Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 31
July 30 - August 5*


Rarities for Week 31:

Sora 30-Jul-05 Reported by Ned McGarry.    Bird remained 13-Jul through 03-Aug


03-Aug-05 Just above weir.
Red-shouldered Hawk 02-Aug-16 Photos of juvenile by Becky Flangian

...Red-shouldered Hawk

04-Aug-16 Juvenile seen apparently flying out of the park
Bank Swallow 30-Jul-15 One seen from Lake Platform
Mountain Beaver 02-Aug-08 Rowing Club.  Marc Hoffman, ph.
Coypu (Nutria) 31-Jul-14  

Report for August 3, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Another day of perfect weather after the pre-dawn 53 foggy degrees warmed up.  Not many surprises yet, but some pretty good birding none-the-less.

  • Rufous Hummingbird - At least two remain, neither an adult male
  • peep sp. - Single bird flying high down the river
  • Great Blue Heron - Heronry empty, only about 2 birds seen in the park
  • Green Heron - As numerous as Great Blue - 2 birds seen
  • Cooper's Hawk - At least 2 seen, but only our 5th sighting since February
  • Willow Flycatcher - About a dozen, including one feeding a baby Brown-headed Cowbird
  • Purple Martin - Lots of activity at the gourds and across the slough from the Big Cottonwood Forest.  A dozen or more
  • Tree Swallow - Still active at the other pair of gourds.  Tree Swallows have often left by this time of year
  • Brown-headed Cowbird - Missed them last week, but several babies this week
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - One or two
We also had several looks at American Beaver in the slough, and there was a dead vole near the east end of the boardwalk

Misses today included Warbling Vireo, Cliff Swallow, and Wilson's Warbler.  

For the day, counting the peep sp., 58 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Belted Kingfisher. Photo by Michael Hobbs

American Crow. Photo by Michael Hobbs

Report for August 4, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

The weather was gray and unsettled, but the rain held off all morning.  Breeding is mostly done at Marymoor, with only the Osprey still visibly feeding unfledged young.  For a while it seemed like we were only on the losing end of Post-breeding Dispersal, but by the end of the day, we'd had a few post-breeding visitors ourselves.

  • Hooded Merganser - One a Rowing Club was the first since May
  • RED-NECKED GREBE - One on the lake, our earliest fall sighting ever for this species
  • American Coot - A late scan of the lake turned up one, first since early May
  • Spotted Sandpiper - Two unspotted birds on the weir
  • California Gull - About 10 on the lake, many of them juveniles
  • Caspian Tern - At least 4 over the lake
  • Green Heron - One juvenile on the old Beaver lodge opposite Dog Central
  • Cooper's Hawk - I had one after the survey
  • Barn Owl - Matt had one pre-dawn from the Lake Platform (!)
  • Western Screech-Owl - Matt heard one pre-dawn
  • Cliff Swallow - Two in SE part of the park; first in 5 weeks
  • Orange-crowned Warbler - One in nice mixed flock south of East Meadow
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - At least one in the same mixed flock
  • Wilson's Warbler - At least one in the same mixed flock as well
Misses today included Killdeer, Warbling Vireo, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Black-headed Grosbeak.

We also missed Tree Swallows for the first time since early March, as expected.  We've only had about a dozen Tree Swallow sightings ever after the end of July.

For the day, counting three species I added late, 59 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for August 5, 2021                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Another too-nice morning at Marymoor; the doldrums continue.  Still waiting for a drenching rain that is so desperately needed.  Pre-dawn, Jupiter and the crescent moon were deep orange, as was the sun when it rose, indicative of the smoke to the east.  The early sun was a scary color.
  • Pied-billed Grebe – first for the survey proper since early April; one on the lake
  • LEAST SANDPIPER – just after 5 a.m., Matt and I heard one from the Lake Platform, and even saw it briefly as it checked us out!
  • Caspian Tern – one, again.  Ninth straight week, and 11th of the last 12 weeks
  • Green Heron – juvenile along the slough
  • Cooper’s Hawk – several glimpses of a juvenile
  • Hairy Woodpecker – one across the slough from the Lake Platform
  • Pileated Woodpecker – probable juvenile along the slough, across from the Rowing Club dock
  • Merlin – brief glimpse of one being pursued by a Purple Martin or two
  • Western Wood-Pewee – adult feeding begging young at the Rowing Club ponds
  • Willow Flycatcher – SO MANY – including three young on a branch, begging.  We’re thinking hatch-year birds sing, too, based on the plethora of “Fitz-Bew”s
  • Purple Martin – three babies sticking their heads out of one gourd, at least one in the 2nd gourd.  So cute!
  • Yellow Warbler – two heard singing
  • Great Blue Heron – if I counted correctly, there were ONLY TWO!
  • Barn Swallow – one over the Pea Patch was the only swallow besides the martins!
  • Savannah Sparrow – only one
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – like last week, only one, this time at the Rowing Club
  • SIXTEEN species were represented by a single bird only.  EIGHT more were heard-only.  The only gulls we had were far too far away for ID. 
Misses included Rock Pigeon, Band-tailed Pigeon, Spotted Sandpiper, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Warbling Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Bushtit, Red-winged Blackbird, Brown-headed Cowbird, and Wilson’s Warbler.
For the day, we eked out 53 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for July 30, 2020                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

A gorgeous summer morning today.  Sunrise was a spectacular radiance of purple and orange.  Our walk started out warm and became hot.  Birds were not terribly active, but we doggedly managed to find quite a few species.   Very little singing, and some species seen in much smaller numbers than recently
  • Wood Duck – one clutch of 2 fairly small ducklings, even at this late date
  • American Coot – lone summering bird continues near Lake Platform
  • Spotted Sandpiper – one on the weir
  • Caspian Tern – Matt heard one pre-dawn
  • Green Heron – adult at Rowing Club pond
  • Osprey – babies from NE ballfields nest are now flying around
  • Barn Owl – Matt and Ruth enjoyed seeing one in the East Meadow until 5:50 a.m.
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – adult and 3 juveniles near start of boardwalk
  • Hairy Woodpecker – female near Lake Platform
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one heard calling west of the slough, to complete a five woodpecker day
  • PEREGRINE FALCON – 2nd year bird; back and wing coverts seemingly half “adult” and half retained juvenile feathers.  Bird found motionless in large cottonwood; gave great looks.  First for the survey for 2020
  • COMMON RAVEN – heard two birds fly overhead; our first since February 13th
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – a couple seen from the Lake Platform
  • Swainson’s Thrush – good looks at a spotted juvenile on the boardwalk
  • Purple Finch – quite a few sightings, some singing
  • Pine Siskin – several heard; I may have seen 2.  Only our second record ever for Week 31
  • American Goldfinch – Several sightings.  Also heard what we think was a goldfinch singing a long song with the rhythm of a vireo song.  In trying to find the singer, I spotted the Peregrine
  • Cedar Waxwing – many juveniles, a few adults
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – only one juvenile seen; no adults
  • Yellow Warbler – a couple of singing males, plus some others
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – four or more juveniles seen
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Cliff Swallow, Red-winged Blackbird, and Wilson’s Warbler. 
For the day, we managed 63 species

== Michael Hobbs

Photos by Bob Asanoma

Peregrine Falcon. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Yellow Warbler. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Young male Wilson's Warbler, 2018-07-31.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata


Report for August 5, 2019                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We had our first PIED-BILLED GREBE since May, –no gulls-, and an EASTERN KINGBIRD in the East Meadow. We finished with 56 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for August 2, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

It was a fitting morning for our first post-Lunasa (fall cross-quarter) survey. Heavy overcast, cool, breezy, with mist, mizzle, and even a few minutes of light rain at the Rowing Club. The birds were really quiet, and it seems that several species are clearing out of the area.


  • Canada Goose – flock of about 120 on Fields 7-8-9
  • Wood Duck – yet another clutch of small ducklings
  • COMMON MERGANSER – female with 5 small ducklings near weir. First in 6 weeks, and rare this time of year
  • Spotted Sandpiper – two juveniles at weir
  • CASPIAN TERN – one over lake
  • Green Heron – juvenile along slough
  • OSPREY – 6 adults over lake, juveniles in nest by velodrome
  • Barn Owl – Matt had an adult over the East Meadow early; first there in months
  • Western Screech-Owl – at least two heard before 5am near Mysterious Thicket
  • Purple Martin – babies in 3 of 4 gourds at Lake Platform; at least 3 in rear right gourd
  • Barn Swallow – our only other swallow species, and only 2-3 of them
  • Swainson’s Thrush – just one heard
  • Savannah Sparrow – just one
  • BULLOCK’S ORIOLE – two juveniles. Never before have we had BUOR after July 30
  • Yellow Warbler – two
  • Wilson’s Warbler – male at south end of Dog Meadow
  • LAZULI BUNTING – two adult males and two juveniles in Pea Patch

Mammals: Mule Deer (buck), Muskrat, Eastern Cottontail, Eastern Gray Squirrel

Misses today included Rock Pigeon, Vaux’s Swift, Rufous Hummingbird, Cooper’s Hawk, Violet-green Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Purple Finch, Red-winged Blackbird, and Black-headed Grosbeak.

Interesting to note that we had YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER every week from the first week of March through the third week of July, and then none the last two weeks. They clearly bred at Marymoor this year, but, as is typical, no sightings now. We probably won’t see more until mid-September, but then they will be one of the most common birds through the beginning of November.

For the day, just 52 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Purple Martins at the Lake Platform gourds.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

House Finches.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Belted Kingfishers, 2018-07-31.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Adult male Common Yellowthroat, 2018-07-31.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Male Downy Woodpecker, 2018-07-31.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Female Black-throated Gray Warbler, 2018-07-30.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Common Mergansers, 2018-07-30.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Common Yellowthroat, 2018-07-29.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Young male Wilson's Warbler, 2018-07-31.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata


Report for August 3, 2017                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

Not surprisingly, the word of the day was ‘hot’ — we started in decently cool conditions but it soon heated up — and as expected, the birding in the doldrums went from slowish down to downright quiet. Not a lot around, but we worked hard and made it to 52 species for the day. Brian Bell, Sharon Cormier-Aagaard & I subbed for Michael, and were joined by four others.

Highlights, as such:

  • Green Heron - one adult & one imm at the weir
  • Spotted Sandpipers - still around - 3 of them at the weir
  • Great Blue Heron - still a few on the nests at the heronry
  • Barn Owl - Brian glimpsed one early
  • Western Screech-Owl - Brian heard one early near other recent reports
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher - 1 in the off-leash area
  • Purple Martin - watched on being fed in the gourds at the lake viewing platform, 5-6 overhead later in the morning
  • Swainson’s Thrush — several heard over the east meadow before dawn - perhaps a migration movement of them [seems early?] - never saw any after daylight
  • Common Yellowthroat were our only warblers - but we saw many many young ones
  • Black-headed Grosbeak - one adult male

Good birding,

Matt Bartels

Juvenile Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Willow Flycatcher.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Painted Turtle.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Muskrat.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for August 4, 2016                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

A glorious, fabulous day under clear skies and comfortable temps. Biggest news was a juvenile RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, a new bird for the park, our 233rd species!


Green Heron                             2 adults at Rowing Club, juvenile along slough
Cooper’s Hawk                        Many sightings - 2+ juveniles
Spotted Sandpiper                    Adult(s) and a downy baby
GREATER YELLOWLEGS    1 heard flying over the slough
Barn Owl                                  2+ flying East Meadow ~5am,
                                                       another heard at windmill earlier
Western Screech-Owl               Great looks near start of boardwalk, 4:50 a.m.
Vaux’s Swift                              Higher numbers than usual - ~15
Pileated Woodpecker                2 NW of park entrance
Tree Swallow                            Still a couple, though gourd babies have fledged
Orange-crowned Warbler          Quite a few (~5)
Yellow Warbler                         Adults and downy fledglings
Black-throated Gray Warbler     3, including an adult male

As we started out from the parking lot at 6:00 a.m., we heard what we thought might be a RED-SHOULDERED HAWK, and managed to glimpse a bird we discounted as a juvenile Red-tail. We really should have tried harder to track down the bird, though, as its call had a gull-like quality typical of RSHA. But later, as we walked back to our cars along the edge of grass fields 7-8-9, there was a hawk sitting on a short light pole. Perched, it appeared possible for juvenile Red-tail, but as soon as it took off, it showed brilliant white crescents near the wingtips. As it flew away, it often used a flap-flap-flap-glide that was not as powerful as a Red-tail’s flight. As it started to soar, it gave us great looks, showing the white wing crescents, wings that “reached forward” while soaring, reddish underwing coverts with NO patagial marks, no belly band, very dark primary tips, and a longer heavily-banded tail. We were able to watch the bird for several minutes as it soared higher and higher. Unfortunately, it apparently left the park heading west.

It turns out that the RED-SHOULDERED HAWK was present on Tuesday, 2016-08-02 as well.  Becky Flangian and I walked past the bird in the rain that morning, and Becky got a couple of photos (below). 

The GREATER YELLOWLEGS called several times from over the slough. Unfortunately, we were in the East Meadow at the time. The same thing happened last week.

Misses today included Rock Pigeon, Rufous Hummingbird, Warbling Vireo, Wilson’s Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

Tuesday, there were not one but TWO downy SPOTTED SANDPIPERS at the weir (I hope we just missed the other one this morning), some ROCK PIGEONS, a juvenile RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, a PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER near dog beach#2, and a male LAZULI BUNTING in the grasses in the Dog Meadow east of dog beach #2. There was still one baby GREAT BLUE HERON on the nest, and the TREE SWALLOWS were actively feeding young at the lake gourd. Later that day, Kazuto Shibata had a NORTHERN HARRIER, a new species for the year.

So for the day, 60 species. For the week, 65 species. Adding Northern Harrier and Red-shouldered Hawk, we’re up to at least 140 species for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl.  Photo by Michael Hobbs
Downy juvenile Spotted Sandpiper at weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Beaver.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Not recognized to species at the time, Michael Hobbs and Becky Flangian walked past the RED-SHOULDERED HAWK in the rain on Tuesday, 2016-08-02.  It was sitting on the same post from which it took off the next Thursday.

Becky got these two photos.  The three white bars on the secondaries, just above the feet in this photo, are indicative of a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk.  So the bird was around for at least a couple of day, and may show up again perhaps.

Male Lazuli Bunting, 2016-08-02.  Photo by Becky Flangian

Tree Swallow just fed the baby in the gourd, 2016-08-02.  These young fledged sometime that day or the next.  Photo by Becky Flangian

Report for July 30, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

A gorgeous, gorgeous dawn today, with crystal clear skies, orange sun on Mt. Rainier, and wispy ground fog swirled across the meadows. Really, you should have been there. Only negative: no owls (except for the babies Matt heard in the windmill around 4 a.m.)

The rest of the day was remarkable both for the quiet and for the unexpected. Except for a huge jump upwards in the number of CANADA GEESE (I counted 140), birds were few and far between, but interesting.


Common Merganser         Lone duckling just below the weir
Green Heron                     Juvenile at Rowing Club pond
Virginia Rail                      First one since April; heard along slough
Spotted Sandpiper            2-3 at weir; looked like adult and 1-2 babies
Eurasian Collared-Dove    Flock of 9 over mansion
Rufous Hummingbird         Still at least 1 in Pea Patch. May linger through August
Pileated Woodpecker       One west of the park at 6:00
Purple Martin                    Adults continue to feed young at gourd
BANK SWALLOW        One gave us a great look at the Lake Platform
Brown Creeper                 Many sightings (5+), singing
Black-thr. Gray Warbler   2 along west edge of Dog Meadow
Western Tanager              1-2 along west edge of Dog Meadow
BULLOCK’S ORIOLE   1 along west edge of Dog Meadow

With today’s COMMON MERGANSER sighting, we’ve now recorded that species in every week of the year. Finally filled in that gap :)

I believe the EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE flock is a new High Count for the park.

This is only the 2nd or 3rd record for BANK SWALLOW at Marymoor, and my first, personally. There is some consistent seasonality to the sightings and suspected sightings, with four reports all between July 15 and August 8.

Today’s BULLOCK’S ORIOLE sighting ties a July 30, 2009 sighting as our latest fall record.

In all, 63 species today.

== Michael Hobbs

Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, American Robin, off to the west at sunrise.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Wood-Pewee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Swainson's Thrush eating Red Elderberry.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bullock's Oriole  Photos by Ollie Oliver

The parts of the Bullock's Oriole that you couldn't see in the last photo

Young male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Cedar Waxwing in a European Hawthorn.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Photo by Lillian Reis

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper - young bird?  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Green Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Warbling Vireo.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for July 31, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

What a gorgeous morning. Dawn was clear, with Venus gleaming. A little later,
Mt. Rainier was orange through the chilly ground fog. They day warmed evenly under blue skies and by the end, we were walking around in mid-70’s bliss. There were lots of birds to look at, and some good surprises (and one horrible surprise).


AMERICAN BITTERN          At Rowing Club pond – FOY
Green Heron                            Juvenile – probably one bird, seen twice
Cooper’s Hawk?                     Largish accipiter flew east into park
Killdeer                                   Five adults, four babies near weir
Virginia Rail                             Two responded from Lake Platform
GREATER YELLOWLEGS   One calling repeatedly while flying (unseen)
California Gull                          Adult, and later a juvenile, over lake
BARN OWL                           1 roosting in Doug Fir, west edge of East Meadow
Pileated Woodpecker               One, calling a lot, seen by most
Warbling Vireo                         Adult feeding young, south end of Dog Meadow
Purple Martin                           Gourds looked empty; one flying over lake
Tree Swallow                           At least 1; will be leaving soon
Orange-crowned Warbler        Two, south end of East Meadow
Common Yellowthroat             ABUNDANT, with many juveniles
Yellow Warbler                       More than recent weeks, incl. feeding young Wilson’s Warbler                     Male, west edge of Dog Meadow

The AMERICAN BITTERN was the first for the year, and one of our best looks ever for this species at the park. It was very near the road in the main pond at the Rowing Club at Marymoor West, just sitting in the grass at the edge of the pond. We’d not had a Bittern during one of our walks since 2009, and I have only two reports (both from 2013) in the intervening period.

The HORRIBLE SURPRISE was our first-ever sighting of NUTRIA, along the slough across from the 3rd Dog Swim Beach. This is BAD NEWS, for this non-native is very destructive and damaging.

Also, Ollie Oliver saw a MERLIN in the park yesterday.

For the day, 63 species. For the year, adding American Bittern, I believe we’re at 140 species (low compared to previous years at this date).

== Michael Hobbs

Baby Killdeer below weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings
Juvenile Killdeer below weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Green Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Nutria.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Nutria.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Wood-Pewee.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Same Western Wood-Pewee.  Photo by Lillian Reis.
Note how different cameras change the appearance of the bird.

Juvenile Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Swainson's Thrush eating Red Osier Dogwood berries.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Warbling Vireo.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Barn Owl at its day roost.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Bittern at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Bittern at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Bittern at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Lillian Reis

American Bittern at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Lillian Reis

American Bittern swallowing a bullfrog.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Juvenile Savannah Sparrow, 2014-07-25.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for August 1, 2013                                                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

It was cool and cloudy dark and breezy, and there were hardly any birds (neither species nor individuals), but there were signs that post-breeding movements are beginning. So we didn’t have much, but we did have some species of note.


Canada Goose               At least 80 this week
Pied-billed Grebe           Juvenile(s?) in slough – first since early May
GREEN HERON           Juvenile along slough – first of the year!
Osprey                           Have fledged; at least 4 at lake
Virginia Rail                    Heard on far side of slough
Eurasian Collared-Dove  1 near Compost Piles – first non-spring sighting
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  1 singing south of East Meadow
Tree Swallow                  Nesting in 2 boxes? 2nd clutches.

Beaver                            Two in slough

We had lots of misses today, including Downy Woodpecker, Steller’s Jay, Cliff Swallow, Wilson’s Warbler, Red-winged Blackbird, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

We managed just 50 species. Adding Green Heron brings our year list up to 143.

== Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Belted Kingfisher at the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Green Heron, first of that species for 2013.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Tree Swallow in a nest box.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Eurasian Collared-Dove.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Beaver in slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 2, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

It was really quiet today at Marymoor, though fairly birdy. No species on the day's list were heard-only (very unusual), and several were only from distant views. There was a lot of tracking down quiet bird calls, with fairly good success. The weather was mostly overcast, and a bit cool, but really quite nice. We enjoyed the setting full moon early, and glimpsed the Blue Angels late.


Green Heron                                  2 at lake
Cooper's Hawk                              Several views, juvenile(s)
American Coot                               1 in slough
Barn Owl                                        Matt had 3 early
Purple Martin                                  Seen over the meadows all morning
Northern Rough.-winged Swallow   Two seen
Wilson's Warbler                             Nice male along slough
LAZULI BUNTING                       NW Dog Meadow, feeding cowbird

There were LOTS of babies, of many species, and many molting adults, as is typical of August. It makes identifications more difficult. Here's a list of the species I believe have bred at Marymoor this year:

Wood Duck                         Many boxes, many babies
Mallard                                Relatively few this year
Hooded Merganser              Poss. only via egg dumping in Wood Duck nest boxes
Great Blue Heron                 New heronry fledged double-digit numbers
Osprey                                At least 2 young
Bald Eagle                           1-2 nests; hard to tell how successful
Red-tailed Hawk                 2-3 nests. One fledged for sure.
Killdeer                               Success probably low due to park activity
Rock Pigeon                       Nest under entrance bridge
Barn Owl                            Nesting in windmill
Anna's Hummingbird           No nests noted, but surely breeding
Rufous Hummingbird           Ditto
Downy Woodpecker
Western Wood-Pewee          Found one nest
Willow Flycatcher                 Have never found a nest, but clearly breed
American Crow                    Didn't notice a nest this year, but clearly breed
Purple Martin                        Gourds and boxes - good numbers
Tree Swallow                        First nesting may have failed, renested
Cliff Swallows                       Probably bred in NE corner or just outside park
Barn Swallows                      Must be nesting somewhere...
Black-capped Chickadee     A few nests found
Chestnut-backed Chickadee Not sure we ever found a nest this year
Bushtit                                  Not many nests found this year, but many young
Brown Creeper                    Not confirmed this year, but very probable
Bewick's Wren                    Ditto
Marsh Wren
Swainson's Thrush               MUST be nesting, but well hidden
American Robin                  Good at hiding nests too
European Starling                Nested in restroom, probably elsewhere too
Cedar Waxwing                  A couple of nests found
Common. Yellowthroat        Lots of success this year
Yellow Warbler                   Nothing confirmed inside the park, but probable
Spotted Towhee                  Must be nesting, lots of success
Savannah Sparrow              Presumed nesting in East Meadow (confirmed prev.)
Song Sparrow                     Must be nesting, lots of success
White-crowned Sparrow     Nests in Pea Patch
Dark-eyed Junco                 Lots of specked babies - must nest
Black-headed Grosbeak      Not sure we found a nest this year, but many babies
Red-winged Blackbird         Maybe a nest or two
Brown-headed Cowbird      Way too many
Bullock's Oriole                   At least 1 nest, fledglings
Purple Finch                        Must be nesting, but no evidence
House Finch                        Ditto
American Goldfinch             Ditto

Then there are a few more species which must have nested nearby, if not in the park (and where young were seen in the park): Canada Goose, Common Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Green Heron, Vaux's Swift, Warbling Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Lazuli Bunting.

For the day, I think we were at around 54 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Setting full moon.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Setting full moon.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Killdeer.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Killdeer.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird begging food from male Lazuli Bunting. 
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Laz in flight.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Spotted Towhee. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Green Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Yellowthroat. Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Western Wood-Pewee nest.  Note beak pointing to the left.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk turned upside-down in a futile attempt to grab a Barn Swallow.  Maybe it will live long enough to learn which birds to hunt.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Juvenile Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Osprey with fish, seemingly strafed by model airplane, 2012-07-31.
Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for August 4, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

We had a wonderful day today. Clear skies. Views of Mt. Rainier. Warmth (mid-50's rising to low 70's). And birds. Lots of birds. Fall migration/dispersal is beginning, as we definitely saw some species that don't breed near Marymoor.


Green Heron                          2 babies, 1 adult, along slough
Merlin                                    3rd week in a row
Barn Owl                               Baby(s?) still inside windmill
Red-breasted Sapsucker        1 NE of mansion
Pileated Woodpecker             2 flew east, landed near mansion
COMMON RAVEN             2 flew down river around 6:20am
Purple Martin                          Heard overhead a few times
BANK SWALLOW????       Tantalizing *maybe* near weir
Orang-crowned Warbler        1 - NW part of Dog Area
Yellow Warbler                      1 male somewhat near Orange-crowned
Black-throated Gray Warbler  2-4 seen, several locations
Wilson's Warbler                    1 near east end of boardwalk
Common Yellowthroat            Many, including male feeding cowbird
RED CROSSBILL                Heard overhead more than once
Pine Siskin                             With goldfinches, thistles in East Meadow

This is just the 4th record for RED CROSSBILL at Marymoor, and the first  outside of the spring season.

Also, right on schedule, we heard the distinctive flight call of the BLUE ANGELS, though we were unable to see them. They seem to migrate through this area annually, right around this time of year. If previous years are any guide, they may stick around for another couple of days, and then they'll disappear again until next year. Very odd...

For the day, 64 species. For the year, with the crossbill, we're now at 148.

== Michael Hobbs

Pileated Woodpecker showing primary molt.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit on the ground!  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Brown-headed Cowbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female House Sparrow - first of 2011.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Western Wood-Pewee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit, 2011-08-03.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2011-08-03.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Purple Martin, 2011-08-01.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Caspian Tern, 2011-08-01.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Killdeer, 2011-07-29.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Swift Forktail Damselfly just emerged from its exuvia (lower left).  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Eight-spotted Skimmer and Cardinal Meadowhawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cardinal Meadowhawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Eight-spotted Skimmer.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 5, 2010

We had a really nice day today.  Warm and sunny, without being too warm, and mostly without being too sunny.  The group consisted of just the hard-core regulars.  And even though these are the August Doldrums, we had some post-breeding dispersal action to keep things interesting.


Cooper's Hawk                       One soaring above the stage
Green Heron                           At least 2 birds-of-the-year
Virginia Rail                             2-3. loudly squawking, at the lake
Red-breasted Sapsucker         One near the mansion
Vaux's Swift                            Maybe 8-10, and good looks
Pacific-slope Flycatcher          1 glimpsed, 1, photographed by Lillian
Warbling Vireo                        At least one at edge of Dog Meadow
Purple Martin                          Left gourd has at least 1 baby being fed
Tree Swallow                          Still active at nest boxes in the  East Meadow
Orange-crowned Warbler        Several
Yellow Warbler                       Several, including some still singing
Black-throated Gray Warbler  At least 2 (male and female)
MacGillivray's Warbler            At least 1
Common Yellowthroat             Lots of juveniles
Wilson's Warbler                     1-3, including a very bright male
Purple Finch                             Numerous and widespread

We had good mixed flocks of hyperactive warblers at two spots - just north of Dog Central along the slough, and along the southwest edge of the Dog Meadow, near the bench.  A six warbler day was quite special.

The Virginia Rails were barely glimpsed (mostly just motion), but were working from a wide repertoire of calls.

The Rowing Club area is mostly closed for preliminary work on a new boathouse.  The regular path to the river is closed.  You can walk a mowed trail to the north, but can get only a glimpse into the main pond from the north side..  The South Pond is completely inaccessible.

For the day, 63 species.

== Michael

Blurry photo day.  This is a female and/or immature MacGillivray's Warbler
Here you can see a faint hooding, and the broken eye ring (or eye arcs)

Lillian Reis got this confirming shot of a Pacific-slope Flycatcher

At least in the left gourd, the Purple Martins are feeding one or more young

Like Bushtits, only different

Swainson's Thrush on the slough trail. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Green Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Downy Woodpecker, seen from the boardwalk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for July 30, 2009

Eight of us met at 6:00am for our walk.  It was sunny and warm, and while it got hot, it wasn't unbearable.  From 6:00-11:00, temps ranged from the mid-70's to the mid-80's.  The real heat is reserved for afternoons.

It was amazingly birdy this morning.  Between the usual doldrums of this time of year, combined with the heat, I thought we'd get 50 well-baked species and hurry home before we melted.


Ring-necked Pheasant        Our lone male continues
Spotted Sandpiper              2-3 on lily pads in slough
Caspian Tern                     One flew downslough calling
Anna's Hummingbird          Numerous and widespread
Red-breasted Sapsucker    One near start of boardwalk
Hairy Woodpecker            One east of the weir
Pacific-slope Flycatcher      One near start of boardwalk
Red-eyed Vireo                  2? near east end of boardwalk

We had a four warbler day, with 1-2 YELLOW WARBLERS, 2-3 male WILSON'S WARBLERS, many COMMON YELLOWTHROATS, and an immature BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER at the Rowing Club.

At the south end of the Dog Meadow, we had 1-2 juvenile LAZULI BUNTINGS being fed by a female. Later, we had a male Laz at the east end of Snag Row.

We had a juvenile(?) BULLOCK'S ORIOLE, our latest sighting ever for that species.  We've never had orioles in August-April, so it will be a surprise if we see one next week.

We also had one unseen calling EVENING GROSBEAK apparently flying high above the weir.

The Community Gardens were abuzz with hummingbirds.  There were several ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD and at least 2 RUFOUS.  Might have been 6-8 hummingbirds in the gardens all told, and there were lots of conflicts (including  interspecies jabbing over ownership of particularly nice flowers).

No Tree or Violet-green Swallows.

For the day, 60 species.

== Michael

Juvenile Bald Eagle having breakfast at the model airplane field

Red-winged Blackbird

Marsh Wren photo by Randy Bjorklund

Spotted Sandpiper on the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Hairy Woodpecker

Western Wood-Pewee photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Lazuli Bunting

Adult female and juvenile Lazuli Bunting

Female Purple Martin photo by Randy Bjorklund

Red-eyed Vireo photo by Ollie OIiver

Willow Flycatcher photo by Randy Bjorklund

Male Lazuli Bunting photo by Randy Bjorklund

Fish photo by Ollie Oliver

Raccoon at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Blue Angels

Blue Angels

Juvenile male Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Brian Dobbins, 2009-07-25

Juvenile Green Heron.  Photo by Brian Dobbins, 2009-07-25

Muskrat.  Photo by Brian Dobbins, 2009-07-25

Female Purple Martin.  Photo by Brian Dobbins, 2009-07-25

Report for July 31, 2008

Only seven of us this morning, on a fine morning.  A bit chilly to start, but somewhat sunny and warming.  Fall migration has begun, so there was some excitement there.  Also, still lots of babies, so the awwww factor was pretty high.  The Blue Angels passed over the park (at least 4 of them in formation), so we had some roaring speed as well.


We again had three RIVER OTTERS just above the weir.  Other mammals included a FAWN at the Rowing Club and two MUSKRATS from the Rowing Club dock.

High flybys included a CASPIAN TERN and the first TURKEY VULTURE we've ever had in the June-July-August period.

Between Dog Central and the south end of the dog area we had a great mixed flock of birds, which included:

Yellow Warbler  (5+)
Wilson's Warbler (2-3)
Orange-crowned Warbler  (3+)
Black-throated Gray Warbler (1)
Warbling Vireo        (2)
Red-eyed Vireo       (2+)
Black-headed Grosbeak
Purple Finch
Swainson's Thrush
Possible Pacific-slope Flycatcher
...and at least a half-dozen other species

The Big Cottonwood Forest featured a male WESTERN TANAGER and three HAIRY WOODPECKERS

The best sighting was probably the three baby WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES nestled side-by-side on a branch among the Oregon Ash trees near the east end of the boardwalk.  Parent(s) flew down to feed them (very quickly) every minute or so.   Awwww.

This Saturday, Eastside Audubon (formerly ELWAS) is holding a Grand Opening of the Marymoor BirdLoop, from 10-2.  They have adopted the old Interpretive Trail and have installed a couple of informational kiosks (one of which is finished), and they will be putting in some new interpretive signs.  They've created two new trails, and will be extending the boardwalk so we won't be as hampered by high water as in the past.  For more information, see

For the day, 60 species of bird, 5 species of mammal (plus one unidentified furry scurrier), 2 non-native turtles, bullfrog, and Garter Snake.

== Michael

One of three River Otters above the weir

One of three River Otters above the weir

Rufous Hummingbird on the dead branches of a Red Elderberry...

...and Away!

Male Western Tanager in the Big Cottonwood Forest

Eclipse-plumage male Mallard

Three baby Western Wood-Pewees sitting calmly and quietly together...

...until Mom (or Dad) arrives with food.  Then, watch out!

The Blue Angels are in town for Sea Fair..

...and gave us a buzz during their Thursday practice

Black-tailed Deer fawn at the Rowing Club

Muskrat from the Rowing Club dock, one of two there

Report for August 2, 2007

There were eleven of us today, I think, on a beautiful birdy morning. The early scattered ground fog didn't hide an impressive sunrise on Mt. Rainier, nor the waining moon in the deep blue sky. Warbler migration, or at least post-breeding dispersal, is apparently well underway - we had a six-warbler morning. Other highlights included the Blue Angels doing an overflight of the East Meadow, as well as flybys of other airplanes involved in the SeaFair display.

    Green Heron                                 Several really nice sightings!
     Merlin ???                                    Quick look, in the Dog Meadow
     Virginia Rail                                  Scott found us one to see at the weir
     Pileated Woodpecker                   Two on the ridgetop west of the park
     Warbling Vireo                             Several at south end of Dog Meadow
     Red-eyed Vireo                           Adult(s) feeding young with WAVIs
    Orage-crowned Warbler               One below weir in willows - First Of Fall
    Yellow Warbler                             2-3 singing, some females seen
    Yellow-rumped Warbler                1 NE of mansion
    Black-throated Gray Warbler        1 with vireos - First of 2007
    Common Yellowthroat                   Several males, plus females and immatures
    Wilson's Warbler                           3+, including a male and female together

Early on, we saw a COOPER'S HAWK flying east over the river with prey in its talons. Later, as we circled the mansion, we saw perhaps the same bird being harassed by crows.

The RED-EYED VIREOS were great - nicely colored, and AT EYE LEVEL as they fed their young. Some great views were available. Both the Warbling and Red-eyes were singing.

BUSHTITS and CEDAR WAXWINGS were especially ubiquitous and numerous; the vireos were hidden among a flock of about 50 Bushtits, and we saw several other large flocks other places.

For the day, 59 species. I forgot my camera, and nobody else brought one either... :(

== Michael


Bird Sightings Week 31
July 30 - August 5*     *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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