Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 21
May 21-27*


Rarities for Week 21:

Redhead 23-May-95 Two birds
Whimbrel 22-May-14 Two birds
Pectoral Sandpiper 27-May-17  
Common Tern 24-May-15 eBird report from Matthew Pike
Lapland Longspur 24-May-16  
Vesper Sparrow 21-May-03 Reported  by Bruce Jones
Yellow-headed Blackbird 25-May-05  

Report for May 25, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

A gorgeous day at Marymoor this morning.  There was a little bit of ground fog that lasted for the first 45 minutes of the walk, but other than that the weather was perfect.  Sunny, never too hot.  49-65 degrees.  There was quite a bit of bird activity, but species diversity is extremely low.

We had just 55 species today.  That's six fewer species than the lowest total in the preceding 10 years, and is 10+ species below the preceding 10-year average!  

Still, there were some things to see.

  • CACKLING GOOSE - One seen very well in a close fly-by with 4-5 Canadas.  At least 3 weeks later than the previous latest spring record!
  • Bald Eagle - Lots of activity, probably at least 7 birds, including 4 juveniles in one tree at the lake.  This year's young???
  • Spotted Sandpiper - 3+ below the weir.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Pileated Woodpecker - Adult feeding baby(s) in a snag in the Big Cottonwood Forest.  Just the 3rd year we've noted nesting in the park
  • Willow Flycatcher - Several heard singing, and at least three seen.  (FOY)
  • Western Kingbird - One atop a tall cottonwood west of the Dog Meadow.  (FOY for the survey)
  • Bullock's Oriole - Female possibly building a nest in the heronry.  Later we saw our first full-adult male of the year
  • Lazuli Bunting - Two females and 1 or 2 males, East Meadow and near the Viewing Mound
Misses today included Common Merganser, Rock Pigeon, Green Heron, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Red-breasted Sapsucker, Cliff Swallow, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-rumped Warbler.

There are also 5-10 species that have usually (at least 12 of the last 20 years) been seen at Marymoor which have not been reported this year.  And there's another 5+ that have been reported on eBird, but have not been seen on our surveys this year.  Also, swallow and swift numbers seem very, very low.  Kind of worrying.

As I said, for the day just 55 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Willow Flycatcher.  Hear it sing "Fitz Bew".  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Pileated Woodpecker bringing food to young in the nest. Photo by Michael Hobbs

Report for May 26, 2022                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

We had high overcast and a very few sprinkles late in the morning, but otherwise the weather was really good.  Steve Hampton posted to Tweeters this morning that the radar had shown a lot of bird migration last night.  Unfortunately, at least at Marymoor, it appears to have been the departure of many, many birds.  Our species count was way down from last week, and numbers for some of the remaining birds were also way down.
  • Wood Duck – Four adult males, two adult females, and 10 small ducklings at the Rowing Club
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – one at Pet Memorial Garden
  • Mourning Dove – one heard calling from east of the Interpretive Trail
  • Pileated Woodpecker – probably 2, at the Rowing Club
  • Swainson’s Thrush – our first looks of the year, following three weeks of heard-only
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – Matt heard one predawn
  • Wilson’s Warbler – one heard singing along Snag Row
  • Lazuli Bunting – males and females about
At the Rowing Club, PILEATED WOODPECKER(s) were doing their “long call” non-stop for minutes.  We finally found one of them, quite agitated on a telephone poll, glaring at something.  Following its gaze, I spotted what I thought at first was a house cat, but then the cat jumped over the fence and I got a great look at a BOBCAT.  This would have been just SE of the parking lot under the trees.  Despite following the mixed flock of agitated birds, we were unable to get another look a the kitty.
While we did get actual looks at some species that are often hard to see (MARSH WREN, SWAINSON’S THRUSH, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT), the big story today was the long list of birds we didn’t find today at Marymoor.  We had none of the non-breeding species that were so numerous last week (no Black-swift, Short-billed Gull, Caspian Tern, Pacific-slope Flycatcher, Cassin’s Vireo, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Evening Grosbeak, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Western Meadowlark, Nashville Warbler, MacGillivray’s Warbler, or Yellow-rumped Warbler).   These may all be heading to breeding locations away from the park.
Statistical misses (those seen 50% or more previous years, but not today) included Rock Pigeon, Vaux’s Swift, Spotted Sandpiper, Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Barn Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Bushtit, Golden-crowned Kinglet, and Yellow-rumped Warbler. 
For the day, just 61 species (down from 77 last week!)
= Michael Hobbs

Report for May 27, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

We had a wet one today, with drizzle and rain for most of the morning.  There was a bit of a let-up, and even some blue sky, after we finished the main loop.  The dark overcast and rain meant there was little to look at for much of the walk.  We could hear some birds, and indeed we had 7 species that were heard-only.  Another couple of species were actually seen only by one or two of us, and there would have been at least 3 more heard-only species except for some looks at the Rowing Club.  That said, it wasn’t a bad day.
  • Wood Duck – seven males, and a female with 7 ducklings, all at the Rowing Club pond
  • BLUE-WINGED TEAL – a male and two females staying very hidden at the Rowing Club pond.  First of Year (FOY), and this is by far the most likely week to see them each year
  • NORTHERN SHOVELER – pair at the Rowing Club pond.  Latest spring sighting ever
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – one flew east from the East Meadow (FOY)
  • LONG-BILLED DOWITCHER – one flying at the lake before turning and flying down the slough while we were on the Lake Platform (FOY).  Just our 6th time for dowitcher at the park, and our first spring sighting
  • Caspian Tern – one on the lake
  • Barn Owl – one flew by the Viewing Mound at 4:53 a.m.
  • WILLOW FLYCATCHER – three heard, with one of those seen (FOY)
  • Bullock’s Oriole – we saw one bright male chased off by an even brighter male, along slough trail in Dog Area
  • Lazuli Bunting – probably 5 singing males!
Misses today included Rock Pigeon, Green Heron, Downy Woodpecker, Steller’s Jay, and Western Tanager.
For the day, 66 species.  Adding four to the year list, we’re now at 141 for 2021.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for May 26, 2020                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

With the weather a little better than last Thursday, I decided to do another walk at the park today.  It was cloudy and it misted a lot, but no real drizzle except for maybe 5 minutes.  Much birdier than Thursday.
  • Green-winged Teal – pair below weir; definitely the latest spring sighting ever!
  • BLACK SWIFT – two high overhead.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Virginia Rail – heard doing ki-dick ki-dick incessantly from across the slough before the start of the boardwalk
  • American Coot – lone holdout remains near Lake Platform, hanging with the lone Pied-billed Grebe
  • Osprey – looks like females may be sitting on eggs on both nests
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one doing long slow call on far side of slough
  • OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER – one in cedar next to windmill – FOY
  • EVENING GROSBEAK – flyover of two birds – FOY
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – one singing unseen in Snag Row near Pet Garden
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – one singing unseen at Rowing Club
  • Lazuli Bunting – males singing in several dispersed locations.  3-4 birds, near as I can tell
Many baby birds, some still in the nest, others fledged:  CANADA GOOSE, MALLARD, AMERICAN CROW, CHESTNUT-BACKED CHICKADEE (nest with young), BUSHTIT (nest with young) AMERICAN ROBIN, SONG SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD. 
Feeding on Yellow Flag iris, I saw a WHITE-LINED SPHINX MOTH, acting like a hummingbird.  I don’t recall seeing one of these at Marymoor before (maybe not even in Western Washington).
For the day, 71 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for May 21, 2020                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

For the 2nd straight week, our Thursday walk landed during the worst 6 hours of weather for the week. We had drizzle, and rain, and diagonal drizzle, and more rain. The birds, sensibly, laid low and stayed quiet. We did manage to find very low numbers of birds from a fairly wide selection of species. Matt and I walked the regular route. Mark & Lee started at the Rowing Club, and then did the loop backwards.


  • Pied-billed Grebe – from Lake Platform, doing a strange call. First this month
  • American Coot – lone bird remains near Lake Platform
  • Bald Eagle – numbers remain very high, with probably 2 pairs plus several juveniles
  • Hairy Woodpecker – Mark & Lee had one
  • Bullock’s Orioles – two males again, in trees south of the Pea Patch, looking very fine
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – Mark & Lee had one at the Rowing Club parking lot, where it has been hanging out for three weeks
  • Lazuli Bunting – two males and a female near the Viewing Mound were the highlight of the day

Nothing new for the year.

Matt & I had 52 species. Mark & Lee had 52 species. Each group had 11 species that the other group missed, for a total of 63 species. Not bad, but group misses were notable: Rock Pigeon, Band-tailed Pigeon, Green Heron, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Wilson’s Warbler.

Let’s hope Thursday morning next week has better weather!

= Michael Hobbs

Report for May 23, 2019                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

We had a very pleasant day today, under sunny skies that stayed pleasantly cool without every being cold.  The dawn chorus was very loud before 5:00 a.m., with many SWAINSON’S THRUSHES singing, along with Robins, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Spotted Towhees, and many other species.  I’m a bit concerned by low numbers of many species that should be more common now, but we had some really nice birds today, and some great looks.
  • Wood Duck – several seen, including 5 drakes at the Rowing Club
  • BLUE-WINGED TEAL – pair at weir; first for us in 2019
  • VIRGINIA RAIL – two seen on far side of slough, just a little south of the Dog Area
  • CASPIAN TERN – two flying north at 5:30 a.m. – first for 2019
  • BARN OWL – Matt heard babies in the windmill, and had an adult enter
  • WESTERN SCREECH-OWL – There is at least 1 juvenile, east end of the boardwalk
  • WILLOW FLYCATCHER – one seen singing, east of the East Meadow – new for 2019
  • Purple Martin – very active at the four gourds, using at least 3 of them
  • Bullock’s Oriole – maybe as many as 5; nice looks
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – 2 heard
  • Yellow Warbler – only 4-5 heard, one seen
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – at least 1 heard near mansion
  • TOWNSEND’S WARBLER – male singing in Big Cottonwood Forest – first for 2019
  • Wilson’s Warbler – two heard
  • Western Tanager – male singing on west side of the slough
  • LAZULI BUNTING – male singing in Snag Row; first for 2019.  Great looks.
Misses today included Gadwall, Rock Pigeon (seen yesterday), Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher (might have heard once), and Red-breasted Sapsucker.
While we had a good count of species (67 species), there were very few of some birds I would think would be more common.  We had only 1 Western Wood-Pewee, and one Willow Flycatcher; just two flycatchers seems very low for late May.  Two Warbling Vireo also seems scant, as does a single Barn Swallow.  Marsh Wrens have been very hard to come by, with only 1 heard today.  And while we had six species of warbler, leaving out Common Yellowthroat, there were less than a dozen individual birds combined.  I’ll have to do a comparison to previous years soon.
Still, a really good day.
== Michael Hobbs

Report for May 24, 2018                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Dark overcast today, with eventual sprinkles turning to steady mizzle. But it was moderately birdy. We are all noting, however, that the actual number of many of the neotropical migrants seems quite low. And odd that or Best Bird of the Day in May turned out to be a LONG-TAILED WEASEL just south of the Pea Patch that gave us great looks.


  • Gadwall – first in four weeks
  • Mallard – two bright white barnyard birds were shocking
  • Hooded Merganser – one or two seen flying near the windmill
  • California Quail – heard again, this time from southeast of the Dog Meadow
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – one flyby
  • Anna’s Hummingbird – two babies in nest near start of boardwalk
  • Spotted Sandpiper – at least four
  • – loon sp. – Presumed “Common”, two seen distantly flying, later one seen distantly flying
  • Green Heron – one near Lake Sammamish, seen from Rowing Club dock
  • Osprey – at least the two pair; many, many sightings
  • Bald Eagle – at least 5, including at least 2 juveniles
  • Great Horned Owl – Matt heard an adult and juvenile near the mansion ~4am
  • MERLIN – very dark bird, south end of Dog Meadow; only 9th sighting for May/June
  • Willow Flycatcher – First of 2018; maybe 4 heard singing, one seen
  • WESTERN KINGBIRD – one in Dog Meadow
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – at least 2
  • Swainson’s Thrush – actually got to see two, plus first SINGING of the year; around 10 total
  • Evening Grosbeak – one, flyover
  • Lazuli Bunting – male in Pea Patch

We watched an OSPREY with a very large fish get harassed by both a juvenile BALD EAGLE and several AMERICAN CROWS. The Osprey could not gain elevation, and eventually and inevitably had to give up the fish to the eagle.

In terms of low quantities of migrants:

  • Western Wood-Pewee – 1
  • Willow Flycatcher – 4
  • – No other empids –
  • Western Kingbird – 1
  • Warbling Vireo – at most 5
  • Bullock’s Oriole – ZERO
  • Common Yellowthroat – most common warbler – maybe 9
  • Yellow Warbler – perhaps 7
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - 1
  • Wilson’s Warbler – 3 heard
  • – No other warblers –
  • Western Tanager – ZERO
  • Lazuli Bunting – 1

On Tuesday morning, Kazuto Shibata photographed an EASTERN KINGBIRD in the East Meadow.

For the day, 66 species, with WILLOW FLYCATCHER and the Eastern Kingbird new for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Sunrise.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

We often get Mallards that have some domestic genes, but these really are just barnyard ducks.  Quite a surprise.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Common Merganser.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Long-tailed Weasel.  Photo by Mason Flint

Swainson's Thrush.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Beaks of two juvenile Anna's Hummingbirds stick up out of the nest.
Photo by Mason Flint

Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Mason Flint

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Krista Fleming

Tree Swallow.  Photo by Krista Fleming

Report for May 25, 2017                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

A pretty nice day today, cooler than we might have wanted, and a bit more overcast early, but the birds were somewhat active. No big surprises in terms of species, but definitely some things to see.


  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – One flyby; 2nd straight week
  • Anna’s Hummingbird – two babies in nest near start of boardwalk
  • Great Blue Heron – some large babies on nests
  • Green Heron – flyby over soccer fields
  • Cooper’s Hawk – 1-2
  • GREAT HORNED OWL – adult on nest west of concert stage
  • Willow Flycatcher – about 2, south end of East Meadow – First of 2017
  • Purple Martin – a couple from Lake Platform
  • Evening Grosbeak – heard some fly by
  • Lazuli Bunting – male singing near Compost Piles
  • Coyote, Beaver, and Deer were seen.

No big misses today, except Rock Pigeon, any gull, and Steller’s Jay.

New for today was WILLOW FLYCATCHER. I think this was also the first time we’ve had PURPLE MARTIN on a Thursday survey this year. I believe we’re at 131 species for 2017.

== Michael Hobbs


Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Baby Anna's Hummingbirds in the nest.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Wood Duck.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Robin on nest.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Western Kingbird, 2017-05-24.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for May 26, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Not the greatest May day ever, for it was overcast and breezy, with a distinct nip in the air. Overall, not terribly birdy. The Lapland Longspur has not been seen since Tuesday night, so it must have moved on. There were still four WESTERN KINGBIRDS however, at the north end of the East Meadow.

In case you wonder at the microsite names I use, this is a reminder that I did annotate a park map with my spot names.



Wood Duck                 3 clutches of 2 ducklings each
Great Blue Heron         1 baby has fallen out of the nest, into the fenced area below Bald Eagle                    We continue to have to many, incl. subadults
Spotted Sandpiper        3 at/below weir
Band-tailed Pigeon        Sightings all morning long
Barn Owl                     East Meadow as late as about 5 a.m.
Anna’s Hummingbird   Young have fledged from boardwalk nest
Pileated Woodpecker  Flyby past mansion
W. KINGBIRD           Four at north end of East Meadow, then to airplane field Purple Martin               Occupying back left gourd at Lake Platform
Lazuli Bunting               Male and female, north end of East Meadow
Bullock’s Oriole           Adult and subadult males, females
Evening Grosbeak        Distant flyovers

For the day, 63 species. WESTERN KINGBIRD and Tuesday’s LAPLAND LONGSPUR were new for 2016 to bring the year list to 133.

== Michael Hobbs

Killdeer below the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Spotted Sandpiper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Spotted Sandpiper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Young Great Blue Heron playing it safe:  If it moves, bite it.  Only this time, it's a parental leg.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Tree Swallow reillustrating the sign, 2016-05-25.  Photo by Brian Bell

Pro tip from this male Lazuli Bunting:  If you sing with your back to the wind,
the song carries further.  Photo 2016-05-25 by Ollie Oliver

Killdeer, 2016-05-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Dark-eyed Junco, 2016-05-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Chipping Sparrow, 2016-05-25.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Lazuli Bunting, 2016-05-25.  Photo by Brian Bell

Lapland Longspur, 2016-05-24.  Photo by Shibata Kazuto

Lapland Longspur, 2015-05-24.  Photo by Jeff Deam.

Lazuli Bunting, 2016-05-24.  Photo by Jeff Deam

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawks on the nest east of the model airplane field,
2016-05-24.  Photo by Shibata Kazuto

Western Kingbird, 2016-05-24.  Photo by Jeff Deam

Western Kingbird, 2016-05-24.  Photo by Shibata Kazuto

Report for May 21, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

There are too many leaves on the trees. That’s why it was so hard to see birds today :)  Not that there weren’t birds to see – we could hear them fine. But many species went unseen, or glimpsed only, or reported by one or two people lagging behind. Even so, there was plenty to look at as it was birdy. Gorgeous day too.


Wood Duck                At least a dozen; males, females, 2 ducklings
Blue-winged Teal        1-2 pair. Lake Platform, later in slough below weir – FOY
Hooded Merganser     Female w/6 ducklings; male at Rowing Club pond
Green Heron               JUVENILE, with downy tufts, below weir. Early for young!
Spotted Sandpiper      One below weir – First Of Year
Barn Owl                     Babies heard inside windmill, early
Pileated Woodpecker  Two glimpsed sightings
Willow Flycatcher        Two singing on far side of slough – FOY
Hammond’s Flycatcher Scott Ramos heard one below weir
Warbling Vireo             Many heard, NONE seen
Purple Martin               Male, 2 females at gourds at Lake Platform
Swainson’s Thrush        Lots of full songs, NONE seen
Cedar Waxwing           Back in abundance – FOY
Or.-crowned Warbler  1-2 heard
Bl.-thr. Gray Warbler   1-2 singing at Rowing Club, glimpsed by some
Wilson’s Warbler Only 1-2, down from 20+ last week, heard only
Lazuli Bunting                Several singing males; Compost Piles & Fields 7-8-9
Bullock’s Oriole            4-6, males and females
Red Crossbill                Flocks seen several times (in cottonwoods)

Across the slough we saw a female MALLARD with about six ducklings, heading upstream. We also saw a female HOODED MERGANSER with six ducklings, heading downstream. Matt said something like “Oh, there’s going to be a rumble”. We thought he joked. He did joke. But when one of the Hoodie ducklings came close to the female Mallard, she took a stab at the little one. This got the two females into a spitting match; Mrs. Hoodie was not going to let a threat to her baby pass, despite the much larger size of the Mallard. The two groups separated for a few seconds, then the Hoodies made a bit of a dash for it, finally getting past the Mallards.

Two beavers were seen across from Dog Central near their lodge.

For the day, 68 species. Adding Blue-winged Teal, Spotted Sandpiper, Willow Flycatcher, and Cedar Waxwing brings us to 132 species for the year, I think.

== Michael Hobbs

Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Green Heron at weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Anna's Hummingbird on nest.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Great Blue Herons on nest.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Female Hooded Merganser with ducklings.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Female Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Blue-winged Teal pair with female Wood Duck.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Blue-winged Teal pair.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Purple Martins.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Wood Ducks (male, females, ducklings).  Photo by Lillian Reis

Marsh Wren.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Marsh Wren.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Band-tailed Pigeon.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Easter Egg.  Or maybe it's a male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Bullfrog.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for May 22, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

There were about two dozen birders out today, on a very fine morning. As we gathered at 5:30 a.m., we were rudely interrupted :) by Sharon calling to tell us there were LAZULI BUNTINGS near the east birding kiosk at Lot G. So we all piled into cars and raced over there. Sure enough, we enjoyed great looks at a male Laz. Suddenly, I noticed two birds flying fairly low to the east. It was two WHIMBREL !!! This is the first time we’ve ever had Whimbrel on one of my surveys, though there have been two prior reports from Marymoor that I am aware of. A fabulous start to the day, even if it delayed the beginning of the actual walk. The Whimbrels looked like they might land at the model airplane field, but they appeared to think better of that, and were last seen flying out to the northeast.

Other highlights:

Wood Duck                              First WODU ducklings of the season
Great Blue Heron                      Young are developing flight feathers
Bald Eagle                                 Did this year’s fledge? 3+ adults, 3+ juveniles
WHIMBREL                            See above and below for notes
Mourning Dove                         Two sightings of single birds
Barn Owl                                  The real “early birds” amongst us saw 1, 4:30ish
Short-eared Owl                       Ditto
Belted Kingfisher                       Heard and seen by a few, heading up the slough
Hairy Woodpecker                   One east of boardwalk
Western Wood-Pewee             Heard ~3
Willow Flycatcher                     Heard 1; First of Year
Pacific-slope Flycatcher            Heard 1
Purple Martin                            Male seen flying over lake
N. Rough-winged Swallow        Two at Compost Piles
Brown Creeper                          Singing near mansion
Swainson’s Thrush                    First singing of the season
LAZULI BUNTING                 Probably 3 males total, NE part of Dog Area
Bullock’s Oriole                        Some great looks
Purple Finch                              Pair copulating
Evening Grosbeak                     More flyovers

The previous sightings that I know of for WHIMBREL were ~50 birds seen 2000-05-14 by Steve Pink, and ~10 birds seen 2010-06-19 by John Farley. Whimbrel is my personal 208th species for the park.

The LAZULI BUNTINGS were seen along the trail that separates the Dog Meadow from the East Meadow, and in the eastern part of Snag Row.

For the day, we had 67 species. For the year, adding WHIMBREL, WILLOW FLYCATCHER, and LAZULI BUNTING, we’re at 133 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Two Whimbrel flying over the Viewing Mound. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Close-up of one of the Whimbrel, showing the downturned bill.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Killdeer below the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Two photo by Ollie Oliver...

...Note the rarely seen yellow wing linings.

Swainson's Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Bullock's Oriole in a Black Cottonwood.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mourning Dove, FAR to the west of the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Bald Eagle.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Recently Fledged Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Wood Duck, 2014-05-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Caspian Tern, 2014-05-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Swainson's Thrush, 2014-05-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bullfrog, 2014-05-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for May 23, 2013                                                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

I hate to complain, but it is late May. It was cold and dark and drizzly for much of the morning, and while it did get fairly nice for the last few hours we were there, it’s gotten cloudy and nasty again... As for birds, it wasn’t bad. Not as birdy as last week, but still pretty good, especially the highlights.


Wood Duck                        At least 2 females with small ‘lings
Mallard                               At least 5 females with small ‘lings
Cooper’s Hawk                  Immature over boardwalk
Spotted Sandpiper              One at weir
BLACK SWIFT                 Less than 1/2 dozen
Hairy Woodpecker              Male brought food to nest with young near windmill Hammond’s Flycatcher        Two singing, unseen. RC + Big Cottonwood Forest
N. Rough-winged Swallow   ~3 at the lake
Brown Creeper                    One in Big Cottonwood Forest
Swainson’s Thrush               A couple were actually singing; 1 seen
Orange-crowned Warbler    One singing near start of walk
Yellow-rumped Warbler      Only one – male “Audubon’s”
Dark-eyed Junco                 Adults feeding fledged babies near park office
Western Tanager                 Several nice looks, plus singing
LAZULI BUNTING           THREE singing males, viewing mound, fields 7-8-9
Bullock’s Oriole                  2-4 seen, both female and male
Red Crossbill                      12-15 over boardwalk

For the day, 64 species. BLACK SWIFT was new for the year, as was getting confirmed HAMMOND’S FLYCATCHERS. Houston Flores and a few others had LAZULI BUNTING as early as last Thursday afternoon. So the 2013 list is up to 132 I believe.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Lazuli Bunting at 5:30 a.m. north of fields 7-8-9.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cedar Waxwing in a European Hawthorn.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Western Tanager in an Oregon Ash tree.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Lazuli Bunting visible from the Viewing Mound.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Wood Duck with her ducklings, seen from the lake platform.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Tree Swallow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Rufous Hummingbird at a feeder in the Pea Patch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult (left) and juvenile Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hairy Woodpecker at the nest hole.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Swainson's Thrush in an Oregon Ash tree at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Marsh Wren with it's tail cocked so far forward it's practically hitting the bird's head.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Garter Snake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Snail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for May 24, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

Maybe the night's rain, the dark clouds, and the weather forecasts scared people away today. There were just 7 of us today, and we enjoyed a very fine day of birding. There were clouds and occasional mist, with moments of drizzle, but quite a bit of sunshine as well. And it was birdy (as well as rather mosquitoey)

Highlights (including BLACK SWIFT, MacGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER, and LAZULI BUNTING) are detailed below:

We had a female WOOD DUCK with around 10 of her own ducklings plus 5 HOODED MERGANSER ducklings, at the Rowing Club pond, a victim of egg dumping.

There were 2 juvenile BALD EAGLES as well as an adult at the lake. The young may have been just fledged.

The young RED-TAILED HAWK atop the odd-snag nest appears to be fully feathered, and was trying out its wings, under parental supervision. It looked rather unsteady up there; I was afraid it would fall off of the nest.

There was a MOURNING DOVE in Snag Row.

Matt saw 3 BARN OWLS while hearing a 4th, around 4:30 a.m. at the model airplane field.

We had 15+ BLACK SWIFTS foraging over the East Meadow and low over the Compost Piles. A few VAUX'S SWIFTS were mixed in with swallows over the slough.

There were plenty of WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES, at least 2-3 WILLOW FLYCATCHERS, a DUSKY/HAMMONDS FLYCATCHER (annoyingly silent and unresponsive), a heard-only PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER, (with the flycatchers mostly in and near the Big Cottonwood Forest); and an WESTERN KINGBIRD in the East Meadow.

We had a CASSIN'S VIREO in the cherry trees just northeast of the weir, our first for 2012. There were also many WARBLING VIREOS.

We had a couple of NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOWS (first for 2012) over the slough, a handful of CLIFF SWALLOWS near the Compost Piles, as well as the usual TREE, VIOLET-GREEN, and BARN SWALLOWS.

We had nesting BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES bringing food to nests, including one family in one of the new boxes at the Community Gardens, and another at the Rowing Club in a tree. BUSHTITS were visiting a nest in a hawthorn in the Dog Meadow.

SWAINSON'S THRUSH were singing and calling all over, never seen. CEDAR WAXWINGS were much more visible, including one pair building a nest in a hawthorn along the slough.

For warblers, we had one very yellow ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, 2 or more MacGILLIVRAY'S WARBLERS (including one which was singing, but which looked more like a female - maybe a male hatched last year?), good numbers of COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, YELLOW, and especially WILSON'S WARBLERS, and a few "Audubon's" YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS around the mansion area.

A male SPOTTED TOWHEE was attending to a barely-fledged juvenile south of the windmill. A juvenile SAVANNAH SPARROW was chirping along the west edge of the EAST MEADOW. And there was still one GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW near the last dog swim beach.

WESTERN TANAGERS were abundant; we had several sightings and then came across a flock of ~8. BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS were singing and posing all over. There were 2+ LAZULI BUNTINGS near the east end of Snag Row. And 2+ BULLOCK'S ORIOLES were briefly seen near the 3rd dog swim beach.

For the day, 68 species. WILLOW FLYCATCHER and MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER were reported to me earlier in the week. Besides them, the BLACK SWIFT, NORTHERN ROUGH-WINGED SWALLOW, and LAZULI BUNTING were new for the year, to bring us to 137 species.

== Michael Hobbs

MacGillivray's Warblers are notorious skulkers - hard to see, and even harder to photograph.  In this photo by Ollie Oliver, you can see the dark gray hood, the eye arcs above and below the eye, and the long, yellow bill.
Male Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cedar Waxwing nestbuilding along the slough trail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Willow Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black Swift.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black Swift.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Brown-headed Cowbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mourning Dove in Snag Row.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

One of two male Lazuli Buntings in Snag Row.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-capped Chickadee removing a fecal sac from one of the new nest boxes in the Community Gardens.  There were noisy young in the box.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wood Duck with ducklings.  The darker ducklings with the orange cheeks are Hooded Merganser ducklings, presumably hatched from eggs dumped by a Hoodie in the Wood Duck's nest box or hole..  Photo by Lillian Reis

Swainson's Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wood Duck, 2012-05-23.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Kingbirds, 2012-05-19.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for May 26, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

It was cold, dark, and breezy this morning, though gradually the clouds cleared as the wind picked up. Did I mention cold? Water levels are still high too, so it didn't feel very spring-like to say the least. It was fairly birdy, though it was a day when we didn't get a whole lot of great long looks at birds. Sometimes we had long looks and sometimes we had great looks, but rarely both. With the leaves fully out, we spent a lot of time peering into trees at birds flitting about, revealing little about themselves.

Still, there was plenty to see:

Wood Duck                        With 6 babies at Rowing Club
PEREGRINE FALCON     1 soaring high over Rowing Club
Belted Kingfisher                  Taking fish NE out of the park
Hairy Woodpecker              Young look ready to fledge
W. Wood Pewee                 Finally. Had about 4. Our only flycatcher
Warbling Vireo                    Abundant, singing
Purple Martin                       Male at Rowing Club
Pacific Wren                        One singing SW of windmill around 6:00 a,m
Golden-crowned Kinglet      Adult feeding 4-5 young at RC
    Orange-crowned             Several, singing
    NASHVILLE                 One in slough above weir, 1 at S end of Dog Area
    Yellow                            A few singing males
    Yellow-rumped               1 female Myrtles, 1+ female Audubon's
     Black-throated Gray       Scott had 1 N of the mansion
     Townsend's                    1 N of the mansion
     Common Yellowthroat    Several, mostly just heard
     Wilson's                          Most abundant of all
CHIPPING SPARROW     1 North of mansion
Dark-eyed Junco                 Adult feeding fledglings
Western Tanager                 A few glimpsed
LAZULI BUNTING           Pair near 2nd dog swim beach
Bullock's Oriole                  At least 3 seen
Evening Grosbeak               More flyovers

We also had LONG-TAILED WEASEL, in a cottonwood, kind of along the slough in the Dog Area.

New for the year this week were the WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE, CHIPPING SPARROW, and LAZULI BUNTING. Grace & Ollie Oliver had a SPOTTED SANDPIPER on Sunday.  Also, Tony Ernst sent me a photo he took of a HORNED GREBE back on April 23.

So I believe that brings the park year list up to 135 (unofficial :) )

For the day, 68 species. If I'm not mistaken, Gadwall, Northern Flicker, and Steller's Jay were notable misses for the day. And still no Willow Flycatchers.

== Michael Hobbs

Adult Bald Eagles.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Marc Hoffman

Male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Brown-headed Cowbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male American Goldfinch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Wood-Pewee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Hairy Woodpecker.  Note the red on the top of the head.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wood Ducks at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Long-tailed Weasel, 2011-05-24.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Long-tailed Weasel, 2011-05-24.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Long-tailed Weasel, 2011-05-24.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Hairy Woodpecker at the nest, with baby in hole, 2011-05-23.
Photo by Marc Hoffman

Male Yellow Warbler, 2011-05-23.  Photo by Marc Hoffman

Spotted Sandpiper, 2011-05-22.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Late April Horned Grebe, 2011-04-23.  Photo by Tony Ernst

Eastern Cottontail, 2011-05-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for May 27, 2010

The weather was actually decent this morning.  Well, not windy, not too cold, no precipitation.  It was overcast, especially early on, and we were beset with thick fog for the first couple of hours.  But really, compared to - say - yesterday, it was a delight.  There were LOTS of birders, and luckily there were also LOTS of birds to look at and listen to.,  There were quite a few things that were seen/heard by only a few people, but that's the way it goes when you approach 20 people in the group.


We had a female COMMON MERGANSER with 8 ducklings.  At first, she was on the far bank of the slough, with her wings drooped by her side, and a cluster of  babies under her breast.  When we were all pointing our binoculars at her, she decided to take to the water, with the little ones scurrying to catch up.  About 3-4 managed to get close enough to her to climb on her back. VERY CUTE.

BALD EAGLE numbers remain extremely high.  We had 10 at one time, and probably quite a few more.  Some rowers reported counting 25-30 birds!  It's a good mix of adults and sub-adults.

A BONAPARTE'S GULL was out on the lake.  The bird appeared to be in non-breeding plumage, and was quite probably a very bleached juvenile.

Matt had an adult BARN OWL over the East Meadow before 5AM.  There were at least 2 babies in the nest box.

There were at least a couple of dozen BLACK SWIFTS overhead above most of the south end of the park all morning, giving great views.  In contrast, only a couple of people managed to see just a few (3-4) VAUX'S SWIFT.

At the HAIRY WOODPECKER nest, visible from the Rowing Club dock, looking across the slough, we watched as both parents brought food to at least one very large juvenile.

Evan Houston had a MACGILLIVRAY'S WARBLER south of the windmill.

Other highlights:

Green Heron                          One glimpsed at the Rowing Club
Cooper's Hawk                      One, distantly seen
Spotted Sandpiper                  One from the lake platform
Western Wood-Pewee            Around 6, up from 2 last week
Willow Flycatcher                    They're back - maybe 4 singing
Pacific-Slope Flycatcher          Maybe 2 heard singing
WESTERN KINGBIRD         One flew east over East Meadow
Chickadees - both                   With young
Bushtits                                    Feeding young
Cedar Waxwing                       Building nests
Western Tanager                      One male seen
BULLOCK'S ORIOLE           One male seen

For the day, 71 species.  The year list is up to 124, I believe.

== Michael

Female Common Merganser sheltering her ducklings under her drooped wings

Common Mergansers took to the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Some of the babies got a ride

Closer view of the babies climbing up.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Swainson's Thrush photo by Lillian Reis

Black Swift.  The tail can look deeply notched...

...or slightly indented.  The wings are usually arced, as here

Perhaps this Black Swift was maneuvering for a bug - tail flared, wings thrust forward

Male Bullock's Oriole.  Photo by Ollie Oliver through the fog

Barn Swallow on the Stage fencing

...and leaving the fence.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hairy Woodpecker bringing food to the young.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female arriving at the nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female with young.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mule Deer.  Photo by Megan Lyden, 2010-05-21

Female Mallard, with her ducklings and a turtle.
Photo by Megan Lyden, 2010-05-21 at the Rowing Club

Report for May 21, 2009

It was a perfect day, weatherwise.  Sunny, warm (but not hot), pretty much windless.  The birds were singing and active, and there were a lot of them.  Good diversity too, plus LOTS of new things for the year.


Green Heron                                 On the nest at the Rowing Club
Cooper's Hawk                             Constantly harassed by crows
Peregrine Falcon                            Over boardwalk
Spotted Sandpiper                         1 on the condo dock way out there
Mourning Dove                              One in the East Meadow
Barn Owl                                       Still in the nest box - sitting higher?
BLACK SWIFT                           25+ high over boardwalk
Hairy Woodpecker                        Pair seen?
OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER.  One or two, calling not singing
Western Wood-Pewee                  Many, singing
Willow Flycatcher                          Matt & Scott heard some early
CASSIN'S VIREO                       One singing on W. edge of Dog Meadow
Warbling Vireo                              DOZENS, singing
Cedar Waxwing                            Dozens, everywhere
Yellow Warbler                            High numbers
Townsend's Warbler                     Big movement - 6+ birds
Western Tanager                          3-5, males and female(s)
Black-headed Grosbeak               15+, singing everywhere
LAZULI BUNTING                     Male at Compost Piles, singing
Bullock's Oriole                            3+, males and females
Evening Grosbeak                         Often heard calling, glimpsed 3

The BLACK SWIFTS seemed to be making sure they stayed above the PEREGRINE FALCON.    The falcon, BTW, appeared to be a sub-adult, as did the Cooper's Hawk.

TEN NEW BIRDS FOR THE YEAR:  Spotted Sandpiper, Mourning Dove (though I think someone reported one previously), Black Swift, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Western Wood-Pewee, Willow Flycatcher, Cassin's Vireo, Lazuli Bunting, Bullock's Oriole, and Evening Grosbeak

So for the day, 68 species.  For the year, we're up to 140 species.

== Michael

Male Yellow Warbler singing from the far side of the slough

One of the hoards of Warbling Vireos

Female Rufous Hummingbird on her nest near Dog Central

Cassin's Vireo

Large Bass seen from the lake platform

Peregrine Falcon high over the boardwalk

Willow Flycatcher

Same Willow Flycatcher

Olive-sided Flycatcher - we had two disparate sightings

Male Lazuli Bunting in the cherries at the Compost Piles

Cliff Swallow - note light forehead and buffy rump

Cliff Swallow

Black-capped Chickadees appear to be nesting SE of the stage

Scott Ramos's photo of a Marsh Wren gathering nest materials

Report for May 22, 2008

There were only about 8 of us this morning under unrelenting gray, misty skies.  There was mist, mizzle, and drizzle throughout the morning, and it was chilly, though thankfully there was no wind.  The birds were somewhat scarce, but there were things to look at:

Mallard                             Female(s?) with small 'lings
Bald Eagle                         On "new" nest, more over lake
Green Heron                     2 flying together down slough
Mourning Dove                 2 over East Meadow
Red-breasted Sapsucker   3+ sightings - looking great
Willow Flycatcher             They're BACK - maybe 3 seen
Warbling Vireo                  Not many seen, but constant song
Purple Martins                   Pair at west gourd
Tree Swallow                    Still trying to claim east gourd
Swainson's Thrush             Back as well, though no singing yet
American Robin                 Begging young
Western Tanager               One group moving through
Black-headed Grosbeak    Abundant
LAZULI BUNTING         Singing near east kiosk

Twice we saw two SONG SPARROWS strutting around together, all puffed up. There was wing fluttering, suggesting copulation solicitation, but no copulation was observed.  They looked like tiny red-brown grouse.  It was very funny.  Lesser Song-Grouse on the lek?

For the day, 61 species.  For the year, 127 species.

== Michael

Belted Kingfisher at the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Common Merganser pair at the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Male Western Tanager photo by Ollie Oliver.

Willow Flycatcher photo by Ollie Oliver.

Female Mallard with ducklings.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Report for May 24, 2007

The day was probably a bit too nice.  Needed only a couple of sweaters this morning, and after the fog burned off, it was sunny and warm. We heard a lot, but had trouble finding views of birds; perhaps many of them are so busy with their lives that they just don't have time to perch in the open.  Plus, too many leaves and too many mosquitoes.


BUFFLEHEAD                     Lingering female, seen late on the lake
Green Heron                          One at Rowing Club
Barn Owl                                Matt had one at like 4:30 a.m.
Red-breasted Sapsucker         Bringing food to the nest hole s. of dog area
WESTERN KINGBIRD        One flycatching at north edge of grass fields 7-8-9
Warbling Vireo                       Copulating, while female had nest materials in her beak!
RED-EYED VIREO               MaryFrances Mathis had one near the East Meadow
Black-headed Grosbeak         Great looks
Western Tanager                    Some nice looks
LAZULI BUNTING              Killer views at Compost Piles - 2+ males
Bullock's Orioles                     Several sightings - males chasing each other
Evening Grosbeak                   Two uncooperative flocks flying away

Juveniles (mostly seen being fed by parents):
    Canada Goose
    Red-breasted Sapsucker (heard in nest hole)
    Bewick's Wren
    Brown Creeper
    American Robin

For the day,64 species.  Red-eyed Vireo was the only new one for the 2007 list.

== Michael

Lazuli Bunting at the "Compost Piles"

Western Kingbird, north edge of fields 7-8-9

Western Tanager male

Cedar Waxwing


Bird Sightings Week 21
May 21-27*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years


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