Friends of Marymoor Park


What to see in August?


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August is a bit of a challenge, but it can also be very exciting. Itís challenging because many of the birds are juveniles which can be hard to identify. Many of the adults are molting, which can make them difficult too. Migrants, and the chance that pretty much anything could show up this month make for the excitement.

Look for migrating warblers Ė Wilsonís, Black-throated Gray, Orange-crowned, maybe a Nashville. The parkís only record of American Redstart was from August 2, 2002.

August is also the best month for shorebirds. While Marymoor is not a great place to see shorebirds, our August sightings have included Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Solitary Sandpiper, Lesser Yellowlegs, Semipalmated Sandpiper, Least Sandpiper, Bairdís Sandpiper, and Wilsonís Snipe. The best places to look for these shorebirds would be near the weir, along the edges of the slough, any puddle or pond, or on the grass soccer fields.

Other exciting rarities in August have included Red-necked Grebe, Sora, Black Tern, Common Tern, Long-tailed Jaeger, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Red-naped Sapsucker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Huttonís Vireo, Western Scrub-Jay, Horned Lark, Bank Swallow, House Wren, American Dipper, MacGillivrayís Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, and Vesper Sparrow. On August 30, 2006, we found the first Smithís Longspur ever seen in Washington State. Smithís Longspur looks like a sparrow. We found it eating grass seed that had been spread on grass soccer fields.

Washington State's First Smith's Longspur.
Photo by Ollie Oliver, 2006-08-30

Clay-colored Sparrow. 2011-09-02.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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