Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 10
March 5-11*


Rarities for Week 10:

Barrow's Goldeneye 08-Mar-12  
Long-eared Owl 07-Mar-01 Observed by a regular dog walker named Lillah
Bohemian Waxwing 08-Mar-12 One bird with a large flock of Cedar Waxwings.  Observed 28-Feb through 10-Apr
Common Redpoll 08-Mar-18 Four along slough trail in alders

Report for March 7, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It started out frosty this morning, but it was sunny and the day warmed up nicely, with no wind and dry air.  It was birdy too.

  • Greater White-fronted Goose - Today the two birds were below the slough for close looks
  • Cackling Goose - About a dozen this week.  Last week was the first time since mid-September that we had missed them
  • Hooded Merganser - One from Lake Platform, after 3 week absence
  • Common Merganser - Many flying north, perhaps 32 total
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk - Small adult, presumably a male based on size, at Rowing Club.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Red-tailed Hawk - One near our parked cars, mobbed by crows, with a dying LONG-TAILED WEASEL (FOY) in its talons
  • Barn Owl - One, very active, East Meadow and Model Airplane Field, before sunrise
  • Five woodpecker day - Though PILEATED was heard-only.  Lots of drumming today
  • HUTTON'S VIREO - Singing bird just SW of the windmill, unseen again
  • Varied Thrush - One near the windmill, our first since January
  • Western Meadowlark - One north of Fields 7-8-9
We had just two (unidentified) gulls today, flying over at 6:30 a.m.

At the Rowing Club, we tracked down a drumming RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER.  While we tried to be surreptitious in getting looks, a second sapsucker landed on the fence rail within eight feet of us, and the two birds remained still for at least a minute.  We got cell-phone photos!

Misses today included Rock Pigeon, Short-billed Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull, Northern Shrike, Tree Swallow (seen 17 of last 28 years), Bushtit, Purple Finch, and Pine Siskin.

Despite that long list of misses, we did have 55 species plus the unidentified gulls.  Our 2024 list is at 76 species.

Possible arrivals expected or semi-expected in the next two weeks include Rufous Hummingbird, Say's Phoebe, Tree Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Mountain Bluebird, and Savannah Sparrow.  

= Michael Hobbs

Barn Owl, East Meadow before sunrise. Photo by Tony Ernst

One of two Greater White-fronted Geese below the weir. Photo by Tony Ernst

Great Blue Heron looking very sharp. Photo by Tony Ernst

American Coot. Photo by Tony Ernst

Long-tailed Weasel in the talons of a Red-tailed Hawk. Photo by Tony Ernst

This Red-breasted Sapsucker landed very near Matt (that's his elbow).
Cellphone photo by Michael Hobbs

Report for March 9, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was below freezing when we began at 6:30 this morning and it took its time warming up.  But it really wasn't too bad; no wind or precipitation, no fog, some light though the clouds darkened during the morning.  We had our first real Dawn Chorus of the year, and it was really birdy until we got to the Lake Platform.  From there on, it was rather quiet.

  • Cackling Goose - down to just a couple of really small flocks - maybe 25 total
  • Canada Goose - pair sitting on top of the Osprey nest platform - some did this last year, but gave up when the Osprey returned
  • Wood Duck - three males in slough near the Lake Platform
  • Horned Grebe - two seen on a late scan of the lake
  • Great Blue Heron - over 80 birds at the heronry, with nest building/renovations underway
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker - at least two birds, First of Spring (FOS) for the survey
  • FIVE WOODPECKER DAY - all five common woodpecker species SEEN today
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee - notably numerous and widespread; more seen than Black-capped
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet - notably numerous, with many singing
  • Varied Thrush - probably at least three
  • Purple Finch - at least three, with two of them singing full songs 
  • Western Meadowlark - one on Fields 7-8-9, only our 2nd record of the year (previous was in January)
Singing/displaying/drumming birds included Ring-necked Pheasant, Anna's Hummingbird, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Black-capped Chickadee, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Marsh Wren, Bewick's Wren, Varied Thrush, American Robin, Purple Finch, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Spotted Towhee, and Red-winged Blackbird

Misses today included Short-billed Gull, Cooper's Hawk, Northern Shrike, Tree Swallow, Bushtit (though may have heard some), House Finch, and Pine Siskin.

For the day, 54 species plus the Ring-necked Pheasant.

In the next two weeks we should have Band-tailed Pigeon, Turkey Vulture, Say's Phoebe, Hutton's Vireo, Tree and Violet-green Swallows, Mountain Bluebird, and Savannah Sparrow either arriving back or passing through.  Can't wait.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for March 10, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Sunny, windless, delightful – except for the 25 degree starting temperature.   Brrr.  Turned out to be a really nice day, and quite birdy.  We got our first spring migrants!
  • Still 10 species of duck
  • Wilson’s Snipe – nice looks along near edge of slough below the weir
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – suddenly everywhere, drumming, chasing each other.  At least 5
  • Tree Swallow – at least a dozen with some visiting birdhouses, plus 25-or-so swallow sp. at the lake.  First of Spring (FOS)
  • Violet-green Swallow – at least 9 (FOS)
  • Purple Finch – several singing males, maybe 6 total birds
  • COMMON REDPOLL – five or more east of the weir on the trail through the blackberries, in alder trees (FOS)
  • American Goldfinch – one heard singing below the weir (FOS)
  • White-crowned Sparrow – heard the first singing “pugetensis” subspecies of the spring
  • Western Meadowlark – Two in the East Meadow, one singing
  • Townsend’s Warbler – one south of the mansion (FOS)
A late scan of the lake turned up several RING-NECKED DUCKS and a couple of HORNED GREBE.  A late stop back at the East Meadow featured a NORTHERN SHRIKE looking sharp just east of the Viewing Mound.
Misses today included Short-billed Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Cooper’s Hawk, and Marsh Wren
For the day, 62 species – our first survey of 2020 with 60+.  For the year, we’re at 83 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for March 11, 2021                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

A gorgeous day today, and some really good birding.  This is still early March, so there weren’t any new spring migrants yet, but there was plenty to see.  The morning started out at 29 degrees, under clear skies, and warmed to 46.  No wind, and good light most of the time too.  We again split into two groups to keep the group size small for COVID; Jordan led the other group (THANK YOU).
  • GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE – one adult, with Cacklers.  Just our 6th March sighting out of 134 March surveys
  • Cackling Goose – over 1000 landed on the grass soccer fields.  Probably close to another thousand flew SE
  • Ten species of ducks
  • Cooper’s Hawk – one seen flying west by my group.  First in a month
  • Belted Kingfisher – both male and female seen; I think this is our first female of the year
  • Five Woodpecker Day – for both groups
  • Merlin – seen by both groups.  My group saw it snag prey (a Tree Swallow, I think), in the Pea Patch soon after sunrise
  • Northern Shrike – seen by both groups.  Near the Viewing Mound
  • HUTTON’S VIREO – one singing at the Rowing Club; I had one Tuesday for First of Year (FOY)
  • Varied Thrush – Jordan’s group had one
  • HOUSE SPARROW – Jordan’s group had a male in the east end of Snag Row, south of Field 7.  This is the first sighting for the Marymoor Survey since 2017-04-10 !  So, of course, FOY
  • White-throated Sparrow – My group had one with White-crowned Sparrows at the north end of the Pet Memorial Garden
  • Western Meadowlark – Jordan’s group had 4
  • Townsend’s Warbler – Matt found a female near the stage for my group to enjoy.  FOY
A late scan of the lake turned up four RING-NECKED DUCK and 2 HORNED GREBE.  I was also able to confirm that the flock of hundreds of AMERICAN COOTS has disappeared/dispersed.  We did see at least a couple of dozen Coots in the slough and along the edges of the lake, but no big flock.  The big flock had been present for the whole winter, and was being preyed on heavily by the (at least) two pairs of BALD EAGLES.  Perhaps the flock size dropped too low to make flocking a reasonable refuge from the eagles.
Misses today included Mew Gull, Ring-billed Gull, and Yellow-rumped Warbler.
My group had 62 species, Jordan’s had 58.  Adding in birds from predawn, and the late scan of the lake, we had a whopping 68 species for the day combined.  Three FOY brings us to 87 species for 2021.
= Michael Hobbs

Female Belted Kingfisher. Photo by Michael Hobbs

Double-crested Cormorant. Photo by Michael Hobbs

Report for  March 5, 2020                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

It was a rather chilly 35 degrees to start, but there was only a thin overcast and no wind, which made for a beautiful and birdy day.
  • Wood Duck – Female from Lake Platform – first in 6 weeks
  • “Eurasian” Green-winged Teal – Repeat of last week; drake maybe 300 yards downstream of weir, with other teal, far side of slough
  • American Wigeon – A few; these are not common except during floods at Marymoor, and the floodwaters have receded
  • Ring-necked Duck – Pair from Lake Platform – astoundingly, first since mid-January
  • Common Merganser – Seven fishing together at weir
  • Green Heron – One glimpsed from Rowing Club dock
  • Western Screech-Owl – None called back pre-dawn, but Matt spotted one sitting along the trail at about 5:45 for our first looks of the year
  • Short-eared/Long-eared Owl – One gave poor looks just after 6 a.m., East Meadow
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker - 3+ sightings of probably 2+ birds; First of Year, and completed a Five Woodpecker Day
  • Northern Shrike – Far across model airplane field from the Viewing Mound.  Yesterday’s was definitely a Northern, so I presume today’s was as well (and probably too early for a rare Loggerhead)
  • Tree Swallow – Maybe 10 total, checking out boxes
  • Violet-green Swallow – Two over slough
  • Western Meadowlark – Matt heard one from East Meadow
Huge chorus of Pacific Tree Frogs predawn.  One silent Bullfrog at Rowing Club.
Misses today were minimal: Greater Scaup, Cooper’s Hawk, House Finch, and Purple Finch.
For the day, 62 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for March 7, 2019                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

In the Extended February Edition of Marymoor Surveys ™, we had SNOW. It was snowing hard when I arrived at 6:00 a.m., and it kept snowing until nearly ten. Probably an inch of snow fell, but it melted almost as fast as it fell, so there was never more than about a 1/2 inch on the ground. We had some rain after that, and finally fled the when we faced the awful terror of seeing or own shadows. So unaccustomed we are to those dark ninja stalkers that follow our every move that we had to desperately escape a little before 11:00.

The birding was fairly typical of this time of year, with no signs of early spring.


  • Cackling Goose – several smallish flocks, some seemingly including larger subspecies
  • Wood Duck – pair seen looking south from Rowing Club dock
  • Northern Pintail – male in slough below weir
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt found one perched near east end of boardwalk. I watched it fly a short distance south a little after 6 a.m.
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one or two heard west of slough
  • Northern Shrike – adult along East Meadow edge
  • American Goldfinch - 3+ in London Plane trees in Lot D
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – on fence below weir

Singing birds included Anna’s Hummingbird, American Robin, Pacific Wren, Marsh Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Fark-eyed Junco, and Red-winged Blackbird.

Misses today included Ring-necked Duck, Virginia Rail, Mew Gull, Cooper’s Hawk, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Tree Swallow (seen 13 of past 22 years during Week 10), Bushtit, and HOUSE FINCH.

For the day, 54 species. Nothing new for 2019 (maybe next week).

== Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl, right side of the trunk.  Photo by Matt Bartels
Walking in the snow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Cackling Geese.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Northern Shrike.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for March 8, 2018                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We were in and out before it actually RAINED, though we did have mizzle turning into a soaking drizzle this morning. After the last couple of days of nice weather, it was a bummer. But contrary to expectations, it was pretty birdy for the first several hours.


  • Cackling Goose – still ~750, but all were flyovers around 6:30 a.m.
  • American Wigeon – pair below weir; only our 3rd record for 2018
  • Horned Grebe – one that was close enough to spot with the naked eye, for a change
  • HERRING GULL – one with a mixed flock of gulls; first of 2018
  • Barn Owl – again only flying around late, from about 6:10-6:20 a.m.
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard one near east end of boardwalk; first of 2018
  • Pileated Woodpecker – two called and chased each other around 7 a.m.
  • HUTTON’S VIREO – one singing near mansion, 6:45 a.m.; first of 2018, and only 18th ever
  • Tree Swallow – five seen late in the morning; our only “spring” birds of the day
  • Varied Thrush – one heard across the slough south of the weir; first of 2018
  • COMMON REDPOLL – Four in an alder just north of last dog swim beach

Yes, at Marymoor this spring, we only get “common” finches. We had ZERO House Finch, Purple Finch, Pine Siskin, or American Goldfinch today, ONLY the COMMON REDPOLLS. This is just the 6th record of the species at Marymoor, but already the 3rd for 2018. These guys were silently working the catkins just over the main slough trail, and most of us presumably walked under them without noticing. Luckily, Sharon was back from travels, and she was playing “caboose” as usual, trailing 30 yards back, and spotted them.

Other misses included Hooded Merganser, Rock Pigeon, Virginia Rail, Cooper’s Hawk, Bushtit, and Eastern Gray Squirrel, but we did have the first MUSKRAT of 2018.

For the day, 57 species. For the year, adding 4, we’re up to 85 species. The next couple of weeks should bring the first real wave of spring migrants.

== Michael Hobbs

Hutton's Vireo.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Common Redpoll.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Common Redpoll.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Domestic-cross Mallard drake with Mallard female.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Canada Geese.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for March 9, 2017                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Brian, Sharon & I filled in for a traveling Michael today at Marymoor. It was an overcast day, but the rain didn’t really pick up until late in the day, and even then it wasn’t that heavy. We had many hopes for spring arrivals that weren’t fulfilled, but overall it was a birdy day with some nice finds along the way for the 11 of us present.


  • Cackling Goose – flyover flock
  • Wood Duck - one male at Rowing Club - first of year
  • 5 species of gull, including an adult Herring
  • Great Blue Herons - 40+ at heronry in the off-leash area - lots of stick-bringing and posturing
  • Green Heron -still hanging out along slough
  • Barn Owl - adult seen and begging baby heard in windmill, early
  • Western Screech-Owl - heard early along boardwalk
  • Red-breasted Sapsuckers - drumming and calling in the cottonwoods
  • Hutton’s Vireo – singing near windmill — still very unusual at Marymoor, but I think our third sighting this year
  • Bushtit – large flock
  • Townsend’s Warbler – nice male
  • White-crowned Sparrow - 3 total, including one weak pugetensis song - perhaps still from one of the wintering immatures, rather than necessarily a new arrival
  • Western Meadowlark - 8 in the soccer fields, including some singing.

Finches were notably absent for much of the day — finally at the Rowing Club we picked up a small flock of Pine Siskins and a single Purple Finch. No House Finch or Am. Goldfinch to be found anywhere.

For the day, 60 species.

Matt Bartels

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Coots. Photo by Bob Asanoma
Mallards (and one Green-winged Teal male, upper left).  The very brown duck, center

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Western Meadowlark.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult Ring-billed Gull.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings.

Report for March 10, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Today was definitely one of those days where, if we got to pick the day of the week for the survey, we would have chosen a different day. But we go out EVERY Thursday, regardless. Heedless, even. Blustery and squalling, sun breaks on the side. Sometimes even winder than “blustery”. At least the rain we got, while often horizontal, was not hard. The wind WAS often hard, though not gale force. Several trees fell or were damaged overnight, including the old willow near the East Footbridge which almost completely blocked our path. All in all, it made the birding difficult, but by no means impossible.


Cackling Goose                   Several distant flocks
Ring-necked Duck               Three well below weir – first since Week 3
Virginia Rail                         Continuing to “sing” from east of East Meadow
California Gull                      A couple of breeding adults
Band-tailed Pigeon               Single fly-by like last week, though closer
Barn Owl                             Flying the East Meadow at ~5:45 a.m.
Rufous Hummingbird            Three males guarding territories
Red-breasted Sapsucker      One at very fresh workings at Rowing Club
Northern Shrike                   Huddled atop soccer goal
Western Meadowlark          One in East Meadow

Surprisingly, we managed 60 species today, although that included quite a few birds seen by only one or a few people. My personal list was only 54 species, for instance. Nothing new for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

American Coots.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Glaucous-winged Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mew Gulls.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Meadowlark.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Meadowlark.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hooded Merganser, crest up.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hooded Merganser, crest down.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mallard pair.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-eared Sliders and a male Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Say's Phoebe, 2016-03-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Say's Phoebe, 2016-03-05.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Fox Sparrow, 2016-03-05.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Snail, 2016-03-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for March 5, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Another glorious day. The temp. started out at 32, but even the smallest puddles had no ice. By the time we left, it was 50 degrees. Hazy sunshine all morning, and BIRDY.


Cackling Goose                      One flyby flock of about 35
Wood Duck                            Pair across from Dog Central
Northern Pintail                       One flushed by an eagle well below weir
Green-winged Teal                  High numbers - 32+, most below weir
Horned Grebe                         One on lake, seen after the walk
Sharp-shinned Hawk               A couple of sightings, all the same large juvenile? Cooper’s Hawk                      Ditto
Eurasian Collared-Dove          First of Year, flying over NW part of Dog Meadow
Northern Saw-whet Owl         Matt & Brian heard one very early, again
Anna’s Hummingbird               Female on nest near start of boardwalk
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD 2 males. Ties earliest Marymoor record with 2014
Red-breasted Sapsucker         Numerous drumming males
MERLIN                                Landed in Snag Row. Possible “prairie” – quite pale
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW 5+ after it warmed up. 3rd earliest sighting
Red Crossbill                          Small number around mansion

There were an unusually large number of BALD EAGLES, including at least 5 adults (I saw them simultaneously after the walk) and a juvenile (maybe more than one). We saw two adults fly over the heronry, which of course resulted in all of the herons taking flight. Twice I observed a juvenile eagle scatter the herons. We didn’t see any overt moves by any of the eagles to try and hunt the herons. We also saw many herons on the nests, and at least one bringing in nesting material.

Two male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRDS were seen, and both did their ‘J’-display flights. One was near the southernmost official dog swim area near the footbridge. The second was at the southeast corner of the East Meadow. As I noted above, this ties the record for earliest RUHU at Marymoor with 2014. In only four years have we had them before March 15.

Our only earlier sightings of VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW were 2002-02-28 and 2006-03-03, and it’s only our 5th year with a sighting before March 10.

We had an astounding 67 species for the day. Adding EURASIAN COLLARED-DOVE, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD, and VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW, our 2015 list is up to 84, I believe.

== Michael Hobbs

Green-winged Teal (& Gadwall, lower foreground) take flight.  Photo by Hugh Jennings
Killdeer.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Distant Merlin may be "Prairie" subspecies.  Breast markings appear reddish on a white background.  Undertail looks nearly white.  Bright supercillium.  Back looks pale gray-brown, not slaty.  Photo by Marvin Hoekstra.

First of the year, male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Marvin Hoekstra

Female Anna's hummingbird on nest.  Photo by Marvin Hoekstra

Female Anna's hummingbird on nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Flowering cherry in the East Meadow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Four Red-eared Sliders and a Painted Turtle.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for March 6, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We were dressed in our meteorological armor – rain coats, rain pants, rain hats, tall boots, snorkels, sandbags – to survive the predicted torrential rains and howling winds. Thus encumbered, we tromped around Marymoor under skies that were partly blue, with only a few puffs of wind, and a bit of mist and drizzle. It was nearly 60 degrees by late morning (and not much cooler to start). If we hadn’t known what was supposed to be coming, we would have thought it was a nice morning.

Unfortunately, the birds apparently also heard the weather reports and mostly remained hidden and quiet. There was also high water, which often displaces birds. Today, it seemed to push some birds out more than it pulled other birds in. The water isn’t TOO deep; part of the boardwalk had about 5” of water, and there were puddles on some of the Interpretive Trail, but there weren’t any areas closed due to flooding.


6 species of waterfowl            Compared with 12 last week
Sharp-shinned Hawk              One across from 3rd dog swim beach
Again, 6 gull species                Including California, Westerns, and HERRING
RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD  Southeast edge of Dog Meadow.
Red-breasted Sapsucker         At Rowing Club
Tree Swallow                          2 over East Meadow

Dasha Gudalewicz photographed a male RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD yesterday, March 5th; we may well have seen the same individual today. This is the EARLIEST Rufous Hummingbird sighting ever at Marymoor. Our only other sighting this week of the year was March 9, 2005. Usually, our first Rufous is 1-2 weeks later. Contrary to lore, we could find NO open Salmonberry blossoms yet. Previous years, we’ve pretty much always had the first RUHU coincide with the first blossoms, leading to the True Marymoor Fact that they overwinter inside salmonberry buds.

I forgot to mention in last week’s post just how many species are singing/displaying/etc. right now. Today’s list: Great Blue Heron bringing sticks to nest, RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD J-display flight, Northern Flicker “singing”. Singing: Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Pacific Wren, Marsh Wren, Bewick’s Wren, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, House Finch, Purple Finch. Last week, we had Spotted Towhee and Fox Sparrow singing too, and Anna’s Hummingbird displaying.

We also heard LOTS of Pacific Tree Frogs today.

For the day, 50 species. With RUHU, our year list is up to 85 species, I believe.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Rufous Hummigbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings
Defensive-looking Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Anna's Hummingbird - still owns the feedef.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-breasted Sapsucker at Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Herring Gull taking off. 2014-03-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Herring Gull flying. 2014-03-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Earliest Rufous Hummingbird ever recorded at Marymoor, 2014-03-05.
Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Western Meadowlark showing distinctive white outer tail feathers, 2014-02-28.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for March 7, 2013                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

It was moistly misty and drizzly pretty much all morning, though I’m not sure it ever got to “rain”. And despite my fears, it actually got light enough to see not long after our 6:30 a.m. official start time. It turned out to be a fairly birdy and interesting morning.


Cackling Goose                  After 4 week absence, maybe 50
American Wigeon               8-10, a rather high count for Marymoor
Greater Scaup                    2 females on slough, seen from RC dock
Cooper’s Hawk                 One shortly after 6:30 north of fields 7-8-9
Western Gull                      One adult looked pretty pure
ICELAND GULL              "Thayer's" - Two adults and 1-2 juveniles!
Barn Owl                            Only one seen, at 6:20 a.m. – very late
Hairy Woodpecker             One in cherry trees at Compost Piles
PEREGRINE FALCON    One buzzed the Compost Piles
Northern Shrike                  One near model airplane field
TREE SWALLOW             Seven over East Meadow
Varied Thrush                      3+ heard
Purple Finch                        Nice to see again – none in February
Red Crossbill                       Still several around mansion

Fitting the pattern of recent years, we had huge flocks of CACKLING GOOSE all through November, December, and January. Then we had none for four weeks before today when a two-part flock came in, with one flocklet landing and the other continuing on. The 25-or-so birds on the ground were of 2-3 subspecies. Our huge winter flocks are almost 100% pure minima subspecies, so I believe these spring sightings are birds that wintered somewhere south of here and are part of different populations. From the neck band data, our winter birds are from the Yukon Delta area of Alaska.

Many species were singing today. Of note were GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET singing at the Rowing Club, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET singing along the slough, fragments of GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW song at the Compost Piles, a brief bit of FOX SPARROW song near the weir, and HOUSE FINCH singing in a couple of places.

We had a couple of RIVER OTTERS seen from the lake platform.

For the day, 59 species. TREE SWALLOWS were seen as early as Sunday, and I had two NORTHERN SHOVELER on Monday, bringing our year total to 85 species.

== Michael Hobbs

American Wigeon and a Mallard.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

At least 2 subspecies of Cackling Goose.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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

Adult Ring-billed Gull, looking small next to juvenile Glaucous-winged Gull.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Chestnut-backed Chickadee and Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Green-winged Teal displaying for a female.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Greater Scaup.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hooded and Common Mergansers, 2013-03-04.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Great Blue Herons pair grooming on the nest, 2013-03-04.
Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

The season's first Tree Swallows, 2013-03-03.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for March 8, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

We had a wonderful day today. It was frosty cold to start, but it was sunny with no wind. It took its time warming up, though. It was very birdy.


Wood Duck                         1 heard by us; photographer reported 1 male
Northern Pintail                    Pair in slough before 7:00 am
Barrow's Goldeneye             Male with Commons on lake again this week
MERLIN                             Chased starlings north of fields 7-8-9
Wilson's Snipe                      2-3 visible on the far side of the weir
Red-breasted Sapsucker      1 drumming on light near mansion;
                                            3 in weeping willow at Rowing Club
Hairy Woodpecker               Pair in Big Cottonwood Forest
TREE SWALLOW              6 over East Meadow, and visiting boxes
Varied Thrush                      Heard at many locations, never seen
BOHEMIAN WAXWING Again near Dog Central and 100 yards south
Townsend's Warbler            Sharon had 2 near windmill, late

GREAT BLUE HERONS appear to be establishing a heronry in the large cottonwoods right at Dog Central, the main swim beach with the bulletin board and benches. This is an area that is extremely heavily used by people and dogs. Maybe that will keep eagles at bay? There were around 18 herons in the 8 or so cottonwoods there, with at least a couple of partially built nests, and several adults carrying in sticks. This is the first evidence of GBHE nesting at Marymoor in the 22 years I've been going there.

After the MERLIN gave up on the starlings, it landed in the hawthorn tree that has been a favorite perch for the NORTHERN SHRIKE this winter. I believe the shrike was in the tree at the time. In any case, the shrike was NOT pleased to have the Merlin there, and scolded it vocally and by flaring its tail. The Merlin stayed there for about 5 minutes before flying to a nearby tree, with the shrike chasing it. Then the Merlin flew off to the east, fast.  It appeared to be a paler Taiga-type.

The BOHEMIAN WAXWING was first seen with CEDAR WAXWINGS about 100 yards south of Dog Central in and near hawthorn and holly trees. We got better looks when it flew to a cottonwood at the northeast corner of Dog Central, and our best look when it landed in a hawthorn just north of there at the west edge of the dog meadow. With 80-100 waxwings over the last week, some of the trees are being stripped of all of their berries, so the waxwings may begin to range a little wider. But last week and this week, we only saw waxwings along the slough trail between the windmill and the furthest south dog swim beach, with the Bohemian staying towards the south. They seem to be going after any kind of berry.

Lots of pair interactions, including food passing between Red-breasted Nuthatches and between Cedar Waxwings. Ruby-crowned Kinglet males were feisty and showing their red crowns at every opportunity.

For the day, 61 species. For the year, adding TREE SWALLOW, 86 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Great Blue Heron gathering a twig for nest building.  Photo by Ollie Olliver

Great Blue Herons at a partially built nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bohemian Waxwing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bohemian Waxwing.  Photo by Josh Adams

Cedar Waxwings.  Photo by Josh Adams

Bohemian Waxwing.  Photo by Josh Adams

Tree Swallow over the East Meadow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Tree Swallows investigating nest box.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Josh Adams

"Taiga" Merlin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Merlin.  Photo by Brian Bell

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Green-winged Teal at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Myrtle's" Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Brian Bell

Male Northern Pintail, 2012-03-03.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Find the Bohemian Waxwing amongst the Cedar Waxwings.
Click on photo for bigger image.
Photo, 2012-03-03 by Lillian Reis

Three diving duck species: L to R: female Common Goldeneye, male Ring-necked Duck, female Bufflehead.  Photo 2012-03-03 by Ollie Oliver

Report for March 10, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

We were amazingly blessed with good weather this morning.  We had one squall at about 7:15 a.m., but otherwise the weather was delightful. Usually overcast and a bit of a breeze, but pleasant temps and no rain (it all fell overnight).  The birds were active and singing, though we didn't often get good looks at things.

Matt & Scott had 3 BARN OWLS together over the model airplane field in the wee hours (prob. around 5:30 a.m).

Other highlights:

Cackling Goose                              Still hundreds being seen
Greater Scaup                                Pair in slough - first of 2011
California Gull                                1 with Mews near velodrome
Red-breasted Sapsucker                3 sightings, 1 drumming
TREE SWALLOW                       5-6 over East Meadow
VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW    1 over East Meadow
Northern Shrike                            1 in East Meadow
Varied Thrush                                Heard west of slough

Lots of singing today, including Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Bewick's Wren, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Varied Thrush, Spotted Towhee, Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Purple Finch, and House Finch.

For the day, 60 species.  For 2011, I think we're up to 87 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Margaret was set for the weather.

Tree Swallows over the East Meadow...

...two photos by Lillian Reis

Report for March 11, 2010

The breezy, wet , chilly weather kept the number of birders down to
a dozen.  But the birds were still around, despite the drizzle mixed with
rain.  Spring birds aren't really showing up yet (the Tree Swallows of two
weeks ago notwithstanding).  But we had a good variety of ducks, and our
resident birds (mostly all singing).


Cackling Goose        One on the grass soccer fields
Barn Owl                   Hard to see in the nest box
Hairy Woodpecker   Close looks along slough
Varied Thrush           Heard singing across slough
Cedar Waxwing        Flock of over 30 near Dog Central

Really, nothing terribly exciting, and nothing new for the year.

Still, 54 species, and some good looks at common birds, so not a bad day.

== Michael

Male Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mew Gulls.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cackling Goose.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for March 5, 2009

Cinco de Marcho was a real stinko, as far as weather goes.  Heavy rains from 5:30 a.m. until about 8:00, followed by about an hour and a half of clearing, followed by hard rain and then extremely wet SNOW.  Uggh.  I thought this was supposed to be spring?  Anyway, with the heavy early morning rain, Matt, Brian, and Scott arrived at our starting place well soaked.  Amazingly, the rain didn't deter the birders- there were 16 of us today. I almost dread what a nice day in May will bring...

The birds were somewhat cooperative, though, despite a lack of spring goodies.  Maybe this was our last good winter birding day or something.


Trumpeter Swan      Two flew over the East Meadow
Mallard                    Maybe an all-time high count at about 100
Barn Owl                 Same roost spot as prev. weeks - hard to see
Great Horned Owl   Matt & Scott had one near the mansion early
Northern Shrike       One well east of East Meadow
Lincoln's Sparrow    FINALLY - one at Compost Piles

A pretty good day for non-bird animals as well, though many of these were
only seen by one or a few people:

Pacific Treefrog        Heard
Raccoon                  Sharon had one on east side of the slough
Long-tailed Weasel  Early sighting from Compost Piles
Muskrat                   One in slough near RC dock
Eastern Cottontail     Compost Piles early

For the day, a rather surprising 54 species.  For the year, I think we might be up to 82 or 83, but I'll have to total things up later.

== Michael

Ollie Oliver's Photos from March 6, when the weather was sunnier

Hooded Merganser, probably a first-year male coming into male breeding plumage

American Coot

Bewick's Wren

Female Green-winged Teal

Pied-billed Grebe...

...and with the neck down


My photo of the Barn Owl tucked into the cedar

Report for March 6, 2008

We started out in rather heavy fog and cold weather, but the fog mostly lifted by the time we got to the lake, and the sun sort of came out.  Remaining high overcast kept it from being sunny and warm like I'd hoped.  It was fairly birdy, and the fog hid us from the birds about as well as it hid them from us; we got some great, close looks early on.


Virginia Rail                     "Song" at boardwalk  (tock-te-dock)
Anna's Hummingbird        At least 5 individuals
Belted Kingfisher              Two - first of 2008
Red-breasted Sapsucker  Great looks at Rowing Club
Hairy Woodpecker           In large cottonwoods in dog area
Northern Shrike                East edge of East Meadow
Tree Swallow                    4+, East Meadow
Violet-green Swallow        4-6, Dog Meadow
Purple Finch                     12+/-  Great looks S of Dog Meadow

We also had a River Otter on the lake.

We had very few gulls today and very few cormorants.  I could barely make out one extremely far down the lake, verified later from the cabana.

Buffleheads were doing lots of courtship, crows were allopreening, Ruby-crowned Kinglets were singing like mad.

The swallows and kingfisher were new for 2008.  We had 57 species, with the year list now at 79.

= Michael

The fog allowed some close approaches to birds,
such as this male Red-winged Blackbird.

Immature Bald Eagle in the fog

Song Sparrow in Red-osier Dogwood

Male Purple Finch

Male flowers of a Piper's (?) Willow

Tree Swallow

Tree Swallow

Red-breasted Sapsucker at Rowing Club

Note the sap holes

Female Bufflehead chasing off the competition while male looks on

Golden-crowned Kinglet at the Rowing Club

Report for March 10, 2007

Ryan Merrill passed along some interesting sightings from early this morning. He heard Great Horned and Barn Owls near the windmill, and he heard Western Screech-Owl to the west of the park up the Bridle Crest Trail.

Later in the morning, he saw a Beaver in the slough, and a Common Raven flying over the park calling.

At the East Meadow, he had four Western Meadowlarks.

= Michael

Report for March 8, 2007

We got lucky with the weather this morning.  We faced only a breeze and a few showers, much better than the night-before and the afternoon-after!  Eleven of us wandered around, feeling blessed, and not getting very many good looks at birds.


Cackling Goose            2 in a small flock of Canadas flying overhead
California Gull             New for 2007 - one with Mews and Ring-billed on grass fields
Bald Eagle                    Adult on new nest, pair way off to the east of the East Meadow
Barn Owl                      Matt had one early, East Meadow
Great Horned Owl        1 NE of the mansion
Tree Swallow               10+, at several parts of the park
Northern Shrike             Adult at the Rowing Club
Western Meadowlark    Singing! in Snag Row
Fox Sparrow                 One had roundish white spots all over, like it had been sitting
                                      under a crow roost. Bummer of a birthmark!
Pine Siskin                    Six at the Rowing Club

Notable singers: Meadowlarks, Fox Sparrow, Purple Finch, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, many more.  Tuesday I heard a few notes out of a Northern Shrike in the East Meadow, as well as a heard-only Orange-crowned Warbler.

Normally we don't see CACKLING GOOSE after the first week of February, but this is the second time we've had Cacklers during the 2nd week of March. Must be individuals who wintered further south passing through.

We had a LONG discussion about a group of four scaup in the slough.  They were only about 20 yards away, but they were actively diving.  We finally decided that there was one Greater and the rest were Lesser.  You'd think a group with four or five Master Birders plus several other good birders wouldn't have to work so hard on scaup.

Today's BALD EAGLE sightings do more to confirm that there will be two pairs breeding within Marymoor this year.

TREE SWALLOWS were visiting nest boxes on Tuesday; today they were just flying around.

Our WESTERN MEADOWLARK sighting was absurd.  We were at Dog Central, the biggest dog swim beach with the bulletin board.  We wandered over towards the Dog Meadow, and Ollie thought he heard a meadowlark.  We all listened. Sure enough, meadowlark song tinkled down from far to the northeast. Miraculously, Ollie noted one in flight, and we were able to make out two meadowlark-sized, yellow-fronted birds high in a cottonwood in Snag Row.  We could hear singing coming from that direction.  Distance - 1000 feet.  I presumed we'd see them at the end of the loop, but no go.  Tuesday, I had 3 chorusing in full song right over my head at the Interpretive Lot.

Pacific Tree Frogs were chorusing (very loudly in the sun on Tuesday, quieter today).  Some of the non-native plums and cherries are blooming, as are the Oso Berry (Indian Plum), and a few species of willow.

For the day, 59 species.  The week list is at least 61.  For the year, I think we're up to 87 species, having added California Gull, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Pine Siskin since last Thursday.

= Michael

Ollie Oliver's photo of a Pileated Woodpecker from back on February 17, 2007


Bird Sightings Week 10
March 5-11*        *adjust by 1 day in leap years


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