Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 3
January 15-21


Rarities for Week 3:

Tundra Swan 15-Jan-09  
Eurasian Wigeon 17-Jan-07 With wigeons and geese on Fields 7-8-9
Dunlin 16-Jan-02 Flyby flock of 25
Long-eared Owl 20-Jan-11 On fence and sign near east kiosk, early
Long-eared Owl 20-Jan-20 Photographed by Michael Horntvedt
American Tree Sparrow 15-Jan-09 Compost Piles, with juncos.  Very flighty, moving around the general area of the piles and the kiosk.  The eye stripe wasn't very red, so we spent lots of time making sure it wasn't a CHSP.  We finally managed to see the bicolored bill and bold central breast spot

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.

  • 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

Report for January 19, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We started out in the fog at 32 degrees.  After a rather steady progression, it ended up mostly sunny and 42 degrees.  Not a bad day.  Birdwise, it was okay, certainly the best of 2023, though that's not saying much.

  • Great Horned Owl - predawn, one called continually for more than half an hour from a cottonwood near the east end of the boardwalk, (FOY)
  • Hairy Woodpecker - probably two total, one at the east end of the boardwalk, one near the mansion.  First of Year, (FOY)
  • Pileated Woodpecker - one flew along the far side of the slough near the weir, (FOY)
  • Lincoln's Sparrow - one posed nicely in the Pea Patch, (FOY)
A late scan of the lake turned up two male WOOD DUCK (FOY) and two HORNED GREBE (FOY), as well as a RIVER OTTER.

The rest of the birds were all expected repeats from previous weeks.

Once again, finches were all but completely absent.  Today, we had a few brief finch sounds now and then; pretty sure we heard a House Finch, maybe a Purple Finch at the Rowing Club, and I probably imagined the possible American Goldfinch.  But on my eBird checklist, I just put an X for "Finch sp."

Misses included Cooper's Hawk, Marsh Wren, and the finches.

For the day, 53 species, plus the Finch sp. and the Ring-necked Pheasant.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for January 20, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Again, the weather was not as bad as some forecasts would lead you to believe.  It was raining during owling, and there was a bit of drizzle at times, but most of the morning was without precipitation.  A bit too much breeze, and a little dark, but not too bad.  Not terribly birdy, but a pretty good day for animal sightings.
  • Green-winged Teal – Probably 40+, including 36 at the Rowing Club
  • Lesser Scaup – one flew down the slough
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one flying around near the east end of the boardwalk.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Bald Eagle – especially active, causing much consternation amongst ducks
  • Barn Owl – one seen in the meadows pre-dawn
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – one near the park entrance.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Red-breasted Nuthatch – one SW of mansion.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Cedar Waxwing – flock of nearly 20 at Dog Central.  While we’ve had CEDW every week of the year over all the years, winter sightings are unusual (fewer than 15 sightings in January over the past 27 years)
  • White-throated Sparrow – again seen in the flock of Zonos near the cherry trees below the weir along the slough trail
The number of species and individuals singing actual songs is going up. 
A late scan of the lake turned up two HORNED GREBE, a RUDDY DUCK, and a HOODED MERGANSER.
For non-bird animals, we had 5(!) RIVER OTTERS ascending the far bank of the slough far below the weir, and a VIRGINIA OPOSSUM on a post at the Pea Patch/Pet Memorial Garden.  Also calling PACIFIC TREE FROGS, and the usual EASTERN COTTONTAIL and EASTERN GRAY SQUIRRELS.
Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Ring-billed Gull, Cooper’s Hawk, Marsh Wren, and Lincoln’s Sparrow.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for January 21, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

The predawn mist lasted only a little while after our 8:00 a.m. start, and temps were in the low 40’s, with no wind.  A very pleasant day for birding.  The park flooding has receded significantly, but closures of the south end of the Dog Area continued.  So we ended up doing a lot of walking to get everywhere, without ever passing a closed-area boundary.  The boardwalk is barely under water now, and only in a few spots.  And it was quite birdy today.
  • SNOW GOOSE – lone juvenile on grass soccer fields with a flock of ~1000 Cackling Geese – First of 2021
  • Wood Duck – at least one heard, predawn, along slough
  • Northern Pintail – flyover flock of 10 – First of 2021
  • Ring-necked Pheasant – heard displaying several times
  • Great Blue Heron – about 20 visiting the heronry, plus several others
  • Barn Owl – Matt had two at the windmill just after 5:00 a.m.
  • Hairy Woodpecker – at least two (male and female)
  • American Robins – again ubiquitous
  • Cedar Waxwing – flock of 9 just south of the East Meadow
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – Matt had one from the Viewing Mound that then proved elusive – First of 2021
  • WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – two flew up into a little tree sticking out of the blackberries, just south of the heronry.  Thought they were Song Sparrow, but I looked anyway.  Nice tan-stripe birds.  First of 2021
  • Western Meadowlark – two near the Viewing Mound
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – one at the Rowing Club
A late scan of the lake provided two HORNED GREBE and a pair of HOODED MERGANSERS.  There were also a couple of Scaup sp. in the NE corner of the lake (would have been nicely visible from the East Lake Samm Trail).
Today’s audible RING-NECKED PHEASANT for Week 3 means that species has at least one record for every week of the year, cumulatively.  I believe that is our 49th species recorded at least once in all 53 weeks of the year.  Several more species are very close to completing this feat.
Lots of singing today; two weeks ago there was singing, last week not so much.  Today singing species included Virginia Rail (kidick-kidick predawn), Anna’s Hummingbird, Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Pacific Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Red-winged Blackbird.

Misses today were just Cooper’s Hawk (possibly glimpsed one) and Marsh Wren.  We didn’t have any Pine Siskin today; only the 3rd miss in the last 47 weeks.
For the day, 63 species + scaup sp.  For the year, 71 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Male Common Goldeneye.  Photo  by Bob Asanoma

Western Meadowlark.  Photo  by Bob Asanoma

Report for January 16, 2020                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

With Michael out today, Brian Bell & I led the Marymoor walk for a small group of 5 of us.

There was melting snow on the ground, but only a little - mostly we had ice and mud to deal with, and nothing coming down from above — we even saw some blue sky !

It was birdy-er than last week, but not super active after the first hour or so — Nevertheless a good day out.

  • Wood Duck - pair along the slough, FOY, I think
  • Greater Scaup - 1 immature - FOY and first scaup of all winter, as well
  • close looks at 9 Wilson’s Snipe below the weir, getting used to the passing people.
  • Barn Owl - one,  maybe two, giving a good show pre-dawn hunting over the east meadow and dog area
  • 4 woodpecker species — Downy, Hairy, Pileated, and Northern Flicker
  • Pine Siskin - a flock of ~30 below the weir, FOY
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler- 1 at the lake viewing platform - FOY
Misses included mergansers, “our” Ring-necked Pheasant, Green Heron, Bushtit, and most finches except Siskin.

For the day, 50 species

Matt Bartels

Report for January 17, 2019                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

It was warm, a bit breezy, and cloudy this morning, and we had a bit of mizzle & drizzle. Not bad weather, actually, and it was birdy for the first half of the morning.


  • Cackling Geese - a couple of thousand in flight predawn; 1000+ came back and landed
  • Virginia Rail - responded to clapping on boardwalk
  • Green Heron - Matt spotted a skulker north of the Rowing Club dock
  • Double-crested Cormorant -caught and swallowed a very large coastal cutthroat trout in slough
  • Common(?) Loon - one too far out to ID; probably Common
  • Western Screech-Owl - Matt heard one early
  • Northern Saw-Whet Owl - ditto
  • Merlin - near weir. Male, and not a "Black". Probably "Taiga"

For the day, 56 species.  For the year, we're up to 65 species.

- Michael Hobbs

Male Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Double-crested Cormorant eating a Coastal Cutthroat Trout.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Double-crested Cormorants.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Robin.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for January 18, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

It was quite wonderful to be at Marymoor today under mostly sunny skies, after last week’s soaking. The birds seemed pretty happy too, though this time of year is fairly quiet intrinsically. But a few birds are beginning to perk up and at least sense that spring is not too far off. No precipitation, only moderate wind, and warm enough not to be cold.


  • Wood Duck – three males from Lake Platform
  • American Wigeon – small flyby flock predawn, identified by flight call – First for 2018
  • Western Grebe – two FAR out from Lake Platform
  • California Gull – one, first for 2018. Lots of Mews and a few Ring-billed
  • Green Heron – one flew down the slough; I may have seen the feet
  • Barn Owl – three sightings, best at 7:27 a.m., from Viewing Mound
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – one at Rowing Club, new for 2018
  • Hairy Woodpecker – one in old Heronry cottonwoods, new for 2018
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one to the west south of Dog Area
  • Cedar Waxwing – loose flock in short trees in Dog Meadow – maybe 35

At the Rowing Club, of of the four GREEN-WINGED TEAL was quite interesting. Mostly it looked male, with the bicolored head, gray back, and a breast that was close to the same as the two typical males. However, the sides were covered with the kind of brown mottled feathers very much like on the typical female nearby. The bird probably looked 3/4th male, and 1/4th female, but my guess is that it is a female showing extreme male plumage characteristics. It *seemed* to be paired with one of the males. I should have photos on the blog by Monday evening.

Several species were singing quietly today, testing out their vocal chords, as it were: BEWICK’S WREN, PACIFIC WREN, AMERICAN ROBIN, HOUSE FINCH, SONG SPARROW, and RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD.

Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Common Merganser, Downy Woodpecker, Steller’s Jay, Purple Finch, American Goldfinch, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. Of those, we’re missing all but the merganser for 2018.

We must be lousy birders.

For the day we had 55 species, which is not bad for January. For 2018, we added 4 to bring us to 66 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Gadwall pair.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult (left) and juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cedar Waxwings with one male American Robin.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cedar Waxwings.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Very odd Green-winged Teal; has the head, breast, tail, and back plumes of a male, but side and upper back feathering is like that of a female.  With a "normal" male.

We presume this is an "intersex" female, showing plumage characteristics of a male.  She seemed to be paired with the male.  Photos by Mason Flint

Report for January 19, 2017                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

The weather was better than expected – quite warm and mostly not raining. Variable overcast. But not very birdy.


- 10 species of duck -
Mew Gull                           First for 2017
Green Heron                      Again on beaver lodge at Dog Central
Sharp-shinned Hawk          Large juvenile required a close look for ID
Barn Owl                           1-2, windmill, East Meadow
Western Screech-Owl        1 heard south of East Meadow early
PEREGRINE FALCON    Glimpsed several times, finally seen well
Northern Shrike                  North of Fields 7-8-9

We had great looks at GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETS on the ground feeding around the mansion area. They let us get within arms reach. Also, one RUBY-CROWNED with them.

For the day, only 51 species (down 15 species from last week). For the year, we’re at 73 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Male American Wigeon.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Gadwall chasing a female Gadwall.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

There were THREE male Gadwall interested in the female.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Two male Gadwalls face off.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

A male Gadwall makes his move on the female.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult Northern Shrike.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ollie got an incredibly distant, partially blocked photo of a Peregrine Falcon on Thursday, so here's a photo from 2017-01-09 by William Fletcher

Wilson's Snipe, 2017-01-15.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Wilson's Snipe, 2017-01-15.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for January 21, 2016                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

It was W E T. We came back looking like drowned rats. We’ve had harder rain before, and we’ve come back wetter, but today still counts as W E T. Luckily, it was neither cold, nor (at least after sunrise) windy. And while it was decidedly NOT birdy, we did pretty well.


Lesser Scaup                             Lone female in slough – First Of Year
Cooper’s Hawk                        Probably just 1 adult, male by size, seen twice
Wilson’s Snipe                          1 over East Meadow
HERRING GULL                     1 adult with gull flock on soccer fields – FOY
Northern Shrike                         North end of East Meadow
Bewick’s Wren                          Much singing
Fox Sparrow                             One singing, several more seen
WESTERN MEADOWLARK  7+, north end of East Meadow – FOY

Both times we saw the COOPER’S HAWK it was sitting perched, and AMERICAN ROBIN alarm whistles clued us in to its presence.

For the day, just 46 species, but that’s not too bad considering. For the year, adding LESC, HERG, and WEME, we’re at 67 species.

Ollie and Grace went back later on Thursday and saw Peregrine Falcon, Brown Creeper, more Lesser Scaup, and Rock Pigeon, and Ollie got some photos.

== Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Northern Shrike.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lesser Scaup.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lesser Scaup.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Ring-necked Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Peregrine Falcon.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Beaver lodge across from Dog Central, with American Coots.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for January 15, 2015                                                                                                                  Birding at Marymoor

0610-1230,  28F-43F;  overcast/mist; It started out cold (28F), fog started to form (then dissipated), it was clear early but overcast moved in. Some misty rain, but generally held off. It was a slow day, but we heard many birds singing or calling and managed to pull out a good number of species. The calling Trumpeter Swans were particularly nice.  56 species

Sunrise.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Sunrise.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Young male Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Trumpeter Swans.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-capped Chickadee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Beaver.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Coyote.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Coyote.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Coyote.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Dead shrew; possibly Masked Shrew.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Dead shrew; possibly Masked Shrew.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for January 16, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The weather could have been much worse, since we were below the fog that plagued other locations. We hoped that would mean that birds dropped down from the foggy areas above, but maybe they didn’t. Bird brains. So it wasn’t all that birdy this morning, but we still managed a good walk with a pretty good list of birds, given the time of year.

Highlights: (FOY = First Of Year)

Greater White-fronted Goose     2 with large flock of geese, NW corner – FOY
Wood Duck                               Male seen from Lake Platform – FOY
Pied-billed Grebe                       Again, many dozens visible from Lake Platform
American Coot                           Flock of 250+, unusually high for recent times
Barn Owl                                   Matt , heard from Viewing Mound in fog – FOY
Hairy Woodpecker                    2 seen across slough from Lake Platform
PEREGRINE FALCON            Adult sat atop fir NE of mansion – FOY
Red-winged Blackbird               30? Near lake. Singing, etc.

The passerine list is quite static these days, and is best measured by misses, rather than unusual species. Today, we couldn’t get a confirmed Pacific Wren, and while we had LINCOLN’S SPARROW, we didn’t have White-crowned Sparrow, and the only finch we had was a single HOUSE FINCH.

Matt saw a BEAVER at the Rowing Club pond pre-dawn.

For the day, 52 species. For the year, we’re up to 63 species.

== Michael Hobbs

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wood Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lincoln's.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bald, atop conifer NE of mansion.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Peregrine Falcon, atop conifer NE of mansion.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Dark-eyed Junco near Park Office feeders.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Gadwall.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Two adult Greater White-fronted Geese with Cacklers.   Photo by Ollie Oliver

Reflections at the lake.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for January 17, 2013                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

Marymoor was in a fog all morning, with quite limited visibility, no real clearing, and temps hovering just below the freeze. It sounds pretty mediocre, but we managed to dig out quite a few species.

Matt had a great pre-dawn, hearing GREAT HORNED OWL on the west side of West Lake Sammamish Parkway from the entrance bridge, and hearing NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL about a hundred yards into the park along the main road. He also saw a BARN OWL; we had a few glimpses after 7:00 a.m. of presumed Barn Owls from the viewing mound.

Other highlights:

Greater White-fronted Goose  Two with Cacklers on grass fields
Green-winged Teal                  Three at weir
Greater Scaup                         I had 1-2, after the count from the cabana
Common Merganser                Several after the count from the cabana
Sharp-shinned Hawk               NW corner of Dog Area
Cooper’s Hawk                      Compost Piles
MERLIN                                One near mansion
Belted Kingfisher                     One along slough north of the weir
Northern Shrike                       One in the Dog Meadow
Common Raven                       One heard
Red Crossbill                           Still a few around mansion

I have rather informal permission to go out to the cabana at one of the condo complexes. The cabana is visible from the lake platform at Marymoor, and sometimes (like on days when we can’t see that far because of fog), I’ll hit the cabana after the count. Today, there were hoards of birds seen out on the lake there: 80-100 BUFFLEHEAD, 10-20 RING-NECKED DUCKS, ~10 COMMON GOLDENEYE, two scaup, at least one of which was a GREATER SCAUP, 1 male HOODED MERGANSER, six male COMMON MERGANSERS, plus nearly 20 PIED-BILLED GREBE, 1 WESTERN GREBE, 1 DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT, and a bunch of AMERICAN COOTS. And with the fog, I couldn’t even see very far from the cabana!

Yesterday, I had HAIRY WOODPECKER, and heard PURPLE FINCH.

For the day, counting Matt’s early-morning owls and my after-the-count waterbirds, we hit 62 species. For the year, we’re up to 71 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Wood Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Lillian Reis

We decided this was a juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

And this one was a juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Merlin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ring-necked Ducks.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Coots.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Brown Creeper, 2013-01-16.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Frost on European Hawthorn berries

River reeds.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

River reeds.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Frosty meadow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Ice crown".  Photo by Michael Hobbs

"Ice crown".  Photo by Lillian Reis

"Ice crown".  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Report for January 19, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

I walked down to Marymoor this morning, where Brian Bell was
waiting having successfully driven over from Woodinville. Several hours
later, we were joined by Ollie Oliver, who also walked down. But it was
just us three and the snow and the birds. Precipitation all day long,
switching between rain, freezing rain, snizzle, drizzle, and turning to snow
before noon. We trudged through crusty snow, but with temps near the freeze
and no wind, our waterproof clothing made the day quite bearable. With the
thick snow clouds overhead, things never got terribly bright, and passerines
were mostly hard to come by. But it was a great day for seeing ducks and


SNOW GOOSE         Brian had one just before I arrived
There were also a couple of SNGO reports from 1/14
Wood Duck                 Male briefly seen along the slough
American Wigeon        Several pairs along the slough
Northern Shoveler       One flew south
Northern Pintail            6 flew north over the Pea Patch
Common Merganser    Several males on the lake
Horned Grebe             One barely visible far out on the lake
Cooper's Hawk           Adult male in Big Cottonwood Forest
Killdeer                       Uncharacteristically, at the weir
Wilson's Snipe             Uncharacteristically easy to see at the weir
Anna's Hummingbird    At least 1 male at feeders at park office
Hairy Woodpecker      Just south of dog area
Northern Shrike          As usual, north of fields 7-8-9
Spotted Towhee          Notably numerous
Fox Sparrow               Notably numerous

Big misses for the day: Bald Eagle, Rock Pigeon, wrens other than Bewick's, White-crowned Sparrow.

For the day, we managed 52 species. Grace & Ollie Oliver had several species on Sunday that weren't around today, so the week's total is at least 57. For the year, adding several duck species, the Marymoor 2012 list is at 69 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Snow at Dog Central

Fungi from the boardwalk

American Wigeon pair in slough near the windmill

American Wigeon drake - snowing hard

American Coot, 2012-01-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Goldeneye, 2012-01-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Snow Goose, 2012-01-14.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Snow Goose, 2012-01-14.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Northern Shrike, 2012-01-13.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Northern Shrike, 2012-01-13.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Great Blue Heron, 2012-01-13.  Photo by Lillian Reis

At the lake platform, 2011-12-22.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for January 20, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

The weather really wasn't too bad, with temps starting around 36 and probably rising a bit.  We had heavy, quilted overcast skies, but little wind, and it only misted some and rained on us for a few minutes during a long morning.

I  had over 2 hours to go owling before the walk began, most of it fruitless (Matt saw BARN OWLS while I was elsewhere), but Matt did lead me over to the east kiosk (Lot D), where a tufted owl remained sitting on the fence.  Matt had presumed it was the Great Horned Owl that had been reported there a week ago.  But when we looked at it closely, we were able to see that it was actually a LONG-EARED OWL.  It was very copacetic, allowing us very long looks.  We finally left, with the owl still on a signpost near the kiosk.

Other highlights:

We had four WHITE-FRONTED GEESE in with CACKLERS in the NE corner of the park near the baseball fields.

The GREEN HERON was again at the Rowing Club ponds, only today it was at the south pond.

There were many VIRGINIA RAIL calling, and some tock-tock "song", heard from the area south of the model airplane field and east of the East Meadow.

There were two NORTHERN SHRIKE, presumably the same juvenile that we've been seeing each week in the East Meadow, and what appeared to be an adult north of the grass fields 7-8-9.

We had many great looks at PURPLE FINCH.

For mammals, there were two RIVER OTTER at the lake, and we had a LONG-TAILED WEASEL at the little lot where we park our cars.  That our first
weasel since last June!

Yesterday, I had several additional species, including a Western Grebe, a Hairy Woodpecker, and a Lincoln's Sparrow.

For the day today, 56 species.  For the week, 62.  For the year, adding WEGR, LEOW, and LISP, we're up to 75 species.

== Michael

Long-eared Owl on 3-rail fence post, looking right

Flash photo of Long-eared Owl, looking away.  Breast markings confirm ID.

Male Downy Woodpecker along slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Shoveler.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Purple Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male House Finch, 2011-01-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Purple Finch, 2011-01-19

Song Sparrow, 2011-01-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow, 2011-01-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bewick's Wren, 2011-01-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for January 21, 2010

Not a bad day to be out.  Too breezy at times, but warm, only partially overcast, and no precipitation.  The wind was sometimes a problem, sometimes not.  It didn't feel terribly birdy, and we missed a few "common" birds like Cooper's Hawk and White-crowned Sparrow.  But we ended up with a pretty good list, especially after a rather productive visit to the Rowing Club at the end.


Trumpeter Swan                        Three flew south towards the lake
Ducks, generally                        10 species, incl. Scaup sp. on the lake
Green Heron                              Same spot at Rowing Club pond
WESTERN SCREECH-OWL  Scott heard one early, west of the mansion
Short-eared Owl                        The early birders had one in the East Meadow
Downy Woodpeckers                Several really good looks at 2-3 birds
Northern Shrike                         East Meadow

Very few sparrows of very few species, though there was a large flock of  juncos near the mansion.  Few finches too, though we managed 4 species.

For the day, 55 species.  For the year, 68 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Lillian Reis caught a shot of the three Trumpeter swans

Bushtit near Dog Central

Song Sparrows were singing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Downy Woodpecker working a large Black Cottonwood

Adult Northern Shrike in the East Meadow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Anna's Hummingbird at the Pea Patch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Ring-necked Duck at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Bufflehead at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Green-winged Teal pair at the Rowing Club

Male Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
European Hazelnut, Corylus avellana, catkins and tiny flower.
The native hazelnut, Corylus cornuta, blooms later in the spring (March, typically).
Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for January 15, 2009

We had a good day today.  It was overcast, or maybe that was just high fog above us.  In any case, not too cold, not windy, and no precipitation.  Still very high water - we couldn't get to the boardwalk along the slough trail, but did manage to cut across on the new trail that runs east-west just south of the dog area.  The boardwalk was somewhat underwater.  Lots of water filled the Dog Meadow and puddled elsewhere.  The Rowing Club dock remains inaccessible.

Big highlight was an AMERICAN TREE SPARROW, very flighty, moving around the general area of the Compost Piles, with some juncos.  The eye stripe wasn't very red, so we spent a lot of time trying to make sure it wasn't a Chipping Sparrow.  We finally managed to see the orangey lower mandible, and the bold central breast spot (for which you need a frontal view, which this guy was loathe to give).  Overall, the bird seemed quite pale; too pale and too buffy for a Chipper.

Other highlights:

Greater White-fronted Goose  Two with Cacklers on grass soccer fields
TUNDRA SWAN                  Juvenile in "pond" on grass soccer fields
                                               2nd swan flyby that looked Trumpeter
American Wigeon                    Many in flooded interior of Dog Meadow
Green-winged Teal                  Four with wigeons
Western Grebe                       1-2 at lake
Green Heron                           One on beaver lodge at Rowing Club
American Kestrel                    Male and female seen again
Barn Owl                                Early sightings at windmill and East Meadow
Great Horned Owl                  Matt heard (maybe saw) one near Dog Central
Anna's Hummingbird               Nice male just south of Dog Meadow
Yellow-rumped Warbler         A handful near the east end of the boardwalk

I found two dead mammals - a Townsend's Vole and an American Shrew-mole. Both looked to have drowned.

For the day, 57 species.  For 2009, up 11 to 65 species.

== Michael

Juvenile Tndra Swan

Juvenile Tundra Swan with Canada Goose for size comparison

Ollie Oliver's photo of the Tundra Swan

Ollie's photo of the Tundra in flight late in the morning

Great Blue Herons in a large Black Cottonwood

Flooded area in Dog Meadow.  From left, 1 Glaucous-winged x Western Gull hybrid,
5 Ring-billed Gulls, 4 Mew Gulls

American Tree Sparrow

American Tree Sparrow

Ollie's photo of the American Tree Sparrow

Ollie's photo of a female American Kestrel north of the grass soccer fields

Report for January 17, 2008   

Eight of us, minus Michael who was uncharacteristically ill, were at Marymoor this morning. It was a late winter day - cool (37F to start), overcast but no rain or wind. The birds were moderately active, but we still had to work to pull some of them out.
Highlights included: 
  • The Barn Owl was in the East Meadow early
  • A good flock of Cackling Geese today - about 300
  • Several Red-tailed Hawks
  • A nice flock of Pine Siskins actively feeding in a cedar tree, but no redpolls with them
  • A couple of Townsend's Warblers
  • Nice looks at a Brown Creeper
  • Wilson's Snipe early and at the rowing club
  • A Bald Eagle at the lake
  • A male Hooded Merganser on the river
  • Five swans (silent) flying overhead
  • Several Purple Finch, including one gorgeous male
  • A Cooper's Hawk in the cottonwood forest
  • Two male Common Mergansers on the lake
  • A very distant Horned Grebe on the lake
 A chilly, but very good day - 53 species
Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA

Ollie Oliver's photo of a male Hooded Merganser


Report for January 17, 2007

Six of us enjoyed an overcast-but-otherwise-nice morning at Marymoor today.
There was snow on the ground, which may have contributed to the initial uneasiness
of the flocks of geese which arrived, but they finally landed and found the snow
thin enough that they could get to the grass.  It was birdy enough that we walked
very slowly today, and while there weren't a huge number of surprises, we got some
very good looks at quite a few birds.


Gr. Wh.-fronted Goose    At least 2 with CACKLERS and CANADAS
American Wigeon          45+ Possibly our biggest flock ever at the park
Scaup sp.  (Greater?)    First of the winter, 2 well out on lake -
Cooper's Hawk            1-2, including adult at Pea Patch close
MERLIN                   1 atop a tree south of the mansion
Hairy Woodpecker         Male and female, male excavating hole
Northern Shrike          1 seen early north of grass soccer fields
Varied Thrush            1 seen early at east entrance
Townsend's Warbler       1 northeast of mansion
Fox Sparrow              Ubiquitous, and very visible
Purple Finch             6-8, including many males - WOW

Brian Bell split from us early at the Compost Piles as he had to get home for an
appointment, so he walked past the wigeon before us.  He kindly called back with news
of the EURASIAN WIGEON, a lone drake, which we might otherwise have missed, as the
wigeons were mixed with GADWALL and hundreds of CACKLING and CANADA GOOSE on the grass
soccer fields just north of Snag Row.

For the day, 55 species, with the year list now at 66.

== Michael


Bird Sightings Week 3
January 15-21


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