Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 16
April 16-22*


Rarities for Week 16:

Great Egret 17-Apr-12 Reported by a couple of dog walkers - well described.  Apparently it landed in the heronry
Townsend's Solitaire 16-Apr-17 Photos - Lillian Reis
Sage Thrasher 16-Apr-15 Compost Piles, Viewing Mound
Sage Thrasher 17-Apr-02 Compost Piles
Brewer's Sparrow 20-Apr-17  
Douglas Squirrel 21-Apr-11 fide Bob Schmidt

Report for April 21, 2020                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

I had seen that I might be able to rescue the flotsam Purple Martin gourds by walking from the boardwalk.  Lake levels are unusually low right now.  Rain is coming.  I was afraid if I didn’t rescue them now, they’d be lost when the lake rises in the next week.
So I loaded a backpack with tall rubber boots and tools and I went straight from the NE corner of Marymoor to the Lake Platform.  I successfully rescued the gourds on their crosspieces, the vertical pole (they’d become separated), and the Wood Duck box that someone had screwed onto that same piling.
I took the gourds home, replaced the tee pipe junction (where the threading of the vertical bar had broken off), and cleaned them up somewhat.  I gathered a different set of tools, went back to Marymoor, walked straight to the Lake Platform, drilled a mounting hole in the washed up dock piece, and mounted the gourds.  Luckily, the threading on the other end of the vertical pole screwed into the new tee, despite the rust.
I also screwed the Wood Duck box to a nearby willow – maybe not high enough to attract them, but no worse than when it was on the piling. 
Then I gathered trash (1/2 a garbage bag) on my way back.  Much of that was from around the Lake Platform.

Highlights from 2020-04-20, when I did a walk starting at 9:00 a.m.:

  • Lesser Scaup – six from Lake Platform - First of Year (FOY)
  • Lincoln's Sparrow - at least eight
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - one heard - FOY
Highlights from 2020-04-21:
  • Cackling Goose – at least 100; we’ve only had 3 sightings later than this
  • Northern Shoveler – three at the lake, with Buffleheads and two Ring-necked Ducks
  • Common Goldeneye – one first year male
  • Vaux’s Swift – about 5, amid large flocks of swallows – FOY
  • Common Loon – one ridiculously far out on the lake, but it was preening and that allowed me to confirm – FOY
  • HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER – one seen just a little south of the East Footbridge – calling with that loud, clear note – FOY
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – one over the lake – FOY
  • Cliff Swallow – one or two over the lake – FOY
  • Hermit Thrush – one just south of the East Footbridge
  • CHIPPING SPARROW – one on the Viewing Mound fence – FOY
  • YELLOW WARBLER – at least one gorgeous singing male just a little south of the East Footbridge – FOY, and over a week earlier than ever before at Marymoor!
Between the visits on the 16th, 20th, and 21st, a total of 85 SPECIES, with FOURTEEN new species for 2020, THIS WEEK!
= Michael Hobbs

Purple Martin gourds; two still on post to the right of the platform. Salvaged ones on floating dock debris to the left of the platform.

Report for April 16, 2020                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

Tracy joined me today for another COVID-19 surreptitious survey.  We were, again, almost totally alone in the park: Bushtits outnumbered humans, if you don’t count park workers.  Like last week, at 10:00, a small(er) convoy of gardeners came in to work their plots in the Pea Patch.
The day was gorgeous, starting a little cold (40 degrees), but warming to 60 degrees, with full sun and no wind.  The leaves are beginning to come out, but are mostly still pretty bare.  Strangely similar to last week.
  • Cackling Goose – 1500+ flew by large flocks.  This is getting quite late for them, especially for getting large numbers
  • Northern Shoveler – one in slough.  First of Year (FOY)
  • American Wigeon – one at lake; getting late
  • Ring-necked Duck – four under long dock from Lake Platform – first in 6 weeks
  • Band-tailed Pigeon – two sightings of single birds – FOY
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – one quick look of one quick bird – FOY
  • Greater Yellowlegs – one below weir
  • Double-crested Cormorant – only 1
  • Osprey – two seemly weaving branches atop the new nest pole
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one in NW corner – FOY
  • Purple Martin – Four at gourds again, this time with one going in
  • Cedar Waxwing – maybe 6, maybe more.  Usual arrival is not until mid-May
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – two
  • Western Meadowlark – two at north end of East Meadow
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – at least a couple of males – FOY
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – still only three or so
  • Common Yellowthroat – 25+, with much singing
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – two Myrtle, many Audubon’s; all males
I was hoping for more returning migrants, but maybe next week.  Instead, we did pretty well with species that should be heading out quite soon (two FOX SPARROW, for instance).
Misses today included Belted Kingfisher, Hairy Woodpecker (might have heard), Cliff Swallow, Barn Swallow, Marsh Wren (might have heard), and House Finch.
For the day, 65 species, with four new for the year.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for April 18, 2019                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

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


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

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

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

== Michael Hobbs

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

American Robin and Western Meadowlark.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for April 19, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

The weather report looked so promising, but instead we had fog for most of the morning. Nothing but grayness. As we finished up at the mansion, and then over at the Rowing Club, we finally had the forecast sunshine. Also, water levels were high, with even a little water over the boardwalk. Things were pretty quiet.


  • Eurasian Collared Dove – still a notable species, though sightings are increasing
  • VAUX’S SWIFT – one over the slough once it became sunny. First of 2018
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard one near “The Mysterious Thicket” around 5am
  • Great Horned Owl – Scott Ramos heard one pre-dawn from the model airplane field
  • - All 5 common woodpeckers
  • “Black” Merlin – flushed the American Pipits and Killdeer from the grass/gravel field
  • Hutton’s Vireo – singing north of windmill. Apparently resident there this year
  • - All 5 common swallows
  • American Pipit – maybe as many as a dozen all told, on mowed fields
  • Fox Sparrow – just one; maybe our last until fall
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – just one, at Rowing Club

Since the day had gotten sunny, I did much of the walk again, hoping to find any of the myriad of rarities that can show up this time of year. Pretty much nada. I did verify the HUTTON’S VIREO, which had been heard-only before, and being able to see out from the Lake Platform, I added AMERICAN COOT, BUFFLEHEAD, and DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT. Other than that, there were many more Rufous Hummingbirds apparent, and much more singing of Purple Finch. I also had a flock of 11 Steller’s Jay, and got to actually see a PILEATED WOODPECKER.

Misses today included Gadwall, Green-winged Teal, Band-tailed Pigeon, Wilson’s Snipe, Belted Kingfisher, and American Goldfinch. The high water levels and fog probably account for most of those.

For the day, 68 species (65 on the regular walk). New for the year was VAUX’S SWIFT. In addition, some birders saw and photographed a SAGE THRASHER at the park on 2018-04-15, bringing the 2018 total to 110 species.

== Michael Hobbs

American Crow in the fog. Photo by Hugh Jennings

Barn Swallow.  Photo by Gary Luhm

Almost ready to fledge Anna's Hummingbirds. Photo by Jordan Roderick

Same Anna's.  Photo by Gary Luhm

Even when we got to the Viewing Mound, it was still nothing but fog.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

When the sun came out, it was really nice though.  Golden-crowned Sparrow in breeding plumage.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Steller's Jay.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Sage Thrasher, 2018-04-15.  Photo by Jeff Deem

Sage Thrasher, 2018-04-15.  Photo by Jeff Deem

Cooper's Hawk, 2018-04-14.  Photo by Peter Zika

Loggerhead Shrike, 2018-04-14.  Photo by Sravanthi Yalamanchili

Report for April 20, 2017                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

It was an unexpectedly nice day. The forecast rain didn’t arrive, and a lot of the morning was sunny. After about 9, it did get cloudier and breezier, but if often felt like spring. The birds thought so too!


  • Cackling Goose – single flock of 16 – 4th-latest spring sighting ever
  • Wood Duck – pair up in trees near the start of the boardwalk
  • Common Goldeneye – single female, 7th-latest spring sighting ever
  • Horned Grebe – one near lake platform in breeding plumage – 3rd latest...
  • Mourning Dove – one near concert venue – First of 2017
  • Vaux’s Swift – First of 2017, and tied for 4th-earliest spring sighting ever
  • Common Loon – one far out on lake
  • Green Heron – pair at lake, one with nesting material
  • Barn Owl – Matt heard baby in windmill, adult outside, very very early
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt saw one near east end of boardwalk very early
  • N. Rough-winged Swallow – 1-2 or so, over slough – First of 2017
  • Hermit Thrush – west edge of Dog Meadow
  • NASHVILLE WARBLER – at least 3 – First of 2017, and 3rd-earliest spring sighting ever
  • BREWER’S SPARROW – near 2nd and 3rd Dog Beaches, with Golden-crowned Sparrows. ONLY THE 4th-EVER sighting at Marymoor, and first since 2012. (Prev. dates: 2012-04-12, 2000-04-30, 2011-06-09).

Sunrise actually came a little after our 6:00 a.m. start time, and there were clouds along the eastern edge of the sky, so we weren’t in a great hurry to get started. Instead, we looked at VENUS through the scope, which was really cool as Venus is a crescent right now, something I don’t remember seeing before.

For the day, an amazing 73 species! New for the year were MODO, VASW, NRWS, NAWA, and BRSP, to bring us to 111 species for the year, I believe.

== Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl.  Photo by Matt Bartels

Crescent Venus.  Photo by Michael Hobbs


Common Merganser pair.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Female Common Merganser with fish too large to swallow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Brewer's Sparrow.  Photo by Mason Flint

Brewer's Sparrow. Note streaked nape.   Photo by Mason Flint

Brewer's Sparrow.  Photo by Mason Flint

Brewer's Sparrow with Golden-crowned Sparrow for size comparison.
Photo by Hugh Jennings

Horned Grebe in breeding plumage in slough.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Wood Duck.  Photo by Milt Vine

Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Milt Vine

Male "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Bill Fletcher

Male "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Bill Fletcher

Nashville Warbler.  Photo by Bill Fletcher

Nashville Warbler.  Photo by Bill Fletcher

Townsend's Solitaire, 2017-04-16.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Townsend's Solitaire, 2017-04-16.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for April 21, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

A little cooler today than the past few scorchers, and breezy at first. I was hoping that the shift in weather would mean that *everything* would have flown in overnight and we’d have one of those phenomenal days today. No such luck. Instead, it seems that the weather convinced many species to *leave*. What stayed are species that are mostly busy breeding now, and are pretty quiet. That’s not *quite* true, as we did have a couple of new species, including a BULLOCKS’S ORIOLE that was a real surprise for this date.

Mosquitoes were fairly fierce today.


American Wigeon               Pair below weir – getting late for them here
Mallard                               First ducklings – about 5 on far side of slough
Common Goldeneye           Down to just 1 female in slough
COMMON LOON           1 flew over mansion just after 6, 1 at lake, FOY
Green Heron                      1 at Rowing Club – first in 4 weeks
- all 5 woodpeckers -
Merlin                                Eating what looked like a Tree Swallow
American Pipit                   10+ in NE corner fields
Golden-crowned Sparrow  Down to just 1 sorry-looking bird
BULLOCK’S ORIOLE     Brilliant male flew over lake platform
Evening Grosbeak              A few heard-only/at most glimpsed flyovers

We’d not seen a GREEN HERON since March 24th, but today’s bird at the Rowing Club looked like it was probably the same juvenile that overwintered.

Lots of OSPREY action today, including tag-teaming BALD EAGLES forcing an Osprey to drop a fish at the lake.

This is still ridiculously early for SPOTTED SANDPIPER at Marymoor; we’ve never had one before May previously. Today’s bird had a spotted breast, unlike Grace&Ollie’s bird, 2016-04-08.

We were stunned to have a male BULLOCK’S ORIOLE fly over the lake platform and land at the tip-top of a distant cottonwood for longer viewing. This is WAY early for Bullock’s at Marymoor – we’ve never had one before May, so this was 9 days earlier than our previous earliest sighting. Our median arrival date is closer to May 10.

Birds that have probably cleared out for the season include Pied-billed Grebe, Double-crested Cormorant, American Coot, Wilson’s Snipe, most gulls, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and Western Meadowlark, all missed for today (and several missed last week too).

For the day, 63 species. COMMON LOON and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE were new for the year, so our 2016 list should be at 109, I believe.

== Michael Hobbs

Dawn.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

This Merlin just caught a Tree Swallow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Merganser pair.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Merganser.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Female Common Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Common Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wood Duck pair.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Osprey near weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Osprey near weir.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

We can see just enough to make out both "Audubon's" (upper) and  "Myrtle's"
Yellow-rumped Warblers in this shot.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

They usually skulk down low, but during spring, you can sometimes find male Common Yellowthroats up higher in trees.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for April 16, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was chilly this morning, with touches of frost. But the sun’s beams hit us right as we left the parking lot, and there was no wind and just a trace of fog, so it warmed somewhat in just an hour or two. Never really needed to shed too many layers though. It wasn’t super birdy, but it was certainly a day with some nice highlights, and a gorgeous day to be out. Matt and Sharon are both out-of-town; we had nobody around in the wee hours to check for owls. Also missed Virginia Rail and Wilson’s Snipe, both of which are often heard pre-dawn.


Common Goldeneye                 Getting late – 1 at weir
Bald Eagle                                Very visible; 4-6 adults
Cooper’s Hawk                        Close encounter along north edge of Snag Row
Red-tailed Hawk                       6+ adults. Saw nest exchange at odd-snag nest
GREATER YELLOWLEGS     1 on far side of slough below weir
Barn Swallow                            6+ flying over lake – First of Year
Cliff Swallow                             2 over new maintenance bldg. – FOY
Ruby-crowned Kinglet               2+ singing males, after none noted last week
SAGE THRASHER                  1 at Compost Piles/Viewing Mound
Orange-crowned Warbler          Heard about 6 singing, saw 2 (very yellow birds)
Fox Sparrow                             Two singing quietly. Will be leaving soon
Red Crossbill                             Numbers seem to be dropping. Maybe 3-4,
                                                       mostly heard

This was only our 6th-ever Spring sighting of GREATER YELLOWLEGS. It walked the far shore of the slough and called several times before flying off towards the lake. (We also have 6 fall sightings; Marymoor isn’t a great shorebirding site).

Saw a violent interaction/chase between an OSPREY and a GREAT BLUE HERON at the weir that lasted for at least 30 seconds. The Osprey did not seem pleased to have the GBH around, though who started it, I’m not sure. The Osprey certainly had the advantage in maneuverability.

When we got to the Compost Piles, Mason Flint noted a bird walking on the ground next to some American Robins. From the back and somewhat back-lit, I thought at first that it was just another robin, but when I got a bit of a profile view, I realized it was a SAGE THRASHER. Remarkably, this our our FOURTH Sage Thrasher sighting for Marymoor, and right on schedule. Previous sightings have been 2012-04-12, 2002-04-17, and 2007-05-03, and all sightings have been within about 50 yards of the middle of the Compost Piles. Today's bird flew around a bit, including landing on the Viewing Mound fencing.

There were also 3 (!) AMERICAN BEAVER seen swimming in the slough near the weir.

Misses today included Pied-billed Grebe and House Finch.

For the day, 62 species. Adding GRYE, CLSW, BARS, and SATH, we’re now at 101 species for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Greater Yellowlegs on the far shore of the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

We have some very strange-looking domestic-type Mallards.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Tree Swallow near Pea Patch nest box.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Downy Woodpecker at nest hole.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Downy Woodpecker.  Hole is in cottonwood in heronry.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Tail spots are a key identifier for Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Myrtle's" Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Last Fox Sparrow of the season?  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Lutescens" subspecies Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Sage Thrasher at Viewing Mound.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Sage Thrasher at Viewing Mound.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bald Eagle pair at lake.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Chestnut-backed Chickadee excavating a hole in a cedar.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Beaver in slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Beaver in slough.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for April 17, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

After all of the glorious weather we’ve had recently, it was a little disappointing to have pretty much steady drizzle all day under rather dark gray clouds. But April birding, even when it’s not great, is wonderful. The most notable thing about the day was that the sky was FILLED WITH SWALLOWS. We had ~200 VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS in a constant swirl over the slough just below the weir. Then, at the lake, the number of swallows (again, mostly Violet-green) was astonishing. The East Meadow had a slightly sparser cloud of swallows, but still the sky was notably busy. There, TREE SWALLOWS were at least as common as Violet-greens.

Other highlights (FOS – First of Spring):

GR. WH.-FRONTED GOOSE     Flock of ~120 flew west over East Meadow
CINNAMON TEAL           Male with Green-winged Teal below weir
COMMON LOON             One pretty far out, southwest part of the lake – FOS Great Blue Heron                 Adults huddled tight on their nests
Barn Owl                             Matt heard a couple, East Meadow, pre-dawn
VAUX’S SWIFT                 2-3, mixed in the swallow hoards – FOS
PURPLE MARTIN             One male at Viewing Mound – FOS
CLIFF SWALLOW            I had 2 from the cabana, late – FOS
Barn Swallow                      Probably fewer than a dozen
Orange-crowned Warbler    A few, singing
Yellow-rumped Warbler      Fewer than last couple of weeks
Common Yellowthroat         Ubiquitous, loud, and mostly invisible
Townsend’s Warbler            Female near windmill

The flock of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE was amazing and unexpected. Normally, when we get GWFG, it’s 1-5 birds mixed in with Cacklers and/or Canadas. Our previous high count was 10. Also, it’s very late for GWFG, so these are assuredly migrants from further south passing over the park in a hurry. We’ve never had White-fronts later than April 5th! But Evan Houston reported that he saw 200 Greater White-fronted Geese fly over the park on May 2, 2010, which was probably a very similar flock. So our sighting was not completely unprecedented.

Today’s VAUX’S SWIFTS tie 2008 for earliest spring sighting. Actually, today’s was earlier, since 2008 was a leap year. The PURPLE MARTIN is five days earlier than the previous early sighting from 2010.

We also had a five mammal day, with deer, muskrat, and river otter as well as the usual bunnies and squirrels.

We had 60 species for the day. The four new for the year brings our 2014 list to 108 species I believe.

I will miss the next two Thursday at Marymoor, as I’m heading to Texas. But Brian and Matt will be ably leading in my stead.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Common Yellowthroat, 2014-04-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Red-breasted Nuthatch, 2014-04-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Two of ~11 American Pipits, 2014-04-14.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit, 2014-04-14.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit, 2014-04-14.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mourning Dove, 2014-04-13.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for April 18, 2013                                                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

Marymoor was dark and cloudy early, did lighten up later, but no rain. Michael was absent on the east coast, so Matt & I substituted. None of this kept the birds from singing - lots and lots of singing today, particularly early.

Matt did have Barn Owl early, first time since March 14th. We also had a high flying Short-eared Owl at about 8 AM over in the direction of the East Meadow, and at the same time a high flying (and then perched) American Kestrel.


Barn Owl
Short-eared Owl
American Kestrel
California Quail (singing from within the Great Blue Heron enclosure, probably the most unusual quail sighting in the park)
Hairy Woodpecker from 10 feet
Violet-green Swallows - at least 50
Western Meadowlark

It was a good day with 66 species for the day, but nothing new for the year.

Brian H. Bell Woodinville, WA

Short-eared Owl.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Short-eared Owl.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Kestrel.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler, male.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male California Quail.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male California Quail.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Common Mergansers.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Common Mergansers.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Common Goldeneye female.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Muskrat.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Trying to increase blog traffic with cute dog picture.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Photo by Hugh Jennings

Western Meadowlark, 2013-04-17.  Photo by Lillian Reis

American Pipit, 2013-04-14.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Red-tailed Hawk, carrying what looks like a snake...

...3 photos, 2013-04-14 by Lillian Reis

Bushtit, 2013-04-14.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Orange-crowned Warbler, 2013-04-14.  Photo by Lillian Reis

American Robin, 2013-04-14.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Black-capped Chickadee, 2013-04-13.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit nest, 2013-04-13.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Another Bushtit nest?  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow, 2013-04-13.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-crowned Sparrow, 2013-04-13.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for April 19, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

We were a big group today, out on a nice morning (no rain threatening). But it seemed REALLY quiet. It also didn't feel much like spring - we had more interesting ducks than we did migrants. But by the end of the morning, our list was pretty long.


Mallard x Gadwall hybrid          Male below weir
Common Loon                          One well out on lake
Mourning Dove                         Heard repeatedly from boardwalk
Belted Kingfisher                       First on our walks since January
Pileated Woodpecker                Near mansion again
Cliff Swallow                             Several near model airplane field
Barn Swallow                            2+ at lake
Townsend's Warbler                 1 near concert area restroom
Red Crossbill                            At least 2 near mansion

Several dog walkers (including some carrying binoculars) reported a GREAT EGRET in the heronry on Tuesday, April 17. This is just the 2nd report ever for Great Egret at Marymoor.

Evan Houston reported several interesting birds last Friday, April 13, including TURKEY VULTURE, BONAPARTE'S GULL, COMMON LOON, and WESTERN GREBE.

For the day, we had 65 species. For the year, adding MOURNING DOVE, CLIFF SWALLOW, and BARN SWALLOW, plus counting Evan's gull and grebe, plus the Great Egret, I think the park year list is at 111.

== Michael Hobbs

Hybrid Gadwall x Mallard male.  Photo by Josh Adams
Hybrid Gadwall x Mallard male.  Photo by Josh Adams

Great Blue Herons on the nest together.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

European Starling in possible nest hole.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

"Myrtle's"-race Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Josh Adams

"Audubon's"-race Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male Purple Finch.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male House Finch.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male Red Crossbill.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Red Crosbill.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Black-capped Chickadee excavating possible nest hole.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Josh Adams

Cooper's Hawk with prey.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Cooper's Hawk harassed by American Crow.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

American Beaver holding its tail cocked.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

American Crow, 2012-04-13.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Killdeer nest, 2012-04-13.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.
Eggs had disappeared by 2012-04-19

Killdeer nest, 2012-04-13.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.
Eggs had disappeared by 2012-04-19

Northern Flicker showing yellow flight feathers of a "Yellow-shafted", but with too much gray on the face, and missing the red nape of a pure bird of that subspecies.

Intergrade "Yellow-shafted" x "Red-shafted" Northern Flicker, 2012-04-13.
Two photos by Ollie Oliver

Report for April 21, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

It wasn't exactly spring out there - cold, damp (though with only a trace of precip.), dark much of the time, and a bit breezy.  But the leaves are starting to come out, and some of the spring birds are arriving.  It was actually a really good day for birds.


Still 8 species of duck             Mallard with 2 ducklings, Rowing Club
American Kestrel                   Male in East Meadow, gorgeous
Merlin                                    Eating Song Sparrow in Dog Area cottonwood
Wilson's Snipe                        Saw 4.  Matt heard winnowing early
VAUX'S SWIFT                   Two with swallows over Dog Area
Black-capped Chickadee       Nest hole just south of Dog Area
Brown Creeper                      Nest in snag near boardwalk
MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD     Female flew from Snag Row south
Hermit Thrush                         One in NW corner of Dog Area
Varied Thrush                         Several singing (unseen)
Orange-crowned Warbler      Only 1, SE of mansion
Yellow-rumped Warbler         Abundant, singing, Audubon's & Myrtle's
Lincoln's Sparrow                  Maybe 7 - migration pulse

For the day, 67 species.  Vaux's Swift, Hermit Thrush, and Orange-crowned Warbler were new for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Uncredited photos by Michael Hobbs

The red tail of the Hermit Thrush was obvious.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Merlin eating what looked like a Song Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Savannah Sparrow along west edge of the Dog Meadow. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male American Kestrel in East Meadow.  Photo by Ollie Olliver

Male American Kestrel in East Meadow.  Photo by Ollie Olliver

Male American Kestrel in East Meadow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Lillian Reis had a male Northern Harrier in the afternoon...

...and she took this fabulous photo

Report for April 22, 2010

We had a FABULOUS Earth Day at Marymoor today.  The weather was cloudy and chilly, though there was a bit of clearing and warmth very late in the morning.  But it was phenominally birdy, with little wind and no rain.  The best birds were two NASHVILLE WARBLERS; and a WESTERN KINGBIRD at the Compost Piles.


Common Goldeneye               2 females - probably last 'til fall
Bald Eagle                              Large numbers - at least 13
Vaux's Swift                           2 or 3, maybe.  First of Year (FOY)
Five woodpecker species       (Pileated was heard-only though)
WESTERN KINGBIRD        At Compost Piles
Cliff Swallow                          FOY (though actually, I had one 4/20)
SWAINSON'S THRUSH      Great looks, and came in to SWTH on iPod
Hermit Thrush                         3-4 - FOY
NASHVILLE WARBLER      2, both with flocks of Yellow-rumps in willows
Yellow-rumped Warbler         Tons, both races.  Some females
Fox Sparrow                          Only 1 - maybe last 'til fall
Lincoln's Sparrow                   One at Pea Patch
White-crowned Sparrow         Large movement of gambelii, some pugetensis
Western Meadowlark              Three in East Meadow

Afterwards, I went to the 187th Ave. viewpoint off East Lake Samm Parkway, and walked north a bit up the East Lake Sammamish Trail along the east edge of the park.  I added FIVE species:

Common Loon                      2 on lake, also seen Tuesday
California Gull
PURPLE MARTIN               At least 1
Brown Creeper
House Sparrow

VAUX'S SWIFT was also seen Tuesday, 4/20, by Sharon Aagaard.  The only earlier sighting was 4/17/2008

WESTERN KINGBIRD - this is our earliest sighting ever, beating last year's by a day.

PURPLE MARTIN - this is our earliest sighting ever.  Previous first sightings 4/29/08, and 4/30/09

NASHVILLE WARBLER - this is our second earliest sighting, a day later than last year's record

YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER - large numbers (well over 50).  Males outnumbered females about 10-1, though this represents an increase in the numbers of females from previous weeks.  Audubon's outnumbered Myrtle's by about 3-1.

Our big miss today was RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, though both Sharon and I had them on 4/20.  Ruby-crowns often stick around for *at least* one more week, though in 2004 our last one was on 4/21.  We'll have to see if we get any more this year.

For the day, 70 species, plus the 5 extras after the walk!  Also, from Tuesday, Ruby-crowned Kinglet and Cooper's Hawk to make 77 for the week (or about 1/2 the species we'll get for the whole year).

For 2010 so far:  105 species (adding Common Loon, California Gull, Vaux's Swift, Western Kingbird, Purple Martin, Cliff Swallow, Swainson's Thrush, Hermit Thrush, and Nashville Warbler this week).

== Michael

Bad photo of the first Nashville Warbler of the morning

Western Kingbird at the Compost Piles

Western Kingbird

2 of 3 Western Meadowlarks at the East Meadow

Savannah Sparrow in the East Meadow

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Same guy, different lighting, and with his crown mostly down

Black-capped Chicadee

Barn Owl in the nest box

After the walk, Lillian Reis tried to find the Western Kingbird at the Compost Piles,
and instead found this American Pipit

Lillian took this photo of a Red-tailed Hawk with what looks like a snake, 2010-04-16

More great photos of the Anna's X Rufous Hummingbird hybrid...

...both taken by Michael Hamilton, 2010-04-18

Report for April 21, 2009

Having missed Stupendous Thursday on the 16th, I decided to head down to Marymoor this morning while the weather was still glorious.

Unfortunately, I did NOT get one of those magically birdy mornings where the species count climbs really high.  I didn't get 74 species like they got on Thursday - only 56.

Also, I missed almost all of the unusual species they found on Thursday.  SO I HAD TO FIND MY OWN ONES!

I had EIGHT species they didn't have Thursday:

Ring-necked Pheasant        Male at Compost Piles
Cliff Swallow                      Several at the lake - FOS
Red-breasted Nuthatch      2 on new trail - First of 2009
Hermit Thrush                    2 near 3rd dog swim beach
NASHVILLE WARBLER 1 near 3rd dog swim beach
CHIPPING SPARROW    1 east of mansion in firs
Lincoln's Sparrow              1-2 at the N end of the East Meadow
RED CROSSBILL             Flock of 9 briefly in Dog Meadow

This is the earliest we've ever had Nashville at Marymoor.

Other things to mention - Tons of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS and several ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS.  Had a HAIRY WOODPECKER excavating a nest hole, and both DARK-EYED JUNCO and PINE SISKIN with nest materials.

So, 56 for the day, 82 for the week !!!, and with several new birds for 2009 this week, we're now at 116 for the year.

== Michael

BTW - sorry about how crappy today's photos are.
The birds were not cooperative with the camera...

Note the bright yellow throat on the Nashville Warbler

A slightly better view of the Nashville Warbler

This is as good a look as I got at the Red Crossbills before they flew off

Zooming in...

Blurry, but it shows the red color of a male Red Crossbill, and a bit of the crossed bill

Beautiful male Ring-necked Pheasant at the Compost Piles

Out-of-focus shot of the Chipping Sparrow east of the mansion

Slightly better focus, but the Chipping Sparrow was looking away :(\
Okay - nothing too exciting  But there are nesting Rock Pigeons under the bridge at the main park entrance

Report for April 16, 2009

Report from Brian Bell:

Today was the15th anniversary of his starting weekly walks at Marymoor Park. Michael couldn't be there today, but the day couldn't have been better. Started out cool (43F), with some overcast -but essentially nice. It only got better from there. Lots of bird activity all over the park today with birds singing, carrying nesting material, and constructing nest, and occupying nests.

It must have been in celebration of the day, but we had 21 people on the walk today and all enjoyed some great views of some very nice birds.

Some notable birds:

2 Ospreys at the nest
Savannah Sparrows singing all over the East Meadow
Barred Owl carrying a crow early at the south end of the East Meadow
Barn Owl on the nest box near the mansion
American Goldfinch - bright males showing up
Bushtits constructing at least three nests
Wilson's Snipe - at least 7 along the river
Great Blue Heron - one in park and 9 just north of the park
Cooper's Hawk - immature
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Downy Woodpecker pair
Hairy Woodpecker pair - with some interactions with the Downy pair
Red-breasted Sapsucker - at least 4 along the Cottonwood Forest trail
Northern Rough-winged Swallow - 1st of year
American Pipit - on soccer fields
American Kestrel - male
Eurasian Collared-Dove - on Snag Row
Mountain Chickadee - probably only 2nd for park
Black-throated Gray Warbler - beautiful male, 1st for the year
Green Heron - two at Rowing Club Ponds
Hammond's Flycatcher

Matt Bartels and I enjoyed subbing for Michael today, and definitely enjoyed the 72 species we saw today.

Brian H. Bell, Woodinville, WA

Thanks to all the photographers who sent me photos! - Michael

Scott Ramos' sunrise photo

Knut Hansen caught this Marsh Wren singing

Knut Hansen caught some interactions between a Downy Woodpecker and...

...a Tree Swallow that seemed to want to nest in the same tree

Ollie Oliver got some photographs of a Mountain Chickadee

This is only the 2nd or 3rd time Mountain Chickadee has been seen at Marymoor

Ollie's photo of the Eurasian Collared-Dove in Snag Row

David Maloney's gem of a photo of a pair of Tree Swallows

Ollie caught this front view of the Hammond's Flycatcher

...and this side view

Knut Hansen's portrait of the Hammond's

Ollie's back view of the Hammond's shows the long wings and long primary extension

A gorgeous male Black-throated Gray Warbler...

...two photos by Knut Hansen

Knut also caught this Black-capped Chickadee...

...excavating a nest hole

David Maloney's male "Audubon"-race Yellow-rumped Warbler..

...and a male "Myrtle's"-race Yellow-rumped Warbler to go with it.

David's photo of a Golden-crowned Sparrow shows just how spiffy these get
before they leave for their breeding grounds

Another one by David Maloney - a Ruby-crowned Kinglet

Report for April 17, 2008

We had a fabulous day at Marymoor today.  Overcast, but not windy and not too cold.  And birds - lots of birds.  Now, about a million of those birds were YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS, but even trying our best to ignore them (which was difficult since there were many absolutely gorgeous ones that kept demanding our attention), there were a lot of birds.  And a lot of "good" birds too.


Cinnamon Teal                     Pair at weir
California Quail                    Male calling (unseen) from Dog Central
Common Loon                     Flying south over Dog Meadow
AMERICAN BITTERN      Flying south over weir
Green Heron                        Two pair-flying all over the park
MERLIN                             Flew in from R/C field over East Meadow
Band-tailed Pigeon               Several sightings
Vaux's Swift                         One over Fields 7-8-9
N. Rough-winged Swallow   Several at weir and at lake
Cliff Swallow                        One at lake
Orange-crowned Warbler     Several heard, one seen
Brewer's Blackbird               Male in Snag Row at 6:30
Brown-headed.Cowbird       Several, at least 1 female

We also had male WOOD DUCK; both immature and adult COOPER'S HAWK; RED-TAILED HAWK including a couple of immatures, and of course a bird on the odd-snag nest; baby BARN OWLS at the nest box; both male and female ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD and RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, including a male Rufous that flew right at my face (I *had* to duck); a pair of RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKERS at the Rowing Club, RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH at the nest; a semi-cooperative COMMON YELLOWTHROAT singing from a red elderberry in the Dog Meadow; singing FOX SPARROW; singing gambeli WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW; gorgeous breeding-plumage GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS; a couple of LINCOLN'S SPARROWS, including one that was caught in netting in the Pea Patch (it freed itself when Jim walked towards it); and WESTERN MEADOWLARK at the Compost Piles.

The Cinnamon Teal, American Bittern, Green Heron, Merlin, Vaux's Swift, and Cliff Swallow were all new for the year.  I think we're up to 109 species for 2008.

FOR THE DAY, 71 SPECIES.  Not bad at all...

== Michael

Male Cinnamon Teal just below the weir.  Seconds later, a female joined him

This photo doesn't do justice to the beauty of the dozens of Yellow-rumped Warblers

Green Herons pair-flying around the park

Marsh Wren singing from near the boardwalk

The Merlin landed in a bush across the East Meadow from us

Savannah Sparrow singing in the East Meadow

Report for April 19, 2007

Fifteen of us birded this morning under mostly cloudy skies.  There was even a bit of drizzle for a while, but mostly the morning was nice, if a touch chilly.  It was birdy too.  We were done before noon, so I birded the main areas a bit more, coming up with a couple more species.


Canada Goose                     Adult on nest at Rowing Club
California Quail                    Pair near east entrance late
Common Loon                     1 at lake
Horned Grebe                      3 in breeding plumage at lake
Western Grebe                     2, distantly, at lake
Green Heron                         Several sightings, incl. 2 at lake
Red-tailed Hawk                  Hunkered down low on odd-snag nest
Red-breasted Sapsucker       One near first footbridge
American Pipit                     3+ in fenced-off part of Dog Meadow late
Yellow-rumped Warbler      Many, mostly males, both races
Orange-crowned Warbler    2-3 NE of east end of boardwalk
Common Yellowthroat         Many, some visible, all over
Fox Sparrow                        Still 1-2 around
Brown-headed Cowbird      First females of the year
Purple Finch                         Many singing, one seen well

An AMERICAN ROBIN is now 4-weeks on the nest next to the Rowing Club

A GREEN HERON was seen landing in the trees separating the Dog Meadow from the East Meadow.  They nested in that general area in previous years.

There was a male BUFFLEHEAD that must have been a 1st year male in the slough with 2 females and an adult male.  They young guy looked like a female, only with more white on his sides and a larger white spot on the face.  He was trying desperately to catch the eye of the females, doing the whole head bobbing thing, and the very short flight that ends with a vertical belly rush and a flapping of the wings.  The females seemed unimpressed.

For the day, 65 species.  For the year, we're up to 105 species, with today's additions of CAQU, COLO, and WEGR.

== Michael

Song Sparrow

Raccoon roosting at east end of Snag Row

Male Common Merganser near windmill.

Tree Swallow near windmill.

Male Purple Finch

First-year male Bufflehead (right), who was performing a full range of displays
trying to attract the attentions of females.

Barn Swallow gathering mud at a puddle in the R/C Model Airfield parking lot.

Savannah Sparrow.


Bird Sightings Week 16
April 16-22*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years


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