Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 19
May 7-13*


Rarities for Week 19:

Whimbrel 12-May-22 Flock of 14 trying to land in East Meadow, Dog Meadow
Solitary Sandpiper 08-May-08 Far side of slough, just above weir.
Solitary Sandpiper 10-May-11 Seen by Ollie Oliver
Bonaparte's Gull 09-May-10 Two birds
Swainson's Hawk 10-May-07 Over East Meadow
Olive-sided Flycatcher 10-May-12 Rowing Club
Least Flycatcher 07-May-15 Flitting about the East Meadow
Northern Mockingbird 09-May-12 Reported by Graham Hutchinson

...Northern Mockingbird

10-May-12 Community Gardens

Report for May 9, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

With Michael out of town today, it fell on the rest of us to suffer through a beautiful spring day at Marymoor Park.
Our hopes were high - this is historically about the best week of the year for Marymoor’s walk, in terms of total # of species reported - almost anything could show up this time of year. While it was birdy and enjoyable all day, we ended up without any big rarities or surprises.

  • Swainson’s Thrush are back - several heard whitting, one song heard pre-dawn [FOY]
  • 6 warbler species - Yellow-rumped numbers are thinning out, but we had several Yellow Warblers [FOY], 2 Wilson’s Warblers, a few Black-throated Gray Warblers [at the Rowing Club], a few Orange-crowned and many Common Yellowthroats.
  • Cedar Waxwing - although we had some over the winter, this appeared to be our first of the summer Cedars
  • Black-headed Grosbeak & Warbling Vireos - several singing away, some of each even glimpsed.
  • Western Tanager - two over at the Rowing Club spared us from totally missing an expected bird for this week.
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow - still a few left in the park.
Misses include many departed [presumably] winter birds  - no Bufflehead, Ring-necked Ducks, or Am. Wigeon. Also missed any of the hoped for flycatchers

For the day, 60 species

Matt Bartels

Baby Great Blue Herons on one of the 70+ nests. Photo by Tony Ernst.

Bushtit catching a caterpillar. Photo by Tony Ernst

Bewick's Wren. Photo by Tony Ernst

Warbing Vireo. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for May 11, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Gorgeous weather today.  With sunrise at 5:38 a.m., I followed my usual guidelines which meant a 5:30 start.  It definitely felt like we started too early though; the birds were slow to wake up.  And at that, the activity levels never rose very high.  It was strangely quiet.

  • CINNAMON TEAL - Mason picked one out of a flyby flock of teal from the Lake Platform at 5:15 a.m.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Green-winged Teal - We've rarely had GWTE as late as this in the spring, so that flock was doubly notable
  • Osprey - Very active, very numerous.  They continue to build a new nest in the NE, and have retaken the nest platform near the mansion
  • Pileated Woodpecker - Heard 5+ times, each in a different direction.  Never did see one.
  • OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER - One at the Rowing Club just inside the gate.  Silent.  (FOY)
  • CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY - Two flew high past the mansion.  Our first May sighting ever, and (FOY) for the survey
  • Swainson's Thrush - Still not singing, but we did have good looks at one just past the first footbridge
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - One singing next to the Olive-sided Flycatcher.  (FOY)
  • Black-headed Grosbeak - Numerous, singing, active
  • Lazuli Bunting - One near Viewing Mound.  (FOY) for us.
YELLOW and WILSON'S WARBLERS were singing but allowed very few looks.  We didn't get good looks at WESTERN TANAGER until the Rowing Club.  A few ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLERS were singing but invisible during the walk.  A possible Nashville Warbler was glimpsed only by one birder, at the south end of the East Meadow.

The OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER was our only flycatcher.  We are still awaiting our first Empidonax sp. 

We had two MUSKRAT off the Rowing Club dock; no sightings of them last year  We also heard credible reports of BLACK BEAR at the Rowing Club and BOBCAT in the off-leash area.  

SAD NEWS is that LONESOME GEORGE II was reportedly run-over and killed yesterday.  Our only Ring-necked Pheasant had been at the park since November 2018. 

Misses today included Killdeer, Belted Kingfisher, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Cliff Swallow, Cedar Waxwing, House Finch, Pine Siskin, and Bullock's Oriole.

RED-TAILED HAWK and BARN SWALLOW would also have been on the list of Misses, but I found them when trying unsuccessfully to confirm the possible Nashville Warbler after the walk.

Today's total was a surprisingly low 61 species. 

= Michael Hobbs

Canada Geese and goslings, below the weir. Photo by Michael Hobbs

Olive-sided Flycatcher at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

One of two Muskrats from the Rowing Club dock.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Black Bear, 2023-05-08. Bear was seen again at the Rowing Club today.
Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for May 12, 2022                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

Our bad luck with the weather continues, as does Mayvember.  Not quite as cold nor as rainy as last Thursday, but not the nice sunny weather of yesterday.  Why can’t we get a break???   It was dark for a long time after sunrise today, with mizzle and drizzle (but some breaks); the rain didn’t set in until mostly after the walk.  Since last week, many winter birds have disappeared.  A few summer birds filled in for them, but as usual the species total today was lower than the totals at the beginning of May.
  • Canada Goose – shared clutch of ~20 goslings below the weir
  • Mallard – clutch of 10 ducklings at Rowing Club
  • Pied-billed Grebe – one on lake was our first in four weeks
  • BLACK SWIFT – maybe 8 over the Dog Meadow – our earliest spring sighting for these ever.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Vaux’ Swift – large count (50-75) over the slough late in the morning
  • WHIMBREL – flock of 14 spent quite a while circling low over the park trying to find a place to land, East Meadow and Dog Meadow (FOY)
  • DUSKY FLYCATCHER – one along east edge of Dog Meadow calling and twice did complete songs
  • Warbling Vireo – maybe 5 (FOY)
  • Cedar Waxwing – small flock(s) – first in 6 weeks, probably returning summer residents, right on schedule
  • Lazuli Bunting – two males at Pea Patch (FOY)
As far as I know, this is the 6th record of WHIMBREL at Marymoor.  On 2000-05-14, Steve Pink reported a flock of 50.  2010-06-19, John Farley reported 10.  The Marymoor Survey had 2 on 2014-05-09.  One was reported on eBird 2015-05-09.  Earlier this year, on 2022-04-22, Barry Brugman photographed two.  Jordan Roderick put a couple of great photos of today’s flock on eBird.
Despite the gloom, it seemed fairy birdy today, and it was nice to get looks at BULLOCK’S ORIOLE, YELLOW WARBER, YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER, WILSON’S WARBLER, WESTERN TANAGER (at the Rowing Club), and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK.  But there were quite a few heard-only birds and several seen only by one or a few of us.
“Winter” birds seen last week but not today included Green-winged Teal, Ring-necked Duck, Bufflehead, American Coot, Double-crested Cormorant, and Ruby-crowned Kinglet.
Misses today included Rock Pigeon, Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Red-breasted Sapsucker (I may have heard one), Cliff Swallow, and Pine Siskin.
Despite the misses and the departures, we still managed 68 species today.
= Michael Hobbs

Flock of 14 Whimbrel
Photographed by Jordan Roderick

Report for May 13, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

It was a bit chilly (48 degrees to start, with some ground fog), and didn’t get sunny until near the end, but it was a very good day for birding.  Bird numbers were up, even as bird species numbers dropped (as expected). Most of the “winter” birds have left, as have some pass-through migrants.  Summer birds are slowly arriving.
  • Northern Shoveler – three flyby birds are a late remnant
  • Ring-necked Duck – Matt saw a pair pre-dawn, also lingering late (only 2 later sightings ever)
  • Vaux’s Swift – just one, at the Rowing Club
  • Spotted Sandpiper – one at the weir – First of Year (FOY)
  • Belted Kingfisher – at least two; first in 5 weeks
  • OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER – one perched high.  3rd earliest spring sighting ever (FOY)
  • Warbling Vireo – more than 10
  • Swainson’s Thrush – first actual sighting and first singing of the year; last week Matt heard some calls
  • Red Crossbill – small flock at Rowing Club gave us good looks
  • White-crowned Sparrow – one lingering “Gambeli” type, singing, had a bum right eye.  A few of the expected “Pugetensis”
  • Bullock’s Oriole – at least 4 (2 pair?)
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – more than 10, only one glimpsed, rest heard-only
  • Yellow Warbler – more than 10, with some good looks
  • Wilson’s Warbler – more than 10, most heard-only
  • Western Tanager – maybe 8, including several females
  • Lazuli Bunting – one male seen briefly near Viewing Mound.  Kazuto photographed one on Friday the 7th for FOY
A late scan of the lake turned up a COMMON LOON in non-breeding plumage, and at least 8 BALD EAGLES, including seven sub-adults.
Mammals today included AMERICAN BEAVER predawn, one MUSKRAT, and a LONG-TAILED WEASEL.
Misses today included Wood Duck, Rock Pigeon, Glaucous-winged Gull, Green Heron, and Cliff Swallow.
For the day, 67 species.  For the year, adding 3, we’re up to 133 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for May 7, 2020                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

Wow – what a glorious day today, on Tracy’s and my last surreptitious survey before the partial reopening of Marymoor slated for tomorrow.  It was sunny and pretty close to windless all day – absolutely gorgeous (including great looks at Mt. Rainier at dawn).  It was very, very birdy, which slowed the walk considerably.  There was just too much singing, and pretty high numbers of birds visible that we had to sort through.  Such hardship.
  • Cinnamon Teal – drake at the weir – our 2nd one for 2020
  • Common Goldeneye – lone female at weir is our latest ever spring bird; we wonder if she can’t fly or something
  • California Quail – one calling several times, across from 1st dog swim beach
  • Spotted Sandpiper – at least three below weir
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one flew 10 feet over our heads at about 6:15 – wow
  • Western Wood-Pewee – at least three – First of Year (FOY)
  • empid sp. – one briefly seen; no time to even guess on ID
  • Warbling Vireo – many seen, more heard
  • Swainson’s Thrush – at least three, all seen!  None singing, just calling – FOY
  • Savannah Sparrow – scads
  • Bullock’s Oriole – female seen well, trees east of the weir.  Later, I saw a male cross the river – FOY
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – many singing, seen
  • Nashville Warbler – two heard singing; neither seen
  • Yellow Warbler – several heard singing; none seen
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – one singing, glimpsed flying away, at Rowing Club parking lot
  • Wilson’s Warbler – very notably common singer
  • Western Tanager – two males at east end of boardwalk, another bird heard at Rowing Club
  • Lazuli Bunting – two males in London Plane trees, Lot D – FOY
There was also a warbler singing just north of the east end of the boardwalk that refused to be seen.  It sounded pretty much like a MacGillivray’s Warbler, but not quite definite enough for me to count.
So much singing was happening that it was often very hard to parse – many, many overlapping songs, punctuated with a plethora of calls.  Almost made one’s head spin.  Could have missed a bunch of good stuff, drowned out by the numerous birds.
Misses today included Bufflehead, Rock Pigeon, Glaucous-winged Gull, Green Heron, Cedar Waxwing, and House Finch.
Despite that, counting the empid sp., 70 species today, with four FOY.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for May 9, 2019                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

  • Green-winged Teal – one male below slough – one of our latest spring sightings ever
  • Mourning Dove – one below weir – New for 2019
  • American Coot – one – we thought they’d all left
  • Spotted Sandpiper – 3-4 below weir
  • Five woodpecker day
  • Silent flycatcher, poor looks.  My guess was Pacific-slope, but empid. sp. it will remain
  • Cedar Waxwing – flyby flock of 15 – New for 2019
  • American Pipit – 1
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1, almost certainly last until fall
  • Bullock’s Oriole – probably four, including both males and female – New for 2019
  • MacGillivray’s Warbler – one at the start of the walk at the slough
  • Yellow Warbler – only 2, south end of East Meadow – New for 2019
  • Western Tanager – 1 male – New for 2019
68 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for May 10, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

An unexpected day at Marymoor today. Thankfully, the predicted rain held off, and we only had minor, intermittent sprinkles. There was a fair amount of activity, but no great push of migrants like I’d hoped. We did have several new arrivals, some on the early side, but great views of birds were scarce.


  • Spotted Sandpiper – one below weir
  • Bald Eagle – juveniles and adults hanging around weir all morning; ducks frightened
  • WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE – one or two, south end of Dog Meadow – First of 2018
  • SWAINSON’S THRUSH – Matt heard several pre-dawn, we heard and some saw one, Dog Meadow. Calls only First of 2018
  • Cedar Waxwing – 3-4 flying over Dog Meadow. First since January
  • EVENING GROSBEAK – 1 or 2 flying over Dog Meadow. First of 2018
  • WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – one in Pea Patch – LATE! First of 2018
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – heard only, 2-3
  • Yellow Warbler – one heard only, south end of East Meadow. First of 2018
  • Wilson’s Warbler – notably abundant, singing, several seen
  • Western Tanager – 2-3 males
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – numerous singing males
  • LAZULI BUNTING – tight foraging flock of 3 males, Pea Patch. First of 2018

We’ve seen WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE as early as May 4, but May 10 is still the 6th earliest arrival date. The SWAINSON’S THRUSH is on the early side of normal arrival date. And this is the 3rd earliest we’ve ever had LAZULI BUNTING; earlier sightings were 2004-05-05 and 2015-05-07.

Conversely, this is definitely our latest spring date for WHITE-THROATED SPARROW. They are never common at Marymoor in spring (less than 40 records total for January-May). We’ve only had three April sightings, and our only previous May date was 1994-05-05. So that’s only 5 sightings later than March 27th. Today’s bird was drab and poorly marked.

So, only 60 species for the day, but six new species for the year, to bring our 2018 list to 128.

== Michael Hobbs

Two juvenile Bald Eagles across the slough near the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Spotted Sandpiper below the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Singing male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male American Goldfinch.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

One of three male Lazuli Buntings in the Pea Patch. Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for May 11, 2017                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The morning was mostly cloudy, but the rain held off except for a few drops now and then – barely enough to even get binocular eyepieces spattered. Week 19, which runs through Saturday, is the week of the year with the largest cumulative species count for the park with 147 species tallied in total over the last 20+ years. This is primarily because of the chance of late lingering winter birds, a plethora of migrants, and a large number of summer breeding birds all potentially present during these seven days. In any given year, however, migrants may or may not have passed, wintering birds may or may not have moved north, summer birds may or may not have yet returned. We tend to get large species counts on our visits for this week, but that is not guaranteed. What is guaranteed is that we know, perhaps, even less exactly which birds will turn up than for most weeks of the year.

Today, we had a smattering of lingering birds, and a good number of the other categories, and yet we couldn’t find some birds which would seem to be “expected”. It made for a strange day.


  • Only 3 species of duck (pair of Gadwall, Mallards with first duckling, several Common Mergansers)
  • Spotted Sandpiper – 1 or 2 below weir, one further up the slough
  • COMMON LOON – one seen flying towards lake
  • Barn Owl – Matt had one over the East Meadow, where they have been scarce for months
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard interaction between birds, then we both saw at least 1 several times
  • Great Horned Owl – being mobbed by crows in large maple near stage, around 5:45 a.m.
  • Hairy Woodpecker – male at Rowing Club
  • SWAINSON’ S THRUSH – first of 2017, at least 1 seen, several more heard pre-dawn
  • Cedar Waxwings – first for us since a small flock in February
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – Maybe 3
  • Common Yellowthroat – by far the most abundant warbler
  • YELLOW WARBLER – first of 2017 for us, several, though mostly heard-only
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – Only a few, all observed birds were Audubon’s
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – good look near Art Barn, another heard across from windmill
  • Wilson’s Warbler – common – perhaps 8 total
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow – a couple of lingering birds
  • WESTERN TANAGER – our first for 2017 – flock of 3 females
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – singing males were ubiquitous, singing incessantly
  • LAZULI BUNTING – two males at south end of East Meadow – first for 2017, and our 3rd earliest sighting ever
  • BULLOCK’S ORIOLE – one male – first for 2017

Misses today included: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Rock Pigeon, Vaux’s Swift, Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Steller’s Jay, Cliff Swallow, and Red-breasted Nuthatch.

Even with all those misses, we managed 59 species, with 5 new species for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Great Horned Owl.  Note injury to left shoulder - we found feathers on the ground nearby. Probable tangle with crows.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Killdeer.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Killdeer.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult and subadult Bald Eagle, near heronry.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Northern Flicker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Marsh Wren.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Female Western Tanager.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Bald Eagle on the nest, well to the SE of the Viewing Mound, where Bob Asanoma took this photo

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Warbling Vireo.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-eared Slider.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for May 12, 2016                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

We had a glorious day today, with a cool morning that warmed pretty fast in full sunshine. There were lots of birds and lots of birds singing and lots of new arrivals.


Wood Duck                    More mixed WODU/Hooded Merganser clutches
Green Heron                   Two adults landed out from Lake Platform
Bald Eagle                      Again, many sightings, several juveniles of various ages
Spotted Sandpiper          1 at weir
Mourning Dove               First of Year, Pea Patch, one bird|
Barn Owl                        Matt had two very early
Short-eared Owl             I saw one, East Meadow & R/C Field, just before 5am
Western Wood-Pewee   At least 2, First of Year
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  2-3
Warbling Vireo               Many, active, singing
Swainson’s Thrush         4+, seen well, singing, First of Year
Cedar Waxwing             2 along slough – First of Year
Yellow Warbler              6+, lots of song – First of Year
Wilson’s Warbler           Maybe a dozen+, singing
Western Tanager            Several
Bl.-headed Grosbeak     First females of the year, and MANY singing males
LAZULI BUNTING     1-2 singing males, Viewing Mound and N. of fields 7-8-9
Bullock’s Oriole             Several sightings, incl. breeding male and 1st year male
Evening Grosbeak          Single-bird flyover

The quantity of songs today was astounding, making counting species such as Wilson’s Warbler and especially Black-headed Grosbeak extremely difficult. “LOTS” isn’t a valid count in eBird :(

It was also a good mammal day, with 2 DEER in the model airplane field early, a couple of BEAVER sightings, and a COYOTE.

For the day, 69 species. adding MOURNING DOVE, WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, SWAINSON’S THRUSH, CEDAR WAXWING, YELLOW WARBLER, and LAZULI BUNTING, we’re up to 127 species for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Beaver with an itch?.  Photo by Bob Asanoma
Warbling Vireo.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Swainson's Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Bald Eagle.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Input process for juvenile Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Output process for juvenile Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Green Herons.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Marsh Wren. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Savannah Sparrow. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mourning Dove.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Brown-headed Cowbird, 2016-05-10.  Photo by Diana Antunes

Female Common Yellowthroat, 2016-05-10.  Photo by Diana Antunes

Violet-green Swallow, 2016-05-10.  Photo by Diana Antunes

Juvenile Bald Eagle, 2016-05-10.  Photo by Diana Antunes

Bullock's Oriole, 2016-05-10.  Photo by Diana Antunes

Red Admiral butterfly. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for May 7, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We were hampered by two things this morning. First was a cold fog that impeded viewing until we’d gotten past the Lake Platform. The other were a plethora of BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS, all singing. Usually, there were 2-3 singing simultaneously wherever we were. This made it quite difficult to hear anything else. Really. I suspect that between these two impediments, we missed 2-3 species, but we still had a really good morning. It was birdy, and the 38 degree fog slowly burned away, leaving us under sunshine at 60 degrees.


CINNAMON TEAL              Pair landed just below weir. First of Year
Bufflehead                               I found 1 female at the lake, late. Our last?
Green Heron                           Harassed by a crow as it flew near the weir
Cooper’s Hawk                      Flew through the Pea Patch area
Mourning Dove                       Sitting quietly on the far side of the slough
Pileated Woodpecker              Flew upstream at weir right after Green Heron
LEAST FLYCATCHER         Flitting very actively, East Meadow
Warbling Vireo                        Almost as common as Black-headed Grosbeak
SWAINSON’S THRUSH      Matt heard one pre-dawn; FOY
Nashville Warbler                    Mason saw one
Black-throated Gray Warbler   Three heard singing; one seen well
Wilson’s Warbler                     Also very common
Western Tanager                      Male, SE edge of East Meadow
LAZULI BUNTING                2 males, north of fields 7-8-9; FOY
Bullock’s Oriole                       At least 3, in cottonwoods north of heronry

Early arrivals remain the norm. The WESTERN TANAGER we had on Saturday, May 2, was just 2 days later than our earliest record, and ties for 3rd earliest. The BULLOCK’S ORIOLE we had Saturday was just 1 day later than our earliest record, and also ties for 3rd earliest. Today’s SWAINSON’S THRUSH is about the 3rd earliest record, and the LAZULI BUNTING is the 2nd earliest. (The CINNAMON TEAL was nowhere near early, nor was Saturday’s AMERICAN PIPIT).

Kathy Andrich reported WESTERN KINGBIRD on Friday, April 30.

For the day, our group total was 69, plus a pretty good list of mammals (E.G. Squirrel, American Beaver (seen well), Muskrat, Eastern Cottontail, Mule Deer).

For the year, adding CINNAMON TEAL, SWAINSON’S THRUSH, and LAZULI BUNTING, I believe we’re at 124 species for 2015.

== Michael Hobbs

Killdeer.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red Crossbills.  I believe the streaked ones are juveniles.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mourning Dove across the slough.  Photo by Olli Oliver

Male Western Tanager.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Least Flycatcher.  Note the whitish chin and throat.  Four photos by Ollie Oliver

Note the even, complete eye ring and the high-contrast wings.
Also, note the short primary projection; that is the wing tips that extend from the side of the bird neither project far from the rest of the wing, nor far down the tail.

Here you can see the mostly-pale beak

Again, the short primary projection is evident, as are the wings which are mostly notably darker than the back, but with distinctly bright, bold wing stripes.

Male Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hairy Woodpecker at nest hole.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Red Crossbill, 2015-05-01.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Red Crossbill, 2015-05-01.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit, 2015-05-01.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male American Goldfinch, 2015-05-01.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Turkey Vulture, 2015-05-01.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bullfrog, 2015-05-01.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for May 8, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

I think I’ve seen this pattern before. No wind, falling barometer, two-day rain heading our way. Even though the morning was quite pleasant, it wasn’t very birdy at all. Not to say there weren’t highlights, but quite a few of our “good” birds were only heard distantly, and it seemed we missed quite a few species without finding anything new to make up for them.


Wood Duck                         In all, 4+ males and a female
Virginia Rail                          2-3 responded to claps from boardwalk
Barn Owl                             Matt had one before 5, model airplane field
All 5 common woodpeckers
Western Wood-Pewee         One heard calling from boardwalk
Pacific-slope Flycatcher        One heard singing in Big Cottonwood Forest
Warbling Vireo                     Pretty good numbers, but only 1-2 seen
American Pipit                      1+ flew over Viewing Mound early
The 5 expected warbler species – OC, Yellow, YR, Wilson’s, C. Yellowthroat
Western Tanager                   1 barely heard calling from west of slough
Black-headed Grosbeak        Back in numbers
Bullock’s Oriole                    Female near heronry
Evening Grosbeak                 Heard flying overhead 2-3 times

I headed over to the cabana afterwards (CLIFF SWALLOW, our only BUFFLEHEAD – 1 female), while Matt successfully checked for PURPLE MARTINS at the NE corner of the lake. But even with those additional sightings, we had just 62 species, which seems quite low for May 8.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher was new for the year, which brings our 2014 list to 226 I believe.

== Michael Hobbs

Female Bullock's Oriole in a Black Cottonwood.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male American Goldfinch eating a dandelion seed.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Wilson's Warbler...

...Two photos by Lillian Reis

Female Rufous Hummingbird in a Himalayan Blackberry.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Female Brown-headed Cowbird.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Warbling Vireo, 2014-05-06.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Marsh Wren, 2014-05-06.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Band-tailed Pigeon, 2014-05-03.  Photo by Lillian Reis

European Starling (top) with male Brown-headed Cowbirds, 2014-05-02.
Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Common Merganser pair, 2014-05-02.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Common Merganser pair, 2014-05-02.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Cthulu in disguise?...

...No, American Robin delivering worms to the nest, 2014-05-02.
Two photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Report for May 9, 2013                                                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

A big group of us enjoyed a great day at Marymoor, despite the rather dark overcast skies. But it was a comfortable temperature with no wind and it was birdy, so there were few complaints. There were a few birds that could have been more cooperative, but... It was a day of many First of Spring birds (FOS).


Mallard                                At least 3 females with ducklings
Blue-winged Teal                 Pair in slough near start of boardwalk, FOS
Cinnamon Teal                     Pair visible from lake platform, FOS
Common Merganser            Female with 1 duckling near entrance bridge
California Gull                      Rare for us to get a black-wingtip gull in May
Barn Owl                             Matt had one at 5:00 a.m. along road
Vaux’s Swift                        2 over weir, FOS
Belted Kingfisher                 1, after 9 week absence
Hairy Woodpecker              4 seen including pair at hole near windmill
Merlin                                  1 flew past windmill
Peregrine                             1 sped over East Meadow heading east
Warbling Vireo                    Many, singing
N. Rough.-winged Swallow  2 over weir
Swainson’s Thrush                1, brief look along slough, FOS
Cedar Waxwing                    8-10, FOS
Orange-crowned Warbler     Many, singing
Yellow Warbler                    2, FOS
Townsend’s Warbler            1 north of southernmost dog beach
Black-headed Grosbeak       Many singing males, FOS
Bullock’s Oriole                   One heard, FOS
Red Crossbill                        ~6 near mansion, ~8 at Rowing Club

For the day, 70 species. For the year, adding BLUE-WINGED and CINNAMON TEAL, VAUX’S SWIFT, SWAINSON’S THRUSH, CEDAR WAXWING, YELLOW WARBLER, BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and BULLOCK’S ORIOLE, we’re up to 124 species, I believe.

== Michael Hobbs

Very dark domestic "Mallard" with dark ducklings.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cedar Waxwings across the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Western Tanager.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Singing Marsh Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Marsh Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hairy Woodpecker in nest hole near windmill.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Flicker pair on windmill.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Not quite sure what nest this is; probably Anna's Hummingbird.
The nest was at eye level along the slough in the Big Cottonwood Forest.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for May 10, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

It was clear and cold today (36-50 degrees), and it was hopping with birds. Especially early on, there were just heaps of warblers in every bush, which made for slow going. It took a while for the species count to climb, but then we started to find the rarities, making for a really great day.


Wood Ducks                                Pair with several ducklings at lake
Mallard                                         At least 2 females with ducklings
Great Blue Heron                          Several young on nests at heronry
PEREGRINE FALCON               1 flew over the Rowing Club parking lot
Mourning Dove                             Two flew over the lake platform
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER  One across from Rowing Club dock
Hammond's/Dusky Flycatcher       1-2 birds, frustratingly silent
Swainson's Thrush                         First of Spring. Saw 1, Matt heard singing early
NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD  At Pea Patch community gardens
Nashville Warbler                         At least a couple seen
Yellow Warbler                            First of Spring - 3+ seen/heard
CHIPPING SPARROW              Near restrooms east of mansion
Western Tanager                          A half-dozen or so
Evening Grosbeak                        Heard/glimpsed several times

This was only our 11th confirmed sighting of OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, and the 5th we've had in May. We've also had 2 sightings in June, 1 in July, 2 in August, and 1 in September (plus 3 possible sightings scattered).

This was just our 2nd sighing of NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, the other sighting being September 21-22, 2006. It's the first time I, personally, have seen the species in the park. Graham Hutchinson said he'd glimpsed the bird in the Pea Patch yesterday, but hadn't been positive of the ID. Today it was along the north fence line of the gardens.

I'm presuming we have a temporarily-resident CHIPPING SPARROW this year, as there have been occasional sightings for several weeks now, all generally south/east of the mansion.

Houston and Austin (it's great having birders who work at the park) reported WESTERN MEADOWLARK and AMERICAN PIPIT.

For the day, that puts the list at 67. For the year, adding PEREGRINE FALCON, OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER, SWAINSON'S THRUSH, NORTHERN MOCKINGBIRD, YELLOW WARBLER, and WESTERN TANAGER, I think we're at 129 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Hammond's or Dusky Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Nashville Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Warbling Vireo.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult and baby Great Blue Herons.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Mockingbird in the Pea Patch gardens.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Mockingbird in the Pea Patch gardens.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Olive-sided Flycatcher across from the Rowing Club dock...

...Two photos by Ollie Oliver

Chipping Sparrow near concert-area restroom.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mourning Dove, 2012-05-06.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Savannah Sparrow, 2012-05-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2012-05-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Tree Swallow, 2012-05-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Great Blue Heron on a nest, 2012-05-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for May 12, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

We had a glorious day at Marymoor today. It was cold and cloudy to start, but it gradually warmed and gradually cleared, and there were a lot of birds to see. The trees and shrubs average about half leafed-out. The grass is tall. It felt like a cold spring day, rather than winter day.


Hooded Merganser            Female with babies at Rowing Club
Green Heron                      One flying downslough
Barn Owl                           Matt had 2 or more ~5 a.m. at model airfield field
Killdeer                              Adults near 1 baby near Compost Piles
Hairy Woodpecker             Nest with young opposite RC dock
Hammond's Flycatcher       Maybe 7-10, singing, calling, silent
Cassin's Vireo                    Two in Big Cottonwood Forest
Purple Martin                     1-2 over boardwalk
N. Rough-winged Swallow 1-2 at lake, late
Ruby-crowned Kinglet       At least 1 still around
Swainson's Thrush              A couple, calling
Hermit Thrush                     2-3, silent
Orange-crowned Warbler   Many
NASHVILLE WARBLER  Silent male near east footbridge; sang eventually
Yellow Warbler                  Only 2-3
Yellow-rumped Warbler     Still lots, Audubon's & Myrtle's races
Black-thr. Gray Warbler     Male at Rowing Club
Wilson's Warbler                Many seen, more heard
Western Tanager                Pair near park office
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE     Male singing near start of boardwalk
EVENING GROSBEAK  2 flyover flocks, 7-9 birds total

We also had a LONG-TAILED WEASEL near the Pea Patch.

For the day, 74 species, with BULLOCK'S ORIOLE new for the year. The week has added several more, including HAMMOND'S FLYCATCHER, WESTERN KINGBIRD, CASSIN'S VIREO, and SWAINSON'S THRUSH, so for the year we're at around 128.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Black-headed Grosbeak

Male Bullock's Oriole

Male Nashville Warbler, singing

Baby Killdeer

Female "Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Female (left) and male Western Tanager

Close-up of the male Western Tanager.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Snail photograph by Hugh Jennings

Western Kingbird, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Kathryn Speirs

Copulating Black-capped Chickadees, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Flicker, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Song Sparrow, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Vaux's Swift, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Red-winged Blackbird, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Solitary Sandpiper, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Solitary Sandpiper, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hooded Mergansers, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hooded Merganser duckling, 2011-05-10.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Least Sandpiper, 2011-05-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Least Sandpiper, 2011-05-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Least Sandpiper and Wilson's Snipe, 2011-05-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Snipe, 2011-05-06.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Least Sandpiper, 2011-05-06.  Photo by Shawn McCully

Least Sandpiper, 2011-05-06.  Photo by Shawn McCully

Killdeer, 2011-05-06.  Photo by Shawn McCully

Report for May 13, 2010

We had a really nice morning, and while it didn't feel particularly birdy, we had lots of good stuff.  It was COLD to start, and while the temp went up more than 20 degrees during our visit (37-59), it didn't start to warm up until 9:00.  That sounds like I'm a whiner, but we'd been birding 3 1/2 hours by 9:00...


Wood Duck                      Several males, 2 females with 'lings
Blue-winged Teal              Two males at weir
Cinnamon Teal                  One male with BWTE's
Green Heron                     One flyby
Short-eared Owl                Scott had one early in the East Meadow
Western Wood-Pewee      1 in Big Cottonwood Forest, 1 near park entrance.  Swainson's Thrush             One south of East Meadow
Western  Tanager              Several males around the mansion
Black-headed Grosbeak    Female already with nest materials
Evening Grosbeak              Heard overhead many times.  Glimpsed.

On my way home, a Red-breasted Sapsucker flew across the road from the main park entrance - Species #70 for the morning.  Later in the day, Megan Lyden had the first Bullock's Oriole of the season.

== Michael

Two male Blue-winged Teal, a male Cinnamon Teal, and a female Bufflehead, all together above the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Male Cinnamon Teal

Male Cinnamon Teal

Male Blue-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Cinnamon Teal with male Blue-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Tree Swallows at a nest box.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cliff Swallows gathering mud for their nests at the Compost Piles

Barn Swallow gathering mud for its nest.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Fleeing female Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Mushrooms in the Big Cottonwood Forest

Trout?  From lake platform.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for May 7, 2009

At least it wasn't raining like it was yesterday.  Fifteen of us birded this morning on a cold, windy day, with big gray clouds looming and zooming overhead.  Not exactly warm and sunny.  Much of the time it wasn't very birdy either, but we managed to do okay in the end.


Green Heron                      Looks like they've started a nest
California Gull                    1 - Rather late for Marymoor
Warbling Vireo                  2 at Rowing Club, heard a couple more
Ruby-crowned Kinglet       One still lingering at the Rowing Club
Black-headed Grosbeak    Several back, singing
RED CROSSBILL            Near mansion - just our 3rd ever sighting


The BARN OWL was still in its box.  Matt saw/heard a couple more in the wee hours.

The RED-TAILED HAWK nest atop the odd snag was empty all day.  Possibly their nest failed with the recent atrocious weather.  We also found a dead fledgling PINE SISKIN near the stage, and a hundred yards away on the lawn we found what could have been a 2-day-old robin dead.  We also found a BUSHTIT nest with the bottom missing.  Tough time for nesting...

For mammals, besides the squirrels and rabbits, we had a MUSKRAT and a RIVER OTTER, and saw footprints of a RACCOON.

For the day, 57 species.  For the year, the grosbeak and vireo bring us to 126 species.

== Michael

The weather sent dozens of Violet-green Swallows to the trees

Close-up of some of the Violet-green Swallows

Dead Pine Siskin fledgling near the mansion

Ollie Oliver's photo of a Green Heron near the new nest at the Rowing Club

Northern Rough-winged Swallow (right) with Violet-green Swallow

Ollie's photo of the Northern Rough-winged Swallow at the Rowing Club

Hugh Jennings photographed this male Western Tanager on May 9th

David Maloney's photo of a Marsh Wren from 5/10

David Maloney's photo of an Orange-crowned Warbler from 5/10

David Maloney's photo of a male Common Yellowthroat from 5/10

Report for May 8, 2008

As Ollie put it, it was "not a bad day for Mayvember".  Cold, cloudy, windy, a touch of mist.  The birds were a bit more May than November, though.  And while our species count was not super-high, we had some good birds and some great looks.


SOLITARY SANDPIPER        Far side of the slough, just above the weir
Caspian Tern                             Circling over south end of Dog Meadow
Western Wood-Pewee              First of Spring; at least 2
Ruby-crowned Kinglet               At least 2 still around
Warbling Vireo                          Several, all silent
Orange-crowned Warbler          Many (12+), singing
Yellow-rumped Warbler            Abundant (100+, males, females, both races)
Common Yellowthroat               Males and females, barely seen
Wilson's Warbler                        Several males, 1 female, singing
Western Tanager                        2-3, including good looks at both sexes
CHIPPING SPARROW           Good looks at the Community Gardens
Lincoln's Sparrow                      Still 1 hanging around the Compost Piles
Black-headed Grosbeak            A couple of males seen, more heard
American Goldfinch                   Have moved into ubiquitous status
Evening Grosbeak                      2 seen, more heard

The SOLITARY SANDPIPER is just the second one ever for the Marymoor list, and is the first report since 1994!  The previous sighting was a fall visitor at the weir.

The CHIPPING SPARROW is just the third record for Marymoor, and it falls on the same week as the first record from May 2002.  Brien Meilleur also reported one on April 18th, this year.

We had great looks at the many warblers, and at a couple of Red-breasted Sapsuckers, among others.

Mark had what he believes was an AMERICAN BITTERN.

For the day, 61 species.  For the year, if I've counted correctly, 122 species!

== Michael

Chipping Sparrow at the Community Gardens

Ollie Oliver's photo of the Chipping Sparrow

Canada Goose atop a cottonwood snag

Ollie Oliver's photo of an Osprey in a birch tree

Eastern Cottontail eating dandelions

Report for May 10, 2007

There were at least 17 of us this morning, on a beautiful day that dawned chilly, but managed to warm up slowly with lots of sun.  It was very birdy, but the diversity wasn't that high.  What we did have was huge numbers of a few species.


Merlin                                  In a snag over the mansion, right at 6:00
Red-breasted Sapsucker      Apparent nest exchange just south of dog gate
Warbling Vireo                    At least 30 - all over
Western Wood-Pewee         2+ in Big Cottonwood Forest, singing
Brown Creeper                    Adults feeding 1 or more fledged young
Swainson's Thrush               Only 2-3
CEDAR WAXWING           First of 2007 - a dozen over East Meadow
Orange-crowned Warbler    20+; nearly as common as WAVI, WIWA
Yellow-rumped Warbler     Only a few, and only 1 singing
Yellow Warbler                   Male at Rowing Club
Wilson's Warbler                 At least 30; all seen were males
Western Tanager                  A handful, both females and WOW males
Black-headed Grosbeak       Great looks, males and a female
EVENING GROSBEAK      10 flew over Dog Meadow
American Goldfinch             Lots and lots and lots

For the day, 62 species.  Western Wood-Pewee, Cedar Waxwing, and Evening Grosbeak were new for 2007.  Brian Bell had a Yellow Warbler last Friday, so  the year list is up to 123 species.

== Michael

Red-breasted Sapsucker near suspected nest tree
south of the dog area.

Rufous Hummingbird male at the Pea Patch

Tree Swallow from lake platform

Warbling Vireo in cottonwood tree.

Marsh Wren near lake platform

Orange-crowned Warbler in willow

Tom Mansfield's portrait of a male Wilson's Warbler

Tom's Western Tanager male near the parking lot

Black-headed Grosbeak male


Bird Sightings Week 19
May 7-13*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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