosting in cedar near windmill - seen at 11am
Short-eared Owl                Matt and Scott - East Meadow early
Red-breasted Sapsucker    At the Rowing Club - not the hybrid
NORTHERN SHRIKE      Two individuals - one much browner

Lots of singing birds, including Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Bewick's Wren, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, and Purple Finch.  Mallards were copulating.  A Red-tailed Hawk was atop the odd snag nest for a while.

After the Tree Sparrow, I went over to the 187th Ave. access off East Lake Samm Parkway and walked a bit of the East Lake Samm Trail back towards Marymoor.  New birds for the day were:

Lesser (?) Scaup      20 at the north end of the lake
Wood Duck             Six in the NE corner of the lake
Winter Wren
House Sparrow

So for the day, 59 species.  For the year, still at 79 species.

== Michael

Red-tailed Hawk on nest atop odd snag

Ollie Oliver's nice shot of a Golden-crowned Sparrow

Green-winged Teal on the far side of the slough

Ollie's photo of the adult Northern Shrike

Three Great Blue Herons in Snag Row

Barn Owl being warmed by the sun, in a cedar near the windmill

American Tree Sparrow at the Compost Piles again

Six Pied-billed Grebes in the NE corner of the lake

Mount Rainier from the NE corner of the lake

Report for February 14, 2008   

We had a great day at Marymoor today.  The weather was delightful, starting out just above the freeze and warming, no wind, quite a bit of sun. Really very pleasant.  It was pretty birdy too.  Water levels were back up - you need tall boots again to get to the boardwalk.  Humor levels were somewhat below usual, as Matt Bartels is working a temp job and missed Marymoor today.


Wigeon                        Had a flyby that *might* have been Eurasian
Hairy Woodpecker      Great looks in the Cottonwood Forest
Brown Creeper            5-6 total, at 4 different locations
Northern Shrike           Atop tall cottonwood well south of East Meadow
Dark-eyed Junco         We had a nice Slate-colored along the slough
Western Meadowlark  3 in East Meadow, one SINGING

There was lots of singing - American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, Marsh Wren, Bewick's Wren, Black-capped Chickadee, and the Meadowlark, plus maybe some others.

We had birds making weird sounds - a robin making repetative noises a la a mockingbird, and a Song Sparrow making strange noises I'd never heard before.

We had a lot of tussles between male robins, and an apparent display between a male and a female junco.

Maybe it was all Valentine's Day stuff...

Anyway, for the day we had 56 species, which is really good for Marymoor in February.  Hairy Woodpecker was new for the year.  Oh, and Ollie and Scott reported seeing a BEAVER in the slough.  It was a good day.

== Michael

Back view of a Western Meadowlark singing from an English Hawthorn
in the East Meadow, 2008-02-12

Male Hairy Woodpecker on a balancing broken branch in the Cottonwood Forest

Hazelnut Catkins

Brown Creeper...

Eastern ...poking into the moss and lichens

American Robins in the top of a Cottonwood.
 Wait - the top one is a NORTHERN SHRIKE

Male Gadwall in the ditch near the East Footbridge

Awfully early in the year for a bird's egg.  Probably European Starling...

Pine Siskin east of Clise Mansion

More Pine Siskins, engaged in some ritual pair feeding exercise, I think.

Chestnut-backed Chickadee, northeast of Clise Mansion

Report for February 14, 2007

It was a lousy day - clouds, blowing mist most of the morning, gusts maybe up to 10-15 m.p.h.  Couldn't find more that about 5 Song Sparrows, only 3 glimpses of Spotted Towhee, and no House Sparrows or Rock Pigeons.  The median number of individual birds per species was 4.  That all said, it was a great day!  Really.


Barrow's Goldeneye        Female at the lake platform
Bald Eagle                       Female eating coot near nest; adult hunting coots at lake
HERRING GULL             First confirmed sighting at Marymoor
GLAUCOUS GULL         First winter - first ever at Marymoor
Anna's Hummingbird        Male definitely on territory south of windmill
Belted Kingfisher             First of 2007, on slough
Northern Shrike                On a bush north of grass soccer fields
Brown Creeper                3-4 on a single Doug Fir near the mansion

This was only our 7th sighting of a BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, but this was the 2nd week in a row for the species.  Last week was a fly-by male, this week was a female, probably first-winter.

The pair of BALD EAGLES was near the new nest, and the female (based on size) was eating a coot draped over the branch of a cottonwood quite close to the trail.  The little feet dangling down made ID of the prey easy. Later, when we got to the lake, we watched an adult Bald Eagle hovering and making swipes at a tight ball of AMERICAN COOTS.  The coots mostly just flapped their wings, but otherwise remained motionless.  They didn't dive and they mostly didn't try to flee.  Apparently the mass of wing flapping is an effective defense.

When we first arrived in the morning, there were a few gulls on the grass fields near where we park.  We were searching through them for RING-BILLED GULL (there were a few among the MEW GULLS and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS). There was also a larger black wing-tipped gull at the far end of the field that I first thought was probably our usual, singular, WESTERN GULL (he showed up later).  But the head was dusky, and yet it didn't look right for a GWGUxWEGU hybrid.  The more I looked, the more I got suspicious. Guys, this wouldn't be a Herring, would it?"  We got out a scope, but even so, it was too far to tell.  However, after having walked halfway across the field, we were able to get decent, confirming looks.  Previously, we'd had only one very uncertain maybe in mid-October, 2004.  So it was very nice to add this species to the park list!

After our whole loop, plus the swing around the mansion, as we were returning to the cars, I saw the Western Gull on the road.  Behind our cars were more gulls, some obviously larger than Ring-billed or Mew.  I suggested that we should scan the gulls before leaving to see if the Herring was there again.  Scan we did, but no Herring.  But my eye was drawn to a large immature gull.  "Um, guys?  Could this be a Glaucous?"   Matt looked and
told me, in no uncertain terms, to go fetch my scope.  Through the scope there was no question, and a couple of looks in short flights also added to our certainty that it was, indeed, a first-winter GLAUCOUS GULL - not a gull any of us had expected at Marymoor.

Ollie spotted the NORTHERN SHRIKE north of grass fields 7-8-9 after the rest of us had passed by that area.  I'd been pretty sure we *wouldn't* see a
shrike today, because of the wind.  I guess I shouldn't assume.

We also got to see a very cool, very fast, very low, direct flight of an
adult COOPER'S HAWK, which winged maybe 150-200 yards along a ditch and into Snag Row.  We'd seen quite a few AMERICAN ROBIN, EUROPEAN STARLING, and DARK-EYED JUNCO in the snag area where the Cooper's was aimed, but  it came up empty and landed in the Pea Patch.

For the morning, 55 species, with three added to the year list (HERG, GLGU,
and BEKI) for a total of 81.

== Michael


Glaucous Gull and Bushtit photos by Ollie Oliver


Bird Sightings Week 7
February 12-18



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