Friends of Marymoor Park

Recent Bird Sightings

Report for February 22, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

For a change, the nicest weather of the week arrived on a Thursday.  Yay.  Sunny, temps quickly heading to the high 40s, and no wind - delightful.  And it was birdy!  So much singing!

Highlights:
  • Greater White-fronted Goose - Two swimming in the slough just below the weir
  • HERRING GULL - One on Fields 7-8-9 with other gulls.  First of Year (FOY) and first in just over a year
  • Great Blue Herons - Nearly 70 at the nests, with some nest building observed
  • Pileated Woodpecker - Low flyover in near Dog Swim Beach #2
  • Northern Shrike - Excellent looks, East Meadow.  Also saw it north of Fields 7-8-9 at 7:00 a.m.
  • COMMON RAVEN - Two flying north over the Pea Patch, calling.  First for the survey since 2021 (FOY)
  • White-throated Sparrow - Seen again, though briefly.  This bird has been near Dog Swim Beaches #2-#3
  • Western Meadowlark - Two between Viewing Mound and model airplane field, singing (FOY)
Singing birds included Anna's Hummingbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown Creeper, Bewick's Wren, Pacific Wren, American Robin, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, Song Sparrow, Spotted Towhee, Western Meadowlark, and Red-winged Blackbird.

Misses today were limited to just Hooded Merganser and Killdeer.

For the day, a year's best, 61 species.  For the year, we're at 75 species.

= Michael Hobbs

One of the Red-tailed Hawks banded and wing-tagged at SeaTac airport.
The airport catches and relocates birds away from the airfield to try to
prevent collisons between airplanes and birds.

Photo by Jordan Roderick


Northern Shrike. Photo by Jordan Roderick


Adult Herring Gull. Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for February 15, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

The weather wasn't very pleasant this morning; yesterday's weather would have been much better.  Cold, breezy, biting, dark, and sometimes wet.  But it was quite a good day of birding.  Go figure.

Highlights:
  • Wood Duck - Two males with a female in the slough near the start of the boardwalk
  • American Wigeon - One female with about 70 Mallards on the grass soccer fields
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker - One near the mansion area restrooms - First of Year (FOY) and first since August
  • Merlin - One caught and killed an American Robin at the very start of our walk.  Flew off with it to eat
  • HUTTON'S VIREO - One singing and calling, but not seen, west of the mansion (FOY) - our first since 2021!
  • Purple Finch - One near the last Dog Swim Beach (FOY) - our first in two months
  • White-throated Sparrow - One with Golden-crowned Sparrows next to the Dog Area portapotties
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - A few "Myrtle"-type birds near the Lake Platform
  • Townsend's Warbler - West of the mansion in a great mixed flock (FOY) - our first since October
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Belted Kingfisher, Downy Woodpecker, and House Finch.

For the day, a year's best 56 species. For the year, we're at 72 species.

= Michael Hobbs


The Merlin had just caught this American Robin. Photo by Tony Ernst


Merlin just about to take off with dead American Robin. Photo by Tony Ernst


White-throated Sparrow. Photo by Tony Ernst


Male Wood Duck in the slough. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for February 8, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

A pleasant morning at the park, with temps in the low 40's, and only a touch of mizzle for a few minutes.

Highlights:
  • Cackling Goose - Numbers are down from the thousands earlier in the winter to a few dozen
  • American Wigeon - Lone female in the Rowing Club pond
  • Ring-billed Gull - Total of at least 30 birds
  • Accipiter spp. - Two seen briefly. One might have been a Sharpie.  The 2nd bird seemed bigger.  Mobbed by crows.
  • Barred Owl - One loud "Hoo-aw" along the slough pre-dawn
  • NORTHERN SHRIKE - One briefly visible north of Fields 7-8-9.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - About 10  I saw over half of them well, and all were Myrtle type  
A pair of Canada Geese were in the eagle nest visible from the Lake Platform.  Though built within the last two years, I don't believe eagles have ever nested in this nest.  Possibly because there are already two nests in the park.  Let's see if the geese can hold the nest.

River Otters were in the slough (FOY).

A late scan of the lake was very successful, adding 5 species for the day.  A female BELTED KINGFISHER was atop the beaver lodge across from the Lake Platform.  Also near there were a pair of HOODED MERGANSER.  Just beyond the buoys was a shining male GREATER SCAUP (FOY).  COMMON MERGANSERS and RING-NECKED DUCKS were off to the east.

Notable misses today were limited to just Marsh Wren and White-crowned Sparrow.

For the day, 55 species, and we're at 68 species for 2024.

= Michael Hobbs


Golden-crowned Sparrow. Photo by Tony Ernst


Report for February 1, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

This year's Imbolc edition of the Marymoor Survey was pretty good.  A touch of mizzle now and then, and a little too overcast, but it was warm and calm and fairly birdy.  With the cross quarter day (half-way between the solstice and the equinox), there was suddenly a lot more singing, herons at the nests, big buds on the Indian Plum, and many calling Pacific Tree Frogs pre-dawn.

Highlights:
  • Wood Duck - One beautiful male in the slough near the start of the boardwalk
  • Ruddy Duck - A pair, I believe, on the lake FAR OUT.  The male was barely recognizable; the probable female was sticking with him
  • Anna's Hummingbirds - Several singing males, and the first displaying male of spring
  • Cooper's Hawk - One across the slough below the weir.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Merlin - One atop a fir NE of the mansion
  • CEDAR WAXWING - Flock of about 30 in a berry-filled European Hawthorn in the northern part of the Dog Meadow.  (FOY)
  • Pine Siskin - A couple of good-sized flocks
  • White-throated Sparrow - One with Golden-crowns near the 2nd Dog Swim Beach bench
Singing birds included Black-capped Chickadee, Pacific Wren, Bewick's Wren (many), American Robin, Song Sparrow, and Red-winged Blackbird.

Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Short-billed Gull, Hairy Woodpecker, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, and White-crowned Sparrow.

For the day, 52 species.  We are now at 66 species for the year.

= Michael Hobbs


Cedar Waxwing. Photo by Tony Ernst


American Coots along the slough. Photo by Tony Ernst


Ruddy Duck: middle bird, and maybe one or both of the two birds to the right.
Photo by Tony Ernst


Ruddy Duck, zoomed in, showing black-and-white face. Photo by Tony Ernst


Ruddy Duck; another zoomed-in photo
Photo by Tony Ernst


Wilson's Snipe in flight. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for January 25, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

What a difference a week makes.  Instead of me solo, there were ten of us today.  And the weather was remarkably, notably, delightful with temps 43-50 degrees, no fog, little wind, and no precipitation after dawn; fabulous compared with the dismal weather on the 18th.  It was birdy for a while too, though after the first 1.5 hours, it got notably quiet.

Highlights:
  • Scaup sp. - Pair WAY out on the lake, too far for ID.  Our first scaup of the year, but leaving it as a slash
  • Anna's Hummingbird - Several males perched up and singing today after 2 months of absence or near absence
  • Four woodpecker day - Though both Hairy and Pileated were heard-only (PIWO *may* have been DISTANTLY seen)
  • Black-capped Chickadee - Several singing
  • Bewick's Wren - Several singing
  • Varied Thrush - Heard one or two singing just after 8:00
  • Song Sparrow - Also singing
  • House Finch - A few heard and a very few flying overhead were our only finches of any kind
In contrast to last week's dozens of FOX SPARROWS, today there were probably less than 10.

I did a late scan of the lake, hoping to get a better look at the scaup.  No dice there, but I did find at least two RUDDY DUCKS, First of Year (FOY).  We did not have a Ruddy last year.

Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Virginia Rail, Ring-billed Gull (at least, none positively ID'd), Cooper's Hawk, Bushtit, and Marsh Wren.

For the day, 51 species counting the scaup sp. 

= Michael Hobbs


Brown Creeper. Photo by Tony Ernst


Report for January 18, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

For the first time in ages, I did the Thursday survey solo.  Matt had to work, some people are traveling, and maybe just maybe some people decided the weather was too sucky, I don't know.  Incessant drizzle, dark clouds, gusty winds, temps in the chilly 30's; and puddles on top of glare ice; what could be better?   Being the only observer, I got all twisted up trying to see and hear everything, everywhere, all at once.  I'm sure I missed a few things for want of more eyes and ears.

Highlights:
  • Greater White-fronted Goose - One with Canadas and a few Cacklers on the grass soccer fields
  • American Wigeon - 55+ on large puddles on the grass soccer fields
  • Northern Flicker - ONE - and that was the only woodpecker
  • Varied Thrush - Five, I think, all together north of the windmill
  • FOX SPARROW - 38 - an actual and highly conservative count!
  • Lincoln's Sparrow - One at the "Compost Piles" - First of Year (FOY) and first in 5 weeks
  • Spotted Towhee - Associating with the Fox Sparrows, and also numerous.  18+
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - One seen well, another couple heard (FOY)
For a long while I thought I was going to have no woodpeckers at all; the lone flicker was near my car when I was done.  Given that they can make their own, I presume the rest of the the woodpeckers were all holed-up somewheres warm.  

Misses today were notable:  Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Anna's Hummingbird, Double-crested Cormorant, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Bushtit, Purple Finch, and White-crowned Sparrow.  

Despite those many misses of usually common birds, I still managed 46 species.  For the year, we're at 63 species, I believe.

= Michael Hobbs

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