Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 26
June 25 - July 1*


Rarities for Week 26:

African Collared-Dove 26-Jun-06 Presumed escapee.  Marc Hoffman and Ned McGarry, ph.
House Wren 10-Jun-21 Bird remained 03-Jun to at least 01-Jul
American Redstart
27-Jun-29 Just south of Dog Area along slough trail. Nice bright adult male.
Seen again 28-Jun-19
Indigo Bunting
18-Jun-20 Singing male, Dog Meadow. remained 11-Jun to at least 16-Jul
Budgerigar (escapee) 26-June-14 Seen from Lake Platform

Report for June 29, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was a nice a day as possible at Marymoor today: temps in the 60's - 70's, clear blue sky, hint of breeze.  Breeding season is wrapping up, and we saw the first signs of post-breeding dispersal; we saw a few species that don't actually breed in the park.  Total number of birds was actually not that high, possibly since some of our breeders are off on their own post-breeding dispersal.

  • Caspian Tern - One fishing on the lake appeared to be a juvenile
  • Great Blue Heron - Fewer than 10 occupied nests, and not that many birds seen foraging at the park
  • Green Heron - Two present, and heard them call about 4 times.  Slough below the weir, and later from the Lake Platform
  • OLIVE-SIDED FLYCATCHER - Scott got a good recording of a song from across the slough.  Unseen, but unmistakable Quick Three Beers
  • Purple Martin - Appear to be active still at both the gourds and in the snags west of the slough
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - Adult feeding a juvenile along Dog Meadow edge
  • Western Tanager - Adult male, southwest edge of Dog Meadow
Misses today included Red-tailed Hawk, Warbling Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, Cliff Swallow, Bushtit, and Red-winged Blackbird

Even with those misses, we had 58 species today plus "dark wing-tipped gull".  We also had beaver and a deer.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for June 30, 2022                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

It was a touch foggy and chilly to start the morning.  Partly cloudy skies for most of the morning kept the temperatures moderate.  The birds were very numerous and active, with many family groups making lots of noise.  We got most of the species we'd expect for this time of year, and a few more species of birds and mammals to make it a very enjoyable day.

  • Wood Duck - 3+ clutches of ducklings
  • Mallard - more ducklings
  • Band-tailed Pigeon - we saw small group after small group after small group
  • BLACK SWIFT - seen twice, maybe 6 birds.  Unusual on a day with nice weather
  • Caspian Tern - maybe as many as 15, which seems unusually high for Marymoor
  • Osprey - at least one baby on one of the two nests, and possibly some fledged young
  • Cooper's Hawk - juvenile caught a juvenile bird of some kind, just south of the Dog Meadow
  • GREAT HORNED OWL - what appeared to be an adult and a juvenile near the mansion.  The adult flew off, drawing scores of crows with it.  Frightening to see 60 or 70 crows continually tracking and mobbing the owl.  First of the year (FOY)
  • Five woodpecker day - Hairy (2) and Pileated (1) especially uncommon this time of year at Marymoor
  • Northern Rough-winged Swallow - one or two, only seen once before on this week of the year
  • European Starling - so many, mostly in family groups
  • Western Tanager - two west of the Rowing Club parking lot at the end of the survey
We also had Eastern Gray Squirrel, American Beaver out in daylight, Eastern Cottontail, and four River Otters in the slough

Misses today included Canada Goose, Hooded Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Green Heron, Belted Kingfisher, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Yellow-rumped Warbler.

For the day, 60 species of birds.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for July 1, 2021                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

Kind of a quiet, lazy morning at Marymoor today.  Very comfortable, with overcast and temps in the high 60’s all morning.  Many birds are still singing, but they are not perched out as obviously as early in Spring.  Hugh numbers of juvenile birds, most drab and streaky.  A few surprises.
  • Wood Duck – three females with ducklings.  Eclipse male at Rowing Club
  • Spotted Sandpiper – one or two near weir, including what may have been a high display flight
  • Caspian Tern – at least two over the lake
  • Osprey – three babies continue on ballfields nest.  At least 7 adults seen
  • House Wren – much quieter today.  Seen and heard near Pea Patch, including singing from atop a bird box
  • European Starling – so, so many today, with flocks of mixed adults and hatch-year birds - 120+
  • Purple Finch – young being fed
  • CHIPPING SPARROW – adult in East Meadow was a huge surprise – our first ever for June/July
  • Song Sparrow – many, many, many, mostly juveniles
  • Bullock’s Oriole – begging young and adult near Dog Area portapotties
  • Yellow Warbler – at least two singing males.  Adult feeding young at Rowing Club
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – adult male “Audubon’s” singing NE of mansion
  • WESTERN TANAGER – adult male singing at Rowing Club.  Quite uncommon at this time of year
  • Lazuli Bunting – several singing males in Dog Meadow, East Meadow.  Females and juveniles seen.  A dozen or more total
Good day for animal sightings too, including three RIVER OTTERS just above the weir, two “Black-tailed” MULE DEER on far side off slough below the weir, and pre-dawn AMERICAN BEAVER and BAT sp. for Matt, as well as the usual EASTERN COTTONTAIL and EASTERN GRAY SQUIRREL.
Misses today included Canada Goose, Hooded Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Killdeer, Green Heron, and Cliff Swallow
For the day, 59 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Report for June 25, 2020                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

We had a very nice morning for our walk today.  As usual for this time of year, not many surprises, except for a few seasonally unusual birds.  But all in all, a pretty good day.
  • Wood Ducks – three clutches of ducklings
  • Mallard – FIVE clutches of ducklings
  • Virginia Rail – one responded to clapping briefly from across the slough
  • American Coot – lone bird remains near Lake Platform
  • Great Blue Heron – first week seeing apparent juveniles out of the nest and along the slough
  • Green Heron – one flew up the slough
  • Osprey – birds at both nests, 6-8 birds total
  • Barn Owl – Matt had one in the East Meadow prior to 4:30 a.m.
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt had one near the east end of the boardwalk before 4:30 a.m.
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one heard just after 5:30 a.m.  Not at all common in June
  • Bullock’s Oriole – First-year and full adult males seen
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – Matt heard one pre-dawn; we may have seen another along the edge of the Dog Meadow
  • Wilson’s Warbler – Male singing and seen at Rowing Club; first ever for Week 26
  • Lazuli Bunting – our best estimate was 3-4 males, 2-3 females, with the higher value probable for both
  • INDIGO BUNTING – singing male continues in the trees and shrubs in the spirea area in the center of the Dog Meadow
Below the weir, a COYOTE on the far shore caused the Mallards to sound like a synchronized chorus of bullfrogs.  They were definitely concerned.
At the Rowing Club, a TOWNSEND’S MOLE tried desperately to burrow into the edge of the gravel path as we approached.  It refused an attempt to guide it to softer ground.
And we had at least a dozen EUROPEAN COTTONTAIL.
For the day, 64 species of bird.

== Michael Hobbs

Violet-green Swallow. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Townsend's Mole.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for June 27, 2019                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

This week, Week 26, is the heart of “The Doldrums”, where just about every bird we see is a local breeder, and where we can predict with very high accuracy the exact list of species we’ll see.  Barely worth doing the walk, one might say.  Week 26, with just a cumulative 94 species, has the worst diversity of any week of the year.  Or *had* the worst.  Today was a special exception.  The weather was definitely not propitious, with dark gray clouds and several brief morning showers.  So much for predictions.  Our best bird was an AMERICAN REDSTART, but that was by no means the only unusual sighting.
  • BLACK SWIFT – four seen over boardwalk
  • Spotted Sandpiper – one on the weir
  • Great Blue Herons – many young still on the nest, but at least a dozen fledged birds flying about the park
  • Barn Owl – none seen today, but Matt again heard young in the windmill
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt photographed a juvenile near east end of the boardwalk
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – several sightings, including two juveniles
  • WESTERN KINGBIRD – one in East Meadow – new for Week 26
  • RED-EYED VIREO – one singing and seen in flight near the heronry.  First June/July sighting since 2013
  • EVENING GROSBEAK – flyover flock of five – new for Week 26
  • Bullock’s Oriole – probably 3+ birds, poorly seen
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – never common at Marymoor this time of year, but today we heard 2-3 singing
  • AMERICAN REDSTART – bright adult male seen singing just south of the Dog Area along the slough trail!  Our only previous sighting of this species was two birds on August 22, 2002.  Obviously also new for Week 26
  • Western Tanager – never common at Marymoor this time of year; two at the Rowing Club
Misses today included Canada Goose, Pied-billed Grebe, Rock Pigeon, Green Heron, Red-tailed Hawk, Belted Kingfisher, Cliff Swallow, and Lazuli Bunting.  For the day, 61 species.
Week 26 picked up three species (WEKI, EVGR, AMRE) bringing it to 97 species, one more than Week 4.  And the AMERICAN REDSTART was a year bird.    A pretty special day.
== Michael Hobbs

== Michael Hobbs

Western Kingbird. Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile American Crow.  Note the pink gape and blue eye.
Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for June 28, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

A nice, if mostly cloudy day today. Lots of baby birds, but still many males singing.


  • Band-tailed Pigeon – adults and at least 1 juvenile
  • Eurasian Collared-Dove – juvenile in Pea Patch
  • Spotted Sandpiper – at least 2 near weir
  • Caspian Tern – one flying down the river
  • VIRGINIA RAIL – adult and 3 babies across slough
  • Barn Owl – baby(s) inside windmill, heard 3:30am
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt even got photos this morning around 4am
  • Black Swift – three above south end of Dog Meadow
  • Lazuli Bunting – 2 males singing, one north and one south of Fields 7-8-9
  • Bullock’s Oriole – female/juvenile in large cottonwood

The VIRGINIA RAILS were the big highlight. We haven’t even heard a rail since April, but today we heard what Matt thought were rail noises from across the river a little south of the Dog Meadow. About a minute after I played the call and got a response, Karen noticed an adult rail on mud across the river. As we watched over the next few minutes we spotted one, two, and then three black puffball babies following the adult around. Dare I say “cute”?

Earlier, we were happy to find TREE SWALLOWS feeding a baby in a hole in a cottonwood snag. Many pairs nest in boxes and gourds each year, but seeing them nest in natural holes is quite uncommon at Marymoor.

Immature birds noted today included DOWNY WOODPECKER, MARSH WREN, SPOTTED TOWHEE, COMMON YELLOWTHROAT, and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and at least 16 additional species.

For the day, 63 species. Last Thursday evening, my wife and I heard a COMMON NIGHTHAWK, new for 2018. I believe that brings the park year list to 141 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Western Screech-Owl on a branch near east end of boardwalk. Photo by Matt Bartels

Vaux's Swift.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Adult Bald Eagle.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Tree Swallow baby inside natural nest hole in snag.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Swainson's Thrush.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

This juvenile Red-tailed Hawk continuously screamed for food and attention from the nearby parent.  The evenly spaced spotting all over an evenly colored breast seemed quite unusual to me. Photo by Bob Asanoma

One of the three baby Virginia Rails who were following after their parent on the far side of the slough.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Wood Duck family.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for June 29, 2017                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

Today should have been amazing, and it wasn’t. First warm day of the year, though we were underneath thick fog for most of the morning. Things didn’t liven up when the fog burned off though. It was just QUIET.


  • Canada Goose – at least 3 clutches of goslings below the weir
  • Spotted Sandpiper – two on far side of slough below weir – First of 2017
  • Ring-billed Gull – one adult – getting late for them
  • California Gull – two adults, one subadult – getting late for them
  • Barn Owl – seen just south of Cirque du Soleil at about 5:10am
  • Hairy Woodpecker – at least 2
  • Merlin – one flew over us as we started the walk and landed NE of mansion
  • American Pipit – six on grass soccer fields
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – saw one, heard about two more – First of 2017
  • For warblers, we had 1-2 ORANGE-CROWNED, a handful or two of “Audubon’s” YELLOW-RUMPS, one heard-only BLACK-THROATED GRAY, and one heard-only WILSON’S. Pathetic.

We did have a LONG-TAILED WEASEL that gave us a few glimpses.

Today, not amazing, with 58 species, and low counts for many birds. Two new species for the year. I believe we’re up to 127 species for 2017.

== Michael Hobbs

Domestic back-cross Mallards.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Killdeer.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Great Blue Heron.  Note plumes at base of throat and on back, black-and-white crown, black streaks on upper neck, chestnut-and-black shoulders, pink/purple tinge to neck.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Juvenile Great Blue Heron. Note overall uniform pale gray color, gray streaks on throat and belly, dark gray (not black) on crown.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Purple Martin at the gourds.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Band-tailed Pigeon.  Photo by Milt Vine

Preening Tree Swallows.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult White-crowned Sparrow in the Pea Patch.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Wood Ducks at Rowing Club.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Green Heron at Rowing Club.  Photo by Joanne Iskierka

Bullfrog at Rowing Club.  Photo by Milt Vine

Mule Deer at Rowing Club.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for June 30, 2016                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

A typical pre-4th-of-July day; overcast, temps. near 60.  Not exactly warm and sunny, but pleasant enough.  The bird list was fairly typical, with only a few surprises.  Michael was out of town.


Wood Duck 5 - 2 across slough, 3 on our side - juv & female, no male

Pied-billed Grebe 2

Green Heron 2 (1 adult)

Spotted Sandpiper 1

Mourning Dove 1

Barn Owl 1 at windmill, 1 at meadow

Western Screech-Owl 1 (on path)

Black Swift probably 2

Willow Flycatcher calling at least 10, they were calling from everywhere

Pacific-slope Flycatcher 1, calling and singing, for a while

Purple Martin 3 males, 2 females, calling

Barn Swallow 15, calling, including young

Common Yellowthroat 10 males, singing, 20 females, 30?? Juveniles

Black-headed Grosbeak at least 15+ males, singing, M,F & I think young

Lazuli Bunting 1 males singing (great looks early near viewing mound)

Brewers’ Blackbird 1 juvenile, First of Year 

For the day, 64 species.

Brian Bell
Woodinville, WA

Canada Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Spotted Sandpiper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Ack - they saw me!"  Green Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mourning Dove.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Lazuli Bunting, singing.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Muskrat.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for June 25, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was about as summery a day as we ever get, today. Gorgeous clear skies, rather warm, no wind, lots of birds. Not really a lot of bird species, but juveniles have definitely increased the total bird population.


Cooper’s Hawk              Three sightings; maybe all the same bird
Red-tailed Hawk             Young atop odd-snag may have fledged TODAY
Spotted Sandpiper          Two at weir
California Gull (?)            Adult gull with extensive black wingtips flew by
CASPIAN TERN           One adult flew north over the slough
Anna’s Hummingbird       MANY
Belted Kingfisher             Adult male, juvenile, along slough
Red-breasted Sapsucker NUMEROUS, with at least 3 babies
Downy Woodpecker       About 4, some drumming, one juvie
Warbling Vireo                Feeding baby cowbird a Rowing Club :(
American Crow               Begging baby fed. Lots of begging calls.
Purple Martin                  Pair at gourd; also 2 first summer males there
Or.-crowned Warbler     Two singing; saw the one at the Rowing Club
Yellow-rumped Warbler  Male singing; 1-2 juveniles seen flying
Lazuli Bunting                  2 males singing early; female in Snag Row later
Brown-headed Cowbird  Several juveniles seen
Bullock’s Oriole              Adult female feeding young

Week 26 (which starts today) has the dubious distinction of having the least number of total species recorded over the last 20 years – just 90. (Compare with Week 18 at the beginning of May, at 139 species). Today, we saw over 2/3s of those 90 species. We had 62.

== Michael Hobbs

Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Juvenile Great Blue Herons on one of the nests.
Photo by Lillian Reis

Juvenile Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Spotted Sandpiper at the weir.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Killdeer.  Photo by Lillian Reis

American Robin eating Red Elderberries.
Photo by Lillian Reis

Cabbage White butterfly.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Swallowtail Butterfly.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Bee on flower in Community Gardens.
Photo by Lillian Reis

Mount Rainier at dawn from the Viewing Mound.
Photo by Michael Hobbs

Osprey bringing fish to the nest, 2015-06-20.
Photo by Lillian Reis

Adult and two juvenile Osprey on the nest, 2015-06-20.
Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for June 26, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was overcast, with light precipitation about 1/3 of the time. Since it was fairly warm (60 degrees) and since the rain only rarely reached “rain”, and stayed mostly at “drizzle” or “mizzle”, things weren’t too bad. It was BIRDY, especially with all of the juvenile birds about. Lots of different, unfamiliar, vocalizations and strange looking birds. It’s been a productive year at the park.

The oddest highlight was a NEW BIRD FOR THE PARK, though not one that we can count. As we neared the Lake Platform, I saw a flash of yellow and green streak past, and noticed a long tail. We were able to find the bird later when it was being chased by an American Robin. It then landed in a willow across the slough, where we could squint at it for quite a while. BUDGERIGAR (i.e. someone’s lost pet Budgie). It had a lemon-yellow head, and it was florescent green over most of the rest of the body. The wings were finely striped in black. I couldn’t tell the color of the tail streamer – either blue or green. It did not seem to have obvious black barring on the nape, but it might just have been hard to see, or the bird might be one of those domesticated forms whose colors differ from the native birds. Definitely not native around here, as Budgies are from Australia. This one must have been blown off course (Yeah, right).


Wood Duck                      Very large number of independent juveniles
Great Blue Heron              Some nests still active
Spotted Sandpiper            Two at weir
California Gull                   One; rare at this time of year
Caspian Tern                     Three overhead at 5:30 a.m.
Barn Owl                           Sharon had one before 5 am
Black Swift                        Two, or one seen twice
Red-breasted Sapsucker    Several, including at least 3 juveniles
MERLIN                           Quick flyby; rare at this time of year
Purple Martin                     Heard at 4 a.m., active at gourds
Western Tanager               One male at Compost Piles; out of season
Lazuli Bunting                    2+ singing males
Bullock’s Oriole                Adults feeding juveniles

Song Sparrows and Common Yellowthroats feeding juvenile cowbirds; for both host species, we saw multiple cowbird chicks with a single host parent at least once.

We also had a MINK cross the path at the Rowing Club.

For the day, 61 species plus the Budgie. Nothing new for the year (except the Budgie), so we’re still at 139 for 2014.

== Michael Hobbs

Osprey.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Common Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Great Blue Herons still on the nest.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Not all of the baby Great Blue Herons have survived.  We found this carcass a couple of hundred yards from the heronry.  It may have been an eagle kill; the head, wings, and legs were intact, but the rest of the body had been eaten.  I won't show the gory details, but I found the wings interesting.

The primary and secondary feathers (the flight feathers) are still present.  The blue shafts are the sheathes which the feathers grow inside.  As the feather gets more mature, the sheath shortens (peals away, I believe) until the whole feather is revealed.  This young bird still needed quite a bit of time on the nest for those feathers to mature.

The Marymoor heronry has been very productive this year.   I don't know that anyone has done a census, but I believe young were raised on at least 15 nests.  Many of the nests have had 3 young on them, which might mean 40+ babies this year.  Most seem to have survived to fledging, though obviously not all.

Up and down the slough, you can now find juvenile herons attempting to fish.  They have a lot to learn.  Last week, we saw a juvenile in water that was too deep.  Wading too deep not only makes the sight lines worse for spotting fish, it also means that the stabbing thrust to try and catch a fish is accompanied by sloshing a lot of water with the body.  That must make success more difficult.  Another young bird had the opposite problem; it was standing on a branch too far above the water to reach, though it was staring intently downwards at the prey.  Two weeks ago, we saw a juvenile take flight from a branch, only it forgot to let go of the branch...

Juvenile Northern Flicker waiting impatiently in the nest hole for a parent to bring back some food.  This nest hole is in a snag amongst the trees of the heronry, and there are at least two babies.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Purple Martin at the gourds at the Lake Platform.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Budgerigar, across the slough from the Lake Platform.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Budgerigar, across the slough from the Lake Platform.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for June 27, 2013                                                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

It was overcast and rather drizzly this morning, but not too unpleasant really. The most notable bird sightings were the numerous juveniles, many being fed by their parents.


Great Blue Heron            Several fledged young along slough edge
                                       Many nests still have young
Virginia Rail                    One heard singing (tock ta dock) below weir
Black Swift                     At least one, south of East Meadow
Rufous Hummingbird       More than one fledged juvenile
Red-breasted Sapsucker Nest with gray-headed baby looking out
Pacific-slope Flycatcher  One heard calling, along boardwalk
COMMON RAVEN      Family group (?) of 5 in Big Cottonwood Forest
Purple Martin                  Female observed gathering nest materials, Dog Meadow
Tree Swallow                  Two young looking out of gourd at lake
Bushtit                             Large flock (~15) observed. One family?
Red-breasted Nuthatch   Adult bringing food to nest hole near park office
Brown Creeper               Family group (5) near concert venue restrooms
Golden-crowned Kinglet Young fed by adults west of mansion
American Robin              Many fledged juveniles
Yellow Warbler              Young bird following around adult(s)
Yellow-rumped Warbler Young birds following around adult
BULLOCK’S ORIOLE Three begging young – two nests? (two ages)

For the day, 58 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Common Mergansers, 2013-06-24.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsuckers exchange at the nest, 2013-06-24.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker juvenile at the nest, 2013-06-24.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Great Blue Heron, 2013-06-23.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Long-tailed Weasel, 2013-06-22.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Long-tailed Weasel, 2013-06-22.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Long-tailed Weasel, 2013-06-22.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male House Finch, 2013-06-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male American Goldfinch, 2013-06-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Purple Martin bursts from the nest gourd, 2013-06-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Bald Eagle, 2013-06-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Canada Geese, including young, 2013-06-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrows, 2013-06-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Osprey feeding 3 young at nest, 2013-06-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk revisits the nest, 2013-06-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for June 28, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

Michael is in Prague and Matt is back in Minnesota so I got to lead the group out at Marymoor this morning. We had a great day with good weather, cool early then warming up, clear early and some high cirrus later.

Lots of singing today, and lots of young birds around - plenty of practice in recognizing those unusual looking juvenile Dark-eyed Juncos and even some juvenile Yellow-rumped Warblers.

The Great Blue Heron young are getting really big and looking like fledging is imminent for many of them - one had fledged and was perched in a snag across from the second dog access point. Terrific bill clacking and complaining from the nest.

I had one Barn Owl early over the East Meadow. We wound up seeing and hearing 63 species today.

We had so much early activity that it took us from 5:30 to 8:30 to get to Dog Central.

Notable species:

Barn Owl                         East Meadow at 4:13

Green Heron                  Maybe 2 or 3
Peregrine Falcon          Over dog area quickly moving away to the north
Black Swift                     One bird - very unusual for clear conditions
Cassin's Vireo               Singing and excellent views
Purple Martin                 Male and two females at gourds at lake platform
Western Tanager          Heard by Sharon

Brian H. Bell

Woodinville Wa

Adult Bald Eagle.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Yellowthroat, with food presumably for its young.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female or juvenile Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Fledged juvenile Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Marsh Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-eyed Vireo.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Garter Snake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for June 30, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

Except for it being cold enough that we were all wearing sweaters and jackets (and some were wearing gloves) it otherwise felt like a July visit. Quite quiet, nothing too surprising in terms what species we saw, lots of baby birds. But we were still rewarded for our diligence in making the usual rounds.

The first highlight was a BULLOCK'S ORIOLE nest, with both parents bringing food back to squeaking babies inside. The nest was just east of the 3rd dog swim beach in a cottonwood. This is only the 3rd time we've found an oriole nest at the park, the others being in 2004 and 2006 over at the Rowing Club. (Two other years we've seen adults feeding fledged juveniles, so they probably nested at least near the park those years, if not somewhere we didn't find within the park).

Our second highlight was truly unexpected. At the south end of the dog area we heard the squeaking of a juvenile bird begging. We were shocked to find a baby BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD being fed by at least two BUSHTITS. Looking a little bit into the literature, this appears to be extremely rare (10 reports as of 1989, according the article cited below), with most of those being documented by examination of the eggs within the nest. Bushtits actually feeding a cowbird may be even rarer, though the authors indicate that the host providing food to a cowbird may not be the same species as the hatching host. I have a hard time imagining a cowbird being able to leave an egg in a bushtit nest, though it apparently is possible. See

Other highlights:

Wood Duck                  Quite a few ducklings, wide range of sizes
Common Merganser      One in the slough as we left the park
Band-tailed Pigeon         Many flyovers, some good looks.
Barn Owl                       Matt may have heard babies in the windmill, saw 3 adults
Rufous Hummingbird      Notably large numbers - mostly juvies
Yellow-rumped Warbler Male "Audubon's" south of windmill, singing
LAZULI BUNTING      Male singing north of fields 7-8-9

The Band-tailed Pigeons were a life bird (or at least a life-look) for Julie, a visiting birder from Houston. It's always fun to get someone a lifer.

Amazingly, the group managed to find 57 species today, though few of us had more than 50 species on our personal lists.

== Michael Hobbs

Violet-green Swallow (left) with Tree Swallows.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Bullock's Oriole in flight.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Bullock's Oriole at the nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Bullock's Oriole at the nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Band-tailed Pigeon.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Eclipse male Common Merganser in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Kingbird.  Photo by Lillian Reis, 2011-06-24

Report for July 1, 2010

It was a rather gloomy and damp morning that made me wish I'd worn my gore-tex jacket instead of just a sweatshirt.  We had gentle mist most of the morning, which was far less annoying than the mosquitoes.  And while a few birds (i.e. robins) were very visible and obvious, things were otherwise pretty quiet.


Wood Duck                     Lots of females with broods
Barn Owl                         Seen over the East Meadow early
Western Screech-Owl      Calling near the windmill as late as 5am
Rufous Hummingbird         Many - often 2 chasing each other
Purple Martin                    Nesting in both gourds at the lake
Bullock's Oriole                Maybe female with young

The "best birds" were two LONG-TAILED WEASELS at the Rowing Club.

There were many juvenile birds - chickadees, bushtits, etc.  Probably one of  the Black-headed Grosbeaks was a young one.  Definitely some of the Savannah
Sparrows were juvies, as were a couple of Red-winged Blackbirds.

The Least Flycatcher was not heard, despite our lingering there for quite a while.

For the day, 56 species.  Pretty quiet...

== Michael

Eye in the Sky

Black-headed Grosbeak, probable juvenile

Very pale-backed juvenile Bald Eagle.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Anna's Hummingbird in the Pea Patch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Rufous Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Same bird.  Juvenile???.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for June 25, 2009

It did not feel like summer today.  In absolute terms, the temps were okay (55-64 degrees), but with cloudy skies and a stiff wind, it was chilly.  The wind made things difficult as usual.  I hate wind.  About a dozen of us started out at 5:30 for a pretty decent day.


AMERICAN BITTERN  One seen briefly near the weir
Barn Owl                         Adult visible in the nest box
Pacific-slope Flycatcher   1 faintly singing in Big Cottonwood Forest
Purple Martin                   6 at lake
Red-eyed Vireo               2-3 singing today! (invisibly)
Lazuli Bunting                   Pair between Compost Piles & model airplane field
Bullock's Oriole                Male just east of weir
Long-tailed Weasel          Crossed trail near weir

The AMERICAN BITTERN was our first for 2009.  We get bitterns usually about 3-4 times per year, and we've had them every month except December.  They seem to occur slightly more often in May and June than in other months, but with little other discernable pattern.

We have not previously had PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER often during the peak breeding season; usually only as migrants.  One, at least, was singing last Thursday, and was heard again Saturday, and then today.  So maybe he's on territory.

Last Saturday, my son Tim and I put up two more gourds for PURPLE MARTINS on a piling visible from the lake platform.  Today, a female (and later a male) was in the leftmost of the near (old) gourds, and three martins were perched on the crossbar of the new gourd pair.  All together, I think we saw 6 martins from the lake platform.  On Saturday, Tim and I also canoed over to the northeast corner of the lake, where I was surprised to see that someone had put up some new boxes, and possibly cleaned and refurbished some of the old boxes.  In a very quick scan, we found martins in at least 6 of those boxes.  So a banner year for nesting Purple Martins at Marymoor!

LOT OF BABY BIRDS were about today, including Wood Duck, Hooded Merganser, Osprey (baby(s?) on nest), Bald Eagle, Rufous Hummingbird, Downy Woodpecker, American Crow, Tree Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Bushtit, Golden-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, and Brown-headed Cowbird.  (Maybe some of the House Finch too?)

The weasel was very cute!

For the day, 54 species.  For the year, 141?

== Michael

Juvenile Tree Swallow

Female Purple Martin

New gourds with 3 Purple Martins visiting

Singing Swainson's Thrush at the Rowing Club
Female (left) and male Purple Martins.  Photos by Brian Dobbins, June 26.

Female Wood Duck with Ducklings.  Photo by Brian Dobbins, June 26

Report for June 26, 2008

Another cold, cloudy, breezy, morning.  I was hoping for weather like yesterday's, but we got more Junuary.  Everybody was wearing sweaters AND coats, and there was a lot of wishing for gloves and talk of hot chocolate.

This isn't the most exciting June we've ever had, though the usual breeding birds are in evidence (with the notable exception of Pied-billed Grebe, completely uncharacteristically absent since April).

The biggest excitement today was an extremely close encounter with 2 LONG-TAILED WEASELS at Dog Central that came up to with 10 feet of us.  They were busy chasing each other around, paid us no mind at all, and forgot to worry about dogs until almost too late.

Bird highlights:

Green Heron                     Rowing Club nest has 4 babies
Cooper's Hawk                Female on nest, male harassed by crows
Caspian Tern                    One on lake
Band-tailed Pigeon            Large flock
Barn Owl                          Matt had 2-3 early
Belted Kingfisher               3-5, including some young we think
Downy Woodpecker         Male feeding fledgling
Yellow.-rumped Warbler    2 northeast of mansion
LAZULI BUNTING          Male singing north of fields 7-8-9

For the day, 58 species.

= Michael

Band-tailed Pigeon flock near 2nd dog swim beach

Long-tailed Weasel at Dog Central bench

The two weasels moving fast...

Female (left) and male Brown-headed Cowbird at the Community Gardens

Our day's only Canada Goose with a Great Blue Heron near the windmill

We think this was a juvenile creeper.  For a while it was creeping sideways,
and even down.  It seemed a bit downy as well.  Seen south of the mansion.

Adult (upper left) Green Heron standing guard over the nest (lower middle)
at the Rowing Club

Four babies were seen in the nest (three beaks visible in this photo)

At this age the young look like fluffballs with huge beaks

Report for June 28, 2007

I think there were just 10 of us today, under solid, high overcast, with occasional drizzle (but nothing really to speak of). Windless and mosquitoey, temps warming. Quite a nice day today, except that none of us could wake up. I certainly needed a nap when I got back (hence this tardy post).

The species count was pretty good, but there weren't any real surprises. What there was were many opportunities to spend a lot of time watching our common, extraordinary birds.

Here are some random highlights:

Just before 5:30 a.m., Brian and I saw a SPOTTED SANDPIPER in the containment pond near the paved Event Pad.

On a small, dead-topped elderberry in the Dog Meadow were a male AMERICAN GOLDFINCH, a male BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK, and a male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT.

A GREAT BLUE HERON spent more than 10 minutes (at which point I dragged the group off to continue our walk) trying to eat an absolutely enormous fish - maybe a bullhead. The fish must have been a foot long, and looked clearly too big around for a heron to swallow.

BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEES were seen bringing food to, and taking a fecal sac away from a nest hole in one of the easternmost trees in Snag Row.


A female COMMON MERGANSER sat atop some of the chopped snags in Snag Row, which is comical to see.

I had one BLACK SWIFT that challenged my identification skills as it was flying in a straight line flapping continuously.

There were an abundance of both RUFOUS and ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRDS, often with intra- and inter-species chases. While we saw them in several places, the highest concentrations were at the south end of the Dog Meadow and in the Pea Patch.

We had a juvenile PURPLE FINCH, which is the first I ever remember at Marymoor. Previously, summer sightings of PUFI have been pretty sparse - this year, we've seen them each week. Several other PUFI were singing.

At the Rowing Club, I found a WARBLING VIREO singing from a nest. Viewing was VERY OBSCURED, though most of the group (amazingly) managed to see the nest eventually.

At the lake, on the new dock, was a single BONAPARTE'S GULL.

Brandon found our first RED-BREASTED NUTHATCH since January, in some Doug Firs east of the mansion.

Babies abounded: American Robin, European Starling, Dark-eyed Junco, Black-capped Chickadee, Red-tailed Hawk, Brown-headed Cowbird, Tree Swallow, Violet-green Swallow, Barn Swallow, Mallard, Black-headed Grosbeak, Anna's Hummingbird, Purple Finch, Warbling Vireo, Bushtit, Canada Goose, Wood Duck, House Finch, White-crowned Sparrow, and Downy Woodpecker. Probably other species too, but some of the Song Sparrows, for instance, are getting a bit hard to tell from adults.

For the day, 61 species.

== Michael

Juvenile Downy Woodpecker

Great Blue Heron with enormous fish (Bullhead?)

Juvenile Black-headed Grosbeak

Female Common Merganser on snag

Male Anna's Hummingbird

Male Anna's Hummingbird

Wood Duck female with babies

Wood Duck female with babies

Peak-a-boo view of a male Yellow Warbler


Bird Sightings Week 26
June 25 - July 1*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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