Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 37
September 10-16*


Rarities for Week 37:

Pectoral Sandpiper 14-Sep-05 On the grass soccer fields
Long-billed Dowitcher 11-Sep-08 Two birds
Bonaparte's Gull 15-Sep-04 First-winter bird well out over the lake, but easily recognizable.
Horned Lark 10-Sep-03 Reported by Houston Flores
Horned Lark 15-Sep-04 Dog Meadow
Horned Lark 12-Sep-08 Lot B
Lapland Longspur 15-Sep-04 Four birds, Dog Meadow, non-breeding plumage,
but a wide range of colorations.
Lapland Longspur 14-Sep-05 NE corner of East Meadow - two birds

Report for September 14, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We were hoping for a better day than last week, but our success was hampered by significant fog that lasted until we got to the Lake Platform.  Visibility was very problematic, and the fog even seemed to be muting the calls to a great extent.  We are on the cusp of the change-over from lingering summering birds to returning winter birds, though it seems as if the former have been leaving early while the latter are taking their time showing up.  And random migrants and vagrants are not yet to be found.

  • Eurasian Collared-Dove - One flew down the East Meadow
  • Vaux's Swift - 10-12 near the lake
  • Osprey - Saw one of this year's young perched over the slough
  • Barn Owl - A couple of East Meadow sightings before 6:30.  Third week in a row
  • American Pipit - Several flyovers
  • Lincoln's Sparrow - 2+, First of Fall (FOF)
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - At least one, but our only warbler species besides Common Yellowthroat
Overall numbers seemed very low today.

Misses included Hooded Merganser, Green Heron, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Willow Flycatcher, Barn Swallow, Golden-crowned Sparrow (often back this week), Orange-crowned Warbler, and Yellow Warbler.

For the day, 48 species.  Still a super low count, but better than last week.

The Celebration of Life for Brian Bell is next Thursday, after the survey (11 a.m., at the Velodrome Shelter).

= Michael Hobbs

Predawn Barn Owl, East Meadow. Photo by Tony Ernst

Recently fledged Osprey in the fog. Photo by Tony Ernst

Savannah Sparrow. Photo by Tony Ernst

Young male Red-winged Blackbird in transitional plumage. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for September 15, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

An unexpectedly quiet day at Marymoor today.  It was about 10 degrees warmer than last week at the start, but the temperature stayed in the low 60's all morning.  Overcast, windless.  Quiet.  Did I mention quiet?

  • Peep sp. - My thought is Least Sandpiper, but we can't be sure.  Oddly, flying north, low over the Dog Meadow, by itself
  • Western Screech-Owl - Matt and I saw one from the boardwalk before 6 a.m
  • Hairy Woodpecker - One across the slough from the start of the boardwalk
  • Merlin - Seen twice.  We've had one 3 of the last 5 weeks
  • Swainson's Thrush - About 5 heard pre-dawn
  • Purple Finch - Many, with a little vireo-like singing
  • Fox Sparrow - First of Fall (FOF), heard singing, calling, but unseen
  • Orange-crowned Warbler - Seen fleetingly at several locations.  5-6 total, perhaps
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - One at the Rowing Club
  • Western Tanager - One near the windmill
That a few birds were singing was notable.  Birds have been calling, but recently we've had few species singing until this week.  Singing birds included Anna's Hummingbird, Brown Creeper, Bewick's Wren, American Robin, Purple Finch, Fox Sparrow, and Song Sparrow.

Misses today included Vaux's Swift, Green Heron, Bald Eagle, Red-tailed Hawk (3rd straight week missing), Willow Flycatcher, Marsh Wren, American Pipit (might have heard one), Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Yellow Warbler.

For the day, just 52 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for September 16, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

A fabulous day at Marymoor today.  Chilly (42 degrees at the start) but crystal clear and virtually windless, and NOT BIRDLESS.  Our progress was slowed by trying to sort through the numerous birds.  There were many birders as well, so we split into two groups with Jordan leading a group running the other direction around the park.  My group had a great day, and Jordan’s group still picked up a dozen species we didn’t get!
  • SNOW GOOSE – one with Canadas. First of Fall (FOF), and by far our earliest fall sighting ever
  • Teal sp. – A tight, fast flock of dark teal showing blue wing patches were quite likely Blue-winged Teal
  • Ring-necked Pheasant – after not detecting him for 5 weeks, the early crew heard Lonesome George II predawn
  • Double-crested Cormorant – one flying south, (FOF)
  • Green Heron – very cooperative juvenile
  • Osprey – only 1-2
  • Merlin – a couple of sightings
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher – Both groups had sighting(s), at least 3 total
  • Warbling Vireo – pretty sure we were well into double-digits, often with several together, all looking sharp!
  • CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY – Jordan et. al. had one in the Pea Patch – First for the year (FOY)
  • COMMON RAVEN – Jordan et. al. had one (FOY)
  • Barn Swallow – Matt saw one; our only swallow
  • Swainson’s Thrush – several seen
  • American Pipit – Jordan et. al. had a half-dozen on the grass soccer fields; my group had to settle for heard-only (FOF)
  • EVENING GROSBEAK – One flew east (FOF)
  • Savannah Sparrow – notably numerous and widespread, often in small groups, bright and sharp looking, presumed migrants
  • Fox Sparrow – Jordan’s group had a couple, East Meadow (FOF)
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow – Maybe 5 total (FOF)
  • Western Meadowlark – Jordan et. al. had one (FOF)
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – we had around 3
  • Yellow Warbler – one
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – several sightings, 2-4 birds
  • Townsend’s Warbler – 1-2 (FOF)
  • Western Tanager – Jordan et. al had one
The warblers and vireos were most prevalent between the Dog Meadow and the slough, mixed with AMERICAN ROBINS, CEDAR WAXWINGS, BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES, and PURPLE FINCHES.
Despite the large number of species, we still had a few misses:  Hooded Merganser, Willow Flycatcher, and Bushtit.
The combined total for the day was 71 species!  The two new species for the year gets us to 155 for 2021.
= Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Green Heron.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Snow Goose. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for September 10, 2020                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

It was pretty quiet today.  The sun was over-orange at sunrise, but there was no smell of smoke.  Just a nice sunny day with little wind and quick warming.
  • Mourning Dove – one near the Viewing Mound apparently flew over my head and disappeared while others watched
  • Wilson’s Snipe – First of Fall (FOF) – a brief glimpse below the weir
  • Osprey – down to just a few sightings – 2 birds?
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one
  • Cooper’s Hawk – two sightings, including one following closely behind the Sharpie
  • Barn Owl – One good look after 6 a.m., from the Viewing Mound
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt and Alan heard one pre-dawn.  First in 3 weeks
  • Empidonax sp. – Just one, from Lake Platform.  Refused to cooperate.  By dates, probably a Willow
  • Warbling Vireo – down to just two.  They are due to leave very soon
  • Swainson’s Thrush – only heard 1-2 doing their whit call.  Also due to leave very soon
  • American Pipit – FOF – more than 10 on the grass soccer fields
  • Savannah Sparrow – Maybe into double-digits for numbers; these are migrants from the north, as far as we can tell
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – had a flock (!) of maybe 4 below the weir, and several other sightings.  On the move
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – 1-2 at Lake Platform
  • Yellow Warbler – 2 at Lake Platform
Matt heard Coyote howling pre-dawn, and we saw a deer across the river.
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Band-tailed Pigeon, Barn (or any other) Swallow, Golden-crowned Sparrow (should be back very soon), and Black-throated Gray Warbler.
For the day, 55 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for September 12, 2019                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

We had a very pleasant morning at the park today.  The predawn fog cleared before sunrise, and the clouds decreased all morning, leaving us in sunshine.  The birds were plentiful.
  • Mourning Dove – quick fly-by over Dog Meadow.  3rd sighting of the year
  • Vaux’s Swift – many overhead – 25 total?
  • Virginia Rail – one on the far side of the slough responded to clapping.  First since June
  • Wilson’s Snipe – one heard pre-dawn
  • Ring-billed Gull – single adult on grass fields at 7:00.  First of Fall
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one in a birch tree, chased and chasing crows, a Pileated Woodpecker, and an Anna’s Hummingbird
  • Cooper’s Hawk – one in East Meadow eying, and being closely watched by, the swallows
  • Owl sp. – one emerged, banked, and disappeared back into the fog predawn.  Probably Barn, but can’t rule out Short-eared
  • – Five woodpecker day –
  • Western Wood-Pewee – one heard from boardwalk
  • Willow Flycatcher – one seen downstream of weir
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher – three
  • Hutton’s Vireo – one at Rowing Club
  • Violet-green Swallow – maybe 30, first after 5 week gap
  • American Pipit – five flew over Viewing Mound before 7.  Last week’s was First of Fall
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow – maybe 4 – First of Fall
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – 2
  • Common Yellowthroat – still numerous
  • AMERICAN REDSTART – one seen briefly by a few at the back, just north of the east end of the boardwalk
  • Yellow Warbler – maybe 5
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – maybe 5 as well
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – one below weir
Misses today included Hooded Merganser and Marsh Wren. 
For the day, 65 species!
= Michael Hobbs

Report for September 13, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

I’m glad we were out yesterday, and not this morning. Instead of soaking showers, we had a thin overcast and little to no wind. It was very pleasant; good owling weather pre-dawn, and a good morning of birding after that featured a good mix of species, if lacking in huge numbers of birds and great looks.

Predawn, we had an eight-year-old girl and her dad out by 5:00 a.m. to try for owls, and we were at least fairly successful. Wonderful to nurture the excitement of preadolescent learning!


  • Vaux’s Swift – still a couple around flying with swallows
  • Green Heron – juvenile at Rowing Club pond again
  • Osprey – two sightings
  • Bald Eagle – one adult at lake
  • Northern Harrier – one over Dog Meadow
  • Cooper’s Hawk – two sightings
  • Red-tailed Hawk – several
  • Barn Owl – a couple of brief views, one early, one just before sunrise
  • Western Screech-Owl – heard very well east of boardwalk; don’t know how we never saw it
  • – Four woodpecker day – and we may have heard Pileated as well
  • MERLIN – seen twice, second time going after Barn Swallows
  • Willow Flycatcher – still a couple
  • PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER – juvenile in Dog Meadow
  • Violet-green Swallow – At least 20
  • Barn Swallow – At least 100, with another hundred+ swallows over lake, too far for ID
  • Swainson’s Thrush – should be gone in a week or two, but still had 2 sightings, 3+ more heard
  • – EIGHT sparrow day – including: FOX SPARROW – First of Fall, fairly early date, and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW – First of Fall – At least 2
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – seen at several locations - 5+ birds
  • Common Yellowthroat – a few around, and still singing mature males
  • Yellow Warbler – seen at several locations - 4+ birds
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – one in Dog Meadow pine tree

On my way out, I added GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL and ROCK PIGEON; that got us to 60 species for the day, despite missing Hooded Merganser, Band-tailed Pigeon (might have glimpsed), American Coot, Marsh Wren, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Western Tanager (possibly glimpsed).

Over the next two weeks, extensive changes in the species list are expected, coinciding with the equinox.

== Michael Hobbs

Adult Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for September 14, 2017                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

With the change in the weather, the migratory floodgates opened. After weeks of doldrums, today was super birdy, with large flocks of warblers in many locations, plus a lot of other good birds. We had seven species of warbler, and six species of sparrow.


  • Pied-billed Grebe – at least 8 on the lake, up from 1’s and 2’s
  • Vaux’s Swift – at least 30 – quite a large number for Marymoor
  • Virginia Rail – one called spontaneously across from Lake Platform
  • Northern Harrier – our first for 2017 – cruising high heading west
  • Pileated Woodpecker – three seen together
  • Falcon sp. – “not a Merlin” was about all we could agree on – distant, in flight
  • Willow Flycatcher – one along edge of Dog Meadow
  • Western Wood-Pewee – two near east end of boardwalk – first in 5 weeks
  • Warbling Vireo – one heard, one seen
  • Violet-green Swallow – at least 10 mixed in with Vaux’s Swifts. First in 5 weeks
  • Barn Swallow – only one
  • Black-capped Chickadee – large flocks, with warblers mixed in
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee – widespread, and mixed in BCCH/warbler flocks
  • Swainson’s Thrush – a very few, heard-only, pre-dawn
  • AMERICAN PIPIT – at least 20 on grass soccer fields at 7:00 a.m. – First of Fall
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – Maybe a dozen, mostly celata, with several lutescens, and one orestera
  • Common Yellowthroat – still the most common warbler
  • Yellow Warbler – maybe 4 – first in 5 weeks
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – about 5 drab birds
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – Probably at least 8; many sightings
  • Townsend’s Warbler – First of Fall – at least 2
  • Wilson’s Warbler – one Lincoln’s Sparrow – 2-4 – First of Fall
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow – 3 – First of Fall
  • Western Meadowlark – 2 in East Meadow – First of Fall

Our only notable misses today were Hooded Merganser, Glaucous-winged Gull, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Marsh Wren, and Western Tanager.

For the day, 61 species – a big increase over our recent counts.

== Michael Hobbs

Canada Geese.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male House Finch.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Black-capped Chickadee eating Himalayan Blackberries.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Black-capped Chickadee.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Coot, seen from Lake Platform.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Juvenile Bald Eagle.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for September 15, 2016                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

It was mostly cloudy, windless, QUIET. Even the few birds that were around seemed extremely uncooperative.


A PIED-BILLED GREBE in the slough caught a fish, and then three COMMON MERGANSER were ganging up on him, trying to steal the fish. It appeared the Pied-billed won.

A GREEN HERON showed up at the Rowing Club pond on our way back out.

A juvenile COOPER’S HAWK was being chased over the slough by three ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRDS.

Two or three VIRGINIA RAILS called back to clapping across the slough from the start of the boardwalk.

A SPOTTED SANDPIPER flew upstream past the Rowing Club dock. Getting late for them.

BARN OWLS did not put on a great show this morning. The meadows were foggy early, and that may also have hidden them. We did get some glimpses.

We had quite a few sightings of RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, one of whom was drumming. We also had a HAIRY WOODPECKER, and two PILEATED WOODPECKERS flew up the East Meadow giving us great looks. We may have heard Downy Woodpecker a couple of times, but never well enough to make the list.

Right as we were leaving the parking lot just after 7a.m., a MERLIN flew right over us.

At the east end of the boardwalk we saw a PACIFIC WREN. This is at least two weeks earlier in fall than we’ve ever had one. First of Fall. We had probably at least 2 RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS. Also, First of Fall, also a bit early, though we’ve had earlier before.

Also FOF were several AMERICAN PIPITS, with two seen on the grass soccer fields.

Warblers were very scarce. Except for COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, we had just one that was probably a YELLOW WARBLER, and some glimpses that might have been a YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER. Where are they???

We had a 7-sparrow day, with First of Fall FOX SPARROWS, including one singing, a few GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, including one singing, and 20+ SAVANNAH SPARROWS that were very bright, with lots of yellow on their faces.

I stopped for a lake view after the walk, and had our only gulls (1 CALIFORNIA, 1 GLAUCOUS-WINGED) and our only OSPREY – 4. Even with those, the day total was only 53 species (down from 68 last week!)

== Michael Hobbs

Three Common Mergansers have been hanging near the weir all of August/September.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pied-billed Grebe with fish.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pied-billed Grebe with fish, fleeing the three Common Mergansers.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Annual clearing of "transition zone" below weir completed.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker near west end of boardwalk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pacific Wren near east end of boardwalk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit SE of climbing rock.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit SE of climbing rock.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Green Heron at Rowing Club.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Green Heron at Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for September 10, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

A weird and QUIET day at Marymoor. The fog formed a thick overcast above us, until it broke up around 10 a.m. Things were a LITTLE more lively after that, but generally there weren’t nuttin’ to see. And the birds we did have were, almost uniformly, EXTREMELY uncooperative. Best example of this was the flycatcher that moved around in a tree next to the trail for at least a minute. PROBABLY either a Western Wood-Pewee or a Willow Flycatcher, but we don’t even have it to genus.


Horned Grebe               1 on lake, First of Fall
Red-necked Grebe        1 on lake, First of Year
Cooper’s Hawk             Many sightings, adult/juvenile. Prob. Sharp-shinned too
Spotted Sandpiper         One at weir – getting late for them
Wilson’s Snipe               Heard pre-dawn, First of Fall
*small falcon*                In pursuit flight over East Meadow – just a streak
*flycatcher*                   1 WEWP/WIFL; photos might make clear
Warbling Vireo              1 north of heronry
Common Raven             2 over Rowing Club, First of Year
N. R.-winged Swallow   About 4 around Lake Platform
Ruby-crowned Kinglet   At least 2, First of Fall
American Pipit               15 on field near east ball fields, First of Fall
Or.-crowned Warbler    1 near Pea Patch
Black-thr. Gr. Warbler   1 at Rowing Club, another prob. at East Meadow

This is very late for NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW. Our previous latest sighting was August 22, 2002.

Despite the bad birding, we ended up with quite a few species at least DETECTED. If you count the ones we couldn’t get to species (gull, falcon, flycatcher), we had 62 species. Adding RED-NECKED GREBE and COMMON RAVEN, the park list is up to 147 for 2015.

== Michael Hobbs

Common Mergansers on weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Spotted Sandpiper near weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Rough-winged Swallow.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Female Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Chestnut-backed Chickadee at the Park Office feeders.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

House Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

House Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-eared Slider.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Harrier in the East Meadow, 2015-09-06.  Photo by William Fletcher

Northern Harrier in the East Meadow, 2015-09-06.  Photo by William Fletcher

Report for September 11, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was a crisp fall day, and it took its time warming up despite the sunny skies. 41 degrees to start. Brrr. It did warm by 30 degrees by the end, however. There’s definitely a shift underway in the bird populations, with fewer and fewer summer birds seen, and quite a few First of Fall species.


Northern Shoveler                    Two: one at lake, one flyover
American Coot                         Two at lake. First of Fall?
Wilson’s Snipe                          Two below weir
Short-eared Owl                       Dark owl glimpsed; calls ID’d as SEOW
Vaux’s Swift                             Numbers up to about 15
Five Woodpecker Day             Sherrie had sapsucker, Pileated heard, male Hairy
Western Wood-Pewee             1-2. Getting late. Might have had a Willow too
Pacific-Slope Flycatcher            One in NW part of Dog Meadow bushes
Common Raven                        New for the year; one to the NE
Violet-green Swallow                Late risers; probably 50 by the end
Barn Swallow                           Only 10-15, even later to rise than VGSW
Black-capped Chickadee          UBIQUITOUS EVERYWHERE :)
Ruby-crowned Kinglet               First of Fall, 1-2 birds
American Pipit                          1 seen by all; Grace&Ollie had 6 early
Orange-crowned Warbler           5+, including some gray-headed ones
Yellow-rumped Warbler            Matt heard early; First of Fall
Black-throated Gray Warbler     8? Most numerous warbler except Yellowthroat
Wilson’s Warbler                      1, west edge of Dog Meadow
Fox Sparrow                             “Sooty” – First of Fall
Golden-crowned Sparrow          First of Fall
Western Tanager                        Still 2: one calling, one seen
Evening Grosbeak                      2 seen over mansion. Maybe more heard

A couple of times we thought we heard PINE SISKIN, but we could not quite be sure enough to list. We’re still waiting on our first siskin of the year.

For the day, 65 species. Not too shabby...

== Michael Hobbs

Wilson's Snipe below the weir in the early morning light.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Male Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Black-throated Gray Warber.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Black-throated Gray Warber.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Very distant Common Raven.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Brown Creeper, judging from downy tufts.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hammond's Flycatcher, 2014-09-07.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker, 2014-09-07.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Purple Finch feeding young, 2014-09-07.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow, 2014-09-07.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for September 12, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Pre-dawn was gorgeous, with Jupiter showing it’s moons near Orion. There was thick ground fog over the meadows, which thinned around 6:00 a.m., just long enough for us to spend about a minute watching a BARN OWL. But as the sun rose, the fog lifted to become a thin, grey blanket over our heads. Our impression was that the birds slept through their alarms this morning, for things were very quiet until mid-morning, when the sun finally burned through the fog. It wasn’t until our loop around the mansion, and our visit to the Rowing Club that there were many birds to see. But, still, it was a good day.


Canada Goose                 Numbers are suddenly up to 200-250
Common Merganser         2-3
Green Heron                    Juvenile at Rowing Club pond
Cooper’s Hawk               Several sightings, maybe all the same juvie
Wilson’s Snipe                 Heard and glimpsed pre-dawn
Band-tailed Pigeon           Flock of 8 flew overhead
Barn Owl                         Around 6:00 a.m., at model airplane field
Red-breasted Sapsucker  1, south end of East Meadow
Merlin                              1 speeding south east of East Meadow
Warbling Vireo                1 near windmill
Marsh Wren                     Suddenly several, singing, after 3 week absence
American Pipit                 Two flew off from fields north of Viewing Mound
Townsend’s Warbler       One at Rowing Club, with our only Yellow
Brewer’s Blackbird         Very uncommon at Marymoor – 1 female at Velodrome

For the day, we had 57 species

== Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk, East Meadow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Canada Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Warbling Vireo.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Townsend's Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Green Heron at the weir, 2013-09-08.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Belted Kingfisher, 2013-09-08.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Anna's Hummingbird, 2013-09-06.  Photo by Lillian Reis

First Golden-crowned Sparrow of the fall, 2013-09-06.  Photo by Lillian Reis
I believe this to be a Variegated Meadowhawk, 2013-09-06.
Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for September 13, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

A strange day at Marymoor, and definitely the beginnings of fall. It was COLD to start (39 degrees), though it warmed slowly to 72. No wind, few clouds, and an interesting mix of birds, including some weirdness.


American Wigeon                    First of Fall (FOF)- 2 flew down slough
Common Merganser                2 seen in flight
Osprey                                    Still 1, calling loudly as if hoping for handouts
Sharp-shinned Hawk               Chasing flickers
Cooper's Hawk                       At least 2 (adult, immature)
MERLIN                                 One over lake, being chased my Martins
MOURNING DOVE              One at Pea Patch - FOF
Hairy Woodpecker                  Seen twice - 2 birds?
Pileated Woodpecker              In Big Cottonwood Forest, chased by Coop!
Willow Flycatcher                   1-2 seen, west edge of Dog Meadow
Warbling Vireo                       3-5 seen
PURPLE MARTIN                Two chasing Merlin at lake - latest sighting ever
AMERICAN PIPIT                Heard over Compost Piles early
Yellow-rumped Warbler          Brian had one from lake platform
Townsend's Warbler                One near mansion
Fox Sparrow                           First of Fall - 3
LAZULI BUNTING               See note below
Evening Grosbeak                   Several flyovers

The strangest thing was the PILEATED WOODPECKER that spent at least 10 minutes being chased around by at least 1 juvenile COOPER'S HAWK in the Big Cottonwood Forest. The Coop just wouldn't let it be, and the Pileated looked none too pleased. To make things more surreal, at the same time, a
SHARP-SHINNED HAWK was chasing NORTHERN FLICKERS. One or both of the accipiters were vocalizing.

One of the FOX SPARROWS had a quite-gray head with a noticeable reddish ear coverts and upper tail coverts.  Still possibly within the range of "Sooty".

The LAZULI BUNTING was seen at a distance of close to a 1/4 mile, but it was perched at the tip top of a dead tree with sunlight full on the bird. The metallic sky-blue head sparkled in the sun, and the lower belly was clearly white. I observed the bird for probably 30 seconds or more. Brian Bell also confirmed the ID. A breeding male in mid-September in King County is very unusual! This is four weeks later than our previous late-date for Laz.

For the day, I believe we came up with 60 species.

== Michael Hobbs

As the sun first rose, it looked like an electric-pink slug

As the sun rose further, it turned orange.  The colors were probably due to smoke from the many fires in the Ellensburg/Wenatchee area.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hugh Jennings used a GPS-based tracking program on his smartphone to measure our path and distance, producing this map.

Our start location is the small paved parking lot that serves as handicapped parking for the concert venue.

(A)  We then circle around the concert venue on our way to the slough trail
(B)  Pause at the weir
(C)  Leave the Off-leash Dog Area
(D)  Lake platform
(E)  Compost Piles.  We actually take two routes leading to the piles, with some of the group taking the Meadow Loop trail to the east, and others going straight up the more major trail
(F)  We don't usually do this loop through the Dog Meadow, but we were hoping for Lapland Longspur, which have previously shown up there in mid-September
(G)  We loop through the mansion area and past the park office bird feeders
(H)  We drive over to Marymoor West and walk past the Rowing Club to a final look in the slough

Except for (F), this is our typical route (complete with all of the willy-nilly wanderings.  We manage to walk about 4.5 miles, and sometimes more, in a half square mile area.

Bushtit.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Osprey.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hairy Woodpecker in East Meadow

Male Hairy Woodpecker at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hooded Merganser at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

The crescent moon, a little before 6 a.m., with the dark face barely visible

Crescent moon and Venus, just before 6 a.m.

Report for September 15, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

Did you notice that "klunk" a few days ago? Fall fell. Today was overcast and cool. We're in the switchover from summer birds to winter birds. At times, today, it felt like we were between the "switch" and the "over", for the birds were scarce for much of the morning. But we did run into a couple of nice mixed flocks, and the eyes and ears of the many observers managed to find a fair amount by the end of the day.


Greater White.-fronted Goose    Houston Flores reported 5 early
Wood Duck                               Males are back into gorgeous plumage
Northern Harrier                         Juvenile over boardwalk
Peregrine Falcon                        Streaking south, west of the slough
Wilson's Snipe                            First of Fall, 1 with Killdeer on grass soccer fields
Glaucous-winged Gull                 First since August 4
Willow Flycatcher                      Just one still holding on
Warbling Vireo                          1-2 still
Common Raven                         Our 4th sighting for 2011!
Swainson's Thrush                      Matt heard many call notes early. None seen
Orange-crowned Warbler          Quite a few
Yellow Warbler                          Several
Black-throated Gray Warbler     1-2 near last dog swim beach
Common Yellowthroat               Fewer than previous weeks
Wilson's Warbler                       2-3
Golden-crowned Sparrow         Several at Compost Piles - first of fall
Western Tanager                       Scott Ramos had one

Jim McCoy said he had a GREAT HORNED OWL near the east kiosk the night of September 14.

Missed today, and maybe gone for the year: Osprey, Vaux's Swift, Western Wood-Pewee.

So, all told for the day, 60 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Warbling Vireo.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wood Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for September 16, 2010

A whole lot quieter than last week, but still not too bad.  The forecast rain didn't fall, except for a slight mist, though we were under a heavy overcast all morning.  After last week's bonanza, there was a big crew of birders to day, and we did manage to find a few things.


Red-breasted Sapsucker        1 near the park office
Pileated Woodpecker             1 landed in Snag Row near the Pea Patch
Ruby-crowned Kinglet            First of Fall - 1 or 2 near start of boardwalk
Orange-crowned Warbler       2 near Lot D
Yellow Warbler                      3+ near start of boardwalk
Yellow-rumped Warbler         1-2 near Lot D
Black-throated Gray Warbler  3+, incl. 2+ near park office
Western Tanager                     4-5 near concert stage, all together
Fox Sparrow                           First of Fall - 2+ near weir
Lincoln's Sparrow                    Numerous
Western Meadowlark              FOF, 1 flying east.  Early fall record
Evening Grosbeak                   About a dozen flew north over stage

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael

Male and female Wood Ducks.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pileated Woodpecker in Snag Row.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

The same Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Merlin, 2010-09-10.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Cooper's Hawk, 2010-09-15.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Black-tailed Deer across the slough.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Fungus.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for September 10, 2009

Report from Brian Bell:

Today was a great day at Marymoor. Michael is still out of town so Matt and I substituted for him. We were joined by 10 other people. Good weather that got better during the day, nice temperatures and little wind. Bird activity was high early with lots of groups of birds. We had seen 45 species by the time we got to dog central (less than a quarter of the way around the walk).

Notable birds today:
Black-headed Grosbeak (imm. male)
Western Tanager (male) this may be the latest we have seen one
Barn Owl flyby early in east meadow
Swainson's Thrush heard whitting early (usually mostly gone by now)
Purple Finch good numbers with some really nice males
Evening Grosbeak flyover early
Warbling Vireo several
Orange-crowned Warbler probably 8-10
Wilson's Warbler 3 males
Green Heron 2 adults, 1 imm.
Starting to get some Canada Goose flocks back. Real reductions in some species, only a few Barn Swallows seen today, Willow Flycatcher only two seen, Marsh Wren.
All in all a really nice day, with 52 species.

Brian H Bell
Woodinville, WA

Chestnut-backed Chickadee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Tanager.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Tanager.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Robin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Robin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-tailed Hawk pair interaction.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Moon photo by Hugh Jennings

Bullfrog photo by Hugh Jennings

Harvest moon, 2009-09-03.   Photo by Brian Dobbins

Harvest moon, 2009-09-03.   Photo by Brian Dobbins
Lincoln Sparrow, 2009-09-12.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for September 12, 2008

I stopped by for about an hour this morning - another beautiful, sunny morning.  At the Compost Piles I had a MOURNING DOVE.  At Lot B, the grass and gravel parking lot north of the grass soccer fields, a juvenile HORNED LARK landed near me.  Later, a HAIRY WOODPECKER flew overhead as I crossed the Dog Meadow.  Twice I saw fly-over EVENING GROSBEAKS.  It was a nice visit.

= Michael


John Tubb's photo of a Green Heron flying up the slough, 2008-09-11

Report for September 11, 2008

Another really nice day at Marymoor.  It was sunny, warm enough that we started with sweaters and the sweaters came off by mid-morning, but not so hot that it was uncomfortable.  It was entirely windless, which proved useful, as any disturbed leaf meant a bird.

We're on the cusp of the change of seasons, and we had quite a few "summer" birds, and a few "winter" arrivals as well. It was pretty birdy, though if there were rarities, we managed to (maybe just) miss them.


Pied-billed Grebe                    First since April - a juvenile
Northern Harrier                     1 over Dog Meadow - later 2 soaring
Long-billed Dowitcher             Matt and Scott had 2 fly by early
Warbling Vireo                        Still a couple around
American Pipit                         Several fly-overs
Black-throated Gray Warbler  Quite a few, good looks
Townsend's Warbler               2-3, not-so-good looks
Western Tanager                     Still 1, at the Rowing Club
Fox Sparrow                           First of Fall - at least 2
Lincoln's Sparrow                    First of Fall - at least 4
Golden-crowned Sparrow       First of Fall - 2
Black-headed Grosbeak          2-4 still around
Evening Grosbeak                    Many heard, a few glimpsed

This was our first summer ever without PIED-BILLED GREBES at least attempting to nest.  It's been strange not to see them, and nice to have a fall return.

The LONG-BILLED DOWITCHERS are only the second sighting ever for that species, and the first came earlier this year.

We had no flycatchers, but we did have 5 species of warbler (Orange-crowned, Yellow-rumped, and Common Yellowthroat as well as the two noted above), and eight species of sparrow (the other five being Spotted Towhee, Savannah, Song, White-crowned, and Dark-eyed Junco).  And actually, John Tubbs reported FOX SPARROW last Friday, so today's weren't exactly the First of Fall.

The EVENING GROSBEAKS were obnoxious beasts.  Matt and I kept calling out "Evening Grosbeaks, somewhere, flying towards us it sounds like"  and then - nothing.  Once, though, when I led 2/3s of the group one way and Matt led the rest the other way, Matt actually saw a few fly overhead.

The AMERICAN PIPITS were almost as bad, but I did at least glimpse them a couple of times.  Nothing satisfactory though.

The HORNED LARK was worse.  In the early morning, Matt thought he heard one or more, but couldn't verify.  Later, as we were working the north end of the Dog Meadow, he swore he saw one amongst some Savannah Sparrows.  He called for all of us to come see, but there was naught but Savannahs.  Nor did anyone hear a Horned Lark's flight call if it departed.  So he kind of threw up his hands, and we're not counting HOLA for the day.

Even so, we managed 64 species.

== Michael

Bewick's Wren singing

Adult Bald Eagle near the east end of the boardwalk

Northern Harrier hunting over the Dog Meadow

The white rump-band of the Northern Harrier is very apparent as the bird flies away

Report for September 12-13, 2007

I did a solo trip to Marymoor on Wednesday, 9/12 because I was driving out to the WOS Conference in the afternoon.

This morning was very dark overcast, and it was windy at times. There was also a pretty strong migrant pulse, which made for great birding. No rarities, but lots of birds and lots of action at times.

The best flock was at the southwest edge of the East Meadow. The flock comprised:

Warbling Vireo (maybe 6), Red-eyed Vireo (1-2), Orange-crowned Warbler (6-8), Yellow Warbler (2-4), Black-throated Gray Warbler (1),  Black-capped Chickadee (8+),  American Robin (8), Cedar Waxwing (10), Western Tanager (1-2),  Swainson's Thrush (2+), Hermit Thrush (1), Common Yellowthroat (2+), Spotted Towhee (1), American Goldfinch (6), Song Sparrow (1-2), Purple Finch (4), Northern Flicker (3). Now that's a flock!

Other highlights:

Green Heron                   One at Rowing Club
Cooper's Hawk               Adult (male?) in Snag Row
Hairy Woodpecker          Male just east of Pet Garden
Vaux's Swift                    Still 1 around
Lincoln's Sparrow            8+, singly, scattered all over the park
Black-headed Grosbeak  Still 1 around

I had 51 species in 4+ hours (I skipped the Mansion area)

= Michael


I filled in for Michael Hobbs today at the Marymoor weekly walk. Apparently, Michael wasn't the only one off to the coast early for the WOS Conference. We had 3 people on the walk, and only 2 for the majority of the walk.

Despite that, it was a very birdy day, mirroring the report Michael sent yesterday. Nothing rare showed up, but we had a great time with the warbler flocks and others.

Highlights: 5 woodpecker species, including nice looks at a PILEATED WOODPECKER in the snags just northeast of the viewing platform and a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER by the Mansion.

5 warbler species including: ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER - 15-20, maybe more. They were in several small groups throughout the park. YELLOW WARBLER - 5-7 - mixed in with the Orange-crowned flocks BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER - 1 or 2 YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS - about 5 or so COMMON YELLOWTHROAT - many, in all plumage variations.

RED-EYED VIREO - excellent close up looks at one in approximately the same spot Michael reported it yesterday, on the sw edge of the east meadow.

WARBLING VIREO - 6-8 moving around frantically in the same area as the Red-eyed Vireo

PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER - 1, a bit after the viewing platform

SWAINSON'S THRUSH - 6 or so, a little past 'dog central', including one staying very close to an American Robin, not chasing each other, but flying around together as if paired....

GREEN HERON - 2 adults across from the rowing club

WESTERN TANAGER - 2 or more, along the slough


LINCOLN'S SPARROW - back in force, both around the sparrow piles [north end of the east meadow] and elsewhere in smaller numbers.

Non-bird highlights included: COYOTE - across the slough from the weir SALMON - big big salmon moving through the slough DEER - 1 in the east meadow, early

For the day, we had 56 species, with the most notable departures missing from our list seeming to be Western Wood-pewees & Willow Flycatchers. We also had several 'perhaps' heard-onlys on Fox Sparrow & Ruby-crowned Kinglet, but alas nothing solid enough to confirm they'd returned.

Matt Bartels

Black-capped Chickadee in English Hawthorn

Black-throated Gray Warbler in English Hawthorn

Cooper's Hawk in Snag Row

Hairy Woodpecker

Orange-crowned Warbler

Savannah Sparrow

Feral sunflower at the Compost Piles


Bird Sightings Week 37
September 10-16*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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