Friends of Marymoor Park

Recent Bird Sightings

Report for June 6, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was a delightful morning today, and the birds were singing.  Mostly sunny, and neither too cold nor too hot.  It's June, so we have a pretty set list of birds we might see, and we saw most of them plus a few others

  • Pied-billed Grebe - One from the Lake Platform, after 6 weeks of absence
  • Band-tailed Pigeon - Notably many sightings
  • Virginia Rail - One responded from across the slough after 6 weeks of absence (or at least silence)
  • Ring-billed Gull - Two flew north overhead.  First since March
  • Downy Woodpecker - Pair bringing food to a nest at the west end of the boardwalk
  • Western Wood-Pewee - Doing full-blown two-part song this morning
  • Western Flycatcher - First of Year (FOY), also singing
  • Cedar Waxwing - Many sightings
  • Orange-crowned Warbler - Two heard, one pre-dawn, one at the end of the walk at the Rowing Club
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - Matt heard one singing at the Rowing Club
  • Western Tanager - One seen briefly, another heard
About 25 species were heard singing today.  Quite a few babies about too.

Pre-dawn, Tony saw a BOBCAT at the SW corner of the East Meadow (FOY)

It was a good day.

= Michael Hobbs

Male Common Yellowthroat bring food to the nest. Photo by Tony Ernst

Male Wood Duck. Photo by Tony Ernst

Great Blue Heron babies in the nest. Photo by Tony Ernst

Male Brown-headed Cowbird. Photo by Tony Ernst

Bobcat, predawn, SW part of East Meadow. Photo by Tony Ernst

Another view of the bobcat. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for April 18, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

 It started out a frosty 32 degrees, but once the sun came up, so did the temperature.  By the end, it was about 56 degrees, so a huge swing in a few hours.  It was pretty birdy, though we haven't hit the big push of spring migration yet.

  • Cackling Goose - One flock (maybe two) of about 50
  • Cinnamon Teal - Very nice looking drake just below the weir.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove - One near the Pea Patch at 7:00 a.m.  (FOY)
  • Osprey - Either 2 or 4 birds.  Geese are nesting on all of the old OSPR nests, so one pair is building a new nest in the NE
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk - One seen from our cars at 6:30 a.m.
  • Pileated Woodpecker - Pair at snag nest in Big Cottonwood Forest
  • Hutton's Vireo - Singing away near the windmill
  • Hermit Thrush - One heard on edge of Dog Meadow, unseen (FOY)
  • Fox Sparrow - Only one, singing near the madrona along the slough
  • Western Meadowlark - One in the East Meadow
  • BREWER'S BLACKBIRD - One male near the Viewing Mound (FOY)
  • Common Yellowthroat - Quite a few heard, a couple seen
  • Orange-crowned Warbler - One, singing, heard-only
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - Dozens
Kathy Kuyper photographed two male and one female BREWER'S BLACKBIRD on Sunday.  It was nice to get one on the survey today, as we only get about one report a year for them.

Misses today included Violet-green Swallow, Cliff Swallow, House Finch, and Lincoln's Sparrow.

For the day, 67 species.  We're up to 100 species for the year.

On Saturday, April 13th, a LOGGERHEAD SHRIKE was found in the park, and seen/photographed by many people.
= Michael Hobbs

Brewer's Blackbirds, 2024-04-14. Photo by Kathy Kuyper

Report for April 11, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We had dark overcast for most of the morning today.  There was lots of singing, but bird sightings were in short supply.  About 8 species were heard-only, with another two seen pre-dawn only, and two more seen only on a late scan of the lake.

  • Greater White-fronted Goose - The two hung out with Canadas near the Viewing Mound
  • Cackling Goose - Two flocks of ~75 each, flying north
  • Mourning Dove - Tony photographed one before sunrise, First of Year (FOY)
  • Great Blue Heron - A low chorus of "grum grum grum", indicating multiple young in the nests
  • Osprey - They're Back - Probably at least 4 birds (FOY).  Canada Geese continue to occupy the nests, though
  • Cooper's Hawk - One flyby, first in a month
  • Purple Martin - Male and female, each in a gourd (FOY), and the 3rd-earliest we've had them in spring
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow - Perhaps four, seen from the Lake Platform (FOY)
  • Barn Swallow - Two, one at the lake, one at the Pea Patch (FOY)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - Quite numerous, and the only warbler seen.  Heard about 7 COMMON YELLOWTHROAT and 1 ORANGE-CROWNED
The only sightings of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE later in the spring than today's are three times that large flocks were seen flying overhead.  Dates of these late flyovers were 4/17/2014, 4/24/2023, and 5/2/2010.  So today's were the latest seen on the ground at the park.

Excluding Song Sparrow and Dark-eyed Junco, sparrow numbers were notably low.  We had fewer than 5 each of FOX, WHITE-CROWNED, and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, and of SPOTTED TOWHEE.  SAVANNAH SPARROWS might have been fewer than 10.  We did not find the White-throated Sparrow that has been with the flock of Golden-crowned Sparrows that we also did not find.

A late scan of the lake turned up the only VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW and  PIED-BILLED GREBES.

Mammals seen today included two COYOTE near the model airplane field just before sunrise.

Misses today included Common Goldeneye, Virginia Rail, Glaucous-winged Gull, Red-tailed Hawk, American Goldfinch, and Lincoln's Sparrow.

For the day, 62 species.  Adding 5 species, we're at 96 species for the year.

= Michael Hobbs

Pre-dawn Mourning Dove. Photo by Tony Ernst

"Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler. Photo by Tony Ernst

Loggerhead Shrike, 2024-04-13. Photo by Jason Vassallo

Loggerhead Shrike, 2024-04-13. Photo by Jason Vassallo

Report for April 4, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was a special day today at Marymoor, though the weather was NOT the special part.  It was especially dark all morning, and quite chilly.  Many birds were singing, but good looks were scarce.

We started off with donuts and bagels to celebrate the 30th birthday of the Marymoor surveys.  That's about 1500 surveys, and I've made nearly that many additional visits to the park over the last 30 years.  Some might ask if I might be getting tired of going to the same place over and over and over and over.

Well, it may be the same place, but there's always something new to see.  In fact, today we had A NEW BIRD FOR MARYMOOR PARK, the 245th species!  Just north of Fields 7-8-9 was a male WESTERN BLUEBIRD!  The survey needs to continue at least until that number is up to 250!

Other highlights:
  • Canada Goose - Appear to be attempting to nest on two Osprey nests and on the eagle nest visible from the Lake Platform
  • Northern Pintail??? - Flock of about 20 ducks that were almost certainly NOPI but could have been wigeon
  • Lesser Scaup - One female seen from the Lake Platform - First of Year (FOY)
  • Bushtit - Three nests observed, but no activity noted at any of them
  • Purple Finch - Singing constantly heard, several birds, two seen
  • White-throated Sparrow - Continuing, this time near the Dog Area portapotties
  • Western Meadowlark - 3-5 seen, including 3 near the Western Bluebird
  • Orange-crowned Warbler - Two singing near the east end of the boardwalk (FOY)
  • Common Yellowthroat - At least one singing, heard from the Viewing Mound.  Two seen on Monday (FOY)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - Widespread and numerous, both Myrtle and Audubon's, some singing
On my brief visit Monday afternoon, I had several birds not seen today:  BAND-TAILED PIGEON, TURKEY VULTURE (FOY), SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, RED-TAILED HAWK (a pair doing a courtship flight), and BELTED KINGFISHER.

Missed both days: Wilson's Snipe, Osprey (should arrive any day now), Red-breasted Sapsucker, Red-breasted Nuthatch, American Goldfinch, and Lincoln's Sparrow.

For the day, 59 species plus the mystery flying ducks.  Adding Lesser Scaup, Turkey Vulture, Western Bluebird, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Common Yellowthroat, we're at 91 species for the year.

= Michael Hobbs

Western Bluebird. Photo by Jordan Roderick

Western Bluebird. Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for March 28, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We mostly dodged the rain this morning, though it was overcast, a touch breezy, and changeable, with temps spanning the 40's.  Seemed pretty birdy, but the bird list was very similar to last week's.  There was no sign of Say's Phoebe (seen 3/23-3/26) nor Black Phoebe (photographed 3/24).

  • Greater White-fronted Goose - The two remain at the park.  Seen on grass soccer fields, and later at the lake
  • Anna's Hummingbird - Found a female on a nest above the Rowing Club parking lot
  • Short-billed Gull - Adults and juveniles on grass soccer fields.  First in 4 weeks.  A few tend to turn up through April
  • Great Horned Owl - Again heard calling just pre-dawn from the southeast.  Tony saw a large owl from the boardwalk earlier, probably the same
  • Merlin - Quick flyby - our 5th survey this year (5 of 13 weeks)
  • Hutton's Vireo - Again, heard singing near the windmill
  • Violet-Green/Tree Swallows - Very numerous, mostly VGSW
  • White-crowned Sparrow - First singing of the year - Pugetensis song
  • White-throated Sparrow - STILL near Dog Swim Beaches 2-3
  • Savannah Sparrow - First singing of the year
  • Brown-headed Cowbird - Tony heard and photographed a male, First of Year (FOY)
I was at the park briefly yesterday, and had KILLDEER and WESTERN MEADOWLARK, both of which we missed today.

Missed both days:  Common Goldeneye, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Shrike, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Purple Finch.

For the day, 61 species.  Adding BHCO, we're at 86 species for the year.

= Michael Hobbs

The first Brown-headed Cowbird of the year. Photo by Tony Ernst

Male Rufous Hummingbird feeding on Red Flowering Currant. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for March 21, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Our equinox survey started with sleepy birders and sleepy birds under dark grey skies, but the day became quite pleasant and birdy by 8 or 8:30.

  • Northern Shoveler - Flyby of 5 birds - First of Year (FOY)
  • Gadwall - Perhaps 30, a pretty high count for Marymoor
  • Northern Pintail - One flock flying north, followed by a seemingly larger (~35) flying south (FOY)
  •           Twelve species of duck total!
  • Rufous Hummingbird - Three males, including one doing a J-display (FOY)
  • Great Blue Heron - At least one eggshell under the heronry
  • Great Horned Owl - One calling pre-dawn from the SE (FOY)
  • Pileated Woodpecker - Excavating a hole in a snag in the Big Cottonwood Forest, right next to the trail
  • Merlin - A rather pale individual ENE of the mansion
  • Hutton's Vireo - Finally saw one.  Like our other two reports this year, it was singing southwest of the windmill
  • Violet-green Swallow - Probably well over 100 (FOY)
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet - Ubiquitous.  Really.  Somewhere between 30 and 50
  • Varied Thrush - Probably at least 3, including good looks at the south end of the Dog Area
  • Purple Finch - At least two heard, in full song.  First in a month
  • White-throated Sparrow - Continues near 2nd/3rd Dog Swim Beach, with Golden-crowned Sparrows
I was also at the park yesterday and had 5 species that we didn't have today: BAND-TAILED PIGEON, RING-BILLED GULL, HAIRY WOODPECKER, AMERICAN GOLDFINCH (one male, singing below the weir) amazingly (FOY), and SAVANNAH SPARROW (about a dozen, most at the Model Airplane Field (FOY).

Missed both today and yesterday:  Short-billed Gull, Cooper's Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Northern Shrike, and Pacific Wren.

I had 55 species yesterday, we had 62 species today, with a combined total of 67 species.   With 7 new species this week, we're at 85 species for the year.

= Michael Hobbs


Male Rufous Hummingbird. Photo by Tony Ernst

Brown Creeper. Photo by Tony Ernst


Flock of 30 Northern Pintail. Photo by Tony Ernst


Male Pileated Woodpecker excavating a hole. Photo by Tony Ernst

Heavily-cropped view of a Merlin. Photo by Milt Vine

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