Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 25
June 18-24*


Rarities for Week 25:

Whimbrel 19-Jun-10 10 birds on grass soccer fields.  Reported by John Farley and another birder
American White Pelican
22-Jun-20 Four, flyby, seen by Jerry Romano
Least Flycatcher 18-Jun-10 Reported by Charlotte & Bill Byers, Rick Hibpshman

...Least Flycatcher

20-Jun-10 On territory near Dog Central, 17-Jun through 15-Jul

...Least Flycatcher

24-Jun-10 On territory near Dog Central, 17-Jun through 15-Jul
Ash-throated Flycatcher 19-Jun-07 Reported by John Wallace
Ash-throated Flycatcher 20-Jun-10 Reported by Grace & Ollie
Bank Swallow 18-Jun-18 Reported by Jason Vasallo
House Wren 10-Jun-21 Bird remained 03-Jun to at least 01-Jul
Yellow-breasted Chat
20-Jun-24 Continuing from 13-Jun
Indigo Bunting
18-Jun-20 Singing male, Dog Meadow. remained 11-Jun to at least 16-Jul

Report for June 20, 2024                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

We had a very nice Summer Solstice survey today, with good weather.  Few surprises, and no sign of the Lark Sparrow that was reported yesterday.

  • Glaucous-winged Gull - Two flew overhead; only our 2nd sighting in 8 weeks
  • Caspian Tern - It seems odd, but we've had Caspians over 1/2 the years for this week of the year.  Four over the lake today
  • Green Heron - Beautiful adult at the Rowing Club pond.  First of Year (FOY)
  • Great Blue Heron - Maybe half of the chicks have fledged.  Awkward fishing techniques on display
  • Accipiter sp. - One that had me leaning towards Sharp-shinned, but it never gave us good looks
  • YELLOW-BREASTED CHAT - Continuing from last week.  Singing from various locations in/near the south end of the East Meadow.  Good looks
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler - Very well marked male "Audubon's" below the weir.  First since early May
Misses included Hooded and Common Mergansers, Rock Pigeon, Red-tailed Hawk, Red-eyed Vireo, and Cliff Swallow.

For the day, 60 species.  For the year, 127 species for the survey.

= Michael Hobbs

Singing Marsh Wren. Photo by Tony Ernst

Caspian Tern. Photo by Tony Ernst

Yellow-breasted Chat. Photo by Tony Ernst

Male American Goldfinch. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for June 22, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Our first survey after the solstice was cold and cloudy for the first several hours.  It did warm from 47 to 60 degrees though, so we weren't cold for more than the first two hours.  Not a bad day.

  • BLUE-WINGED TEAL - Pair seen from the Lake Platform.  We've never had them this late in the "spring".  First of Year (FOY)
  • Hooded Merganser - Four at the Rowing Club pond.  First in 8 weeks
  • GREEN HERON - One flew towards the lake, where we spotted it on a snag,  (FOY).  Last year we had to wait until late July for our first
Lots of active nests and fledged young about.  There were about seven heard-only species, and for many others we only had one decent look. But we got very good looks at several other species.

When we were at the Lake Platform, three RIVER OTTER appeared on the east shore.  About 8 tiny MALLARD ducklings quickly scooted away from shore.  No mom in sight for several minutes.  I think she chickened out when the otters approached and ditched the kids until it was safe!  She did eventually rejoin them and everyone went back to normal.

Misses today included Common Merganser, Caspian Tern, Belted Kingfisher, Red-eyed Vireo, Cliff Swallow, Bullock's Oriole, and \very surprisingly Lazuli Bunting.

For the day, 56 species

= Michael Hobbs

Rufous Hummingbird, ~2023-06-16. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Rufous Hummingbird, ~2023-06-16. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Juvenile Tree Swallow, 2023-06-18. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Killdeer chick, 2023-06-21. Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for June 23, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Another nice, sunny day at Marymoor - quite the change  after so much Junuary weather thus  far.

About 10 of us took part in today’s walk - We’re  getting into  the summer season for  birds - not much new left to move in, lots of young ones and strange calls from young ones.

59 species  total [including gull sp]

  • Canada Goose - notable  because after  being  absent for a  couple  weeks,  we had over 50  on the lake
  • Black Swift- 6, notable because we don’t often get them when the  skies are clear - Jordan got a great pic of one that looks to be an immature [last year’s chick] based on speckled plumage
  • Caspian Tern - again, several small groups flying north,  maybe 12 this week
  • Lazuli Bunting  - about 4 seen nicely in east meadow
Baby Wood Duck, Mallard, Great Blue Heron, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, probably others.
Anna’s on nest, Warbling Vireo singing from same area as last week at Rowing Club, presumably on same nest, Black-capped Chickadee entering nest hole

Notable misses:
Rock Pigeon, Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Golden-crowned Kinglet

Matt Bartels
Seattle,  WA

Report for June 19, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Shamik Ghosh found and photographed this BLUE GROSBEAK in the East Meadow.  He quickly got word out, and many birders were able to see this great bird.  This would be just the 4th Washington State record for this species, and the 2nd King County record.  It is a new species for Marymoor Park.

Blue Grosbeak
located and photographed by Shamik Ghosh, 2022-06-19

Blue Grosbeak
located and photographed by Shamik Ghosh, 2022-06-19

Report for June 24, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

It was a delightful sunny day today, with comfortable temps and no wind.  We’re into the “summer doldrums” as far as species go, with a low likelihood of unexpected species.  But we had quite a few baby birds to admire, and we found pretty much everything that should be there this time of year.
  • Caspian Tern – 2-3.  This is the only week of the year in which they have been seen in over half of all years, and are therefore “expected”
  • Osprey – Three babies on the east ballfields nest.  Uncertain if there are young at the Lot B nest, but both adults were at that nest
  • Barn Owl – One from the Viewing Mound pre-dawn
  • Belted Kingfisher – Three apparent juveniles perched together low along the slough; a fourth kingfisher was seen flying, probably a parent trying to catch enough food
  • Merlin – one flew over the concert venue heading west, with prey.  From the distance it was flying encumbered, I speculate there is a nest nearby to the west of the park
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – two from Fields 7-8-9
  • Bushtit – flock of 26+ followed us down the edge of the Dog Meadow
  • HOUSE WREN – continuing to sing constantly from the birch just south of the Pet Memorial Garden.  Fourth week running for this local rarity
  • Bullock’s Oriole – about 4 total, including a juvenile begging from an adult male
  • MacGILLVRAY’S WARBLER – male continues at “Mysterious Thicket”, but it was not singing today.  This is our latest spring sighting ever for this species, but we’ve also never had one on territory
Besides Osprey, Belted Kingfisher, Bushit, and Bullock’s Oriole, other notable sightings of baby birds included Red-breasted Sapsucker, Hairy Woodpecker, White-crowned Sparrow, Common Yellowthroat, and Yellow-rumped Warbler.  The Hairy, Yellowthroat, and Yellow-rumped featured babies begging from adult males.
Last week was notable for having SO MANY hummingbirds.  Today, numbers were back to normal, with maybe 8 Anna’s and 2-4 Rufous (no adult males noted).  It’s likely that some of last week’s bonanza are now dispersing to higher elevations.
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Rock Pigeon, Green Heron, Red-eyed Vireo, and Cliff Swallow.
For the day, 63 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Photo by Karen Snepp

Ring-necked Pheasant.
Photo by Michael Shroyer

Report for June 18, 2020                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

The weather was gorgeous today for this almost-solstice walk.  Pre-dawn had some low-lying fog, but from the Viewing Mound, Mt. Rainier was stunningly clear in the orange light.  The moon was a thin waning crescent.  To the left, and a little below the moon, Venus was the thinnest of waxing crescents like a mini-me for the moon.  Stunning in the scope.  Lots of singing today, and lots of baby birds and baby bird sounds.
  • Gadwall – male, and I think one female.  These are only occasionally seen at Marymoor in late-June through August
  • Pied-billed Grebe – TWO across the slough from the Lake Platform, with one possibly sitting on a nest amongst the cattails
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – one landed in a tree near the East Kiosk
  • Virginia Rail – one making calls near the Lake Platform.  Only Eric saw it, though
  • American Coot – lone bird remains at the Lake Platform – our first ever for Week 25th.  They are mostly absent June-August
  • Barn Owl – Matt heard what sounded like a juvenile calling across the slough from the windmill VERY EARLY this morning
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – three juveniles chasing each other around a tree
  • Downy Woodpecker – parent feeding young
  • Hairy Woodpecker – one north of the east end of the boardwalk
  • Red-eyed Vireo – one heard singing, while we were looking at the Indigo Bunting
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow – several seen
  • EVENING GROSBEAK – six flew south, calling, over the mansion
  • INDIGO BUNTING – continuing 1st-year male, singing frequently, flying from tree-to-tree in the middle of the off-leash area, east of Dog Central
Misses today included Green Heron and Cliff Swallow. We were disappointed not to see either species of Kingbird, after both were repeatedly seen between our last survey and today’s.
For the day, 68 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Red-breasted Sapsucker. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Northern Rough-winged Swallow. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for June 20, 2019                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It rained all night, but by 4:00 a.m., or so, the rain stopped and held off all morning.  We even had little bits of blue sky showing here and there.  The park is abuzz with juvenile birds now.  Few surprises this time of year, but still excellent.
  • Wood Duck – Female seen entering box at Lake Platform
  • BLACK SWIFT – Cruising low overhead all morning.  Perhaps 20.  Great looks
  • Rufous Hummingbird – Very large numbers – 20+ – males, females, juveniles
  • Anna’s Hummingbird – Large numbers – at least 10 – male, females, juveniles
  • Great Blue Heron – Heronry REEKS – smells like a 3rd-world fish market during a heat wave
  • GREEN HERON – Adult along slough – first Green Heron since April
  • Barn Owl – juvenile hunting the meadows after 5am, mobbed by crows, again
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt saw a juvenile after 4:30am in large cottonwood south of East Footbridge
  • Bushtit – three times we saw large flocks with many juveniles
  • Bullock’s Oriole – Three: two barely seen, one heard-only.  Detected for the list, but that’s about it
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – 1 or 2 heard singing
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – ditto
As I said, lots of juveniles noted.  At a minimum: Mallard, Anna’s Hummingbird, Rufous Hummingbird, Great Blue Heron (all still on the nest), Barn Owl, Western Screech-Owl, Downy Woodpecker, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Bushtit, American Robin, House Finch, Savannah Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird, Common Yellowthroat, and Black-headed Grosbeak.
Eastern Cottontail were also especially numerous, with many young.  We also had three or more sightings of American Beaver, and Matt & I saw a VIRGINIA OPOSSUM at about 5:15am near the Compost Piles.
Misses today included Canada Goose, Rock Pigeon, Red-tailed Hawk, Cliff Swallow, and Lazuli Bunting.
For the day, 59 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Band-tailed Pigeon. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Ash-throated Flycatcher, 2019-06-24.
Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for June 21, 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

The soon-to-be-fledged Great Blue Herons manage to squabble and "sibble" quite ferociously as they get too big for their nest.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Singing Marsh Wren.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Eight Purple Martins and four gourds (there's 1 barely visible in the back right gourd)
Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Purple Finch eating European Hawthorn "haws".  Photo by Bob Asanoma

One of about a dozen Eastern Cottontail rabbits we saw.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

One of two male Mule Deer in the East Meadow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

One of two male Mule Deer in the East Meadow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Both of the two male Mule Deer in the East Meadow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for June 22, 2017                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

Our summer solstice edition of the survey was gorgeous, sunny, windless, birdy, and a rather chilly 45 degrees to start! Baby birds were everywhere. We had a very enjoyable, relaxed pace walk, and we spent a long time trying to get looks at birds. Still managed to hear-but-never-see several species.


  • Wood Duck – 2 adult females and ~5 ducklings at lake
  • Hooded Merganser – first since April; eclipse male at Rowing Club
  • Rufous Hummingbird – probably ten juveniles noted, plus some adults
  • Spotted Sandpiper – two adults and a downy baby below weir
  • CASPIAN TERN – three flew down the slough – First of Year
  • Great Blue Heron – fledged young all around the park, nests active with a variety of ages of young
  • Green Heron – adult and juvenile seen from Lake Platform
  • Barn Owl – Matt heard young in windmill *again* – 3rd clutch???’
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – One fledged baby and one still in the nest in snag near east end of boardwalk, both being fed
  • - All 5 common woodpecker species -
  •  MERLIN – flew through Tree Swallow swarm over Pea Patch
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher – heard singing, eventually saw west of Dog Meadow
  • - All 6 common westside swallow species -
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – one, looked to have bathed recently, possible juvenile
  • Wilson’s Warbler – one heard singing near Rowing Club building

Babies/juveniles were noted of the following species: Canada Goose, Wood Duck, Mallard, Rufous Hummingbird, Spotted Sandpiper, Great Blue Heron, Green Heron, Red-breasted Sapsucker, American Crow, Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, American Robin, European Starling, House Finch, Dark-eyed Junco, and Red-winged Blackbird.

For the day, 67 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Female Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Band-tailed Pigeons.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Willow Flycatcher.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Purple Martins.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Hooded Merganser in eclipse plumage.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for June 23, 2016                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

Nice enough day, but nothing special.  We ended up finishing a little early, but found most of the expected birds anyway.


Double-crested Cormorant    Rare June sighting of 1 bird, flyover
Cooper's Hawk                    One adult
Spotted Sandpiper                3 at weir
Mourning Dove                     One bird
Yellow-rumped Warbler       One seen, one or two heard singing near mansion
Western Tanager                   Several
Western Meadowlark            One.  Juvenile? 

For the day, 62 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Common Mergansers at weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male American Robin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Western Meadowlark.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Meadowlark, apparently posed in front of a green screen, which Ollie Oliver has "replaced" with an ugly concrete block.

And here, through further magic of green screen technology, Ollie has
changed the background to a lawn. I like the lawn better.

If you can't bring a fish back to the nest, more nest materials will get you a few brownie points. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Awkward plumage on the Hooded Mergansers, with a Mallard at the Rowing Club.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

BABY BUNNY!!!  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Long-tailed Weasel, 2016-06-20.  Photo by Vickie Scales

Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hairy Woodpeckers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for June 18, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We’re in the summer doldrums already at Marymoor. The birding is still good, but the species selection is fairly static. Seeking out evidence of breeding, and noting interesting juvenile and transitional plumages and vocalizations are what we focus on, in the absence of any unusual species. Today’s list was VERY similar to last week’s.


Hooded Merganser   Male transitioning to eclipse plumage at Rowing Club
Great Blue Heron      Nests FULL of babies; some young fledged
Spotted Sandpiper    Multiple birds continue at weir;
                                       probably breeding at Marymoor
Or.-cr. Warbler        Singing heard from boardwalk; same bird as last week?
Spotted Towhee       Especially numerous; fledged juveniles amongst them
Bullock’s Oriole        Verified a 2nd nest in the park today,
                                        both in cottonwoods immediately north of heronry

Still no Black Swifts, despite the overcast skies.

== Michael Hobbs

Adult Bald Eagle.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Cooley's Hedge Nettle, Stachys cooleyae.  Bad photo by Michael Hobbs

Eastern Kingbird, 2015-06-13.  Photo by Vickie Scales

Report for June 19, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We had a really nice day this morning at Marymoor. Sunrise was startlingly beautiful, due to a thin and rumpled layer of clouds, which slowly cleared throughout the morning. The clouds kept catching our eyes, which was a good thing, as there were many birds overhead that we might have missed otherwise. Chief among these were at least SEVENTEEN CASPIAN TERNS, all flying north, in groups of 1-6 birds at a time.


Wood Duck                       Several clutches of ducklings
Hooded Merganser            Adult male and 3 others at lake
Sharp-shinned Hawk          One flyover bird
Cooper’s Hawk                 Two sightings, two different birds
Spotted Sandpiper              Two in slough below weir
Glaucous-winged Gull         3+ birds overhead
CASPIAN TERN              17, almost triple the previous high count
MOURNING DOVE         Only our 6th June sighting – 2 juveniles
BLACK SWIFT                 Two over Dog Meadow
Red-breasted Sapsucker     Adults and juvenile
Orange-crowned Warbler   Male seen singing, start of boardwalk
Lazuli Bunting                      2+ males singing, East Meadow

Lots of babies, including a SONG SPARROW feeding a young BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD :( [We had at least 2 juvenile BHCOs today]. We found a BUSHTIT nest near the east end of the boardwalk, and a WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE nest just south of the Dog Meadow.

We had 61 species for the day (after Sharon found PURPLE MARTINS by driving over to scan the NE corner of the lake). Black Swifts were new for the year for our walk; our 2014 list is at 139, I believe.

== Michael Hobbs

Photo by Ollie Oliver

Killdeer below weir.  Photo by Tyler Hartje

Caspian Tern.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Caspian Tern.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron nestlings "sumo wrestling" on the nest.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Osprey.  Photo by Tyler Hartje

Black Swift.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black Swift.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Wood-Pewee nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Tree Swallow bringing food to the nest.  Photo by Tyler Hartje

Marsh Wren nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

One of many juvenile Dark-eyed Juncos.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Drab male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Tyler Hartje

Juvenile Mourning Dove.  Photo by Tyler Hartje

Juvenile Mourning Dove.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bee on a cornflower (Centaurea montana?).  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Lorquin's Admiral.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Tyler Hartje

Report for June 20, 2013                                                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

Today's best find was Michael Hobbs, returned from a trip to Ecuador - he hadn't been back many hours, though, so I'm still pinch-hitting with the report.

Today was a bit of a slow day with a couple good finds mixed in -- our numbers, both people and birds, were down -- WOS Conference & rain both aided with that. The rain was never driving, but it only let up for short bursts -- the birds mostly stayed hidden, and a lot of our 'sightings' were heard-only birds.

Notable sightings:

Great Blue Heron - still many young at nests in the cottonwoods - I counted at least 9 still up there, including one nest with either 3 or 4 crowded together and squabbling over space.

Hammond's Flycatcher - as with last week, there was one singing over at the Rowing Club

Red-eyed Vireo - heard one today near east end of the forest

Orange-crowned Warbler - 1 singing again , not normally a breeding season bird at Marymoor, though not unprecedented.

Black-throated Gray Warbler - one male at the Rowing Club - If I read the records correctly, this is the first June sighting for Marymoor! We get them in the spring, until ~the 3rd week in May, we get them in the fall beginning in August, and we've had them twice in mid-July. But never before in June. Not a rare bird elsewhere, but rare here at Marymoor in breeding season.

Misses for the day: We missed a lot -- the rain had us moving quicker than usual, no doubt -- Misses included: Canada Goose!, Barn Swallow, Bullock's Oriole [on nest maybe?], & Purple Finch.

For the day, 53 species.

Good birding,

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

Hammond's Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hammond's Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Like mother, like daughter: Wood Ducks.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Eastern Kingbird with juvenile American Robin, 2013-06-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Savannah Sparrow, 2013-06-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Swainson's Thrush, 2013-06-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Young Hooded Merganser, 2013-06-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Eastern Cottontails, 2013-06-18.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male Bullock's Oriole, 2013-06-18.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male Bullock's Oriole, 2013-06-18.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Eastern Kingbird, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Two Eastern Kingbirds, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Female Purple Martin, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Female Purple Martin, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Female Purple Martin, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Purple Martins, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Bald Eagle mobbed by an American Crow, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Bald Eagle mobbed by an American Crow, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Juvenile Bald Eagle, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Bullfrogs, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Osprey, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Band-tailed Pigeon, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Juvenile Common Yellowthroat, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Male Common Yellowthroat, 2013-06-17.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Caspian Tern, 2013-06-15.  Photo by Tony Ernst.

Female Yellow-headed Blackbird, 2013-06-15.  Photo by Tony Ernst.

Report for June 21, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

A very nice Summer Solstice at Marymoor today featured a few surprises. Temps were middling (48-66 degrees), sunny to light overcast, no wind, a little fog early. Lots of nesting activity and young to confuse us.


Cinnamon Teal                Pair seen from lake platform
Pied-billed Grebe            Near teal - first since April
Green Heron                   Several sightings, all of single bird
Virginia Rail                     Brian and Scott heard 1 from boardwalk
Red-breasted Sapsucker 1 at Rowing Club
RED-EYED VIREO       SW corner of Dog Meadow, singing loudly
Purple Martin                  Female at gourds, male over Pea Patch
Lazuli Bunting                  Multiple singing males
Bullock's Oriole              First-year male singing

The CINNAMON TEAL and RED-EYED VIREO were new for the year.

The BULLOCK'S ORIOLE was singing a strange song that sounded exactly like what you might imagine if an oriole were to sing the call of the Common Poorwill. Really. It started with a couple of typical oriole beeping sounds, then said POOR-WILL in an oriole accent, then added a few trailing oriole beeps. And it repeated this song over and over and over.

Mammals seen early included Coyote and Mule Deer.

For the day, 57 species. For the year, we're up to at least 142.

== Michael Hobbs

Marsh Wren.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Male Common Yellowthroat singing atop a Red Elderberry.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Great Blue Heron that fell out of a nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Rufous Hummingbirds.  Photo by Lillian Reis.

Bushtits in a Red Elderberry.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Singing Red-eyed Vireo.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Red-eyed Vireo.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red eye of the Red-eyed Vireo.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cinnamon Teal pair at the lake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Purple Martin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Green Heron.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Lazuli Bunting near the Compost Piles.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Eastern Kingbird, East Meadow, 2012-06-16.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for June 23, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

It was cold, drizzly, rainy, dark, and fairly quiet at Marymoor. At this time of year, the chance of surprises is fairly low, and sure enough we didn't get anything really surprising.

But even in the wet, there were some things to see:

Wood Duck                    Several females with ducklings
Common Merganser        Mama in slough with babies riding her back
Green Heron                    Many sightings
Killdeer                           At least 18 on grass soccer fields
Caspian Tern                   Two high over lake platform
Barn Owl                        Matt & Ollie had several pre-dawn
Black Swift                      A dozen over the lake platform
Rufous Hummingbird       Many, some presumed juveniles
Yellow-rumped Warbler  One singing NE of the mansion
Bullock's Oriole                Megan saw a male near Dog Central in Cottonwood

There were many baby birds begging from adults (Black-capped Chickadee, Bewick's Wren, and a Brown-headed Cowbird being fed by a Song Sparrow, just to name a few), and usual numbers of the typical summer breeders like Swainson's Thrush and Willow Flycatcher. Black-headed Grosbeaks were not very apparent, but at least 1 was heard singing, and a nice male landed in front of us at the Rowing Club, where we were serenaded by Warbling Vireos. Lots of Cedar Waxwings. Lots of bunnies.

For the day, 59 species. Grace glimpsed an accipiter, which would make a
nice, round 60. Nothing new for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Babies climbing aboard female Common Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Babies aboard female Common Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Purple Martin in the rain.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male American Goldfinch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Singing White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Chestnut-backed Chickadee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Canada Geese massing in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pacific Ninebark blossoms.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Nuthatch feeding its young at the park office.  Photo by Lillian Reis, 2011-06-19

Willow Flycatcher, 2011-06-17.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Band-tailed Pigeons, 2011-06-17.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Belted Kingfisher, 2011-06-17.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Warbling Vireo, 2011-06-17.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for June 24, 2010

Finally a summery day!  Still a cool 50 degrees to start, but by 10:30, it approached 70.  And there was sun.  Fairly birdy too.

The most notable highlight was the LEAST FLYCATCHER, still singing incessantly from the grove on the north side of Dog Central, the main dog swim beach with the bulletin board and benches.  This bird has remained  in this tiny grove of willows and cottonwoods for 8 days at least, and he might be settled down for longer.

Other highlights:

Green Heron            Two flew down the slough early
Caspian Tern            One over the lake
Purple Martin           One female heading towards the lake
Wilson's Warbler     One across the slough from the windmill
Bullock's Oriole        Several sightings

There are lots of baby birds about, which provided us with strange noises to track down.  We had a both MALLARD and WOOD DUCK ducklings, a young WILLOW FLYCATCHER huddled on a branch, juvenile TREE SWALLOWS on dead twigs hanging over the slough, and near the start of the boardwalk there was an adult and a juvenile RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER, among many others.

An Eastern Kingbird was seen as recently as Tuesday.  The Ash-throated
Flycatcher has not been seen since Saturday, to the best of my knowledge.

For the day, 61 species.

== Michael

Juvenile Tree Swallows

Band-tailed Pigeon.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Least Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Swainson's Thrush

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bald Eagle adult in Big Cottonwood Forest...

...Ollie had a closer angle

American Goldfinch male

Same guy looking a bit less ruffled

Western Wood-Pewee

Savannah Sparrows.  I believe the one on the right is a juvenile

Male Bullock's Oriole in Snag Row

Marsh Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wilson's Warbler near windmill

Male Purple Martin in a nest gourd, 2010-06-18.  Photo by Bill Byers

Mt. Rainier looking good

The (non-native) Tulip Poplars are in bloom near the mansion

Report for June 18, 2009

A surprisingly interesting day at Marymoor this morning.  About 15 of us wandered around on a morning with heavy, dead air, under mostly overcast skies.  Thankfully, there wasn't a lot of heat to go with the humidity, and by about 8:00 a touch of breeze came up.  That kept the mosquito problem down to uncomfortable.

We kind of expect June to be a fairly static month, yet we had 10 species this week that we didn't have last week.


Sharp-shinned Hawk           Grace & Ollie reported 1 in the Pea Patch
Cooper's Hawk                   Adult (& immature?) near mansion
Caspian Tern                       One flying down river
Pacific-slope Flycatcher       1 singing at start of boardwalk
Purple Martin                      Male in gourd with 2 females
Orange-crowned Warbler   2(?) singing at "Mysterious Thicket"
Lazuli Bunting                      Several males singing still
Evening Grosbeak               Male calling at east end of boardwalk

An OSPREY was seen atop the Odd Snag which has hosted nesting RED-AILED  HAWKS for years.  The hawk nest failed this year (report of a Bald Eagle raid).  Sharon saw a Red-tail atop the snag moments after the Osprey had been seen, so the hawks may be maintaining ownership of the nest.

The GREEN HERON nest at the Rowing Club was empty, but one mostly-feathered young bird was a few feet away.  Presumably the others had managed to fly to other parts of the pond edges.  Many adults were sighted today.

This week (#25) is the week with the most CASPIAN TERN sightings at Marymoor.  Terns have been seen on 13 weeks, spanning May-July plus 1 April and 1 August sighting.  We've seen terns on 35 total days, and 7 of those have been on week #25.  So this week appears to be the peak of their summer wandering.

The BARN OWL nestbox had an adult visible, but in the morning, a white-fluffed baby, looking like a demented sock puppet, was also seen in the box.  It's still unknown how many babies there are this year, but the box looks crowded

Once again, Scott heard a WESTERN SCREECH-OWL southwest of the windmill area somewhere in the early morning.

The EVENING GROSBEAK is our first sighting of that species in "summer"  (June/July).

For the day, 61 species.

== Michael

A baby Barn Owl on the left, with a hint of the face of the adult, right

Rufous Hummingbird

Anna's Hummingbird, photo by Ollie Oliver

Anna's Hummingbird, photo by Yoshi Nishimura

Female Purple Martins

Male Purple Martin in near, left gourd

Male Purple Martin, photo by Yoshi Nishimura

The amazing sky over the lake platform

Nothern Flicker

Male American Goldfinch, photo by Yoshi Nishimura

Violet-green Swallow, photo by Yoshi Nishimura

Osprey atop Red-tailed Hawk nest on odd-snag west of the park
White Campion flowers, photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for June 19, 2008

The morning started out as a typical Junuary day - cool, overcast, a bit of drizzle, but it later warmed up to almost warm and summery.  I ended up almost wishing I'd taken off my sweatshirt, but not quite.  The mosquitoes weren't as bad as last week.

Best sighting of the day was Matt Bartels, who has rearranged his work schedule to allow some Thursdays off.

Other highlights:

COMMON LOON                 Well out on lake - failed breeder?
Cooper's Hawk                        Female on nest
PEREGRINE FALCON          Cruised over Snag Row
Red-breasted Sapsucker           LOTS of sightings
Pileated Woodpecker               Heard drumming and calling
Red-eyed Vireo                        Got to see on, s. end of Dog Area
Purple Martin                            TWO pairs at the gourds
Chestnut-backed Chickadee     Adult feeding fledged young
Swainson's Thrush                     Lots of singing, several views
Cedar Waxwing                        Ubiquitous.  Some pair feeding.

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael

Oh - and check out the cool photos of a female Common Merganser with chicks


Cedar Waxwing eating the ripest of the Red Elderberry berries

Female Purple Martin flying around the Compost Piles

Male Purple Martin flying around the Compost Piles

Ollie Oliver's photo of a Savannah Sparrow

Report for June 21, 2007

I think there were about 17 people today, although there was too much coming and going for me to keep everyone straight.  Weather on this Summer Solstice day was unique among all of my trips to Marymoor.  Skies were mostly overcast, with occasional sun breaks.  What was odd were the numerous drizzle-squalls.  Every once in a while the wind would suddenly pick up and we be hit by a wall of drizzle (maybe even just mist).  Hardly enough to even get you wet, but blowing horizontally.  After a couple of minutes, the precipitation and the wind would die down. Most bizarre.

This late June period is characterized by the presence of our breeding birds, with just a hint of post-breeding dispersal beginning.  Today we had our first WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW after six weeks without.  The Pea Patch featured a couple of sightings of an immature bird, still retaining juvenal plumage.  For whatever reason, WCSP seem to prefer to breed in the parking lots at Microsoft (and other similar places) over the verdant green of Marymoor; we usually have only distant heard-only WCSP during the peak of breeding season.  The rest of the year, though, they like Marymoor just fine. Today marked the first sign of their return.

 We also had two CASPIAN TERNS, perhaps failed breeders already ranging. This is by far the most common week of the year for Caspian Tern sightings at Marymoor (our 6th sighting for week 25, over the last 13 years).  No other week of the year has more than three sightings.  Most of our CATE sightings have been from late May through early July, with one April and one August sighting.

Other highlights:

Bald Eagle                          13 birds; perhaps 5 adults among them, over/near the lake
Red-breasted Sapsucker     Adult and immature near start of boardwalk
Rufous Hummingbird           Major hummingbird battles in the Pea Patch, with the larger
Anna's Hummingbird              ANHU being harassed by RUHU.  Both immature?
Warbling Vireo                    5-10 heard, with only 1 deigning to be visible
Red-eyed Vireo                   2 singing in Cottonwood Forest again, invisibly
Lazuli Bunting                       Male singing in Snag Row near the Compost Piles
Dark-eyed Junco                 Fresh juveniles in Pea Patch in their stripy glory

For the day, 56 species, including some California Quail reported by Brendan and Jonathan Higgins as they left the east end of the park.

== Michael

Black-headed Grosbeak

Juvenile Red-breasted Sapsucker

Savannah Sparrow

Rufous Hummingbird at "his" feeder.

Anna's Hummingbird

Juvenile Dark-eyed Junco


Bird Sightings Week 25
June 18-24*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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