Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 9
February 26-March 4*


Rarities for Week 9:

Glaucous Gull 03-Mar-07 Observed by Charlie Wright
Bohemian Waxwing 28-Feb-12 One bird with a large flock of Cedar Waxwings.  Observed 28-Feb through 10-Apr

...Bohemian Waxwing


...Bohemian Waxwing

03-Mar-12 Reported by Lillian Reis

Report for February 29, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Today was just our 2nd Leap Day Marymoor Survey.  The last one was 28 years ago, when the survey was still a baby, and I did that one solo (Brian Bell had only just started coming out with me, and was on an every-other-week schedule then).  I had a mere 35 species.  My notes indicate it was frosty, but sunny and without much wind. 

Well, it wasn't actually frosty this morning, nor was it sunny, nor windless.  Assurances that the overnight wind would end before morning were, shall I say, over blown.  It was dark, wet, windy, and rather chilly, but I will say that the birding got better later in the morning.

  • Greater White-fronted Goose - Probably the same two as last week, with Canadas, Fields 7-8-9
  • Cackling Goose - NONE - First survey without them since mid-September
  • HERRING GULL - Almost certainly the same bird as last week, grass soccer fields
  • Bald Eagle - Lots of activity, including two taking turns eating what looked like a coot on the far shore below the weir
  • Barn Owl - One at the model airplane field being harassed by a couple of crows at about 6:35 a.m.
  • American Robin - Notably abundant and widespread
  • White-throated Sparrow - Same bird in the same place as other recent sightings
Last week, misses were limited to just Hooded Merganser and Killdeer.  We saw a couple of Killdeer today, but again no Hoodies.  Other misses today were Cooper's Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Northern Shrike, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, and Western Meadowlark.

Tree Swallows are likely to show up next week or the week after!

For the day, 54 species.  Nothing new for the year, but the park's Leap Day list is now at 57 species.  :)

= Michael Hobbs

Report for March 2, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We put in a rather pro-forma visit to Marymoor today.  It was rainy.  It was gray and gloomy.  It was not warm.  We were done just over 3 hours after our 7:00 a.m. start time, despite my attempts to keep our pace slow and constant. Our typical time is four hours or more.

  • Lesser Scaup - One female in the slough - First of Year (FOY)
  • Short-billed Gull - One with a bunch of Ring-billed Gulls - First since January
  • Great Blue Heron - 40 were standing on or near nests in the heronry
  • Great Horned Owl - Matt had one a just after 5 a.m. at the windmill
  • American Goldfinch - One, heard only, our only finch
  • American Beaver - One swimming down the slough just south of the Dog Area was our only mammal
  • Mason Flint - Told us stories about birding in Guyana.  Sounded simultaneously wonderful and miserable
And that's about it.

Misses today included Cooper's Hawk, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Northern Shrike, Bushtit, Marsh Wren, House Finch, and Purple Finch

We had 51 species today plus George, the Ring-necked Pheasant.

Looking forward to next week, when we might get our first signs of real spring birds.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for March 3, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Once again the weather forecasters failed us.  The predicted daily deluge failed to deliver.  We had a pretty nice morning with only a few minutes of mizzle; the rest of the morning was dry and quite pleasant.  Not that it wasn’t wet in the park, though.  Since last week the lake level is up about a foot-and-a-half, and the the boardwalk and adjacent trail were under a few inches of water (6” or so at the deepest).   With American Robins singing their hearts out (ouch), it really starts to feel like spring.
  • Horned Grebe – one visible from the Lake Platform, though distant
  • Virginia Rail – an absolute chorus from east of the East Meadow before dawn
  • California Gull – two adults on the grass fields – First of Year (FOY)
  • HERRING GULL – nice adult on grass fields – (FOY)
  • Great Blue Heron – I counted at least 91 herons in the heronry.  Many sticks were being brought in.  A least one heron was *sitting* on a nest, not just standing
  • Barn Owl – one working the East Meadow and around to the model airplane field, 6:00-6:15 a.m.
  • BARRED OWL – Matt heard one SW of the mansion very early (FOY)
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one near the heronry
  • Merlin – one landed NE of the Pea Patch (FOY)
  • White-throated Sparrow – Brian had one at the Pea Patch
  • Western Meadowlark – at least one singing from the model airplane field
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – three sightings, at least 2 birds (amazingly FOS)
Still no actual spring arrivals – maybe next week.
Predawn birds were hard to hear over the PACIFIC TREE FROGS in full chorus.
Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Short-billed Gull, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Northern Shrike, Purple Finch, and Pine Siskin.
Despite that long list of “misses” (birds seen at least 50% of previous years), we still managed 58 species.  The survey is at 78 species for the year.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for March 4, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

Beautiful dawn, thin overcast after sunrise, no rain, little wind until the end, but rather chilly.  Not nearly as spring-like as yesterday.  Big group; had to split in two, going in opposite directions, and even then the groups were rather large.  Spring is definitely happening, though.
  • Cackling Goose – maybe 2000, mostly in long strings flying SE to the east of the park before 7:00 a.m.
  • TRUMPETER SWAN – flock of 33 in a nice V, flying north over the East Meadow, calling
  • Great Blue Heron – I counted 70 birds at the heronry, with maybe 15 more flying around.  Much nest building going on.
  • Barn Owl – one flew across the East Meadow a little after 6:00 a.m.
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – two sightings for my group.  First of the Year (FOY)
  • TREE SWALLOW – Maybe 4 at the Pea Patch and 4 at the East Meadow (FOY)
  • VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW – two over fields 7-8-9 (FOY)
  • Bushtit – at least a dozen at the Rowing Club.  These have been hard to come by this winter at Marymoor
  • Varied Thrush – quite a few heard, some people even saw a couple briefly
  • Cedar Waxwing – three heard, glimpsed, near the stage
Today’s sighting of VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW is our 5th-earliest sighting ever, though still (just) over a week later than our earliest-ever sighting in 2016.
Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Cooper’s Hawk, Pacific Wren (though I heard one yesterday at the park), Western Meadowlark, and Yellow-rumped Warbler.
Eagerly awaiting our first Rufous Hummingbird and Savannah Sparrow; maybe next week.  Say’s Phoebe and Mountain Bluebird are unlikely before the 3rd week in March, but possible sooner.
Between the two groups, we had 63 species today.  With the two species of swallow, we’re up to 84 species for 2021.
= Michael Hobbs

Photo by Bob Asanoma

Northern Shrike near the Viewing Mound.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for February 27, 2020                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

A really gorgeous and birdy day today at the park.  The lake level has dropped down to normal, but the south end of the Dog Area is still closed off, including a portion of the slough trail, requiring us to go out-and-back along the boardwalk from the east end.  But the day was sunny and warm, and spring is really arriving.
  • Greater White-fronted Goose – one in large flock of Cackling Geese on grass soccer fields.  First of Year for us.
  • American Wigeon – Maybe 6 total
  • “EURASIAN” GREEN-WINGED TEAL – drake showing the horizontal white bars instead of vertical, along the slough well downstream of the weir
  • Hooded Merganser – one male, seen from the Rowing Club dock.  First after 5 week absence
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard one from fairly near the Lake Platform, predawn.  First after 5 week absence
  • Short-eared/Long-eared Owl – one seen very briefly from Viewing Mound, not too long before sunrise
  • Northern Shrike – three very disparate sightings, but I think it was probably all the same bird
  • TREE SWALLOW – at least 3, East Meadow.  First of Year
  • VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW – about 10 over the slough – First of Year
  • Pacific Wren – 5-7 birds singing – a rather high count for Marymoor
  • Varied Thrush – one heard singing west of the mansion – First of Year for us
  • Purple Finch – finally, one seen calling south of the East Meadow – First of Year
  • WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – Brian had one south of the Dog Area portapotties, with other Zonos.  First of Year
  • Western Meadowlark – Seven in East Meadow, calling and singing
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – flock of 11 south of East Meadow
To my recollection, this is only the 2nd time we’ve had a “EURASIAN” GREEN-WINGED TEAL.  We had one for several weeks during the spring of 2001.
This is our second earliest date for VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW.  Our earliest was 2016-02-25.
Singing birds included Anna’s Hummingbird, Bewick’s Wren, Pacific Wren (many), Ruby-crowned Kinglet (many), Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, “Pugetensis” White-crowned Sparrow, and Dark-eyed Junco.  Downy and Flicker were drumming.  Many Great Blue Herons were carrying sticks to the heronry.  Spring is here.
For mammals, Matt had AMERICAN BEAVER pre-dawn from the Lake Platform, and we had a LONG-TAILED WEASEL toying with a crow (or vice versa) near the Pea Patch (First of Year).  There were both RED-EARED SLIDERS and PAINTED TURTLES sunning themselves at the Rowing Club pond.
Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Virginia Rail, Mew Gull and Ring-billed Gull (we did have some unidentifiable flyby gulls that could have been these species), Red-breasted Sapsucker, Marsh Wren, and Pine Siskin.
For the day, 59 species.
= Michael

Report for February 28, 2019                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Brian Bell & I subbed for Michael today, and had a good day at Marymoor — It was cold to begin with 26 degrees at 7:00 - but blue skies and sunny ! And by the end it was even not too cold. Birds were showing signs of enjoying the sunshine as well - lots of singing and some frolicking in pairs [or 3-somes].


  • Red-breasted Sapsucker - first of year — we almost made it 2 months without one, so nice to finally get looks Also had 2 Pileated, 3 Hairy, several Downy & many Northern Flickers — for a 5 woodpecker day
  • Green Heron - looking remarkably green in the bright sunlight, a little south of the usual beaver lodge perch
  • Wilson’s Snipe - seven or so along the slough below the weir - decent looks at several
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow - only our second sighting this year
  • Ring-necked Pheasant - back in the Pea Patch after a month’s absence

Much singing from sparrows, Purple Finch, both kinglets, others.

Notable misses: Owls - despite a couple hours in good clear weather before dawn Ring-necked Duck Virginia Rail gulls other than Ring-billed American Goldfinch Western Meadowlark Mammals included just bunny & squirrel - I think this is the first week this year we’ve missed River Otter

For the day, we found 56 species.

Matt Bartels Seattle, WA

Adult Bald Eagle.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Wilson's Snipe.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Green Heron.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for March 1, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

We were mostly under glorious clear skies, and the setting full moon was bright pre-dawn. A great day for walking, with no wind and no rain, and mostly sunny conditions. Fairly warm too, getting into the low 40’s pretty fast. It was quieter at times than I’d thought it would be, but maybe birds were just busy getting warm and dry, and eating up after days of less-good weather. We were joined by Jim McCoy, previously a Marymoor regular who moved out of state several years ago. Great to see him again, and to help him get a good collection of west coast specialties he doesn’t get in his current home.


  • SNOW GOOSE – First for 2018, one with a few Canadas, on the lake!
  • Cackling Goose – Three flocks overhead, maybe 650 birds total
  • Scaup sp. – one in the slough that disappeared before ID’d
  • California Gull – only 2nd for 2018
  • Barn Owl – flying the East Meadow from 6:38 until 6:50-something
  • - All 5 common woodpeckers – 2 Red-breasted Sapsuckers were first since Jan.
  • House Finch – again the only finch, and few of those to boot.

The SNOW GOOSE was our first March sighting, and by far the latest winter sighting ever. Also, none of us could remember seeing a Snow Goose actually *on* Lake Sammamish; they usually show up either flying overhead, or landing with other geese on the grass fields.

The GREAT BLUE HERONS were adding twigs to nests. The heronry is really active right now; Brian counted 41 birds in the heronry tree and its immediate neighbors. I’d expect we’ll see some additional nests this year.

Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Rock Pigeon, Virginia Rail, Northern Shrike, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, and Western Meadowlark, all of which have been seen at least 12 of the last 24 years for this week. Most of these species have been notably absent or rare this winter though, so (except for the pigeon) it wasn’t a surprise to miss them today.

No swallows today, unless a single bird I saw flying north was one.

A late look at the lake added HOODED MERGANSER and HORNED GREBE to the day’s list, raising the total to 57 species, best so far for 2018. The year list is up to 81 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Killdeer below the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Green-winged Teal pair.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Common Mergansers.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Snow Goose on lake with Canada Geese.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Bufflehead.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for March 2, 2017                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The rain never got beyond spizzle (sort of a spitting drizzle that barely wetted us), though the overcast was pretty dark all morning. A touch of breeze now and then would have made things cold, but the temps were in the low 40’s, so we were pretty comfortable. It was moderately birdy.


Cackling Goose              Many small to middling flocks flying by
SWAN SP.                    Two in a somewhat distant flyby, probably Trumpeter
American Wigeon           At least 2 below the weir
Horned Grebe                Two well out on the lake
Green Heron                  Very dependable upon the beaver lodge
Bald Eagle                      I believe they lost their nest; building a new one nearby
Red-tailed Hawk            Building a new nest near the site of the old odd-snag nest
BARN OWL                  Matt saw and adult, heard babies inside windmill, early
Great Horned Owl          Heard up the hill west of the entrance
Western Screech-Owl     Matt heard, early, boardwalk
Short-eared Owl             East Meadow – third straight week
Hairy Woodpecker         Had a 4 woodpecker day, missing only Pileated
Tree Swallow                 One seen
Bushtit                            First of 2017 – maybe a half-dozen along slough
Varied Thrush                 Heard and finally seen. First confirmed for 2017
Westerm Meadowlark    Still hanging out around model airplane field

We *might* have seen a Rufous Hummingbird, and Sara though she heard one, but we can’t confirm. This would be about as early as we’ve EVER had one, but it’s plausible. They should be arriving very soon if not already.

Matt also saw American Beaver at the lake platform, pre-dawn.

Misses included Ring-billed Gull, Steller’s Jay, Brown Creeper, Marsh Wren, and House Finch.

For the day, 61 species. I believe we’re at 85 species for the year.

After the walk, we had an Au Revoir party for Grace & Ollie Oliver, who are moving to Poulsbo. We will miss them, and I will greatly miss Ollie’s photographs which have constituted much of the Bird Blog for the last many years.

== Michael Hobbs

Killdeer in slough below weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings
Wilson's Snipe in slough below weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Green Heron on the beaver lodge.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Coots.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Varied Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Coots.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Nesting Anna's Hummingbird at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for March 3, 2016                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

Despite somewhat dire weather forecasts, this morning was amazingly pleasant. There was some thunder and lightning long before dawn, but for our walk, we had several hours of SUNSHINE. No, really. And then, while it did start getting a touch blustery, and while Big Dark Clouds blew past, we had only a few moments of sprinkles. And the birds were out and about enjoying it all, as we were.


Cackling Goose                   1 flock twice, or 2 flocks of ~25
American Wigeon                 Four, well below weir
Greater Scaup                      Appear to be the same 3 we’ve been seeing
Green Heron                        Juvenile on beaver lodge yet again
Virginia Rail                          Heard “singing” east of East Meadow
Wilson’s Snipe                     Four east of East Meadow
California Gull                       Three in very bright breeding plumage
Band-tailed Pigeon                Flyover, 1 bird – First Of Year
Barn Owl                             Sharon saw one pre-dawn at windmill
Red-breasted Sapsucker      At least 2 birds, at least 3 sightings – FOY
Merlin                                  Seen twice along slough
Northern Shrike                    Juvenile seen just before 7
-Swallows-                           Mix of TREE and VIOLET-GREEN 50-60
Varied Thrush                       Two singing near mansion just after 7 a.m.
Townsend’s Warbler            Male near mansion – FOY
Lincoln’s Sparrow                One below slough, briefly seen – FOY
Western Meadowlark           Flock of a dozen plus again north of Fields 7-8-9
Coyote                                 Two walked past the Viewing Mound ~6:45

The first SALMONBERRY blossoms of the year were seen, so after the Rowing Club, I made a quick swing back down through the Dog Area. Sure enough, at the very southern tip of the Dog Meadow, I found a male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD – First Of Year. This is the earliest we’ve ever had Rufous Hummingbird; the previous early date was 2015-03-05 (which is only 1 day later, since this year is a leap year). OF NOTE IS THE FOLLOWING: This is the 9th time we’ve had a RUHU prior to March 15th. Six of the 9 early sightings are from the last 3 years!

For the day, a phenomenal 65 species. And FIVE new species for the year to bring our year total to 84 species.

== Michael Hobbs

2nd-winter Ring-billed Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Wigeon, including a male with a lot of coppery tones in his green head stripe.  This is probably not an indication of hybridization with Eurasian Wigeon; for certainly the bird looks like an American in all other respects.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

New heronry.  On March 5, I counted 22 nests started.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron choosing just the right stick.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Juvenile Green Heron streeeeeeeeeetches out...

...and catches a tiny morsel of breakfast.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

California Gull in breeding plumage.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

California Gull in breeding plumage.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult Glaucous-winged Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Glaucous-winged Gull.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult Western Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Double-crested Cormorant.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Townsend's Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Dawn.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for February 26, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Another fine day for February; though today was gray and misty, it was warm  (44-50) and fairly birdy.


Red-tailed Hawk                   One at odd-snag nest west of park entrance
California Gull                        Two adults
HERRING GULL                 3rd-winter bird with GWGU and GWGUxWEGUs
Northern Saw-whet Owl       Matt heard one very early
Northern Shrike                     Adult in East Meadow
Tree Swallow                        6 over Dog Meadow
Red Crossbill                         ~30 in mansion firs
American Goldfinch               Large flock, 10-20 birds !

We’d done pretty well for species count by the time we got to the Rowing Club, though the only woodpecker we’d had was NORTHERN FLICKER. But down near the old boathouse, we suddenly had a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, two male DOWNY WOODPECKERS, and a pair of HAIRY WOODPECKERS. Couldn’t turn up a Pileated though.

So, for the day, 60 species. We averaged 60.25 species/week for February, after averaging 57 in January. Low count for the year: 56 (thrice). 2015 is starting well!

Nothing new for the year except MUSKRAT.

== Michael Hobbs

Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult California Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Third-winter Herring Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Third-winter Herring Gull.  Photo by Marvin Hoekstra

Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Marvin Hoekstra

Male Northern Pintail, 2015-02-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Double-crested Cormorant, 2015-02-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Double-crested Cormorant, 2015-02-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Green-winged Teal pair, 2015-02-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2015-02-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-capped Chickadee, 2015-02-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Robin, 2015-02-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for February 27, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

What a glorious day today! It felt like spring, with temps quickly rising from the low 40’s to the mid-50’s, and with the thin overcast clearing to mostly sunshine. It was WAY birdy. We passed last week’s total by the time we got to Dog Central!


TRUMPETER SWAN     Four flew north
Wood Duck                     Pair in slough south of Dog Area
American Wigeon             Matt had 17 early, we had a pair
Lesser Scaup                   1-2 females
Great Blue Heron             26 on or near nests. One brought twigs
Sharp-shinned Hawk       1 near windmill
Cooper’s Hawk               Several sightings. Not sure how many birds
Wilson’s Snipe                 1 on far shore of slough at Dog Central
6 Gull Species                   Including Western, California, and HERRING
Red-breasted Sapsucker   Drumming near mansion, + at RC
Pileated Woodpecker       1 flew into mansion area
Northern Shrike                East Meadow
TREE SWALLOW          3+, East Meadow
Townsend’s Warbler        Male south of mansion
Lincoln’s Sparrow            One glimpsed early at Compost Piles
W. MEADOWLARK      One just before 7 a.m. at Compost Piles
Purple Finch                     Pair near mansion, singing

We also had a MYSTERY BIRD THAT GOT AWAY. As we walked the grass soccer fields looking at gulls, a small bird took off unseen from the grass somewhere near us. The flight call initially had me thinking American Pipit, but it soon became clear that it wasn’t. Matt spotted the bird first in flight; eventually most of us got increasingly distant views of the bird as it flew off to the north. Based on flight calls and what little we could see, it was probably either a SNOW BUNTING or LAPLAND(?) LONGSPUR. Whatever it was, it would have been a GREAT bird, if we could only have had a real look. Matt saw it best, and thought the breast looked quite yellow/orange. More distantly it appeared quite white underneath, and it seemed to have significant white patches on the wings.

This afternoon, I did my annual garbage cleanup of the park. The only additional bird I got for the day was HAIRY WOODPECKER. But that made it a 5 woodpecker day. So, for the day, we had 65 species, plus the Mystery Bird That Got Away. For the walk itself, 61 species in just 4.5 hours (7-11:30), equaling the 61 on our Long Day three weeks ago with a LOT more birding effort.

There were a bunch of year birds: Trumpeter Swan, Western Gull, California Gull, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Tree Swallow, Townsend’s Warbler, and Western Meadowlark. (Purple Finch was also new for the Thursday surveys, though I’d had one on a visit during Week 1). So with seven new year birds, I believe that brings us to 84 species for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Western Meadowlark before sunrise.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Female Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Goldeneyes .  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Trumpeter Swans.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Snipe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Shrike.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Herring Gull with Glaucous-winged Gull .  Photo by Ollie Oliver

California Gull with Glaucous-winged x Western hybrids.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

California Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Herring Gull and juvenile GWGU x WEGU hybrid.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Purple Finch demonstrating his abilities to both sing and to gather nesting materials.  A female was with him.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker drumming near mansion.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Snowdrops near park office.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

"Myrtle's" Yellow-rumped Warbler at Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker at Rowing Club.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for February 28, 2013                                                                                                                            Birding at Marymoor

Despite the rain, which got moderately heavy for a while there, we had a great morning at Marymoor today. The mist started a little after 7:00, and got slowly but steadily worse for a few hours before tapering off again. But with warmish temps, and no wind, it was certainly manageable. And it never really got that heavy.

The birds were singing and even somewhat active!


American Wigeon                A few on puddle in grass/gravel parking lot
Horned Grebe                     One well out on the lake
Virginia Rail                         Heard from bend in the boardwalk
Western Gull                       One looked pretty pure
ICELAND GULL               "Thayer's"  Same as last week, maybe a 2nd as well
Barn Owl                            1, good show, East Meadow, after 6 a.m.
Red-breasted Sapsucker     1 at Rowing Club
MERLIN                            One landed just SW of mansion
Northern Shrike                  One north of main road
Varied Thrush                     At least 1 singing near mansion
Western Meadowlark         One, East Meadow
Red Crossbill                      Still about a dozen near mansion

ALL of the AMERICAN ROBINS seemed to be singing today. PACIFIC WRENS and MARSH WRENS were also in full song, as were most of the species noted last week. Seemly a bit early for them, a RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET was singing complete songs near the Rowing Club building. I counted at least 27 GREAT BLUE HERONS at the heronry, so I’d expect there will be more nests built this spring.

After the walk, I stopped by the cabana on the lake, since we’d seen what could have been a Common Loon when viewing from the lake platform. I couldn’t confirm a loon, but I did see a WESTERN GREBE. There were also TWO pairs of BALD EAGLES.

Sometime a little after 6 a.m., when we were looking for owls from the Viewing Mound, Matt & I noticed a couple of EASTERN COTTONTAIL RABBITS. For quite a while, they seemed to peacefully chomping on grass next to each other. But then, after a short bit of chasing, the two faced off, about 2 feet apart. They seemed to glare at each other, and then they each bounced straight up into the air about 2-3 feet several times. This was a pure bounce – from a sitting position, they suddenly popped into the air moving neither forward nor backward. They even seemed stay level front-to-back. After a few bounces each, they went back to being peaceful bunnies. ???

Big misses for the day: Either accipiter, Downy Woodpecker, Lincoln’s Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, and American Goldfinch. Additionally, House Finch was heard-only. We’re still waiting on our first warbler of any kind for 2013. White-crowned Sparrows have been virtually absent this winter (VERY unusual). I think the 5 times we’ve had them this year, it’s mostly just been a single juvenile. Where are the Gambellii hordes?

For the day, 58 species! For the year, adding WESTERN MEADOWLARK, we’re at 83 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Varied Thrush singing near mansion.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Merlin southwest of the mansion.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Goldeneye pair.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Common Merganser pair.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Meadowlark.  Photo by Lillian Reis

"Olympic Gull" - Glaucous-winged x Western hybrid.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Thayer's" Iceland Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Thayer's" Iceland Gull.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for March 1, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

It misted a bit, and there was an occasional stiff cold breeze, but otherwise the weather was okay. Everybody was pretty excited to look for the BOHEMIAN WAXWING, first seen on Tuesday, and that lead to us scurrying back and forth chasing waxwing flocks. When we finally got to the tree where I saw the bird on Tuesday, voila - there it was, amongst 50 or so Cedar Waxwings. The rest of the day was pretty good too.


Northern Pintail                     Pair in slough below weir
MERLIN                              One landed in a fir near the mansion
Virginia Rail                           Matt heard rail(s) from the boardwalk early
Great Horned Owl                 Matt heard one near the mansion early
Red-breasted Sapsucker       One near the graffitied picnic shelter
Northern Shrike                     As usual, north of field 7, then in Snag Row
Varied Thrush                        Heard near windmill
BOHEMIAN WAXWING   Again, 100 yds. south of Dog Central
Cedar Waxwing                    100+ birds - very notable numbers
Yellow-rumped Warbler        Audubon's & Myrtle's types

Not very many ducks, gulls, or sparrows today, which kept the day list down, though we still managed 56 species.

Ollie Oliver had a BAND-TAILED PIGEON on 2012-02-27, new for the year list. That, plus the Bohemian, brings the year list to 85 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Red-breasted Sapsucker near the mansion.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bohemian Waxwing (the big, gray one) with Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Merlin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Bohemian Waxwing, 2012-02-28.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bohemian Waxwing, 2012-02-28.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Snowy Cascades, 2012-02-28.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cedar Waxwings, 2012-02-28

White-crowned Sparrow, 2012-02-27.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Killdeer, 2012-02-27.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Crow, 2012-02-27.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Rock Pigeons, 2012-02-27.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Anna's Hummingbird, 2012-02-27.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Slate-colored" Dark-eyed Junco, 2012-02-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Report for February 28, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

Ollie Oliver called me this afternoon, saying that he'd photographed a BOHEMIAN WAXWING at Marymoor this morning. I rushed down and had about 30 waxwings fly past, not stopping as they whirled north. But I then heard more waxwing calls. Moving forward, I caught a glimpse of another 25 waxwings fly off following the first group. I was getting really frustrated, but then noticed I was still hearing waxwing calls.

About 100 yards south of Dog Central (the dog swim beach with the bulletin board, along the slough trail), I found another 50 waxwings that included one Bohemian.

This is a new bird for the Marymoor Park list, bringing the list up to 221.

It was still there when I left at 2:30.

== Michael Hobbs

Bohemian Waxwing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for March 3, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

It wasn't exactly warm, and it rained lightly for the first 2 hours or more this morning.  Even after it stopped raining, it was very damp and chill; I declared the day to be an honorary addition to February.  And for the most part, the birds agreed.  But there are a few weak signs of spring, and the species count was not down in February depths.


Cackling Goose                  Still hundreds
Ring-necked Pheasant         Heard for the 1st time in 2011
Wilson's Snipe                    8-10 east of East Meadow
Anna's Hummingbird           I counted at least 7
Red.-breasted Sapsucker   2, one drumming
Northern Shrike                  Near slough, west of slough for a bit
Golden-crowned Kinglet    Ubiquitous, some singing
Varied Thrush                     At least 2 at Dog Central, mansion
Townsend's Warbler           3+ just east of park office
Western Meadowlark         One north of 7-8-9; new for 2011

Singing/displaying birds:  Anna's Hummingbird, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Bewick's Wren, Marsh Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, Purple Finch, House Finch.

For the day, 57 species.  For the year, we're up to 84 species.

== Michael Hobbs

March 3 was not photogenic...
Male Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2011-02-27.  Photo by Lillian Reis.

Red-tailed Hawk pair, not far from odd-snag nest, 2011-02-26.  Photo by Lillian Reis.

Report for March 4, 2010

We had a big group of birders (20+) sorting through the birds at Marymoor today, despite the damp and the mist.   No swallows today, and it otherwise didn't feel particularly spring-like, except for the quantity and variety of bird song.  Lots of (mostly ornamental) fruit trees in bloom, though.


Wood Duck                              Pair in slough
Gr. White-fronted Goose          1 with a small flock of Canadas
Brown Creeper                         Notably many sightings
Cedar Waxwing                        About a dozen at Rowing Club
Western Meadowlark               2 near Compost Piles
Purple Finch                              LARGE flock at Rowing Club (20+)
Coyote                                     1 on grass soccer fields at 7:00

At the Rowing Club, there was a pair of HOUSE FINCH, and the male appeared to be ripping strips of bark off of a branch, presumably for use as nesting material.

We had a dozen species of bird singing, including RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, FOX and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, and PURPLE FINCH.

For the day, 57-58 species.  For the year, 78 species.

== Michael

P.S.  I went to Seattle Opera's FALSTAFF last night, and it was great.  Everyone should go!

Knut Hansen found the Western Screech-Owl posed where he could take flash photos

Here are its feet as it took off from the branch...

Knut Hansen got a great shot of a Golden-crowned Kinglet

Western Gull.  Or "Olympic"?  Wing-tips look black... Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Coot in front of a pair of Green-winged Teal, from the Rowing Club dock

Lillian Reis caught this Yellow-rumped Warbler in the act of landing

The lake platform is WAY too small for our large group. Photo by Lillian Reis

Lillian Reis caught the Bushtit working on the nest

Cherry(?) blossoms.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Ollie Oliver got a photo of the Western Meadowlarks...

...and of the Killdeer

Marsh Wren singing.  Photo by Lillian Reis, 3/5

Bald Eagle carrying stick (presumed nest material).  Photo by Lillian Reis, 3/5

Report for February 26, 2009

Isn't it getting kind of late in the winter for snow?  We had a couple of inches on the ground, and for a while we had heavy snow falling too.  Much of the morning, big snow clouds were threatening, even if snow wasn't falling.  Later, it got sunny, and the trees started shedding their snow coats all over us.  Not windy most of the time, though, and no rain, so the cold was tolerable.  And beautiful.  Can't forget to mention that.  It was gorgeous.  Not terribly birdy, but not bad either.  A small group of us today - 3 to start, growing to about 6.  Nice to have a small, compatible group.


Cackling Goose               Getting late for them, but at least 1 flock overhead
Barn Owl                        Again visible in its day roost near the windmill
Northern Shrike               East Meadow and west of the mansion.  2 birds?
Winter Wren                    Gave us a GREAT show a the Rowing Club
American Robin               100's on the ground everywhere that wasn't snowcovered
Yellow-rumped Warbler  Maybe 10 or more at Rowing Club - great looks
Fox Sparrow                   Good comparison views with Song Sparrow - lots too
Western Meadowlark     One singing east of the mansion

Ollie also found us a RIVER OTTER on the lake, our only mammal for the day, though we did see bunny tracks.

For the day, 51 species.  The Meadowlark brings our year total to 80.

== Michael

American Robin in a snowy European Hawthorn

Golden-crowned Sparrows under the same hawthorn

Double-crested Cormorant in the snow in the slough

Sure was pretty

The Barn Owl was a bit less visible this week

Male Anna's Hummingbird on watch southwest of the mansion

Northern Shrike west of the mansion

The Western Meadowlark flew in front of us...

...and landed in a Black Cottonwood near our cars

Yellow-rumped Warbler at the Rowing Club

Winter Wren gave us great looks at the Rowing Club

Ollie Oliver snapped this female Common Goldeneye in the snow

Ollie Oliver's portrait of a pair of Mallards

Ollie's Brown Creeper

Ollie got a closer shot of the male Anna's Hummingbird
Ollie caught a different angle on the Winter Wren.

Report for February 28, 2008   

It was misting gently almost the whole morning, occasionally letting up, and never even getting close to drizzle, so all in all the weather wasn't bad.  Temps in the high 40's to low 50's also were pleasant. There was certainly a lot of bird song today, and quite a few bird individuals, but it often felt a bit "quiet".  We had, basically, no
surprizes -- we saw pretty much what we expected to see, and had no new spring arrivals.  Next week for sure.


Red-breasted Sapsucker        2 at Rowing Club, 1 drumming
Northern Shrike                     1 along southeast edge of East Meadow
Bushtits                                  EVERYWHERE, after missing them last week
Ruby-crowned Kinglet           Constant chorus of song
Yellow-rumped Warbler        2+ at Rowing Club
Purple Finch                           MANY small groups seen, no red males

Singers included Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Bewick's Wren, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, and Purple Finch.

Another highlight were two RACCOONS in a tree on the east side of the slough.  The warmth brought both Painted Turtle and Red-eared Slider onto the logs at the Rowing Club pond.

The Oso Berry (Indian Plum) is beginning to come out in full bloom.  The hazelnuts are dropping catkins.  Some of the willows are in full bloom. Snowdrops were blooming north of the windmill.

For the day, 55 species plus a maybe Lincoln's Sparrow and a maybe Winter Wren.

== Michael

Raccoons sleeping in birch trees on the west shore of the slough.
Photo by Ollie OIiver

Female Purple Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Crows, probably a pair involved in allopreening.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Steller's Jay mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk near the Rowing Club

Closer look...

Report for March 01, 2007

Once again, my fears about the weather proved unfounded.   There was about 1.5" of snow on the ground, and it was cold.  But it was mostly a very pleasant, sunny, windless morning.  My fingers and toes got cold for a bit, but warmed up after about 9:00.  We had a few snow flakes drifting down lazily, but no real precipitation (i.e no rain).  Really, it was gorgeous, with nice light.  And birdy.  We had a more-manageable group size of eight people today.


The morning began with Ryan spotting a MERLIN flying to a tall, slender snag near the mansion.   After posing for over a minute (*just* long enough for Louise to get her scope set up) it then flew quickly low across the parking lot and down a trail, snagging a sparrow off of the path in front of us, before carrying its breakfast back to the trees around the mansion.  We've seen this Merlin four times already this year.  It is not a black Pacific Merlin, but probably a Taiga - quite pale breasted.

We had good looks at a male HAIRY WOODPECKER just a bit south of Dog Central, but across the slough.  We've seen a male Hairy 7 weeks out of 9 so far in 2007.  I think it's been all this same bird, as he's been hanging out in the same general area.

From the lake platform, we had two distant and unidentifiable SWALLOWS, probably TREE, but who knows.  In any case, our first swallows of the year.

Not too far north of the east end of the boardwalk, I spotted a NORTHERN SHRIKE - further south than I've ever seen one at Marymoor.  Later, probably the same adult shrike was in the East Meadow.

At the Compost Piles, Matt spotted 3 AMERICAN PIPITS.  This is NOT the normal season for them.  This is just our second pipit sighting outside the late-April to early May spring pulse and the September-November fall push. We had one sighting January 7, 2004, and now today's.

Northeast of the mansion, we had a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER that gave us quick-but-good looks as it moved through the trees.

Also in those conifers was a GREAT HORNED OWL - we could find only one.  In the last couple of weeks there have been 1-2 seen in those trees quite often, including one sitting atop a possible nest.  Today the owl was in the tree next to the potential nest - about the same spot as it was last week. The "nest" was empty.

Lots of birds were singing today, including American Robin, Red-winged Blackbird, Dark-eyed Junco, Marsh Wren, Song Sparrow, Purple Finch, Bewick's Wren, Brown Creeper, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and House Finch.

Today was our first day over 60 species this year - 62 to be specific, and the swallows and American Pipit were new for the year.

Purple Finches at the top of an Oregon Ash (note the trident branch tips).
Purple Finch are usually found in Ash trees at Marymoor.

American Pipit

Downy Woodpecker

Cooper's Hawk


Bird Sightings Week 9
February 26-March 4*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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