Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 39
September 24-30*


Rarities for Week 39:

Clay-colored Sparrow 28-Sep-05 Compost Piles
Douglas Squirrel 24-Sep-09 Near 2nd Dog Swim Beach

Report for September 28, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

For a "rainy" day, we actually had some fairly nice weather at times this morning.  And it was birdy, though the birds were often frustratingly hard to see.

  • Cackling Goose - Quite a number of smallish fly-over flocks
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove - One flew down the Dog Meadow.  Our 3rd sighting of the year
  • Osprey - *STILL* activity at both nests
  • Cooper's Hawk - Two juveniles chasing around the Pea Patch
  • Merlin - One streaked across the East Meadow - 4th sighting in the last 7 weeks
  • Violet-green Swallow - Maybe 20 total, in several sightings
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Tony saw one, First of Fall (FOF)
  • Varied Thrush - Two heard clearly, Dog Meadow.  (FOF)
  • Swainson's Thrush - Tony heard a couple pre-dawn.  Almost certainly last for the year
  • Hermit Thrush - One seen well, Dog Meadow (FOF)
  • CHIPPING SPARROW - Juvenile in Pea Patch presumably the same bird as last week
  • Fox Sparrow - Several, some singing (FOF)
  • Orange-crowned Warbler - At least 5, and possibly several more
  • Wilson's Warbler - One in large cotton woods SE of Dog Central
A late scan of the lake turned up a couple more First of Fall birds (FOF) birds - AMERICAN WIGEON (1 or 2), and LESSER SCAUP (3) with another scaup that looked to be GREATER, though too far away to be sure.

We had salmon swimming up towards the weir.  And in the slough out from the start of the boardwalk, we had great looks at a 6"-long crayfish!  In the Pet Memorial Garden, a crow caught a vole of somekind while we watched.

Misses today included Hooded Merganser, American Coot, Green Heron, Downy Woodpecker, Barn Swallow, Bushtit, Marsh Wren, American Pipit (though might have heard), and Lincoln's Sparrow (also might have heard).  

For the day, counting the two lake ducks, 54 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Hermit Thrush. Photo by Tony Ernst

Crayfish in the slough. Photo by Tony Ernst

One crow chasing another in attempted cleptoparasitism.
Photo by Tony Ernst

Close-up of the vole they were fighting over. Stripes are an artifact of the wind.
Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for September 29, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Brian and I led the weekly Marymoor walk again this week, eager to find something to make Michael regret missing the day. Alas, the birds once again refused to cooperate. It was fairly birdy all day, but the birds were just the same regulars, with very little notable on the day

  • Ring-necked Duck - one in the slough our FOF [first-of-fall]
  • Green Heron - one spotted by Warren, amazingly directly in front of us yet invisible, until he said something.
  • Swainson's Thrush - none seen, once again, but still several calling before dawn
  • Fox Sparrow - they've been back for a couple weeks, but this week they were ready to come out and be more visible to us.
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow - growing numbers arriving in the park now
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - not many seen well, but several small flocks flitting around
Just not a ton to report

Misses included Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Pipit, European Starling, Cedar Waxwing, Barn Swallow, owls

For the day 50 species ?

Matt Bartels

Report for September 30, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

This terribly rainy morning featured NO rain from 6:30 – 10:00 a.m., and another break from 10:30 – 11:10 a.m.   So we had over 4 hours without rain to contend with.  It was not a birdy day, especially before we got to the Lake Platform, but by the end of the morning, we’d done pretty well.  No truly shocking rarities, but some quite unexpected birds.  Quite a few “misses” too.
After the walk, I did a late scope of the lake, and was able to verify some birds that had been challengingly far out from the Lake Platform.
  • Wood Duck – two at the Rowing Club
  • LESSER SCAUP – the late scan of the lake allowed me to ID the 3 ducks we’d seen – very early for Scaup at Marymoor
  • HORNED GREBE – the late scan of the lake turned up one, First of Fall (FOF).  It was loosely with the...
  • Western Grebe – four far out on the lake, seen from the Lake Platform
  • BLACK SWIFT – eleven flew overhead towards the lake!
  • American Coot – five at the lake
  • Barn Owl – seen after 6:30 a.m.  It flew from the model airplane field down across the East Meadow, and then spent a long time working the Dog Meadow
  • AMERICAN KESTREL – one near the eastern baseball fields
  • CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY – one atop the lone cottonwood just north of the “Mysterious Thicket”.  7 of our 13 sightings of CASJ have been in Septembers
  • Western Meadowlark – three in the East Meadow
  • Fox Sparrow – several calling, a few singing, but none seen
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – one with chickadees south of the East Meadow
In the field, I thought fall sightings of Black Swift were more unusual at Marymoor than my records reveal.  This was our 5th September sighting, tied for our 2nd latest fall sighting, beaten only by four birds on 1999-10-07.
Misses included Hooded Merganser, Green Heron, Barn Swallow, Bushtit, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, and American Pipit.
For the day, 58 species.  Not bad for a rainy day that wasn’t very birdy Smile
= Michael Hobbs

Western Meadowlark.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for September 24, 2020                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

There were only two brief rain showers between 5:00 a.m. (when Matt got there) and 9:00 (when our survey group neared the lake).  But those, apparently, were just a prelude.  It then drizzled and rained, and occasionally poured, the rest of the morning until we left, rather wet, at 11:00.  It was not very birdy at all.
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – two flew over the boardwalk.  Our 3rd sighting of the year
  • Osprey – two fishing the lake; will be leaving soon
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one decided to fly towards a tree full of crows first thing in the morning.  ???
  • Cooper’s Hawk – one near Pea Patch
  • Barn Owl – I didn’t get to the “pre-dawn” owling at the Viewing Mound until 6:50 a.m.  Amazingly, Matt was able to show me the morning’s only Barn Owl that had just appeared
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt got to see one predawn, south of the East Meadow
  • HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHER – south end of East Meadow; we’ve had only 3 fall records for this species
  • Violet-green Swallow – flock of about a dozen, seen fairly briefly.  First since mid-August, and getting late by dates
  • Pine Siskin – a few heard, continuing the string of siskin sightings.
  • FOX SPARROW – two, and we even got looks at one of them.  First of Fall (FOF)
  • “Yellowish” Warbler – Matt saw one, south end of the Dog Meadow, probably Orange-crowned by dates
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – at least two, FOF
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – one (maybe 2) bright males at the south end of the Dog Meadow
  • Townsend’s Warbler – brief look at one along the slough, FOF
Today’s record of PINE SISKIN was our first ever for Week 39, and that fills in the last gap.  We can now say that siskins could show up any time, since we’ve had them (at least once) in each week of the year.  This is (if I counted right) the 47th such species.  At least 3 other species are very close to fulfilling this requirement.
For the day, counting the “Yellowish” Warbler, 50 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for September 26, 2019                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

Our first real fall survey for the year.  The weather lived down to that; for the first 3 hours we had oppressive darkness and drizzle of various descriptions.  It was remarkably difficult to see birds, especially passerines – they just wouldn’t show themselves.  Things were pretty quiet as well.  But we had many First Of Fall birds, and an extensive raptor show.
  • Cackling Goose – First of Fall, and back with a vengeance.  Several large (hundreds of birds) flyover flocks, and a few dozen birds that landed in the park
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – still seen only occasionally at Marymoor.   1 bird seen twice, we assume
  • GREATER YELLOWLEGS – one heard calling while flying around the north end of the lake, unseen by us.  First of Fall
  • Double-crested Cormorant – two flew towards the lake – First of Fall
  • Turkey Vulture – One flying south from East Meadow – First of Fall, and First of 2019 for the survey
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – Probably two individuals
  • Cooper’s Hawk – MANY sightings, and probably three individuals, one an adult
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard one pre-dawn, just before the rain started
  • – Four woodpecker day – No Hairy; nice looks at Red-breasted Sapsucker at the Rowing Club parking lot
  • AMERICAN KESTREL – one flew south near east end of boardwalk – First of 2019 for the survey; though one was photographed in the park a couple of weeks ago
  • MERLIN – dark bird flew south, apparently holding prey, from near the Pea Patch
  • PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER – Good looks at Rowing Club; latest confirmed Fall sighting for Marymoor ever
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet – At least one; First of Fall
  • VARIED THRUSH – one heard in Big Cottonwood Forest; First of Fall
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – Over a dozen, scattered.  First of Fall
No sight or sound of any Vaux’s Swift, Osprey, Swainson’s Thrush, or Yellow Warbler; probably done with those for the year.
Matt saw three DEER predawn, and heard COYOTES reply to the sirens of emergency vehicles pre-dawn.  This was just the second record of Coyote this year (!)
Our only PURPLE FINCH was caught by a juvenile COOPER’S HAWK, and accidentally dropped (very dead) to the ground by the hawk.
Other misses included Hooded Merganser, American Coot, Bald Eagle, Bushtit. Marsh Wren, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Orange-crowned Warbler.
For the day, 58 species plus the deceased Purple Finch.  Not at all a bad count, given the weather.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for September 27, 2018                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Michael was out and Brian Bell & I substituted as leaders. After all the goodies of last week, we had hopes of this week holding surprises. Alas, we hit one of those lulls in the pulses of migration — we saw some good birds, but overall the species count and species seen were not all that remarkable.


  • River Otter - 4 of them near dog central
  • Green-winged Teal - a pair flew by along the slough
  • Virginia Rail - one or two responded to clapping along the slough
  • Osprey - still one present , seen multiple times
  • All 5 expected woodpecker species seen
  • Merlin - one from the lake viewing platform
  • Peregrine Falcon - one soaring around late, as we were nearing the Pea Patch
  • HUTTON’S VIREO - still pretty unusual at Marymoor. We had one near the windmill.
  • American Pipit - five flying overhead in the north fields
  • Fox Sparrows - singing away in the good weather
  • For warblers, we only had a single Orange-crowned, a few Common Yellowthroats, and maybe 15-20 Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Misses for the day included owls, any swallows to species [we did have a flock of a dozen too far out to get beyond swallow sp], ducks beyond Mallard, Wood Duck, Common Merganser, and the teal, and the longed-after rarity.

For the day, 52 species

Matt Bartels, Seattle, WA

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Killdeer.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

River Otters.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

River Otters.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

River Otters.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Spider on her web.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for September 28, 2017                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The last warm day before the rains at Marymoor turned out to be birdy, but a little lackluster — none of the craziness of last week’s show — we were missing Michael, and it seems he took the rarities with him. Nevertheless, we had a lot of birds flying most all day - nothing like the quiet days of earlier in the month.


  • Western Grebe - 2 on lake
  • Mourning Dove - 1 in fields offering good views
  • Wilson’s Snipe - a few flying and grunting pre-dawn — our first of the fall
  • Virginia Rail - 5 — including one that came out for brief views at the lake viewing platform
  • Steller’s Jay - 30+ - we seemed to have a steady movement that was more than our usual fall movement of Steller’s gathering nuts.
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet - several back, including at least attempts at song
  • Orange-crowned Warbler - 2-3
  • Yellow-rumped Warblers - many many moving through
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - 2-3

Missing today, many species — no swallows, no gulls, not many ducks, and no solid pipits [or larks or longspurs], despite quite a bit of effort.

For the day, we came up with 49 species [down 29 from last week's total!]

Good birding,

Matt Bartels Seattle, WA

Dawn. Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Crow with a bum foot.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Mourning Dove.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Song Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for September 29, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It’s definitely late fall. This morning started at 41 degrees with cold fog. It did eventually get warmer and sunny, but the birds know winter is coming. Our summer birds have fled, and our winter birds are arriving.


Cackling Goose                       Flock of ~60 – First Of Fall
Western Grebe                        Seven on lake
Double-crested Cormorant      1-3 – FOF
Green Heron                            2 at Rowing Club again
Turkey Vulture                        1 over boardwalk
Northern Harrier                     1 crossed slough near lake
Eurasian Collared-Dove          3 sightings, 2-4 birds
Pileated Woodpecker              3 sightings, prob. 2 birds
Merlin                                      Landed across mouth of slough from us
Bushtit                                     1 huge flock; 30+ birds
Pacific Wren                            3, including 1 singing
Ruby-crowned Kinglet             ~10, with lots of singing
HERMIT THRUSH                 1 near last dog beach, first for 2016
American Robin                       Huge numbers ~200
American Pipit                         1+ pre-dawn, 1 north of Compost Piles
Yellow-rumped Warbler          Dozens, with a few Myrtle’s amongst them
Golden-crowned Sparrow        Lots of singing

We had a singing FOX SPARROW that was almost entirely white, with possibly symmetrical dark markings.  If you were a newbie and tried to force an ID from the bird book, you might come up with Snow or McKay’s Bunting.  VERY unique-looking bird, that I hope will stick around.

No flycatchers, vireos, or swallows, and Yellow-rumped were the only warblers.

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
First-of-Fall Double-crested Cormorant.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Typical appearance of a "Sooty" Fox Sparrow. Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow with extreme leucism.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Leucistic Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Leucistic Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hermit Thrush.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Hermit Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Harrier.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Turkey Vulture.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Very pale Merlin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Merlin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cooper's Hawk and Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cooper's Hawk and Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cooper's Hawk and Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cooper's Hawk and Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cooper's Hawk and Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wood Duck pair at Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wood Duck and Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Snipe on boardwalk (!), 2016-09-28.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Swainson's Thrush, 2016-09-25.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Swainson's Thrush, 2016-09-25.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for September 24, 2015                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

A truly gorgeous morning, with only occasional thin overcast, but mostly blue skies. Jupiter was really bright this morning until about 7:00. The day was birdy, with some really nice looks at common species. With the great viewing weather, we also managed some distant identifications that added to our species count. Nothing too unusual, but a really fine day.


Gr. White-fronted Goose  2 with Canadas, NE fields
Western Grebe                 1-2 well out on lake. First for 2015
Wilson’s Snipe                  2 below weir, flew circles around us
Band-tailed Pigeon            A couple of sightings
Barn Owl                          Heard near windmill, glimpses from Viewing Mound
- all five woodpeckers -    ThoughHairy and Pileated only glimpsed, barely heard
Violet-green Swallow        1 seen well, maybe more
Barn Swallow                    At least 2-3
Pacific Wren                      Spontaneously singing, visible, Big Cottonwood Forest
                                         – First of Fall
Varied Thrush                   One overhead
Orange-crowned Warbler 1 west of East Meadow
Common Yellowthroat      1 heard, 1 seen
Yellow Warbler                1 near mansion
Yellow-rumped Warbler   10-20, including 1 Myrtle’s

This is the earliest fall sighting we’ve ever had for PACIFIC WREN, and among the latest fall sightings for VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW and YELLOW WARBLER.

We also had 2 MULE DEER on the far side of the slough downstream of the weir.

For the day, 62 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Wilson's Snipe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Snipe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Merganser and Mallards.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Stereotypical Downy Woodpecker pose.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Typical Downy Woodpecker pose.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bald Eagle from Lake Platform.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose with Canada Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Hooded Merganser and Green Heron at Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Spider.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

River Otter.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for September 25, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Today was a learning experience. I learned that my raincoat is no longer waterproof. Drizzle at 7:00 a.m. quickly moved on through light rain, to heavy rain, to a downpour or three, almost completely dousing the birding possibilities. The rain didn’t slacken until we were leaving the off-leash area, and we had intermittent light rain and drizzle for much of the rest of the morning. Okay, by the Rowing Club there were some glimpses of blue skies. I think the other thing we learned is that a crappy day like today can end up with a pretty good bird list if you keep moving slowly and attentively and just hold the course.


Western Grebe                     1 at lake, First of Fall
Double-crested Cormorant   One over slough at windmill – First of Fall
Cooper’s Hawk                   At least 1 adult, 1 juvenile
Wilson’s Snipe                     Several seen, including a close flyby of six
Barn Owl                             Matt & Sharon had several glimpses, East Meadow
Vaux’s Swift                        Getting late; 2+ at Rowing Club
Violet-green Swallow           30 or so over Rowing Club
Barn Swallow                       2 over Rowing Club
WESTERN SCRUB-JAY   One in Snag Row – first for my personal park list
Orange-crowned Warbler    One at Compost Piles
Yellow-rumped Warbler      Numbers increasing, and both Aud. and Myrtle’s seen
Evening Grosbeak                Heard snatches, finally saw about 8 fly over
House Sparrow                    Male at Compost Piles again

This is the fourth WESTERN SCRUB-JAY sighting for Marymoor: three in August/September and one in December. For several of us, including Matt and myself, it was a new bird for our personal park lists. My list is now at 212, I believe.

Early on, when the rains were torrential and the skies dimly lit, there were many flocks of ducks overhead. We ended up identifying only WOOD DUCK, MALLARD, NORTHERN SHOVELER, and HOODED MERGANSER, plus a COMMON MERGANSER in the slough. Many of the flyby ducks were probably AMERICAN WIGEON, and I was able to find a few of those at the north end of the lake after the walk. Others probably included Green-winged Teal and Northern Pintail, but neither of those could be confirmed. Sharon might also have had Band-tailed Pigeon, and there were a couple of other possible/probable species that we didn’t count.

Besides the usual squirrels and bunnies, we saw one COYOTE on the far side of the slough below the weir. We also heard Pacific Tree Frogs.

Despite the slightly damp weather (that is, I’m *still* slightly damp), we ended up with 60 species! It pays to slog the slog.

== Michael Hobbs

Four Northern Shovelers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow in the rain.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Other than the flight call, how could you tell these were Evening Grosbeaks?
Photo by Ollie Oliver

...By noticing the wing patterns.  This is a female Evening Grosbeak, with the characteristic white marks in the middle of the wings.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wet Lincoln's Sparrow.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

* S H A K E *

That's better

Western Scrub-Jay.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Crow in the Community Gardens in the rain.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hooded Mergansers at the Rowing Club, 2014-09-24. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for September 26, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The day started with a good amount of fog and never really warmed up, but it was birdy for our weekly walk at Marymoor Park. With Michael away, Brian Bell & I led a group of 10 on a pleasant fall day with some nice finds along the way.


Barn Owl - good looks during a break in the pre-dawn fog around 6:30 in the east meadow.

Warblers - after some slow weeks, we finally had good numbers of warblers. Primarily Yellow-rumped [both Audubon's and Myrtle's], we also enjoyed looks at 3-4 Black-throated Gray Warblers and 3 Orange-crowned Warblers. Common Yellowthroats remained heard-only today.

Pileated Woodpecker - first in over a month, I think, with two good sightings during the day

Merlin - chasing a finch or Savannah Sparrow around the soccer fields

Red-necked Grebe - pretty unusual for Marymoor Park, out quite a ways on the lake today

Fox Sparrow & Golden-crowned Sparrows are both back in the park, and both were singing occasionally.

We also heard a few Lincoln's Sparrows and got good looks at one of them.

Chipping Sparrow - 1st winter bird - best bird of the day , found and photographed by Ollie Oliver in the Pea Patch Community Garden after the rest of the group had moved on.

Green Heron - our juvie remains pretty reliable now at the Rowing Club pond.

Several birds seem to have departed for the year, with no flycatchers, vireos, swallows, or swifts seen. Dave H. will be pleased to hear our Osprey appear to have departed, and we did not find any Rufous Hummers!

For the day, 53 species,

Matt Bartels Seattle, WA

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lincoln's Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Lillian Reis

White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Chipping Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Chipping Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for September 27, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

It started out foggy, and it took a long time to clear, but it was a very interesting day birding at Marymoor today. A real change in the bird selection has occurred, though a few “summer” birds are still hanging around, and we’re still waiting on many “winter” species.


Double-crested Cormorant              Brian & Ollie saw 1 flying – First Of Fall
Green Heron                                    Juvenile at Rowing Club pond
Sharp-shinned Hawk                       1 at sunrise at Compost Piles
Glaucous-winged Gull                      1 adult – FOF
Barn Owl                                         2 seen from new viewing mound
Pileated Woodpecker                      Heard several times
MERLIN                                         Taiga subspecies!
COMMON RAVEN                      One flew over the Dog Meadow
PURPLE MARTIN                         Still at least a couple – very late
Barn Swallow                                  2 still about
Pacific Wren                                    One at east end of boardwalk – FOF
Ruby-crowned Kinglet                     At least 2 – FOF
Swainson’s Thrush                           1 unidentified thrush seen, 1 Swainson's heard
AMERICAN PIPIT                         5 on grass field #7 (near Lot G)
Orange-crowned Warbler                At least 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler                  50+ All over, both Audubon’s & Myrtle’s
Black-throated Gray Warbler           At least 3 – nice looks
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW Tan-stripe bird near 3rd Dog Swim Beach
                                                        That makes 5 First Of Fall birds.

As we walked along the south edge of grass fields 7-8-9, the sound of PURPLE MARTINS caught my attention. Looking up, there was a MERLIN which 2 Purple Martins were harassing. Ollie got some photos, and looking at them, it appears to be a Taiga subspecies bird - quite unusual for Marymoor! 

For the day, 60 species. WHITE-THROATED SPARROW was new for the year. Our big miss for the day – Great Blue Heron!

== Michael Hobbs

First Glaucous-winged Gull of fall.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

First Glaucous-winged Gull of fall.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow

White-throated Sparrow, showing how wide white throat appears in this species

Male Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit

Killdeer behaving strangely.  They stood together on a log for a long time...

...then lay down together on the gravel roadway.  ???

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Raven.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Taiga subspecies Merlin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Taiga subspecies Merlin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Yellowthroat near new boathouse.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

First of fall: Pacific Wren, 2012-09-23.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit, 2012-09-23.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Merlin, 2012-09-23.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hooded Merganser pair at Rowing Club pond, 2012-09-23.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Spider, 2012-09-23.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for September 29, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

It was a beautiful day, though cold (39) and a touch foggy at the start. It was immediately clear that it was birdier than last week, that's for sure. We kept lingering in the sunshine to try to get warm, as our clothing didn't quite match the season. Definitely, the fall birds are arriving, though still no ducks.


Greater White-fronted Goose  1 adult in slough, later near Pea Patch
Cackling Goose                       1 in a flock of Canadas
Double-crested Cormorant      1; First of Fall
TURKEY VULTURE             Bob Schmidt reported 7 as he left
Northern Harrier                     Juvenile over East Meadow
Merlin                                     With full crop, at lake platform
Spotted Sandpiper                  Lillian saw 1 at weir
Violet-green Swallow              2, and maybe some Barns as well
Varied Thrush                         Scott Ramos reported 1
American Pipit                        Many, on grass soccer fields, parking lot
Orange-crowned Warbler       Scott had 2
Black-throated Gray Warbler  1-2; getting late for them
Western Meadowlark             FIFTEEN - East Meadow, Dog Meadow

I think for the day, my total was around 53, but BobS, ScottR, and LillianR added at least 6 more between them.

== Michael Hobbs

Mt. Rainier at sunrise through the morning fog

Adult Greater White-fronted Goose.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Greater White-fronted Goose.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Fog-dewed spider webs were everywhere

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Evening Grosbeak.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Spotted Sandpiper (top right) and Green Heron at weir.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Red-eared Slider at Rowing Club, 2011-09-27.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Steller's Jay, 2011-09-27.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Marsh Wren, 2011-09-25.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for September 30, 2010

A fantastic day at Marymoor, with a good group of people, and decent weather, and birds.  We did have high fog/overcast to start, but it gradually cleared.  We had good birding throughout,, with a fair amount of singing and lots of newly returned winter birds (FOF=First sighting of Fall)


Greater White-fronted Goose           1 with Canadas, like last week
MERLIN                                         Mobbed by ELEVEN flickers
Peregrine Falcon                               Heading south high over mansion
Wilson's Snipe                                  1 on grass fields
BLACK SWIFT                              1 over lake platform
Vaux's Swift                                     1 over lake platform
Pacific Wren                                     Just south of dog area - FOF
Hermit Thrush                                   Just south of dog area - FOF
AMERICAN PIPIT                          5 in one flock, others overhead - FOF
Brewer's Blackbird                            Diseased male begging for food - Year bird

Afterwards, I scanned the lake again, and picked out 2 RED-NECKED GREBE. Then, a flock of about 30 CACKLING GEESE (FOF) were seen and heard flying north into the park

For warblers, we were down to just YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER(Audubon's and one Myrtle's) and a single COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.

Singing birds included lots of FOX SPARROW song, and a little bit of RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET song, as well as 3 species of wren, plus Song Sparrow, House Finch, and Purple Finch.

In addition to the 11 NORTHERN FLICKERS simultaneously mobbing (and being strafed by) the MERLIN, we had quite a few other sightings of flicker around the park.  Hard to be sure I'm not  double counting, but I'm pretty sure we had at least 15, which would be a high count for the park.

This was only our second sighting of BLACK SWIFT later than mid-September. We had 4 on October 7, 1999.

By a day, this was our earliest fall sighting of a WHITE-THROATED SPARROW.  Today's bird was a nice tan-stripe bird, calling loudly.

For the day, 66 species.  Wow.

== Michael

White-throated Sparrow

Merlin (top left) with six of the eleven mobbing Northern Flickers

Golden-crowned Sparrow at the Compost Piles.  Photo by Capt. Haridas

Juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose

Male Brewer's Blackbird

Note the lesions on its feet

Bushtit.  Photo by Capt. Haridas

Fungus photograph by Hugh Jennings

Leopard Slug

European Red Slug  Photo by Capt. Haridas

Report for September 24, 2009

We had an unexpectedly good day at Marymoor.  It was overcast, but we didn't suffer from fog nor precipitation.   Fall is definitely here, though we did find one good flock, just south of the Dog Area, of hangers-on from summer.


American Wigeon                  First of fall
Northern Harrier                    Several looks
Barn Owl                               Early over the East Meadow
Western Wood-Pewee           One at the Rowing Club
Warbling Vireo                       One with "the flock"
Orange-crowned Warbler       One with "the flock"
Yellow Warbler                      One with "the flock"
Yellow-rumped Warbler         About 5 with "the flock"
Black-throated Gray Warbler  One with "the flock"
American Pipit                        About 15 in grass soccer field lot
Fox Sparrow                          One gave us great looks

We had a 5 woodpecker day (the expected 5: RBSA, DOWO, HAWO, NOFL, PIWO), though the Hairy was barely seen, and the Pileated was heard to the west of
the park.

And we had the 8 expected sparrows - Towhee, Savannah, Fox, Song, Lincoln's, White-crowned, Golden-crowned, and Junco.

== Michael

We don't really think of small mammals moving around a lot through "unsuitable" habitat, but they must do some of that. We had our first ever DOUGLAS SQUIRREL, along the slough at the 2nd dog swim beach.  It ran across the beach access and went into a small maple.  There are no large conifers anywhere near that location, and very few cones on the very young planted Doug Firs in the riparian strip.

A terrible photo, but you can kind of make out that this is a Douglas Squirrel.

Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wood Duck pair.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Harrier.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit

American Pipit.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Wood-Pewee at the Rowing Club

Common Yellowthroat in the Pea Patch.  Photo 2009-09-27 by Lillian Reis

American Crow mobbing Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2009-09-27.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Sharp-shinned Hawk getting a hold of a mobbing American Crow, 2009-09-27.
Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for September 25, 2008

Predawn through early morning was absolutely magical today, but by 9:30, it began to rain, and it was generally damp (though mostly not raining) and cloudy the rest of the morning. It didn't seem that birdy - maybe the birds were chased off by the abundance of accipiters and falcons.

I got there early - early enough that the moon was a gorgeous sliver, that Orion was still clearly visible, and either Saturn or Jupiter was keeping Orion company.  The sky was light in the east and there were no clouds overhead and no hint of fog.  I met up with Scott, who told me I'd missed the Barn Owl by about 10 minutes, but we waited along the edge of the East Meadow anyway, hoping to see one again.  And sure enough, Scott spotted two, and we watched them fly together around the north end of the East Meadow. Eventually one worked its way down the middle of the meadow towards us before disappearing to the southeast.  A really nice start to the morning.

And then there was the parade of raptors:

Bald Eagle                   One at the lake
Northern Harrier         Male hunting the East Meadow
Sharp-shinned Hawk   1-2
Cooper's Hawk           More than a half-dozen sightings
Red-tailed Hawk         Only 2
Peregrine Falcon          Dark bird flew down the slough
American Kestrel         Looping its way south over the East Meadow

We had Cooper's Hawk chasing Cooper's Hawk, COHA chasing Northern Harrier. COHA chasing and almost catching Northern Flicker,...

Other highlights:

Wilson's Snipe                    Along the slough below the weir
American Coot                   First of Fall - maybe 15 on the lake
Vaux's Swift                       Maybe 20 swirling together over the slough
American Robin                  Huge numbers today
Orange-crowned Warbler   Only 2
Yellow-rumped Warbler     Large flock (20-30) in one tree early
Townsend's Warbler           One northeast of mansion
Evening Grosbeak               Flock of 12 at the south end of the Dog Meadow

We also had two Raccoons, some deer, and a large jumping salmon.

No more Black-headed Grosbeaks.  Only 1 Swainson's Thrush.  Only Barn Swallows left, but still fairly plentiful.  Summer is definitely on its last legs.  But no winter ducks today, and still no Ruby-crowned Kinglets or Winter Wrens, so we're not quite switched to winter either.

For the day, 58 species.

== Michael

From last week, Scott Ramos' photo of a Barn Owl, 2008-09-18

Dick Martin's photo of a Yelow-rumped Warbler, 2008-09-22

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Male Northern Harrier

Two Raccoons across the slough from Dog Central

Male Purple Finch

Belted Kingfisher on the martin gourds

Report for September 27, 2007

It was overcast to start, with some wisps of fog, but nothing like what the forecast called for. We weren't hampered by the fog at all. Slowly cleared to a sunny noontime. Birdy, but most of the birds were Yellow-rumped Warblers and Fox Sparrows. There were 8 or 9 birders, and we enjoyed a pretty good day.


Horned Grebe                 Three at lake, one close to platform
Western Grebe                Nine at lake
Green Heron                   One at lake
Cooper's Hawk               Great look at adult at Pea Patch
PEREGRINE FALCON One flying down slough at noon
Barn Owl                         East Meadow, 6:30 a.m.
VAUX'S SWIFT             Maybe 25 seen flying south up the slough
Winter Wren                    First of fall - one ticking in the Cottonwood Forest
Ruby-crowned Kinglet     First of fall - 2 - one singing
American Pipit                 Several flyovers of 1-2 birds each
Yellow-rumped Warbler  Ubiquitous - 100+
Townsend's Warbler        One in the cherry trees with Yellow-rumps
Fox Sparrow                   Many, many (25?), some singing
White-crowned Sparrow Singing gambelli at the Pea Patch
Golden-crowned Sparrow Many, some singing

While watching the PEREGRINE FALCON, I noticed several VAUX'S SWIFTS flying south up the slough. They were flying fairly high, and while they were doing some feeding-type circling about, many of them were heading fairly straight south. There may have been more that we didn't notice. Could well have been a migrating wave of swifts.

For the day, 59 species. For the year, we're at an even 150 species.

== Michael

Horned Grebe from the lake platform

Yellow-rumped Warbler

Tom Mansfield's photo of a White-crowned Sparrow at the Compost Piles

Black-tailed Deer near the Compost Piles

American Crows eating a dead Eastern Cottontail at the Pea Patch

Tom Mansfield's photo of an adult Cooper's Hawk at the Pea Patch


Bird Sightings Week 39
September 24-30*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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