Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 40
October 1-7*


Rarities for Week 40:

Sora 02-Oct-08 From lake platform, an near right bank.   Great long looks, photos
Long-billed Dowitcher 02-Oct-16 Three.  Joshua Rudolph, ph. Continuing, first seen 30-Sep-16
California Scrub-Jay 07-Oct-21 One, continuing.  First reported 30-Sep-21
Gray Catbird 02-Oct-19  First reported 30-Sep-19, and reported again 05-Oct-19
Lapland Longspur 03-Oct-13  Heard, and seen in flight
Lapland Longspur 02-Oct-16 Joshua Rudolph, photo
Clay-colored Sparrow 04-Oct-18 Near Compost Piles
Clay-colored Sparrow 07-Oct-05 Possibly the same bird seen 28-Sep-05 at the Compost Piles.   Reported through 09-Oct-05
Clay-colored Sparrow 07-Oct-06 Found by Marv Breece.  Compost Piles

Report for October 5, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Michael was away this week, so the rest of us combined forces to cover the weekly Marymoor walk.  It was foggy to begin with and remained a bit overcast almost all morning - but the temps were mild and the birds seemed more active than they’ve been for many weeks at Marymoor.
Although we turned up no rarities today and only about 47 species, it was a nice change to have great looks at so many birds this week.

  • Cackling Goose - small flocks heard several times - hard to know how many in total.
  • American Wigeon - one in the slough
  • Green-winged Teal - one in the slough our First of Fall, I believe
  • Virginia Rail - Tony spotted one below the weir that stayed out in the open along the edge of the slough for quite long views
  • Wilson’s Snipe - 6 + hanging out below the weir , some of them bobbing away
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet - seen and heard several times, back in numbers this week
  • Varied Thrush - one heard near where the first ones were heard last week
  • Fox Sparrows - lots of singing, it seemed, this week
Misses:  Other than Northern Flickers and a heard-only Downy, we had no other Woodpeckers.  Hooded Merganser, Bushtit, Rock Pigeon also all eluded us

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

Barn Owl, pre-dawn. Photo by Tony Ernst

Fox Sparrow. Photo by Tony Ernst

Virginia Rail along the slough below the weir. Photo by Tony Ernst

Same Virginia Rail. Photo by Tony Ernst

Wilson's Snipe below the weir. Photo by Tony Ernst

A different Wilson's Snipe, also below the weir. Photo by Tony Ernst

Female Green-winged Teal. Photo by Tony Ernst

Female Belted Kingfisher. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for October 6, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was pretty quiet today under the fog.  Things picked up a bit, later on, when a breeze started pushing the fog southbound.  Before that, there was a lot of GRAY.  Almost all of the "summer" birds are gone, and more and more of the "winter" birds are arriving.

  • American Wigeon - three from the Lake Platform.  First of Fall (FOF)
  • Ring-necked Duck - lone bird continues in slough.  Looks like a male still in eclipse
  • Wilson's Snipe - one heard pre-dawn (FOF)
  • TURKEY VULTURE - 30 heading south late in the morning!  See below
  • Northern Harrier - one also moving south above the 2nd group of vultures
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk - several accipiter sightings, with at least one being a Sharpie
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker - one seen by Margaret towards the south end of the Dog Area, along the slough
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet - at least three (FOF)
  • Pacific Wren - one heard calling south of the East Meadow (FOF)
  • American Pipit - some heard pre-dawn over the Viewing Mound
There were only 3 of us left, walking around the mansion area after the main part of the survey, when we spotted 25 TURKEY VULTURES above the windmill cruising south.  A few minutes later we noted 5 more, with the NORTHERN HARRIER above them.  On 2017-09-17 we had 21 vultures in a kettle, and on 2006-10-04 we had 23 split between two kettles.  So this is the prime time for southbound migration of vultures over the park, but today we had a new high count.  (Today and those other two days are the only times we've had double-digit numbers of vultures).

Quite a few "summer" birds, many seen as recently as last week, were not seen today.  These include Band-tailed Pigeon, Osprey, swallows, Swainson's Thrush, Orange-crowned Warbler, and Common Yellowthroat.  All of these absences are to be expected by this date.

Unexpected Misses today included American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, Green Heron, Lincoln's Sparrow, and Western Meadowlark. 

Please, send rain!

For the day, 54 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Male Ring-necked Duck in eclipse plumage.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 7, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

Another gorgeous, wonderful day at the park.  Weather was great, birds were plentiful.  A great day for raptor diversity!  What more can one ask for?
  • American Wigeon – Two at the weir, more in a flyover.  First of Fall (FOF)
  • Mourning Dove – one at the Compost Piles just before the walk
  • Ring-billed Gull – one (FOF)
  • TURKEY VULTURE – 1-3 over the windmill (might have been just one circling overhead) (FOF)
  • NORTHERN HARRIER – one flew from grass soccer fields towards the East Meadow just before the walk started.  First of the Year! (FOY)
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one flew over the boardwalk
  • Cooper’s Hawk – one near the Viewing Mound shortly before the walk
  • Bald Eagle – heard calling, and one seen distantly from the Lake Platform
  • Red-tailed Hawk – several
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt and I heard one or two pre-dawn, but never managed a view
  • Great Horned Owl – Matt and I heard a pair calling pre-dawn, and saw them in a snag far to the east
  • Pileated Woodpecker – heard a few times
  • Merlin – one from the Viewing Mound pre-dawn
  • PEREGRINE FALCON – one glimpsed flying south over the Dog Meadow
  • Violet-green Swallow – late morning these were pretty much everywhere you looked, high in the sky.  Maybe 75 total
  • Barn Swallow – Matt had one
  • Bushtit – small flock below weir – first sightings in 5 weeks
  • Swainson’s Thrush – Matt and I heard a few pre-dawn.  They should be leaving completely VERY soon
  • Western Meadowlark – seven north of Fields 7-8-9.  One or more were singing
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – at least two, both very yellow
A late scan of the lake turned up three HORNED GREBE and three RED-NECKED GREBE (FOY), as well as our only DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANT.  Jordan had a CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY on his way out of the park.
Singing birds included Anna’s Hummingbird, Marsh Wren, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, and Western Meadowlark.
Misses today included Gadwall, Hooded Merganser, Virginia Rail, Green Heron, Barn Owl, Brown Creeper, Cedar Waxwing, and American Pipit (though several times we thought we might be hearing them).
Despite the long list of Misses, we still had 66 species today!
= Michael Hobbs

Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Belted Kingfisher.
Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 1, 2020                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

The seasons have changed, and all of a sudden we’re into late fall/early winter birding.  Summer birds and pass-through migrants were practically non-existent at Marymoor today, but returning winter birds easily filled out the day.  We were in the dark, damp, dead zone underneath the fog for much of the morning, and the passerines were pretty scarce and quiet.
  • Snow Goose – one, in with Canadas.  First for 2020
  • Greater White-fronted Goose – flock of seven on grass fields
  • Cackling Goose – 21, in two clumps amongst the Canadas
  • American Wigeon – one at the weir, five on a late scoping of the lake
  • BUFFLEHEAD – two females seen on a late scoping of the lake.  First of Fall (FOF), and earliest fall sighting ever
  • Horned Grebe – one near Lake Platform – FOF
  • RED-NECKED GREBE – one on late scoping of the lake – First for 2020
  • Western Grebe – two on lake.  I had two on Tuesday, 9/29, for FOF
  • Western Screech-Owl – very cooperative bird gave us looks, west portion of boardwalk, around 6am
  • Merlin – two sightings of fast flybys
  • American Pipit – somewhere around 17, grass fields
  • Western Meadowlark – at least 10!  I had one on Tuesday, 9/29, for FOF
  • Red-winged Blackbird – large flock – maybe 40-50 total
  • Common Yellowthroat – still a handful around; pretty much our only “summer” bird
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – a couple of dozen, including at least one Myrtle
The most unusual sighting was at the first footbridge, across the slough from the Rowing Club.  We came across a flock of Black-capped Chickadees fairly low in the trees, all agitated.  There was also a Bewick’s Wren, and two Fox Sparrows, all calling.  We eventually spotted the apparent cause of their distress – a MOUSE (probably a House Mouse, Mus musculus, that was dangling from the very end of a twig above the trail.  Soon, the mouse dropped to the ground with an audible splat, and it scurried off.  The birds moved around, still agitated, for another minute.
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Green Heron, Bushtit, Marsh Wren, and Cedar Waxwing.  No swifts, Osprey, flycatchers, vireos, or swallows, and warblers were down to just Common Yellowthroat and Yellow-rumped.
For the day, 59 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Snow Goose.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-tailed Hawk with prey.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 4, 2019                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

It was mizzly and dark for quite a while this morning, and very quiet until we got to the East Meadow.  I mean REALLY QUIET.  Then things started hopping.
  • Virginia Rail – one heard spontaneously from the far side of the slough from the lake platform
  • Wilson’s Snipe – 3+ below the weir; really hard to count as they flew around from spot to spot
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt and I heard one just before 6:00 a.m.
  • GREAT HORNED OWL – Matt heard one up the canyon from the west park entrance at 5am – First of Fall
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – one at the Rowing Club parking lot
  • Merlin – close flyby at the Pea Patch
  • Peregrine Falcon – close flyby at the East Meadow
  • NORTHERN SHRIKE – Very brown juvenile, East Meadow.  Probably our 2nd earliest First of Fall ever
  • Barn Swallow – only two distant birds
  • - Sparrows galore – but nothing rare; still, the Pea Patch was full of them.  Good numbers of Savannahs, Lincoln’s, singing Fox
  • Common Yellowthroat – one seen, maybe another one heard
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – only a handful
On my way home I spotted a TURKEY VULTURE over the Dog Meadow.
Yesterday, Kazuto Shibata found and photographed a GRAY CATBIRD near the footbridge south of the East Meadow around 12:30.  Two hours later, I was unable to find the bird, but did have a WESTERN MEADOWLARK in the East Meadow
Mammals today included a VIRGINIA OPOSSUM, a species we’ve seen less than 15 times previously in the park.
For the day, 55 species, with at least 58 for the week. 

== Michael Hobbs

Report for October 4, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

A very nice morning today, with partly sunny skies and no wind. Temps moderate. Birds really quite good.


  • Cackling Goose – About 35 total – First of Fall (FOF)
  • Ring-necked Duck? – or let’s say “some brownish diving ducks – FOF”
  • Western Grebe – a few on lake
  • Wilson’s Snipe – Matt heard a couple pre-dawn – FOF
  • Northern Harrier – at least 1
  • Cooper’s Hawk – many sightings – three total birds?
  • Violet-green Swallow – 3
  • Barn Swallow – 1
  • CLAY-COLORED SPARROW – one in weeds and blackberries near Viewing Mound, new for 2018
  • WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – One with GCSP below weir – FOF
  • Common Yellowthroat – maybe 3 juveniles

Jordan’s photos helped us be sure it was a CLAY-COLORED SPARROW and not a Chipping Sparrow; the differences can be subtle. This is the 5th or 6th Clay-colored we’ve found at Marymoor, all in the Sept-Nov period. It’s the 3rd time we’ve had CCSP in Week 40, the other times being in 2005 and 2006.

For the day, we got 60 species (counting the diving ducks). Purple Finch and Lincoln’s Sparrow were in the “probable but not quite listable” category. Other than that, our only obvious “miss” for the day was Hooded Merganser.

The year list is now at 150 +/- 1

== Michael Hobbs

Double-crested Cormorant.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Clay-colored Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Clay-colored Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Northern Flicker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 5, 2017                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

A gorgeous fall morning, with a full moon being replaced by a brilliant sun. Several of us were unprepared for the 37 degree start temperature, but it fairly quickly warmed up, reaching 60 by the time we left. We had to detour, as the trail was closed from the lake platform east to the south end of the East Meadow so that they can remove the crumbled pavement from the path. It will become (at least for now) a crushed gravel trail. The day was pretty birdy, though we didn’t have anything really rare, just a pretty complete set of what might typically be present.


  • Cackling Goose – flock of about 25 landed near Teatro Zinzanni
  • Horned Grebe – late stop at lake verified presence of 4
  • Western Grebe – 6+ on lake
  • Ring-billed Gull – confirmed from late view – First of Fall (FOF)
  • California Gull – also confirmed from late lake view
  • Northern Harrier – one over Dog Meadow
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – several views
  • Cooper’s Hawk – several views
  • -All 5 common woodpeckers-
  • Merlin – several quick or distant views
  • Pacific Wren – Just one, near dog swim beach #2. FOF
  • American Pipit – at least one from Viewing Mound around 7am
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – 2
  • Common Yellowthroat – 2
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – a couple of dozen, both Audubon’s and Myrtle’s
  • Townsend’s Warbler – one NE of mansion

The only notable misses for the day were Hooded Merganser and Glaucous-winged Gull. Alas, we had no owls either. And no bunnies.

For the day, 63 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Pre-dawn Fog, from the Viewing Mound.  Photo by Michael Hobbs
Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

American Crow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Purple Finch.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Hugh Jennings, belatedly celebrating his 91st birthday, with Sharon Aagaard.  Hugh still manages to walk the main loop of about 3 miles almost every week.
Photo by Michael Hobbs

Garter Snake.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 6, 2016                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

A nice fall day today, with the rain holding off and fun birding along the way. Brian, Sharon & I filled in for a traveling Michael, and though nothing rare showed up we had a good day.


Wilson's Snipe - several heard pre-dawn over east meadow
Turkey Vulture - one at Rowing Club
Northern Harrier - 1 over east meadow
Barn Owl - 1 heard at 5:00 at windmill, 1 seen in east meadow at 6:00
Eurasian Collared-Dove - 1 in trees by concert area
Peregrine Falcon - one soaring over mansion area
American Pipit - many fly-overs, none on ground to study - 15 + total
American Robin
- dozens in small flocks throughout the day flying by
Pacific Wren - 2, one of them very cooperative for good looks
Yellow-rumped Warbler [Audubon’s] - only warbler of the day!
Golden-crowned Sparrows - back in decent #s
Western Meadowlark - 3 in east meadow

Mammal highlights included bats before dawn and 3 River Otters in the slough, attempting to catch some Mallards.

For the day, about 58 species

Matt Bartels

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female and male Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Milt Vine

Northern Harrier.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Meadowlarks.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Killdeer.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Crow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Rock Pigeon.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Turkey Vulture.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Three River Otters.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

River Otters.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

River Otter proves its really a dog... going after a tennis ball.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

River Otter.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

River Otter.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for October 1, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was foggy this morning, with the fog not clearing until after 9:30. This made viewing difficult along much of our route. If I’d had more time and energy, I would have walked the loop a second time, for I think we probably missed a lot of birds the first time around. Still, we did pretty well.


Cackling Goose                    1 with Canadas, NE corner. First of Fall
Green Heron                         2 juveniles at Rowing Club pond
Wilson’s Snipe                      Several flushed below weir
Barn Owl                             Nice looks from Viewing Mound around 6:15
Northern Saw-whet Owl      Matt thinks he heard one in the wee hours
Pileated Woodpecker           Finally seen N of concert venue after hearing often Merlin                                  One flying north of grass soccer fields
Peregrine Falcon                   One flew W->NE over meadows
American Pipit                      One flushed from below weir
Western Meadowlark           4 north of fields 7-8-9, First of Fall
Evening Grosbeak                A few flyovers

Yesterday, a BLACK BEAR was reported from the Rowing Club. There are photos ( of one seen on August 30th, crossing the boardwalk. These are the first bear sightings in memory at Marymoor.

For the day, 55-56 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Cackling Goose hiding behind 3 Canada Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Four Western Meadowlarks.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk, Pea Patch. Photo by Hugh Jennings

"Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bald Eagle, 2015-09-30. Photo by Lillian Reis

Dragonfly, 2015-09-29.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Dragonfly, 2015-09-29.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Dragonfly, 2015-09-29.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for October 2, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

What a glorious day! There were 20 of us at Marymoor today, and with that many eyes, on this birdy a day, it’s no surprise that we turned up lots of good stuff. The early morning fog burned off quickly, and the sunny morning warmed fast too. It was birdy all morning long, with unusually high counts for several species and even quite a bit of singing.


SNOW GOOSE                        Flock of 11 flying north, 7:30 a.m. First of Fall
Cacking Goose                           Flock of 30-40 before 7:00 a.m.. FOF
Northern Shoveler                      1-2 males near weir
Horned Grebe                            One swam right past us down the slough
Western Grebe                           One on lake
Osprey                                       Still one over lake
Band-tailed Pigeon                      Jim & Nancy reported 4 in a tree early
Barn Owl                                    Several pre-dawn looks
Short-eared Owl                         One look, NE corner of East Meadow, early
Red-breasted Sapsucker             Two at Rowing Club; last birds of the day
Pileated Woodpecker                 One flew over boardwalk
Violet-green Swallow                  4+ over boardwalk, East Meadow
Barn Swallow                             Over a dozen still
Hermit Thrush                             Ollie’s photos clarified identification
VARIED THRUSH                    At least 2. FOF
Orange-crowned Warbler           3, west edge of Dog Meadow
Common Yellowthroat                2+ Last of the year?
WH.-THROATED SPARROW One with a large flock of GCSP near weir
Western Meadowlark                 One, East Meadow. FOF
BREWER’S BLACKBIRD        Male, East Meadow. First for 2014
Evening Grosbeak                       Heard overhead

We had extraordinary numbers of ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD (12+), NORTHERN FLICKER (maybe 10), STELLER’S JAY (20-30), SPOTTED TOWHEE (15-20), SAVANNAH SPARROW (40+), and DARK-EYED JUNCO (100+).

There was a notable amount of SINGING, from Brown Creeper, Marsh Wren, Bewick's Wren,  Song Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Purple Finch, and House Finch.  Anna's Hummingbirds were doing their display flights as well.

This was our earliest fall sighting of SNOW GOOSE by four days, and only the third October sighting prior to the 4th week in October. It was our 4th earliest WHITE-THROATED SPARROW.

In other news, Lillian Reis saw a WESTERN WOOD-PEWEE on September 27, and a WESTERN SCRUB-JAY (photos below) on October 1.

For the day, 68 species. For the year, adding BREWER’S BLACKBIRD, I think we're up to 154 species – that’s high, and a new record is possible this year.

I will be giving a data-rich summary of the last 20 years of birding at Marymoor Park at Monday’s WOS meeting in Seattle. See for more information.

== Michael Hobbs

Eleven Snow Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

A White-throated Sparrow (lower left) photobombed this portrait of a
Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Many spider webs were visible in the fog.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Many of the Oregon Ash trees have good seed crops this year, so we should have more great looks at Purple Finches like this male.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Casey Warf

Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Hermit Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hermit Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hermit Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hermit Thrush.  Photo by Casey Warf

Lincoln's Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Yellow-rumped Warbler  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Brewer's Blackbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Brewer's Blackbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Horned Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Horned Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Scrub-Jay, 2014-10-01.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Western Scrub-Jay, 2014-10-01.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for October 3, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We had an excellent day today at Marymoor. Overcast to start but with sun later on. Lots of bird activity today kept us hanging around various spots longer than usual. Matt Bartels and I got to be Michael's representative in his absence. Michael should be back next week.

Notable birds today:

Best bird of the day - Lapland Longspur - apparently first since 2005 Greater White-fronted Goose - 6 imm.
Cackling Goose - first flocks
Horned Grebe
on Lake Sammamish
Sharp-shinned and Cooper's Hawks
Barn Owl
- early in East Meadow
Vaux's Swift - late
Pileated Woodpecker
Hammond's Flycatcher - unusual for fall
Violet-green Swallow & Barn Swallow - late
Ruby-crowned Kinglet - first of fall
American Pipit - about 25
Orange-crowned Warbler - about 6 with bright yellow variety
Black-throated Gray Warbler - 1 imm. - really crisp plumage
Fox Sparrow - 6

Good Birding,
Brian H. Bell

Double-crested Cormorant, distinctive in silhouette.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hammond's Flycatcher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Unusually bright and reddish Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Birders at the Lake Platform.  Photo by Lillian Reis

American Pipit.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Meadowlark in flight, 2013-10-02.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Western Meadowlark in flight, 2013-10-02.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Fox Sparrow, 2013-10-01. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pied-billed Grebe, 2013-10-01. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Spotted Towhee, 2013-10-01. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Greater White-fronted Geese, 2013-10-01. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Turkey Vulture, 2013-09-30. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Turkey Vulture, 2013-09-30. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Ring-billed Gull, 2013-09-29. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Ring-billed Gull, 2013-09-29. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lincoln's Sparrow in alert posture, 2013-09-29. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lincoln's Sparrow in alert posture, 2013-09-29. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Marymoor from the new Sammamish Landing Park. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Blow-up of same, showing the lake platform and martin gourds at Marymoor

Report for October 4, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

Our first frosty morning (all the cars reported 32 degrees at 7:30, and there was a touch of frost here and there), but with the sun out, things warmed up. It was at least 60 by the time we were done. Rather quiet today – we seem to be in a bit of a crease between summer birds and winter birds – we had only 2 species of duck, for example. But still some interesting stuff.

Highlights: (FOF=First of Fall)

Cackling Goose                                  A couple of small flocks early – FOF
Red-necked Grebe                             Looked like 2 well out on the lake – FOF
Sharp-shinned Hawk                          At least 2
Cooper’s Hawk                                 At least 2
Red-tailed Hawk                                At least 3 pairs
Merlin                                                One over mansion – landed a little after 7:30
Common Raven                                 One heard from start of boardwalk
Varied Thrush                                    One near S end of Dog Meadow – FOF
American Pipit                                   At least 1 calling over Compost Piles early
Pine Siskin                                         Our first largish flock ~25

After I got home, Houston Flores texted me to say there was a NORTHERN HARRIER over the East Meadow.

Weirdest sight– near the park office, one male ANNA’S HUMMINGBIRD had another Anna’s male pinned on his back on the ground. They stayed that way for quite a while, watching us as we approached. I think we interrupted a fight.

For the day, 54 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Subadult Pied-billed Grebe in the slough fog

"Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler in the morning sun.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow, one of two under some bushes.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Marsh Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Anna's Hummingbird on the ground, with another male on its back, pinned underneath the first.  They remained like this for at nearly a minute as we walked up. Only the beak of the bottom bird is really visible in this photo.

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow, 2012-10-01.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow, 2012-10-01. Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow, 2012-10-01. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Savannah Sparrow, 2012-10-01. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for October 6, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

Michael Hobbs is in Prague for three weeks, and Matt Bartels & I substituted for him today at Marymoor.

0635-1300, 51-60F, cloudy

Started out cool and cloudy, but really quite birdy (we were to 40 species before dog central). Fairly quiet, but we still managed to see lots of good birds including:

  • Two flights of Snow Geese (one of 5, one of 93)
  • Wood Ducks with the males in prime plumage
  • Hooded Merganser with a beautiful male
  • A very obliging Cooper's Hawk that posed for us for several minutes
  • 3 Red-tailed Hawks, with one immature with a blue wing tag (couldn't read a number)
  • A late flock of Violet-green Swallows
  • The first Varied Thrush of the season [Scott had one last week ~mh]
  • Tons of Yellow-rumped Warblers, plus Orange-crowned, Wilson's and Common Yellowthroat
  • Several Fox Sparrows

63 species

bunny, Long-tailed Weasel, deer, Eastern Gray Squirrel

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville, WA

Long-tailed Weasel in the early morning.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Five Snow Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

94 Snow Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Harrier (top left) and Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow and Savannah Sparrows.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Pintail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bewick's Wren, 2011-10-02.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Meadowlark, 2011-10-02.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Coyote, 2011-10-02.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lincoln's Sparrow, 2011-10-02.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cabbage White butterfly, 2011-10-02.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Meadowlark, 2011-10-02.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Wilson's Snipe, 2011-10-02.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Green Herons, 2011-09-30.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for October 7, 2010

Another nice day at Marymoor today - the early morning was gorgeous and birdy, though the wind picked up a bit after the first couple of hours, and the birds became a little harder to find.  Early on, though, the park was just FULL of birds.  Swallows seem to have all left, and ducks haven't arrived yet, but there were a lot of other species to see.

Highlights (FOF=First of Fall):

TURKEY VULTURE               2 flew south over E edge of park
Barn Owl                                  1 or 2 were seen pre-dawn, East Meadow
Great Horned Owl ?                 Scott had a GHOW or Barred Owl early
NORTHERN SHRIKE            One at Compost Piles - FOF
Orange-crowned Warbler         2 still around
Yellow-rumped Warbler           100+
White-throated Sparrow           TWO in the willows at the weir - great looks
Western Meadowlark               2 near Compost Piles
Brewer's Blackbird                   One with dozens of RWBL at the Pea Patch
Pine Siskin                                2 at the Pea Patch - FOF
Evening Grosbeak                     Saw 1 flock overhead, heard several others

A juvenile RED-TAILED HAWK kept flying into birdy spots as if it were a Cooper's Hawk.  At least 4 times, I thought we finally had an accipiter for the day, but it was always just the Red-tail.  The little birds reacted as if it were an accipiter.

Scott Ramos's large, dark owl flew close to his head, and it was carrying a rat.  It was still too dark for him to see details, but by size and dark tones, he figures it was either Great Horned or Barred.  Neither of these is usually seen over the East Meadow.

By one day, this was the earliest NORTHERN SHRIKE fall sighting we've ever had., beating out the October 8. 2007 sighting.

Lots of "misses" - No Hooded Merganser, Cooper's Hawk, American Coot, Ring-billed Gull, or Glaucous-winged Gull were seen, all of which we typically would see at this time of year.  We did have a few gulls way far out on the lake - too far for ID.

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael

It was a really nice morning, especially early

Terrible photo, but clearly two White-throated Sparrows

Better shot of one of the White-throated Sparrows.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male House Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrows were singing today.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit photo by Ollie Oliver

"Oregon"-type Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

The Turkey Vultures were not close.  Photo by Ollie Olvier

This was the juvenile Red-tailed Hawk that kept trying to hunt like a Cooper's Hawk

Northern Shrike at the Compost Piles. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Leaves in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wood Duck

Western Grebes.  Photo by Ollie Oliver, 2010-10-01

Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver, 2010-10-01

Spider photo by Ollie OIiiver, 2010-10-01

Probable hybrid Chinese Goose X Canada Goose.  Photo by Ollie Oliver, 2010-10-03

Report for October 1, 2009

What an unexpectedly great day at Marymoor.  The forecast rain failed to arrive, and while it was overcast, there was little wind.  Temps were moderate.  And it was BIRDY.  It was a real mix of new arrivals, lingering summer birds (or more likely migrant summer birds from up north passing through), and some lucky finds.


Greater White-fronted Goose  2 juveniles with Canadas
Ring-necked Duck                   First of fall (FoF) - a couple
Common Merganser                FoF - 6 flew overhead to the lake
Double-crested Cormorant      FoF - one seen late on the lake
American Kestrel                     One seen early
Merlin                                      One flying down the slough
Virginia Rail                             Heard one.  First since May
Mourning Dove                       One in Pea Patch
Vaux's Swift                            Getting late - 1 with swallows
Pileated Woodpecker              One in Snag Row
Violet-green Swallow              Maybe 50+, all over.  Maybe way more.
Barn Swallow                          Maybe 20
Ruby-crowned Kinglet             FoF - 2
American  Pipit                        ~30 on grass fields
Cedar Waxwing                      Many flocks - 90+ birds
Orange-crowned Warbler       6+, many bright yellow
Yellow Warbler                       2
Yellow-rumped Warbler          MANY
Common Yellowthroat             Still one heard
Western Meadowlark               FoF - 2 in East Meadow, 1 near pipits
Evening Grosbeak                   Small flock flew over lake platform

An astounding 66 species, though I must admit that it was so birdy that we
stayed six hours in the park!  I'm pretty sure there were a few more species
that we just couldn't nail down too.

== Michael

Hooded Merganser, photo by Scott Ramos

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk

Lincoln's Sparrow, photo by Scott Ramos

Yellow Warbler, photo by Ollie Oliver

Band-tailed Pigeons

Common Mergansers

Savannah Sparrow

Savannah Sparrow, photo by Scott Ramos

Western Meadowlark, photo by Scott Ramos

Orange-crowned Warbler, photo by Randy Byorklund

Pileated Woodpecker

Pileated Woodpecker

American Crow

Two adult male, one juvenile male, and two female Red-winged Blackbirds

Mourning Dove, photo by Ollie Oliver

Two juvenile White-fronted Geese

Two juvenile Greater White-fronted Geese, photo by Ollie Oliver

White-fronted Geese, photo by Scott Ramos



High-bush Cranberry

Raccoon, 2009-10-02, photo by Lillian Reis

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow, 2009-10-02, photo by Lillian Reis

Hairy Woodpecker, 2009-10-02, photo by Lillian Reis

Report for October 2, 2008

Seven of us noodled around the park today under mostly heavy overcast.  We had periods of drizzle and a moment of light rain, but it could have been much worse.  The birding was slow to start - we had a scant 30 species by the time we got to the lake platform, but things picked up there.

The big highlight was a juvenile SORA that gave us great views from the lake platform.  The bird was along the edge of the vegetation on the slough side of the base of the platform, and we had at least 10 minutes to view it. Thanks, Mark, for spotting this one.

Other highlights:

Northern Shoveler             1 at lake, First of Fall
American Wigeon              1 at lake, First of Fall
Western Grebe                  1-2, new for 2008
Sharp-shinned Hawk         1 adult
Cooper's Hawk                 Adult and juvenile
Barn Owl                           Ollie had one early over the East Meadow
Hairy Woodpecker            One in Oregon Ash from Dog Meadow
Ruby-crowned Kinglet       One near mansion - First of Fall
Orange-crowned Warbler  One near the mansion
Yelow-rumped Warbler     Many, and all over
Wilson's Warbler                One along the edge of the East Meadow

So a 3 rail day (with heard-only Virginia Rail, and several Coots to go along with the Sora).

Also, I almost never mention this, but Marymoor must be a major AMERICAN ROBIN roost site, since early in the morning, hundreds (400-1000) robins fly out.  They tend to start leaving before First Crow in small numbers, but most wait another half hour or so.  Many fly to the northwest and west.

Another major highlight was a MINK across the slough from Dog Central. I also got glimpses of a RACCOON near the 2nd dog swim beach.

For the day, 58 species of bird.

== Michael

Adult Sharp-shinned Hawk

American Wigeon female with two male Wood Ducks

A bunch of male Wood Ducks with an American Coot (center, facing left)

Juvenile Sora

Juvenile Sora

Ollie Oliver's photo of the juvenile Sora

Ollie Oliver's photo of a Golden-crowned Kinglet

Ollie Oliver's photo of a Western Meadowlark

Male Northern Flicker

Ollie Oliver's photo of the Northern Flicker

Ollie Oliver's photo of a mushroom

Ollie Oliver's photo of more fungi

Report for October 4, 2007

Despite the weather, we had a very nice and birdy morning. It was admittedly cloudy most of the morning, with quite a lot of drizzle and a moment of light rain, but also some sunshine. Not too cold nor too windy, but quite damp.

Matt had an amazing-sounding show in the East Meadow early, which I've asked him to report separately. I'll just say that it was part of his 7-raptor day. Even for those who didn't see the early morning owl show, though, the day was quite good. The most amazing thing was the complete and TOTAL ABSENCE OF GEESE. Nary a one.


Western Grebe                At least 25 on the lake
Bald Eagle                       1 well out on the lakeshore
Sharp-shinned Hawk       At least 2 immatures
Cooper's Hawk               Adult & Immature
Red-tailed Hawk             At least 3
PEREGRINE FALCON 1 flying north along slough at 8:00
WILSON'S SNIPE         Many (8-12) in East Meadow - great looks
Mew Gull                        1+, First of Fall
Barn Owl                         East Meadow, as late as 7:00 a.m.
SHORT-EARED OWL   East Meadow, early
Pacific-slope Flycatcher   Uncertain ID - 1 at the south end of the Dog Meadow
Violet-green Swallow       20-30. Getting late for them
Barn Swallow                  Only 1
American Pipit                 Two at East Meadow, more overhead
Orange-crowned Warbler Maybe 6
Yellow Warbler                One immature male near weir
Yellow-rumped Warbler   Dozens
Common Yellowthroat     One still around

We had good numbers of sparrows of all eight of the common species at this time of year (actually, only one DARK-EYED JUNCO, but lots of the others).

For the day, 62 species. For the year, Short-eared Owl brings us to 151 species.

== Michael

As Michael mentioned, I had a good start to the rainy day at Marymoor today. After watching the Barn Owl over the East Meadow, on and off from 6:30 onwards, I headed to the sparrow piles at about 7:00. From that vantage point, looking out into the meadow near the model airplane field, I caught a glimpse of a SHORT-EARED OWL. As it flew around, I noticed it was being chased. By a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK. And then I noticed a second Sharpie. Watching the 2 Sharpies pursue the Short-eared, I soon noticed that the BARN OWN had joined in the chase. For a while I had great views of the parade of a Short-eared Owl, 2 juvie Shapies & a Barn Owl all flying over the meadow. Eventually one of the Sharpies broke off and landed in a tree near the sparrow piles. Right next to a perched COOPER'S HAWK. It was quite nice to have a ready-made size & tail comparison of them. The Sharpie & Coopers traded some very unhappy sounding words before the Sharpie decided to move on. Perhaps most surprising was that no crows joined in the chase -- maybe the rain kept them away this morning?

For those interested in watching the owl show at Marymoor, here's my advice. Park at the start of the trail that runs between the off-leash dog area and the East Meadow. The sparrow piles, right at the beginning of that trail have traditionally been a good vantage point for Short-eared Owls at dawn or dusk when they are around. Barn Owl, present year round, tends to work the far edge of the meadow.   I generally walk down the path until I'm past where the new gate to the off-leash dog area. Watch across the meadow along the tree line [I believe this would be the south east edge of the meadow]. I generally try to be in place an 45 minutes to an hour before sunrise to wait for the Barn. Once it is light enough for multiple crows to be overhead, it is usually too late for Barn. I'd say I see Barn Owl about 50% of the time when I'm out there . Short-eared Owls have usually been active much closer to sunrise [and even after sunrise], naturally. Some years, they seem to just past through Marymoor around this time of year. Other years, they stick around longer into the winter.

Good owling--

Matt Bartels Seattle, WA



Bird Sightings Week 40
October 1-7*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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