Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 35
August 27 - September 2*


Rarities for Week 35:

Buff-breasted Sandpiper 31-Aug-05 Grass soccer fields.  Bird remained 31-Aug through 02 Sep 
Long-tailed Jaeger 29-Aug-13 Flying circles over Dog Meadow!
Black Tern 26-Aug-04 Non-breeding plumage. Was probably present 25-Aug (See Week 34)
Red-naped Sapsucker 27-Aug-09 In cottonwoods where we cross into the Dog Meadow
Smith's Longspur 30-Aug-06 First State Record!  Fields 7-8-9.  Stayed only the afternoon.
Clay-colored Sparrow 01-Sep-11  

...Clay-colored Sparrow

02-Sep-11 Reported by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 31, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was a day of surprises and surprise misses today.  Definitely interesting!  Threatened showers failed to appear, leaving us with a nice day: temps in the 60's, partial overcast.

  • BLUE-WINGED TEAL - Two probable juveniles in slough; had to watch for a long time to see wing pattern for ID
  • Wilson's Snipe - One in slough below weir.  Our 4th-earliest fall sighting
  • Cooper's Hawk - Two juveniles, seen together at Pea Patch
  • BARN OWL - Two together in East Meadow, 6 a.m.  First confirmed sighting for the survey in 2023
  • Five Woodpecker Day - Pileated heard-only, and the sapsuckers were far across the slough
  • EASTERN KINGBIRD - Extremely distant sighting confirmed by photo (thanks, Tony)
  • Purple Martin - Still active at snags across the slough from Big Cottonwood Forest
  • FIVE Warbler Day - One Orange-crowned, one male Yellow, two Black-throated Gray, one Wilson's (heard-only but singing repeatedly), and many Common Yellowthroat
  • Western Tanager - Best guess is we had 7-10
  • Black-headed Grosbeak - Several
Today's best mixed flock was at the first dog swim beach.  Like last week, there were many WESTERN TANAGER and BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAKS in the flock.

This was just our 6th fall sighting of BLUE-WINGED TEAL, with sightings scattered through August-September.  

Our 4th-earliest sighing for WILSON'S SNIPE.  Often, we don't get a fall sighting before October.

While these were the first confirmed BARN OWL for the year for the survey, Tony did have a mystery owl two weeks ago that may well have been a Barn.

The EASTERN KINGBIRD was ridiculously far away - maybe 300 yards or more!.  Looking across the slough, I saw a bird flying away.  At first I thought it was a Tree Swallow, but then it landed in a tree that must have been all the way over by West Lake Sammamish Parkway.  It was shorter-winged and longer-tailed than a swallow.   It was strikingly dark backed and white underneath from chin to vent.  When it flew once, I was pretty sure I saw the white tip to the tail.  In side view, the chin area gleamed white.  While I don't think Tony ever got a look at the bird (it was FAR away), he took some photos pointing in the right direction and he was able to zoom in and find the bird.  John Tubbs reported an Eastern Kingbird at Marymoor on 26-Aug-2008, but this is a rare species at Marymoor for this time of year.

Misses today were also notable:  Hooded Merganser, Red-tailed Hawk, Willow Flycatcher (though we did have about 3 flycatcher sp.), Warbling Vireo, Violet-green Swallow, Bushtit, Marsh Wren, and Lincoln's Sparrow.  With exception of the last, all of these are both expected this week of the year AND have been reliable in the last several weeks this year.

Despite those misses, we had 56 species plus the probable Willow Flycatcher. 

= Michael Hobbs

One of two Barn Owls pre-dawn. Photo by Tony Ernst

Female Blue-winged Teal. Photo by Tony Ernst

Very distant Eastern Kingbird. Photo by Tony Ernst

Swainson's Thrush. Photo by Tony Ernst

Male Black-throated Gray Warbler. Photo by Tony Ernst

Western Tanager. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for September 1, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

One of the quietest days ever.  LONG stretches of walking without even hearing a chickadee or Song Sparrow.  Completely empty skies.

Highlights (this will be short):
  • Greater Yellowlegs - one called 2-3 times while flying high and heading south
  • Western Screech-Owl - Matt heard one while all was still dark
  • Hairy Woodpecker - one far west of the slough south of the Dog Area, but we managed to get miniscule looks
  • Warbling Vireo - one with chickadees near East Footbridge
  • Chestnut-backed Chickadee - notably many
  • Brown-headed Cowbird - one juvenile on Fields 7-8-9
  • Yellow Warbler - I glimpsed one, south end of the Dog Meadow
  • Western Tanager - one calling from along the main road at 6:30 a.m.
I was also at the park yesterday afternoon in the heat.  Strangely, it was birdier yesterday than this morning.  Birds seen yesterday but not today included one VAUX'S SWIFT, one WILLOW FLYCATCHER, one BLACK-THROATED GRAY WARBLER, and our First of Fall (FOF) LINCOLN'S SPARROW.

Beside the swift, flycatcher, and Black-throated Gray, other misses today included Glaucous-winged Gull (though we did have two very distant gulls on the lake), Green Heron, Cooper's Hawk, Red-tailed Hawk, Barn Owl, Barn Swallow, Brown Creeper, Savannah Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Orange-crowned Warbler, Wilson's Warbler, and Black-headed Grosbeak.  That's a LOT of missed species; birds seen this week of the year in at least half of the years I've been doing the survey.

For the day, we managed 45 species plus the gulls.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for September 2, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

A remarkable day today at the park.  It started out a chilly 46 degrees, and many of us were underdressed.  It did warm up though.  Crystal clear skies and no wind, great pre-dawn stars, and lots of birds were the order of the day.  Uncooperative birds, however, were many.  They either wouldn’t sit still, or they would sit still in a terrible (for us) location.  But there were lots of birds to see, and surprises.
  • Greater White-fronted Goose – two landed on the grass soccer fields right at 6:30.  First of Fall (FOF), and our 4th earliest fall record ever
  • Northern Pintail – one flew south about 6:35.  FOF, and our 2nd earliest fall record ever
  • Mourning Dove – one sat, looking very cold, near the Viewing Mound just before sunrise
  • Virginia Rail – one seen across the slough south of the Dog Area, while we were hearing 2-3 more
  • *five woodpecker day*  – a Pileated seen at the Rowing Club confirmed the 5th species; we’d only *thought* we’d heard one earlier
  • AMERICAN KESTREL – adult male landed briefly near Dog Central – First of Year (FOY)
  • Western Wood-Pewee – several seen, with one singing full song.  Not seen last week
  • Willow Flycatcher – 2-3 seen, not seen last week
  • Warbling Vireo – many (8?), pretty much all in crisp, contrasty plumage
  • Violet-green Swallow – one
  • Swainson’s Thrush – many SEEN, a few more doing “wheet” calls
  • YELLOW-HEADED BLACKBIRD – female seen across the slough.  FOY, and first fall sighting ever.  This is only the 10th record I have for this species in my database
  • Yellow Warbler – very active flock with 5+ along edge of Dog Meadow, plus a few more.  No breeding-plumage males noted
  • Wilson’s Warbler – one or two
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – one nice male, plus a female at the Rowing Club
  • Western Tanager – many, with many quick views of each.  Not good at sitting still, but then almost nothing sat still
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – two glimpsed
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Glaucous-winged Gull (though we did have about 6 Larus sp.), Green Heron, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Orange-crowned Warbler.
For the day, 62 species plus Larus sp.  For the year, adding Kestrel and the Yellow-headed Blackbird, we’re up over 150 species for 2021 already.

= Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Bushtit. Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for August 27, 2020                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

It was a very pleasant day at the park.  Predawn featured Venus and Mars, Orion sparkling, and only a little low fog.  The morning started chilly (49 degrees), but windless.  Mostly sunny skies today.  And some birds.
  • Gadwall – 3 in the slough – only our second sighting since early June
  • Greater Yellowlegs – one heard calling as it flew down over the slough
  • Great Blue Heron – all seem to have fledged.  Less than 10 seen in the park
  • Green Heron – two
  • Osprey – all seem to have fledged; two seen
  • Cooper’s Hawk – two seen across the slough
  • BARRED OWL – went to a spot on the boardwalk where Matt has been getting Screech, only to find a Barred already there.  First of Year
  • Willow Flycatcher – few remain
  • Purple Martin – 5+ still around
  • Cliff Swallow – 1-2, first since early June
  • Barn Swallow – over a dozen still
  • PURPLE FINCH – abundant – maybe 45! 
  • Brown-headed Cowbird – 2 juveniles; first in several weeks
  • Yellow Warbler – one heard singing, south end of East Meadow
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – 2-3
  • WESTERN TANAGER – many sightings; maybe six birds total?  No adult males noted
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – one
BARRED OWL are quite uncommon at Marymoor, and we have only about a dozen records.  This bird was right next to the boardwalk along the slough.  Obviously, we did not continue to try for Screech Owl with the Barred Owl right there.
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Pied-billed Grebe, Vaux’s Swift, Bushtit, Lincoln’s Sparrow (should be arriving any day now), and Wilson’s Warbler. 
For the day, 59 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for August 29, 2019                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

Pre-dawn was stunningly gorgeous.  I was looking at the light on the clouds so much I almost didn’t see the BOBCAT about 15 feet away.  I went up to the Viewing Mound, and the bobcat sat calmly near the bins in the “compost piles” area, even climbing up onto the concrete bins.  We watched each other for maybe as much as 15 minutes!  By far my best looks at a bobcat ever.  It acted like a kitten who didn’t know exactly what it was doing.  The rest of the morning was very pleasant, with quite a few birds we might not have predicted for the day.  Huge group of birders today – 19 I think.
  • Greater White-fronted Goose – third earliest fall sighting ever
  • Ring-necked Pheasant – Lonesome George II has gone silent, so we missed him the last two weeks, but today he was in the Pea Patch again
  • Mourning Dove – Second sighting of the year, one near Viewing Mound just before 6:30
  • Green Heron – at least three
  • Hutton’s Vireo – one near park office – New for 2019
  • Purple Martin – still a couple around
  • Black-capped Chickadee – especially numerous
  • Red-winged Blackbird – maybe 25, after a 4 week absence
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Vaux’s Swift, Marsh Wren, European Starling, Lincoln’s Sparrow, and Wilson’s Warbler.  Not a great day for warblers, with Yellow Warbler not confirmed and Wilson’s Warbler only maybe heard calling.  But though we had at most 3 Orange-crowned Warblers, one was SINGING in the East Meadow.  We also had several Black-throated Grays.
For the day, 56 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Report for August 30, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

A pleasant morning under a thin overcast. “Threatening” mizzle failed to arrive. But birds were pretty scarce too.


  • Gadwall – seen in slough from entrance bridge – first in months
  • Green Heron – two, including juvenile at Rowing Club
  • CALIFORNIA QUAIL – male SEEN along far shore across from 1st Dog Swim Beach
  • Barn Owl – two sightings, East Meadow at 5:30, and south of there at 6:10
  • Western Screech-Owl – heard from across the slough from the Lake Platform predawn
  • Willow Flycatcher – one seen was our only flycatcher
  • Violet-green Swallow – maybe a half-dozen after recent zero counts
  • Barn Swallow – still dozens
  • Marsh Wren – several, after weeks of zero, or one heard
  • Swainson’s Thrush – one glimpsed, ~20 heard calling
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – only warbler besides yellowthroats, maybe 6
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – one seen briefly at Viewing Mound – First of Fall

For the day, just 51 species, but that’s 5 more than last week.

== Michael Hobbs

Male California Quail.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Canada Geese in the slough.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Green Heron at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for August 31, 2017                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Well, we decided that since ~6 of us made the trip over to see the Swallow-tailed Gull at Carkeek Park directly after Marymoor [some even before the end of Marymoor], it really ought to count as one of our park birds for the day. Right? Right?

Except for that amazing post-Marymoor fun, it was another quiet August day at Marymoor. The first surprise today was misty drizzle - pretty much all morning we had a light bit of liquid falling on us — nice change!

The bird #s were almost as low as ever, but we did have some fun with signs of fall migration sneaking in. The species total was a low low low 38 for the day, but the mix was a bit different.

Notable sightings:

  • Swainson’s Thrush — definitely a good movement of them before dawn - at about 5:30, I took a count of flight calls — 40+ in 90 seconds. If we use the Danzenbaker formula of 2-3 calls per bird, that’d mean there were ~10ish per minute going past for at least a half hour, probably more — we also had a couple nice sightings during the day to prove they really were coming through.
  • Red-necked Grebe - 2 out on the lake - unusual for Marymoor, but right on schedule for a fall visit.

We had ~3 groups of migrants pass through, including 2 with multiple Warbling Vireos. They also included a couple Orange-crowned Warblers, a Wilson’s Warbler, & several Black-throated Gray Warblers.

Misses were plentiful and included: Green Heron, Purple Finch, Red-tailed Hawk, Steller’s Jay, Killdeer, Yellow-rumped Warbler — and of those leaving the area, no Willow Flycatchers, Western Wood-Pewee or Black-headed Grosbeak.

Good birding,

Matt Bartels Seattle, WA

Common Mergansers at the weir.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Common Mergansers at the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Crow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Dark-eyed Junco and RAIN.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for September 1, 2016                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

Today was one of those rain-threatening, dark, breezy, fairly birdless mornings. We worked hard at it, though, and managed to find at least some birds.


Gadwall                           2 flew north from lake – First of Fall
Green-winged Teal           2 at Rowing Club – FOF
Pied-billed Grebe             Six today, after months of at most 1-2
Peregrine Falcon              Maybe Merlin too. I confirmed the PEFA after the walk
Pacific-slope Flycatcher   One just south of first footbridge along slough
Purple Martin                   Maybe a dozen (7 to the west, 5 to the east)
Violet-green Swallow       Three – migrants
Orange-crowned Warbler Just 2
Yellow Warbler                Heard just 1
Bl.-throated Gray Warbler 1-2
Lincoln’s Sparrow            1-2 at Compost Piles – FOF
Western Tanager              1 heard near mansion
Black-headed Grosbeak   Just one
Pine Siskin                       1-2 – FOF

Matt, Scott, & I had some great looks at BARN OWL from the Viewing Mound before the start of the walk. We had many sightings between 5:45 and 6:23, with probably three different birds (based on color), sometimes seeing two at once. Just before we left, in full daylight, we watched a Barn Owl land in the willows, displacing another Barn Owl, and then watched a juvenile COOPER’S HAWK chase the first Barn Owl around the edge of the meadow for about 5 minutes.

The funniest sighting was a large white bird that flew directly over my head, while we were at the Compost Piles. Long blackish legs trailed behind. I called out “Gull – no, Great Egret!” We watched it fly away. It looked weird. It banked, and it was suddenly very, very apparent that it was a GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL. We saw the bird again a couple of minutes later, and everything became clear. It was an adult GWGU that was *completely* missing its tail, which left its feet trailing behind. In terms of shape, that made it seem really really strange for gull, and really, really, really strange for egret.

We had several glimpses of falcons today. Some seemed good for MERLIN, but not so good that we could confidently list that species. Another view looked good for PEREGRINE, but again wasn’t good enough to list. After the walk, I headed down towards Idlywood Park, and saw a juvenile PEREGRINE fly south from Marymoor to Idylwood. So we can definitely list PEFA, though that doesn’t rule out Merlin as well.

For the day, 60 species, some barely detected well enough to make the list. (Yellow Warbler, heard singing but hard to rule out Chestnut-sided from what we heard; Pileated Woodpecker heard both early and late calling from far to the west, etc.) Quite a few birds were heard/seen by only a small part of the group. Misses today included Rock Pigeon, Vaux’s Swift, Warbling Vireo (may have glimpsed one), Bushtit, European Starling, Wilson’s Warbler, and Red-winged Blackbird.

== Michael Hobbs

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Black-throated Gray Warbler.   This photo clearly indicates that the name doesn't apply to all.  This appears to be a juvenile, and probably a juvenile female.  Adult females have a band across the throat, and that band is hinted at in this individual.
Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Cedar Waxwings, mostly juveniles.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Wood Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Green-winged Teal, with green speculum barely visible.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Hooded Merganser and Red-eared Slider.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Hooded Mergansers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 27, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The weather was great – sunny with a few clouds, no wind, not too hot and not too cold. Dawn was pretty, including a great look at a crescent Venus just before the sky turned orange. But for birds, things were pretty quiet, especially if you didn’t count the ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRDS and BEWICK’S WRENS that were everywhere and noisy.


Common Merganser                16 young birds on weir
Green Heron                            2 at lake, more sightings along slough
Cooper’s Hawk                       Juvenile, first seen hopping on lawn
Barn Owl                                 2 seen, last sighting 5:40
Vaux’s Swift                            2-4 seen overhead
Belted Kingfisher                      Many sightings, at least 2 birds
- all five woodpeckers -            Pileated heard-only to the west
Willow Flycatcher                    3 seen, might have heard a couple more
Warbling Vireo                         2 near 1st Dog Swim Beach
Cedar Waxwing                       First juveniles of the year noted
Orange-crowned Warbler        1-2 near Warbling Vireos
Black-throated Gray Warbler   Female south of heronry
Townsend’s Warbler                2 south of heronry
Lincoln’s Sparrow                    3+ at Viewing Mound at 6:15 a.m., not seen later
Western Tanager                      1 seen briefly at Pea Patch

We also had a COYOTE in the East Meadow early, and a MUSKRAT at the Rowing Club at the end of the morning.

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Common Mergansers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Yellowthroat, 2015-08-22.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Common Yellowthroat.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Tanager.  Photo by Diana Antunes

Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Willow Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-tailed Hawk. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Willow Flycatcher, 2015-08-22.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Bullfrog at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Muskrat at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black Bear cub, 2015-08-20.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Black Bear cub, 2015-08-20.  Photo by Kazuto Shibata

Report for August 28, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

All the stars were aligned for a great day -- this has been historically one of the best weeks for surprises at Marymoor, with things in the past showing up this week including: Smith's Longspur [2006], Buff-breasted Sandpiper [2005], Long-tailed Jaeger [2013], Black Tern [2004], Clay-colored Sparrow [2011], Eastern Kingbird [2008] , Red-naped Sapsucker [2009]..... Add to that the karma of Michael being gone this week, and we were almost guaranteed to have surprises. Alas, if birding were only so predictable....

It turned out to be a pleasant but remarkably slow day for the birds, with only a couple spots where the birding picked up. Weather was great and cool, with a beautiful sunrise and no wind. 15 of us convened to see what was around.


Green Heron            We had brief looks at one juvie along the slough
                                    a couple times, then great looks at 2 at the Rowing
                                    Club pond.
Spotted SandpiperOne early at the slough,
                                    before the formal walk began
Barn Owl                  The early crew had one over the east meadow
Black Swift               2 gave a few people looks
empid. sp.                 2, both of which gave frustratingly brief looks
Orange-crowned Warbler, Common Yellowthroat, Yellow Warbler, and Black-throated Gray Warbler all turned up, all but the COYE in
                                     small #s.
G.-crowned Kinglet Near the windmill, we came across one with an
                                      almost entirely white head - really popped out!

Missing and low #s for the following:

  • Western Wood-Pewee -- only one holding on
  • No definitive Willow Flycatchers [maybe the empid sp.]
  • We only saw one Swainson's Thrush - a young one -- but several were flying by in the pre-dawn migrant push
  • No Black-headed Grosbeaks
  • Only 1 Flicker for our entire woodpecker count!

For the day, I only come up with 49 species for the day

Matt Bartels Seattle, WA

Common Mergansers. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Green Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 29, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We got sucky weather this morning, with overcast, drizzle, and rain. Luckily it wasn’t cold or windy, but it was definitely wet – a good reminder to replace boots or to re-waterproof coats before winter. Not much in the way of birds for most of the morning, but we were thrilled to spot a new bird for the park:


Northern Pintail                       5 flyby. First August sighting ever
Common Merganser                At least 3
LONG-TAILED JAEGER      Flew a couple of circles over Dog Meadow
Red-breasted Sapsucker         Two sightings; only woodpecker
MERLIN                                Tangling up with crows at aspen grove
Orange-crowned, Yellow, Black-throated Gray, and Wilson’s Warblers

A gorgeous LONG-TAILED JAEGER flew a couple of circles over the Dog Meadow at about 8:30 a.m. before lazily flying off towards Lake Sammamish. In mid-September, 2008, we had a quick fly-over jaeger which we had left as Parasitic/Long-tailed. That was the only previous jaeger for the park list. Today’s bird had an incredibly long tail, and was graceful, slim, and long-winged.

The MERLIN and the AMERICAN CROWS spent an awful lot of time chasing each other around near the aspen grove that sits between the road to Lot D (the western Dog Area parking lot) and the grass soccer fields to the east. We watched for about 5 minutes, and they were still going at it when we came by again a half hour later.

For the day, just 46 species. Notable misses included Green Heron, Glaucous-winged Gull, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Warbling Vireo, Marsh Wren, Swainson’s Thrush, European Starling, Red-winged Blackbird, and House Finch. We also had no Rufous Hummingbird, Western Wood-Pewee, or Brown-headed Cowbird, but those species often start disappearing around this time of year. I had to go back for one last look from the Viewing Mound to get Savannah Sparrow...

The NORTHERN PINTAIL were new for the year, as of course was the Long-tailed Jaeger (which replaces the “Parasitic/Long-tailed” on the park list, so the park list remains at 222). Tony Ernst reported an AMERICAN BITTERN on 8/20, which I believe brings the year total to 146 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Pintail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Long-tailed Jaeger.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Long-tailed Jaeger.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Long-tailed Jaeger.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Long-tailed Jaeger.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Merlin harassing American Crows.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Merlin harassing American Crows.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Muskrat at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for August 30, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

It was a nice day for walking around today, with comfortable temperature and no wind. It was birdy in dribs and drabs. Things definitely feel like fall at the park, with things moving through that weren't around a few weeks ago. Almost nothing is singing. Lots of juvenile birds. Made for an interesting day. Brian and Matt were both off chasing the Wilson's Plover (successfully), but we mostly managed without them. There were a couple of empids that I really could have used ID help on, however.


Green Heron                         Several sightings, at least 2 birds
Ring-billed Gull                     One on lake - first gull since June
Vaux's Swift                         Only 1
Pacific-slope Flycatcher        At least 1
Warbling Vireo                     At least 3
Violet-green Swallow            5, after a 2 week absence
Orange-crowned Warbler     Two near start of boardwalk
Yellow Warbler                    At least 3
Yellow-rumped Warbler       At least 1 Audubon's
Wilson's Warbler                  At least 2
Western Tanager                  Many - maybe 10 or more
Black-headed Grosbeak      Two
Evening Grosbeak                Flyovers, and we saw 2 perched

For the day, 55 species, with maybe a couple more that we got away.

== Michael Hobbs

Sunrise at Marymoor makes getting up early worthwhile.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Chestnut-backed Chickadee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Green Heron along edge of the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Tanager

Western Tanager

Western Tanager.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Evening Grosbeak near the start of the boardwalk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Evening Grosbeaks near the start of the boardwalk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

New viewing mound has benches and fencing for safety

New viewing mound near Meadow Kiosk has great views

Report for September 1, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

A fabulous day at Marymoor today. The early ground fog wasn't a problem, and after that burned off, the skies were clear. Not too cold, not too windy. And very, very birdy!

We had a great mixed flock just north of the Dog Area portapotties that included many warblers, vireos, flycatchers, and chickadees. And we had an 8 sparrow day that included 2 spizella sparrows - both CLAY-COLORED and CHIPPING SPARROWS.


Sharp-shinned Hawk                   Juvenile - 2 sightings
MERLIN                                    Chasing a Belted Kingfisher (or vice versa)
Red-breasted Sapsucker              Juvenile at Rowing Club
Western Wood-Pewee                Notably abundant
Pacific-slope Flycatcher               1-2 at Rowing Club
Purple Martin                              Quite a few near the lake
Orange-crowned Warbler            Maybe as many as 10
Yellow Warbler                           3-4
Black-throated Gray Warbler       6-10, all in that first warbler flock
Common Yellowthroat                 Everywhere
Wilson's Warbler                         5-6
CHIPPING SPARROW             Juvenile at Rowing Club
Lincoln's Sparrow                        1 - First of Fall, I believe
RED CROSSBILL                      2+ NE of mansion
Evening Grosbeak                        3 flew by before 7:00 a.m.

The CLAY-COLORED SPARROW was hanging around the Compost Piles and the trees just west of the East Kiosk, generally near White-crowned Sparrows. This was a fairly colorful bird, with warm yellow and red tones, and was a real treat. Previous sightings of CCSP at Marymoor were 1 from 9/28 - 10/9 2005, and 1 on 10/7/2006, so it was a surprise to have one 4-5 weeks earlier than the previous sightings.

The CHIPPING SPARROW was a juvenile feeding along the gravel path to the Rowing Club building.

This was just our 5th ever sighting of RED CROSSBILL, but our 2nd for this fall. There seems to be a good cone crop on the Doug Firs NE of the mansion, so this could be a banner year for sightings.

We had 61 species for the day, and 2 new birds for the year list: Amazingly this was our first PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER. And the CCSP was new. We already had Chipping Sparrow on our 2011 list, on both May 26 and June 2.

== Michael Hobbs

Clay-colored Sparrow. 2011-09-02.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Clay-colored Sparrow. 2011-09-02.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver  

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Steller's Jay.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Swainson's Thrush.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Black-capped Chickadee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver  

Juvenile Marsh Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Chipping Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver  

Juvenile Chipping Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pacific-slope Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver  

Pacific-slope Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver  

River Otter from lake platform.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for September 2, 2010

Michael was over in eastern Washington today, so Matt and I stood in for him. The day started out with some early low-lying fog that cleared quickly. The rest of the day was gorgeous with sun and nice temperatures (well, after a start of 43F). At the very start we had a flock of warblers right at the parking spot where we meet. We worked it over and saw at least 9 Orange-crowned Warblers, a Yellow Warbler and a Black-throated Gray Warbler. During the first part of the walk it seemed that every good tree we stopped by was crawling with birds. We started at 6:30 and by 8:45 we hadn't reached Dog Central (normally takes about an hour).
Lots of birds singing today, and lots of young birds out. A nice movement of migrants moving thru also.
Notable birds:
Barn Owl - east meadow early
Orange-crowned Warblers - at least 14
Black-throated Gray Warbler - male and female
MacGillivray's Warbler
Cooper's Hawk - 2 (juvie and adult)
Swainson's Thrush (at least 10 night calls)
Common Yellowthroat - a whole bunch of juveniles of varying plumages
Green Heron
Willow Flycatcher - probably 10
Lincoln's Sparrow - first of season (9)
Western Tanager
Black-headed Grosbeak (immature male)
Virginia Rail (heard)
Pacific-slope Flycatcher
Bushtit - first flocks for several weeks
Evening Grosbeak - heard
Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA

Western Tanager.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Wood-Pewee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Spotted Sandpiper, 2010-08-28.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Willow Flycatcher adult feeding juvenile...

Both photos, 2010-08-29 by Lillian Reis

Willow Flycatcher, 2010-08-29. Photo by Lillian Reis

Lincoln's Sparrow, 2010-09-04.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Black-throated Gray Warbler, 2010-09-04.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Swainson's Thrush, 2010-09-04.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2010-09-08...

Two photos by Lillian Reis

Report for August 28, 2009

Here is a photo by Randy Rawluk of one of two Western Scrub-Jays he saw at Marymoor on Monday, August 24, in the birch tree along the west edge of the East Meadow.

This is a new species for Marymoor Park.

Report for August 27, 2009

It started out a chilly 48 degrees, with a touch of ground fog. Jupiter shone brightly to the east before sunrise.  Mt. Rainier was crystal clear to the south as the sun began to rise above the Cascades.  We saw noowls in the early hours, but things sure got birdy shortly after our 6:30 a.m. start.  The projected winds failed to materialize, and the sun quickly warmed us.  The birds, however, were exciting enough to make all of this poetry irrelevant.

The first half hour or so, we ended up birding south of the windmill, drawn by the calls of WESTERN TANAGER and glimpses of woodpeckers.  In a mostly-leafless tree, we ended up with 4 species of woodpecker within about 5 minutes.  There were lots of other birds around too.

Later, just a bit south of Dog Central, at the place where we usually traverse a tiny trail to access the Dog Meadow from the slough trail, we found a RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER which posed in the cottonwoods for several minutes.


Hooded Merganser                  10 at the Rowing Club pond
Rufous Hummingbird                Still 2-3 of these around
Red-breasted Sapsucker          2-3, all juveniles just getting red
Downy Woodpecker                Several
Pileated Woodpecker              One in the tree south of the windmill
Willow Flycatcher                     3 mostly silent birds
Purple Martin                           Gourd empty, but a couple flying at lake
Barn Swallow                           Dozens - only other swallow
Black-throated Gray Warbler   One near Dog Area portapotties
Western Tanager                      2+ south of windmill
LINCOLN'S SPARROW        First of Fall, east edge of East Meadow
Evening Grosbeak                     Heard, and 2 glimpsed

Additionally, we bumped into some birders from BC.  One showed us a photo he took last Monday, August 24th, of a WESTERN SCRUB-JAY.  He reported 2 birds, and it sounded like they'd been in the East Meadow trees near the gate to the Dog Area.  This is a new species for the Marymoor Park list, and has been long anticipated.  Hopefully, next time, one of US will be able to see them!

For the day, I think we had 55 species.

== Michael

Green Heron on rocks just below weir

Chestnut-backed Chickadee on an uncharacteristically exposed perch

Red-naped Sapsucker in a Black Cottonwood

In this photo you can see the black below the red on the throat

Red-naped Sapsucker in a Black Cottonwood

In this photo you can see the black below the red on the throat

Bad photo of the Lincoln's Sparrow

Osprey over the East Meadow

Red-winged Blackbird in the Pea Patch

First of three hot air balloons, looking north
The following photos are copyrighted by Brian Dobbins.  All were taken at Marymoor on Monday, August 23, 2009

Juvenile Green Heron eating what looks to be a Bullfrog

Young male Common Yellowthroat

Young male Wood Duck

Eclipse-plumage Mallard drake

Female Wood Duck

Male Bushtit (note the light-colored eye)
Young Sharp-shinned Hawk - note very narrow tarsus (leg) - i.e. a "sharp-shin"

Report for August 28, 2008

We had a wonderful day at Marymoor, as the park was full of migrants.  The weather was only so-so, but it didn't rain and most of the wind held off.  The lighting was often difficult, however.  In many places throughout the park we came across mixed flocks of warblers, chickadees, and flycatchers, with some finches and vireos, etc., added to the mix now and then.  The total diversity wasn't that amazing, nor did we have any stupendously rare birds, but there was plenty to see!


California Gull                         Several out on the lake - First of Fall
Cooper's Hawk                      One over grass soccer fields, chasing an...
AMERICAN KESTREL        One on grass soccer fields
BLACK SWIFT                    At least 9 flying towards the lake
Vaux's Swift                           Numbers well above normal
Western Wood-Pewee           Had as many as 4 in one tree
Pacific-slope Flycatcher          Two (conceivably one seen twice)
Willow Flycatcher                   Many more seen than during nesting season
Warbling Vireo                       2-3
Purple Martin                         Two high over our cars, late morning
Orange-crowned Warbler      A dozen easily - probably many more than that
Yellow Warbler                      At least 1
Black-throated Gray Warbler  At least 3
Wilson's Warbler                    About half as many as OCWA
Western Tanager                    Lots of calls, lots of glimpses
Evening Grosbeak                  Flock of 20-25

The KESTREL was first spotted sitting on one of the soccer goal posts.  It  flew around a bit, in a hunting kind of way, and then took off when the COOPER'S HAWK came in full-bore.  The two of them flew south to Snag Row, where the Kestrel disappeared, and the Coop landed.

Yesterday afternoon, in a brief visit, I had two or three RED-EYED VIREOS.

The family of RIVER OTTERS was again seen near the weir - an adult with two pups.  Just below the weir there were lots of SALMON trying to navigate the narrow channel.

Despite all that there was to see, we also had quite a few notable misses: Hooded Merganser, European Starling, and Spotted Towhee (for the 2nd straight week).

For the day, 53 species.

== Michael

Ollie Oliver's photo of the River Otters

Black-headed Grosbeak

Black Swift.  Note how the head barely projects in front of the wings,
while the tail projects far behind them

Brown Creeper

American Kestrel

Ollie's much better photo of the Kestrel

American Kestrel in flight

American Kestrel in flight

Ollie's photo of a Savannah Sparrow, 2008-08-27

Ollie's photo of a Painted Turtle at the Rowing Club, 2008-08-27

Report for mid-week (August 26, 2008)

On August 26th, John Tubbs found an Eastern Kingbird near the new bird kiosk next to the Compost Piles.  Ollie Oliver managed to photograph it that evening.

Ollie also sent other photos from during the week, so I'm posting them here too.


All photos by Ollie Oliver.

Common Yellowthroat, 2008-08-24

Eastern Kingbird, 2008-08-26

Eastern Kingbird, 2008-08-26

Northern Harrier, 2008-08-24

Northern Harrier, 2008-08-24

Red-eyed Vireo (left) and Willow Flycatcher, 2008-08-24

Hooded Merganser, 2008-08-27

Osprey, 2008-08-24

Bald Eagle and Osprey, 2008-08-24

Crows in Snag Row, 2008-08-27

Northern Flicker, 2008-08-27


Bird Sightings Week 35
August 27 - September 2*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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