Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 33
August 13-19*


Rarities for Week 33:

Semipalmated Plover 14-Aug-14 Flight call heard pre-dawn
Solitary Sandpiper 18-Aug-94 Flew south down slough, and landed on weir.

...Red-shouldered Hawk

12-Aug-16 Photos by Mike West, with Joyce Meyer
Bank Swallow 18-Aug-16  
American Dipper 15-Aug-13  
Lesser Goldfinch 14-Aug-14 One in Pea Patch
Vesper Sparrow 16-Aug-07 Northeast corner of the Dog Meadow
American Redstart 18-Aug-22 At Rowing Club dock

Report for August 17, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It started warm today and got hotter and hotter.  By 10:15 it was 79 degrees, according to my car.  This long stretch of hot, dry weather does not help the birding one bit.  It's hard enough to find birds in July and August...

It was extremely quiet except for one nice mixed flock along the west edge of the Dog Meadow.

  • Gadwall - One-to-several from the Lake Platform
  • Ring-billed Gull - One from Lake Platform.  Our only gull
  • Cooper's Hawk - One at Pea Patch
  • Owl sp. - Tony had a largish owl fly SW over the East Meadow pre-dawn.  Great Horned?  Barred?  Short-eared (seems too early)?
  • Hairy Woodpecker - One heard near the start of the boardwalk
  • Purple Martin - Two babies being fed at the gourds.  Lots of activity in snags west of the slough too
The mixed flock, west edge of the Dog Meadow, along about 100 yards in the 15 minutes we spent sorting through them:
  • Anna's Hummingbird
  • Downy Woodpecker - At least a couple
  • Western Wood-Pewee - Several
  • Willow Flycatcher - 1-2
  • Warbling Vireo - Maybe 6!  At least some seemed to show quite a bit of yellow on the belly
  • Black-capped Chickadees
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadees
  • American Robins
  • Cedar Waxwings, including adults and immatures
  • Yellow Warbler - 1-2
  • Western Tanager - Maybe 6!  
And seen in approximately the same area a little later:
    Black-throated Gray Warbler - 1

Misses today included Killdeer, Spotted Sandpiper, Red-tailed Hawk, Violet-green Swallow, Purple Finch, Brown-headed Cowbird (might have seen one juvenile), Wilson's Warbler, and Black-headed Grosbeak.

For the day, just 52 species, counting Tony's owl.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for August 18, 2022                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

Warm, muggy, breezeless, cloudy, August.  These do not make for a great day of birding.  It was super quiet, but we did have quite a few people and many eyes, so we found a few birds.

  • Spotted Sandpiper - one at the weir
  • Caspian Tern - one flying high towards the lake
  • Green Heron - probably two birds, 3+ sightings total
  • Osprey - one nest is done for the year, the other has two nearly-fledged young
  • Five Woodpecker Day - though only seven individuals combined
  • Merlin - one being chased off by Purple Martins near weir
  • Peregrine Falcon - one flew west over NW part of Dog Meadow
  • Warbling Vireo - two seen
  • AMERICAN REDSTART - one seen for about 10 seconds at Rowing Club dock, only our 4th record for the park
Unfortunately, there were only three of us at the Rowing Club for the American Redstart, and I don't think Brian got a very satisfactory look.  

For the most part, birds were quiet AND invisible.  We saw only one or two individuals for a whopping 30 species (sometimes hearing a few more), with 5 more species heard-only!  

Misses included Pied-billed Grebe, Rock Pigeon, Cooper's Hawk, Violet-green Swallow, Brown-headed Cowbird, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, and Black-headed Grosbeak.

We did see beaver and deer (one each).

For the day, 55 species of birds.

- Michael Hobbs

Report for August 19, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

A little early overcast cleared to hazy skies, especially to the east.  A quiet day.
  • NORTHERN SHOVELER – one female-type at the weir.  Our earliest fall sighting by 3 days (if you don’t count a very out-of-season bird on 2017-07-25, photographed by Kazuto Shibata)
  • Common Merganser – seven at the weir, our first after a 6-week absence
  • Vaux’s Swift – several sightings of multiple birds, after a summer of sparse sightings
  • Western Screech-Owl – heard predawn
  • Great Horned Owl – Matt saw one predawn along road
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher – one south of the East Meadow – First of Year for the survey !
  • Purple Martin – still several flying around calling
  • Swallow spp. – white-breasted swallows without noticeable saddlebags over Dog Meadow.  Another bird at the lake.  Thinking Tree and Northern Rough-winged respectively, but listing as spp.
  • Cliff Swallow – one near Viewing Mound
  • Barn Swallow – several
  • Cedar Waxwing – our most numerous passerine
  • Yellow Warbler – one heard singing, East Meadow.  Our only warbler besides Common Yellowthroat
  • Western Tanager – three near weir, additional sightings near mansion.  First sightings after 6-week absence
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – one below the weir in large dead tree
From the Lake Platform we could see many distant swallows and about 10 scattered, distant gulls.  But the haze prevented any IDs.   A late scan of the lake confirmed California Gull and Glaucous-winged (or maybe Olympic) gulls, and several more that remained unidentified due to distance.  I might have glimpsed a Caspian Tern, but couldn’t verify.
Misses included Spotted Sandpiper, Green Heron, Cooper’s Hawk, Chestnut-backed Chickadee, Golden-crowned Kinglet, Brown-headed Cowbird, Black-throated Gray Warbler, and Wilson’s Warbler.
Quite a few birds barely made it on to the list, based on being heard distantly, or being barely glimpsed.  We did manage to identify 54 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Osprey.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for August 13, 2020                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Cold to start (47 degrees or so), but a beautiful morning, and it did warm fairly soon.  Birdier than expected, but we were beset by early morning fog.
  • Rufous Hummingbird – One in the Pea Patch – first in weeks
  • Barn Owl – one pre-dawn
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt had 1-2 (probably 2) pre-dawn
  • Green Heron – two sightings – one bird?  Great looks at the Rowing Club.  Other sighting at the top of a tree, looking like a crow
  • 5 Woodpecker Day
  • Western Wood-Pewee – quite a few, including apparent young
  • Willow Flycatcher – ditto
  • Warbling Vireo – nice looks along west edge of Dog Meadow
  • Purple Martin - Gourds appear empty. Most of the martins were perched and flying around snags west of the slough
  • Red Crossbill – Flock of 2 dozen flew over the Viewing Mound, calling – First of Year?
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – several seen well – all juveniles?
  • Wilson’s Warbler – adult male at Rowing Club
  • Western Tanager – one heard and glimpsed, one heard
For the day, 59 species (including 2-3 gull sp.)
== Michael Hobbs

Report for August 15, 2019                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was a gorgeous morning today, with sunshine and very pleasant temps.  Birds were patchy, and we found a couple of really nice mixed flocks.  The Best Mixed Flock (BMF) was on the southwest edge of the Dog Meadow.  The Second Best Mixed Flock (SBMF) was on the southwest edge of the East Meadow
  • Common Merganser – mom with 6 almost-full-sized ducklings
  • Rufous Hummingbird – one, after 2 week absence
  • Cooper’s Hawk – one cruised past us a little before 6
  • Warbling Vireo – probably a couple or more in the (BMF)
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee – Notable today for their widespread occurrence
  • Bushtit – Masses of minute distractions in the mixed flocks.  Maybe 30 birds total
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – probably only one, in the BMF
  • Yellow Warbler – maybe four total, including 1-2 in the BMF
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – At least 2 (male and female) in the BMF
  • Wilson’s Warbler – Male in the BMF, one female later
  • Western Tanager – at least 2 in the SBMF
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – four in the SBMF
So no real surprises today, but very nice to have a FIVE WARBLER DAY.
Misses today included Pied-billed Grebe, Rock Pigeon, Green Heron, Violet-green Swallow, European Starling, Savannah Sparrow, and Brown-headed Cowbird.
For the day, 54 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Report for August 16, 2018                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Michael was out today, so Sharon & I [mostly Sharon] kept track of sightings at Marymoor for the weekly walk. It was still hazy, but cooler most all of the morning — there was a decent variety of birds for a mid-august walk, but the #s were pretty low throughout. On the ‘moving out’ side: Willow Flycatchers & Swainson’s Thrush were only heard pre-dawn; Savannah Sparrows were not in evidence; and swallow #s were down [poor light made it difficult to id as many as usual to species as well].


  • Rufous Hummingbird - still one around at the garden
  • 5 woodpecker day - we haven’t had one of those for a long time - The Red-breasted Sapsucker was well across the slough and on a high snag
  • Merlin - one brief sighting by mansion
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher - 1 imm
  • Purple Martin - still two nestlings in gourd at lake-viewing platform
  • Orange-crowned Warbler - saw a couple, maybe heard others
  • Wilson’s Warbler - one male
  • Western Tanager - one at the first dog launch in the off-leash area, prdik -ing away.

Notable misses: Violet-green Swallow [though we did have many un-id’d swallows], European Starling, Marsh Wren, Black-thorated Gray Warbler, Savannah Sparrow,

Matt Bartels Seattle, WA

Nice portrait of a typical female Mallard.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Female Mallard being very atypical, sitting in a bush.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

The day's ONLY Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

The last of the nestling Purple Martins.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Young Garter Snake.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Hooded Mergansers at the Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for August 17, 2017                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Well, still in the doldrums — Marymoor Park today did a good job of showing just how quiet the mid-August birding can be — it was mighty quiet almost all day — Brian Bell & I substituted for Michael Hobbs in leading this week’s walk — weather was great, in the low-to-mid 60s - but the birds were mostly quiet. Highlights:
  • Greater Yellowlegs - one heard at about 5:30, from the meadow viewing mound. Likely our first for the year at the park.
  • Green Heron - 2 juvies along the slough, 1 adult at the Rowing Club
  • Barn Owl - one flying in the east meadow and model airplane field around 5:30 - 5:45
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler - 1 seen in south end of dog meadow
  • Yellow Warbler - only 1, heard singing

Only 1 Willow Flycatcher heard, and other heard-only birds included Purple Martin, Pileated Woodpecker, Killdeer, Red-breasted Nuthatch and more. We missed things that might be moving on like Black-headed Grosbeak, Swainson’s Thrush, and Spotted Sandpiper , as well as a few locals like Bushtit and Red-breasted Sapsucker.

We did have a nice show of Vaux’s Swifts late, with a flock of ~20 over the entrance bridge.

For the day, 43 species, well below the total for the last several weeks.

Good birding,
Matt Bartels Seattle, WA

Great Blue Heron on the weir, showing very low water levels. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Black-capped Chickadee.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

East Meadow, looking very dry. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for August 18, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Much less birdy today than the reports from last week, but still not without some good sightings. It was sunny, hot, and dry, and the birds were quiet and hard to find.


Virginia Rail                  1 seen, river’s edge near start of boardwalk
Spotted Sandpiper        1 nearly fully feathered, at weir
Greater Yellowlegs       1 heard
Barn Owl                      1-2, East Meadow, pre-dawn
Pileated Woodpecker   Heard several times
Warbling Vireo             2 together, seen twice (or 4)
Purple Martin                Pair at gourd with 2 babies in gourd
N. R.-winged Swallow 1 at lake
BANK SWALLOW    1 at lake
Swainson’s Thrush        Very few, none seen
Bl.-thr. Gray Warbler    Several – 4-8, though hard to count
Wilson’s Warbler          At least 1 male
LAZULI BUNTING     Juvenile (?) near Pea Patch

Misses for the day included Pied-billed Grebe, Band-tailed Pigeon, Cliff Swallow, Marsh Wren, European Starling, Orange-crowned Warbler, Black-headed Grosbeak, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Western Wood-Pewee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Willow Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female or juvenile Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female or juvenile Lazuli Bunting.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Half of a Virginia Rail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Other half of the Virginia Rail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Almost all of the Virginia Rail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Sometimes you only get half...  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pair of Purple Martins above their gourd nest with two young (unseen here)
Photo by Hugh Jennings

Young male Wood Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-shouldered Hawk, 2016-08-12.  Photo by Mike West

Red-shouldered Hawk, 2016-08-12.  Photo by Mike West

Report for August 13, 2015                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

We seem to be on the cusp, with the end of breeding lingering on, while post-breeding dispersal and migration are only just creeping in. Combine that will early morning fog, and a plethora of juvenile birds making odd sounds – well, the morning was frustrating at times trying to get looks. Especially for the first couple of hours, there were a lot of glimpses of birds, rather that great looks for everybody. The REALLY early birders had some Perseid meteors to dazzle them until it got too light around 5:00. Thick fog from then until sunrise meant no owls. By the end of the day, though, there had been some good birds and interesting sightings.


Gr. White-fronted Goose   One near climbing rock. Very early!
Gadwall                             One at lake; first since early May
Common Merganser           Lone duckling at weir, 14 larger ones in slough
Great Blue Heron               One nest has 2 babies – 2nd clutch?
Green Heron                      A couple (or more) juveniles along the slough
Eurasian Collared-Dove     Sharon saw one near the White-fronted Goose
Pileated Woodpecker        One heard many times west of the slough
Warbling Vireo                  A *flock* near the heronry – numbers nearing 10
Purple Martin                     Gourd nest young fledged. A couple of birds overhead
N. Rough-winged Swallow 1-2 over East Meadow
Bewick’s Wren                  Notably many – 20+
Swainson’s Thrush             Juvenile seen eating dogwood berries
Orange-crowned Warbler  1-2 at Rowing Club
Yellow-rumped Warbler    More than a handful
Black-thr. Gray Warbler    3+
Wilson’s Warbler               1 near start of boardwalk
Western Tanager                At least a couple

The GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE is by far our earliest fall record. We’ve only had one other August record, back on 2004-08-25, and only two other records prior to mid-September.

We had no Rufous Hummingbirds – they may be done for the year. No Vaux’s Swift either, though I expect we’ll see some migrants later. Also missing were Violet-green Swallows, but they get sporadic at this time of year. We’ve had pretty regular sightings into October of previous years, but from here on out, we miss them more often that we see them. No Cliff Swallows, and they may be done for the year at Marymoor.

With sightings of YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLER last week and this week, we now have records of this species from every week of the year. YRWA is the 42nd such species, and there are 5 more species that are missing only one or two weeks.


For the day, 62 species of bird. For 2015, we’re up to 140 species. We’ve got about a dozen more that we’re still likely to get this year, plus hopefully a few rarities. In recent years, we’ve been tallying in the high 150s per year.

== Michael Hobbs

Sunrise.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Spotted Sandpiper.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

Green Heron and Mallard.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Beaver.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Mergansers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Mergansers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Green Herons still on the nest.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-headed Grosbeak.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Swainson's Thrush eating Red-osier Dogwood berries.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cabbage White butterfly.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Greater White-fronted Goose.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Muskrat.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 14, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

What an amazing and unusual day at the park this morning. It was darkly overcast, and we had a few sprinkles though nothing sustained at all. So we were dry, if squinting to make out details on the birds sometimes due to the darkness. It was muggy, though not very warm, and the air felt dead and heavy. But the birds popped up in groups here and there, and contrary to the usual August day, the species list was not limited to the expected species.

Two huge highlights for the day:

First, at 5:30 a.m., Matt & I were pretty convinced that we wouldn’t see any owls due to ground fog (and we didn’t see any). Matt dejectedly started asking if it had been a whole year since we’d added a bird to the park list (not quite; the last one being Long-tailed Jaeger on August 29th last year). Shortly thereafter, we heard a flying bird calling. I thought “shorebird”, but Matt was more adept at identification and he quickly came out with “SEMIPALMATED PLOVER”. I cued up the call on my phone and it matched perfectly (the “cherry-up” call on the Sibley app). We heard the bird call about a dozen times as it flew around the northeast portions of the park. We never were able to see the bird, but the call was clear and distinctive. Not a particularly unexpected bird, but NEW FOR THE MARYMOOR PARK LIST!

The other huge highlight came much later as we made our way through the Community Gardens (aka the Pea Patch). There were dozens of American Goldfinch, but I spotted a LESSER GOLDFINCH amongst them. Earlier, as we’d neared the East Meadow, Matt & I thought we might have heard a Lesser; and Grace & Ollie had seen a Lesser in their yard (a half mile away from the park) yesterday; so we’d had LEGOs on the mind and were therefore scrutinizing every goldfinch we could find. We got some fairly decent looks at the Lesser at the gardens, and heard it (or another) call once or twice. ANOTHER NEW BIRD FOR THE MARYMOOR PARK LIST!!

I believe you have to go all the way back to 2007-02-15 to find the last time we had two new species for the park on the same day. That was when we had both Herring and Glaucous Gulls. The last time we had two unrelated species added to the park on the same day was way back on 1999-10-21, when Trumpeter Swan and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher were added!

And there were other highlights:

Common Merganser                 Three at the weir
Pied-billed Grebe                      Lone juvenile in slough
Great Blue Heron                      One juvenile seen in the heronry, not on a nest
Spotted Sandpiper                    One at the weir
GREATER YELLOWLEGS    One at the weir
Pileated Woodpecker               One seen/heard, distantly
Pacific-slope Flycatcher            1-2
Purple Martin                            Female attending 2 young at gourd
Cliff Swallow                            One over lake
Swainson’s Thrush                    I think just one bird
MACGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER 1-2 birds, east edge of Dog Meadow
Black-throated Gray Warbler    1-2 birds, east edge of Dog Meadow
Wilson’s Warbler                      2 birds, east edge of Dog Meadow
White-crowned Sparrow           Suddenly well over a dozen, Pea Patch
Black-headed Grosbeak            Just one, across WLSP from Rowing Club

Two new species for the park puts the list at 224. MacGillivray’s Warbler was also new for the year, bringing the 2014 park list to 145. And 59 species for the day. Quite a day.

== Michael Hobbs

Spotted Sandpiper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Swainson's Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Purple Martin female, with young inside the gourd.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lesser Goldfinch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lesser Goldfinch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Exceedingly distant Red-breasted Sapsucker.  We needed this photo to verify the identification.  It was atop the odd-snag that Red-tailed Hawks nest on, to the west of the main park entrance.  The white vertical line is indicative of sapsuckers, as is the breast that is dark above and paler below.  I might be imagining it, but I think I can see a touch of red in the head, as well as a trace of the horizontal pale line stretching back from the beak.  Also, there may have been two sapsuckers on the tree, but, gosh,
it was far away!  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Belted Kingfisher, Rowing Club, 2014-08-10.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Juvenile Green Heron, Rowing Club, 2014-08-10.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for August 15, 2013                                                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

It was muggy and overcast, but we had only a very little bit of precipitation this morning, and it was rather birdy and fun.


Gadwall                                First since early June – 2 flew over Dog Area
Green Heron                         Juvenile along slough
Cooper’s Hawk                    Probably the same juvie seen twice
Spotted Sandpiper                Two chasing each other near weir
Least Sandpiper                    One flying circles over Dog Meadow, calling
Eurasian Collared-Dove        One west of the slough
Barn Owl                              One west of park office at 10 A.M. !
Rufous Hummingbird              Ruth and Margaret saw 1, Pea Patch
Warbling Vireo                      2-3, south end of Dog Meadow
AMERICAN DIPPER        Sharon and I saw 1 fly downstream from windmill
Orange-crowned Warbler      Maybe 4-5 scattered
Common Yellowthroat           25+, mix of genders and ages
Yellow Warbler                      4-5, including some singing
Black-throated Gray Warbler 3-4, scattered, including adult male
Evening Grosbeak                  4 flew north over Dog Meadow

We also had a BEAVER in the slough.

This is just the 2nd AMERICAN DIPPER sighting for Marymoor, the other being from October, 2010, I believe.

Misses today included Killdeer, Red-breasted Nuthatch, European Starling, Wilson’s Warbler, and Brown-headed Cowbird.

For the day, 55 species.

== Michael Hobbs

One of two Spotted Sandpipers at the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

One of two Spotted Sandpipers at the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

One of two Spotted Sandpipers at the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Warbling Vireo.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Steller's Jay. They were seen gathering hazelnuts.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Black-tailed Deer.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 16, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

We had a hot, odd day at Marymoor. It was incredibly quiet, but we managed to piece together a fairly good bird list with some unusual items.The day started cool, just 56 degrees, with very low ground fog, but heated up to 82 by the time we left. Unrelentingly sunny, which made us seek shade to bird from. Quite a few species were heard-only, or were seen by one person only, or were represented by just a single individual.


Green Heron                    2 visible from lake platform
Virginia Rail                     1 at the retention pond near the event pad, early
                                        Matt & I had a brief look, heard call for verification
LEAST SANDPIPER      Matt had several flying around the lake platform early
                                        Later, we heard one fly up the slough (2 calls)
Anna's Hummingbird         Many seen
Red-breasted Sapsucker  1 juvenile near 2nd dog swim beach
Purple Martin                    Heard overhead, unseen
Brown Creeper                 Many seen
Swainson's Thrush             Only 1 seen, 1 heard on the walk;
                                         Matt heard dozens predawn
Orange-crowned Warbler 2
Yellow Warbler                3-4
Wilson's Warbler              1 male
Common Yellowthroat       Many
Western Tanager               1 heard, glimpsed in flight
Evening Grosbeak             Heard overhead, unseen

We also had 1 bird that we couldn't identify in the field  Photos were obtained, howver, and showed it to be a HORNED LARK, probably a very worn female.

For the day, 55 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Morning fog.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper on a small branch, right over my head

Juvenile Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Two Green Herons, seen from the lake platform.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male American Goldfinch.  Photo by Josh Adams

From the first views of our mystery bird, I was thinking American Pipit...

...but Ollie Oliver's photos showed a yellow chin, black moustache, and a bit of black neck band, indicating Horned Lark.  Plumage appears very worn.

Oprey photo by Ollie Oliver

Oprey photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Josh Adams

Eight-spotted Skimmer.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 18, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

Dawn was gorgeous, with a gibbous moon and a little bit of morning ground fog. Just before 5:30, I heard my first crows. I was afraid I was too late for owls, but maybe the owl heard the crows too. From the east, a BARN OWL flew low and fast straight to me, then pulled up, looking at me quizzically. It flew two circles close around my head before continuing west. A great start to the morning. Moments later, I watched as ~750 AMERICAN CROWS streamed north from the SE part of the park.

On the main walk, there were only seven of us, and the number dwindled with time, especially as people began to leave so they could get ready for the WOS Conference. By the Rowing Club, it was just Ollie and me. It was a quiet day, with many species notably NOT seen. But still interesting.


PIED-BILLED GREBE            2-3, first since early May
Accipiters                                 Many sightings, both Sharp-shinned and Cooper's
Anna's Hummingbird                 Especially abundant
Red-breasted Sapsucker           Sharon spotted one WAY to the west
Pileated Woodpecker               One flew in from west of the mansion
Willow Flycatcher                     Especially abundant, with many juveniles
Purple Martin                           Two pair at gourds, baby noises in r.h. gourd
Common Yellowthroat             Especially abundant, with many juveniles

Notable misses:
- No vireos.
- No Tree Swallows. We've never had them this late, however there were still young in a nest box last week so I thought we might get them this week still.
- No warblers except Common Yellowthroat - Historical sighting rates:
Orange-crowned: 47%, Yellow: 71%, Black-throated Gray: 53%, Wilson's: 82%,
so a real surprise to have none of those.

A good day for mammals, with a LONG-TAILED WEASEL west of the west kiosk, a RACCOON across the slough from the first dog swim beach, and what I think was a LONG-TAILED VOLE in the East Meadow. Also had the usual EASTERN GRAY SQUIRRELS and EASTERN COTTONTAILS.

For a very quiet day, we still managed 56 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Photo by Ollie Oliver

Photo by Ollie Oliver

Osprey in the early morning light.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird being attended to by a Song Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie

Raccoon across from first dog swim beach.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Willow Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Goldfinches.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 19, 2010

Instead of the "mostly sunny' the weather report promised, we had dark overcast and mist this morning.  The mist faded after a bit, though we did have a few minutes of light drizzle as we walked the East Meadow.  Damp and 61 degrees - no wonder the summer birds have fled.  At least, it seems that most are gone, and they're yet to be replaced by winter birds.  We had just a hint of migration to spice things up.  Otherwise, it was a pretty quiet day.


Hooded Merganser           8 flew upstream over the weir
American Coot                  First since April - 1 at the lake
Dowitcher sp.                    2 birds flew north over the Dog Meadow
Barn Owl                           Matt & Scott enjoyed 2 a the East Meadow early
Vaux's Swift                       More than a dozen
Orange-crowned Warbler  1 along slough
Yellow Warbler                 2+, still singing
Wilson's Warbler               2 males

I presume they were Long-billed DOWITCHERS, though they were silent and only seen in-flight, making a positive ID impossible.  This is just the 3rd time we've had dowitchers at Marymoor.

We had several WESTERN WOOD-PEWEES, but only a couple WILLOW FLYCATCHERS.  We heard only 1-2 SWAINSON'S THRUSH, and had only 4 species of warbler,

No Spotted Sandpipers. no vireos, no bushtits, no Black-headed Grosbeaks, no  Red-winged Blackbirds, and no Brown-headed Cowbirds.

For the day, 55 species.

== Michael

Western Wood-Pewee.  Photo by Lillian Reis
Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Juvenile Spotted Towhee just getting a few rufous feathers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow. Photo by Ollie Olive

American Robin photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

From August 17, a couple of photos of an Orange-crowned Warbler

Both photos by Lillian Reis.  Note the dark tail feathers.

Report for August 13, 2009

It was a really weird day at Marymoor today.  For weather, it misted a bit at the start, but was mostly just darkly cloudy.  We kept joking about wanting to turn up the brightness (where's the remote???).  It also wasn't very birdy - REALLY QUIET.  Well, sort of...

You see, while there weren't that many birds, and while we never did find the mythical mixed flock of warblers, vireos, and tanagers that we felt Connie Sidles had all-but-promised us, we ended up with a really high species count.  Lots of one-offs.  And we did our best to scour the place.


Blue-winged Teal                           New for 2009,. 1 female at RC ponds
Green-winged Teal                        First of Fall, 2 at RC ponds
Green Heron                                  4+ juveniles, 1-2 adults
Glaucous-winged Gull                    First of Fall - a couple.  Black tipped gulls too.
Barn Owl                                      Matt & Scott had 2-3 early
Rufous Hummingbird                     Still 1-2 at the Community Gardens
Pileated Woodpecker                   1 just southA of the Dog Meadow
Northern Rough-winged Swallow  2 from Lake Platform
Orange-crowned Warbler             2
Yellow Warbler                            2 males (singing), 1 female
Black-throated Gray Warbler       1 female at RC
Common Yellowthroat                 Abundant
Wilson's Warbler                         1 male, 1 female
Western Tanager                         Heard near windmill, but never could find the bird
LAZULI BUNTING                   1 male NE corner of Dog Meadow

There were many GREEN HERON sightings, including 4 youngish juveniles (still with downy tufts here and there, though fledged) together along the southeast edge of the Dog Meadow.  We had a beautiful adult at the Rowing Club ponds, and later a juvenile there.  5-8 birds total.

This is by far the latest we've ever had LAZULI BUNTING.

So for the day, an astounding 66 species!  But that includes 3 heard-only birds (Killdeer, Swainson's Thrush, Western Tanager), and over 20 species represented by only 1 or 2 individuals

.== Michael

Band-tailed Pigeon.  We were thinking it was a juvenile...

Male Belted Kingfisher

Fuzzy-headed juvenile Green Heron, one of four together
at the SE edge of the Dog Meadow

The new boardwalk extension, finished.  Thanks, Eastside Audubon!
The trail is now at least crudely wheelchair accessible.

The Purple Martin family

Water Lily

Female Blue-winged Teal at the Rowing Club

Green Heron (top left), Blue-winged Teal (bottom left), Hooded Merganser
(middle and right), and 2 Mallards (right), at the Rowing Club

Ollie Oliver's photos from the Rowing Club, 8/16/2009, showing a Green Heron..

...and Hooded Mergansers and turtles

Report for August 14, 2008

Another gorgeous day.  The early morning ground fog burned off quickly.  It got a bit too hot, but not outrageous.  It was pretty birdy, though at times the birds seemed to be taking an incredible delight in tantalizing us in a very cussed way.  We ended up with a good species count, including 5 species of woodpecker, but 3 of those woodpeckers were heard-only :(


NORTHERN HARRIER                 Flyby
Virginia Rail                                     Heard from the lake platform
Spotted Sandpiper                           Flying fairly high up the slough
Red-breasted Sapsucker                  Immature flew past us early on
Warbling Vireo                                Adult feeding juvenile cowbird
Red-eyed Vireo                               LOTS of singing at the south end of the park
Purple Martin                                  One HIGH over mansion area
Northern Rough-winged Swallow    One over East Meadow
Bushtits                                           Bringing food to a nest at Dog Central - late?
Orange-crowned Warbler               Flock of 6+ at south end of Dog Meadow
Yellow Warbler                              Male singing, several others seen
Wilson's Warbler                            1-2 at the south end of the Dog Meadow
Evening Grosbeak                           Heard and glimpsed

Had a juvenile COOPER'S HAWK who thought chasing after crows was the way to get ahead.  Good luck!

Had what appeared to be a LONG-TAILED WEASEL swimming across the slough ???

For the day, 64 species.

== Michael

Osprey carrying a fish back to the nest at dawn

Female Downy Woodpecker working the underside of a branch

One of a flock of Orange-crowned Warblers at the south end of the Dog Meadow

Juvenile(?) Orange-crowned Warbler

Another Orange-crowned Warbler

Black-capped Chickadee in a European Hawthorn

Adult Red-tailed Hawk showing extensive wing and tail molt

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in Snag Row
Male Anna's Hummingbird in the Community Gardens

Report for August 16, 2007

It was a pretty nice morning, with clouds moving in, and too much wind.  Made for a pleasant walk, as the temp was comfortably in the 60's. The only trouble was that birds were very scarce, especially early.  We did end up with some highlights, though:

Canada Goose                      Increasing - up to about 180 birds on soccer fields
Pied-billed Grebe                  1-2; first since April
Cooper's Hawk                     Close looks at juvenile near mansion
Barn Owl                              Matt had one, East Meadow, 5:30 a.m.
Red-breasted Sapsucker       Near start of boardwalk
Hairy Woodpecker                South end of Dog Area
Warbling Vireo                      At least 2, one feeding a cowbird
Yellow Warbler                     One bright male, south end of East Meadow
Black-throated Gray Warbler Male with Yellow Warbler.  Great looks.
VESPER SPARROW            East Meadow, Compost Piles

Matt spotted the VESPER SPARROW along the northwest edge of the East Meadow. As he called it out to us, it flew to the middle of the Dog Meadow.  We pursued, and had good glimpses before it flew to the Compost Piles.  We spotted it again at the piles for closer but brief looks.  The eye ring was very apparent, and the white outer tail feathers showed very well in flight.

This is only our 3rd or 4th sighting ever of Vesper Sparrow.  They really like dirt paths;  if you want to try to chase this bird, look for it on the dirt trails across the Dog Meadow and on the bare dirt at the Compost Piles.  A sparrow running away from you on a dirt path is most probably the Vesper.

For the day, just 53 species.

== Michael

Adult Pied-billed Grebe with Wood Duck, in slough

Hairy Woodpecker juvenile, south end of Dog Meadow, in Oregon Ash tree.

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk, just northeast of Clise Mansion

The Coop turned around to give us a front view

Highbush Cranberry, Ribes opulus?, from the east bend in the boardwalk.

Bald-faced Hornet nest, in Bigleaf Maple northeast of the mansion.


Bird Sightings Week 33
August 13-19*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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