Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 41
October 8-14*


Rarities for Week 41:

Sora 14-Oct-10 One also seen 28-Oct-10
Rough-legged Hawk 08-Oct-05 C. Wright per E. Hunn spreadsheet
Rough-legged Hawk 11-Oct-06 Circling high above the grass soccer fields
Red-naped x Red-breasted Sapsucker hybrid 12-Oct-16  Michael Eaton ph.
Tropical Kingbird 09-Oct-07  
Clay-colored Sparrow 08-Oct-05 Reported by Aaron Martin, Rachel Lawson, et al
First reported 07-Oct-05

...Clay-colored Sparrow

08-Oct-05 Reported by Linda Philips

...Clay-colored Sparrow

09-Oct-05 Reported by Guy McWethy
"Red" Fox Sparrow 11-Oct-00 Eastern US subspecies, Passerella iliaca iliaca
Swamp Sparrow 12-Oct-05 One at the Rowing Club, along the edge of a wetland that is now behind the boathouse

Report for October 12, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

With Michael still away,  the rest of us combined forces to cover the weekly Marymoor walk today.  As with last week, there was quite a bit of fog, and it remained overcast for the first half of the walk - later in the morning things cleared up and we even got to see our shadows for a bit [gasp].

Birds were pretty active and vocal today, even if sometimes hard to see in the early hours- no big rarities popped out, but it was an enjoyable day,

  • Greater Yellowlegs - 1 heard flying around over the lake
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglets - definitely back and active now
  • Varied Thrush - at least 3 heard, including one in roughly the same spot for 3 weeks running, at the s end of the dog park.
  • Evening Grosbeak - fly-by heard only group was our first in quite some time
  • Pine Siskin - also heard only, but another finch species that has been absent for quite a while
  • add in House Finch, American Goldfinch and Purple Finch and we had a 5 finch day - not common lately at Marymoor.
Misses included Bald Eagle & Lincoln’s Sparrow - and our Osprey finally seem to have departed for the winter. Also on the  mammal front we only had E. Gray Squirrel for our mammal list today.

For the day, about 51 species

Matt Bartels
Seattle, WA

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

Yellow-rumped Warbler. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for October 13, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was cold enough this morning that we lingered wherever we found sun to linger in.  There weren't huge numbers of birds, and if we hadn't kept stopping to warm up we would have finished far too quickly.  Long stretches of Not Much, but there were some birds including four species of goose, four species of woodpecker, and eight species of sparrow.

  • Snow Goose - One juvenile in slough, with Canadas.  Also there yesterday.  First of Fall (FOF)
  • Greater White-fronted Goose - Two flew over the Viewing Mound just before sunrise (FOF)
  • American Wigeon - Small number heard flying overhead pre-dawn
  • American Coot - Four in slough (FOF)
  • American Pipit - Unknown number flying around Viewing Mound pre-dawn.  Caught sight of a few in flight
  • White-throated Sparrow - One near the Dog Area porta-potties (FOF)
A late scan of the lake turned up a few RING-NECKED DUCKS in the NE corner of the the lake, and a WILSON' S SNIPE flying past the Lake Platform.  Two other species were seen too far south for the Marymoor list:  one Marsh Wren, and nine RUDDY DUCKS.

Misses today included Gadwall, Western Grebe, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Northern Harrier, Cooper's Hawk, Barn Owl, Chestnut-backed Chickadee*, Bushtit*, Marsh Wren*, Cedar Waxwing*, and Lincoln's Sparrow.

The ones above marked with an asterisk* were birds I did see yesterday.  Other birds I had 10/12 but not today included CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY and WESTERN MEADOWLARK.

For the day, 51 species (and 57 for the week).

= Michael Hobbs

Juvenile Snow Goose in the slough. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Snow Goose in the slough. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 14, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

This week, Brian Bell  & I  were subbing for  Michael. It was a fun Thursday - a bit of near-drizzle  in the early hours, but we managed to avoid any real rain - not bad! We ended up with 56 species - lower than recent outings, but punctuated by some good surprises

  • Short-eared Owl - one flushed from the east meadow and gave all of us great looks around 10:15 - a Cooper’s Hawk pursued it for a bit, then it disappeared. FOF [first of fall]
  • Mourning Dove - 3rd straight week for one in the park
  • Varied Thrush - heard one or two - given the recent snows and reports of VATH showing up, we were hoping to hear/see Varied today.  FOF
  • Pacific Wren - a couple, including one seen well - FOF
  • White-crowned Sparrow - both pugetensis and gambellii singing in a few good-sized flocks

Another highlight was great looks at Long-tailed Weasel in the community garden.

Misses included Hairy Woodpecker, Brown Creeper, Bushtit and Savannah Sparrow [all gone?]

Matt Bartels

Short-eared Owl. Photo by Milt Vine

Long-tailed Weasel; Photo by Milt Vine

  Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 8, 2020                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

The day was warm, but the species list was definitely suitable for Fall.  With temps from 56-66 degrees, and with just a tiny bit of mist, little wind, and even a hint of blue sky occasionally, it was a nice day to walk around.  Fairly birdy too, in fits and starts.
  • Snow Goose – one mixed in with a flock of Canadas that landed around the main road
  • Greater White-fronted Goose – flock of 10 on Fields 7-8-9, *not* hanging out with other geese
  • Cackling Goose – Many large flocks overhead, a few landing.  Maybe 450 birds
  • Canada Goose – Many small flocks, many of which landed.  Maybe 250 birds
  • Wilson’s Snipe – Below the weir, 1 flushed, then a whole bunch flushed, then a whole bunch more, then 3 more landed – 14 total? More?
  • Double-crested Cormorant – A couple in flight, 2 on the lake.  First of Fall (FOF)
  • Barn Owl – One in East Meadow just after 7:00 a.m.
  • Western Screech-Owl – One seen by Matt and Alan early.  Later one or maybe two heard, not quite in the same spot.  More than one bird???
  • Great Horned Owl – Matt and Alan had one along the west portion of the boardwalk, early – FOF
  • Pacific Wren – one from Rowing Club dock, FOF
  • WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – two at SE corner of East Meadow – FOF
  • Nine Sparrow Day – single Savannah, and 1-2 Lincoln’s, along with the usual crew of Towhee, Song, Fox, White-crowned, Golden-crowned, Junco, and the above WTSPs
  • Western Meadowlark – three at the grass/gravel lot, moving to Fields 7-8-9
  • Common Yellowthroat – only one heard, which we tracked down for a brief look, middle of the Dog Meadow.  Our only warbler besides a few Yellow-rumps
Alan had a BREWER’S BLACKBIRD (while birding separately in the NE corner of the park), which we couldn’t relocate later.  First for 2020.
Misses today really were limited to just Downy Woodpecker (indeed any woodpecker besides Flicker).  At this time of year, we should be seeing Ring-billed and California Gulls, and we probably had both yesterday, but all very distant views so I didn’t count either.  Sticking to Larus sp. on eBird.
The Marymoor Survey still doesn’t have NORTHERN HARRIER in the park this year, though there have been reports from others on eBird, including recently.  I was hopeful because we’ve had NOHA 13 of 26 years previously for this week, but still no joy for us.
Counting Alan’s Brewer’s Blackbird, we hit 61 species for the day.

= Michael Hobbs

"Olympic" Gull at the weir. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Greater White-fronted Geese. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Snow Goose. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Western Meadowlark. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 10, 2019                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

It was a frosty 31 degrees when we started, but it was gorgeous.  Crisp, clear skies, and a warming sun seemed to be enjoyed by all, even the birds.  A really nice day out there, as we move towards the winter bird populations.
  • Gadwall – pair in slough, first in 7 weeks
  • American Wigeon – four – First of Fall
  • Aythya sp.  – a single female in the slough flew before ID’d
  • Hooded Merganser – one seen twice, or two.  First since mid-August
  • American Coot – one in slough, First of Fall
  • Northern Harrier – one flew over the mansion; First for 2019 for us
  • Barn Owl – Matt had one fly over the Viewing Mound around 6:30
  • Barred Owl – Matt saw one on the boardwalk pre-dawn – Unusual species for Marymoor (just over 10 reports ever)
  • Pileated Woodpecker – nice look at one on a branch in the sun
  • Northern Shrike – Adult, north of fields 7-8-9.  Last week we had a juvenile
  • Marsh Wren – I heard one singing south of the weir.  First for us since July
  • Hermit Thrush – one near the mansion gave us great looks
  • Varied Thrush – a couple seen, plus heard several calls
  • Pine Siskin – one heard flying over the boardwalk – First of Fall
  • - EIGHT SPARROW DAY – much singing.  Those seen included several SAVANNAH SPARROW, two LINCOLN’S SPARROW, and...
  • White-throated Sparrow – one, seen twice(?) – First of 2019
  • Townesend’s Warbler – one near concert stage; only 3rd for the year
We were very surprised to see a juvenile PIED-BILLED GREBE that was still small and stripe-headed, in the slough a little south of the Dog Area.  Seems really late for such a young bird.
Misses today included Western Grebe, Ring-billed Gull, Green Heron, and Pacific Wren.
For the day, 64 species!

== Michael Hobbs

American Crows. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 11, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

We had significant fog for the first several hours this morning, which limited our viewing. We ended up doing lots of birding by ear. Our species count grew slowly, though there were notably many birds of certain common species, so there were times when there were plenty of birds to look through. Not a lot of surprises today, but by the end, a decent showing.


  • Ring-necked Duck – probably the same two tentatively ID’d last week. Officially First of Fall today
  • Virginia Rail – two responded to clapping
  • Wilson’s Snipe – heard predawn for 2nd week; still awaiting a fall sighting
  • Green Heron – one at Rowing Club
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – one east of East Meadow
  • Cooper’s Hawk – probably had 6-7 sightings; 2+ birds
  • Barn Owl – one glimpse in the fog predawn at south end of East Meadow
  • Pileated Woodpecker – heard very close (and distantly) but unseen
  • Merlin – landed in Snag Row
  • Cedar Waxwing – still large flocks overhead; saw none perched
  • American Pipit – 5 west of easternmost ballfields
  • Western Meadowlark – 5 with pipits

Misses today included Cackling Goose, Gadwall, Western Grebe, gulls besides Glaucous-winged, Double-crested Cormorant, Northern Harrier (seen 50% of previous years), Savannah Sparrow, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. Fog played a role.

For the day, 54 species.

== Michael Hobbs

American Crows.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings.  Appears to be a different bird, based on facial markings and spots on back.

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Bob identified these as Needle Bonnets.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Needle Bonnet.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Bob identified this as Vulger Bonnet.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Vulgar Bonnet.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 12, 2017                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was drizzly and sometimes breezy, rather chilly and damp, and not totally pleasant this morning. The birds felt the same way, and generally hid inside the bushes, except for the American Robins which streamed and swirled overhead in large numbers all day – hundreds of them. Still, we managed to find low numbers of quite a few species.


  • Ring-necked Duck – Four from the Lake Platform – First of Fall (FOF)
  • Common Merganser – one at weir again
  • Virginia Rail – at least one heard across the slough near the start of the boardwalk
  • Double-crested Cormorants – 2nd of fall, and numbers perhaps beginning to ramp up
  • Bald Eagle – more than just our local pair – perhaps 7 birds
  • Cooper’s Hawk – multiple sightings
  • Barn Owl – one giving us nice looks until about 7:00 a.m., East Meadow
  • Merlin – one seen twice, or two
  • PEREGRINE FALCON – one doing lazy circles over the Rowing Club
  • VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOW – at least 6, briefly seen over Big Cottonwood Forest
  • Varied Thrush – a couple near the mansion, at least 5 at Rowing Club
  • PINE SISKIN – first confirmed flock of Fall
  • COMMON YELLOWTHROAT – still one heard, one seen
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – a few about, Audubon’s for sure, maybe a Myrtle’s
  • WESTERN MEADOWLARK – five on fields near eastern softball fields

Good day for mammals, with AMERICAN BEAVER heard pre-dawn from the slough, a mother and fawn MULE DEER seen from the Lake Platform, and at least 2 RIVER OTTERS at the Rowing Club pond. Plus the usual Eastern Gray Squirrels and and Eastern Cottontail.

For the day, an even 60 species of bird. Not bad for drizzly, breezy weather in mid-October.

Misses included Hooded Merganser, Green Heron, Northern Harrier (often a migrant at this time of year), Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Purple Finch.

== Michael Hobbs

American Coot. Photo by Hugh Jennings

Western Meadowlarks.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Varied Thrush.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Mother and fawn Mule Deer.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

I believe this to be Amanita muscaria var. flavivolvata.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Also known as Fly Agaric.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 13, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Well, we knew from the forecast that it would be wet today, and we were not disappointed. I was wet. It was dark. Thankfully, it wasn’t windy. Five of us slogged around, and we managed to do pretty well despite the weather, but I’m glad I also went yesterday to flesh out the week’s list. With the rain, no photos were taken today, but Ollie got some yesterday.


Western Grebe                    Quite a few (for us - maybe 8) out on the lake
Mew Gull                             Five adults on fields 7-8-9. First of Fall
Merlin                                  Flew east over climbing rock
Northern Shrike                   Adult, East Meadow, later north of fields 7-8-9.
Yellow-rumped Warbler       Dozens, with possibly a majority being Myrtle’s
WHITE-THR SPARROW   Two tan-stripe birds near portapotties – FOF
Western Meadowlark           Six north of Compost Piles

We also saw the three RIVER OTTERS in the weir below the slough.

YESTERDAY, late afternoon, under gorgeous sunny skies, I had some birds we didn’t have today. A NORTHERN HARRIER appeared to be coming in for a landing somewhere south of the boardwalk.

In the Big Cottonwood Forest south of the dog area, I spotted a RED-BREASTED x RED-NAPED SAPSUCKER, with black trim below the red on the breast, with black on the nape, and a very bold white bar on the face. The head was red from the bill all the way back to the nape, however, with no black eyeline extending behind the head, and no black on the face.

The NORTHERN SHRIKE was in the south end of the East Meadow yesterday, First of Fall

There were two birds that I finally listed as SWAINSON’S THRUSH, at the south end of the Dog Meadow. I spent a lot of time looking, since they are very uncommon this late in the fall (right on the edge of unbelievable). But these birds had large buffy eye rings, a definite buffy wash behind the upper breast spots, spots that were not black but a dark reddish-brown, malar streaks that were also not black, and no contrast between back and tail coloration (i.e. the tails were not comparatively red). I also think I heard Swainson’s-like “whit” calls from them. Arguing against SWTH was that I couldn’t really detect buffy supraloral stripes that would have turned the eye rings into a more spectacled look. Also, they had fairly white lower bellies (though the did have dusky flanks). Posture seemed right for SWTH, but that’s pretty subjective.

Grace & Ollie also went to Marymoor yesterday, and they had some more species for the week: six CACKLING GEESE, fourteen BUSHTIT, and thirteen AMERICAN PIPITS.

For today, 45 species (which I think was pretty good, considering the weather).

For yesterday, 46 species for me between 2-4 p.m., plus the hybrid sapsucker.

Combined total, including Grace&Ollie's three additional species: 58 species for the week.

== Michael Hobbs

Golden-crowned Sparrow, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Savannah Sparrow, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Song Sparrow, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Pipit, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Western Meadowlark, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Tiny minima Cackling Goose with Canadas, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Red-shafted" (left) and intergrade Northern Flickers, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

This intergrade flicker has yellowish flight feather shafts as with a "Yellow-shafted" Northern Flicker, as well as the red crescent on the nape.  But a pure "Yellow-shafted" would have more brown on the face, and brown extending down the throat to the bib. Photo, 2016-10-12, by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-capped Chickadee, 2016-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for October 8, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We had a really fine morning for birds today, especially early. After all of the rain, by 6:00 a.m. the rain had stopped, and by our start time of 7:30, the fog had cleared too. It was really birdy for the first couple of hours, and we had large mixed flocks to sort through.


Cackling Goose                   Several flocks of ~50 overhead; none landed
Wood Duck                        About 10 at lake, males looking gorgeous
COMMON LOON            Flying to lake 7:30; Scott saw from platform later
Western Grebe                    2 on lake
Northern Harrier                  Juvenile seen hunting several times
Wilson’s Snipe                     One on far shore of Rowing Club pond
SHORT-EARED OWL      One flew past the Viewing Mound at 7:01
Hairy Woodpecker             One on tree roots, south end of Dog Meadow
Pileated Woodpecker          One north of mansion
AMERICAN KESTREL     One harassed harrier, perched east of East Meadow
American Pipit                     Brian saw some early, we heard some later
Cedar Waxwing                   Notably active and obvious
Yellow-rumped Warbler      ~100, mostly Myrtle’s type, drab
WHITE-THR. SPARROW One seen a couple of times – First of Fall
Evening Grosbeak                Heard flying past, distantly

For both NORTHERN HARRIER and WESTERN GREBE, this is the week of the year with the most sightings for any week. Conversely, this was the only week in late-September through December where we *hadn’t* previously had SHORT-EARED OWL. The peak time for them has been the last 2 weeks of October.

For the day, 58 species. I believe we’re at 149 species for the year.

== Michael Hobbs

Common Mergansers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hairy Woodpecker at base of Black Cottonwood.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hairy Woodpecker at base of Black Cottonwood.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Northern Harrier. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Northern Harrier. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Snipe at Rowing Club.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

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

The Lake Platform is definitely TOO SMALL.  Photo by Bob Anasoma

Report for October 9, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

There was a thick layer of fog that hung like a quilt above the trees all morning, leaving us in the dark. It was a strange morning, as some birds seemed more numerous that usual, while others were remarkably absent or barely there. A surprising amount of singing may have made me think it was birdier than it was. [Oh, come on, Spell Check, “birdier” is too a word]. We’re definitely getting into winter now, with very few birds of summer remaining. That said, duck numbers were pathetic, with less than a dozen seen total.


Cackling Goose                   Sixteen with Canadas, NE corner of park
Gadwall                               First of Fall – two glimpsed flying downslough
Cooper’s Hawk                   Four sightings, juvenile 3 times, adult once
Merlin                                 One seen near Compost Piles
Pacific Wren                        First of Fall – one under heronry
American Pipit                     Several, including 7 that landed next to us below weir Evening Grosbeak               Two flew overhead calling

Singing birds included Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Fox Sparrow (many), Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, and American Goldfinch.

The fog burned off right as we were done, so I did something I almost NEVER do, which was to walk the loop again (just the main loop, not the mansion or rowing club). I did this quite quickly and didn’t find too much for most of it. At the lake, I was able to verify WESTERN GREBE, which had been too far out to identify for sure previously.

At the East Meadow, I found two WESTERN MEADOWLARKS and a juvenile NORTHERN SHRIKE. This is a bit early for shrike, but there were a couple of reports of shrike at Marymoor this weekend. I’d love specific details (Saturday or Sunday???) since either way, that’s the earliest fall shrike record for the park, as there are only two sightings earlier than today’s – one from October 7, 2010, and one from October 8, 2007 (and a tying one from October 9, 1997)

At the base of the Viewing Mound, I added a lingering COMMON YELLOWTHROAT. There are only 5 previous sightings later than this date, with the latest being October 21, 1999.

So, a fairly mundane day, but not too bad, especially with my late additions. For the extended day, 58 species.

== Michael Hobbs

One of the seven American Pipits below the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Fox Sparrow in Himalayan Blackberry.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Wood Duck pair at the lake.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Merlin.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Savannah Sparrow.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Gull, possibly Glaucous-winged, with extreme feather wear.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Partially-leucistic Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Partially-leucistic Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Normally-colored Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Hooded Merganser at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Mushrooms.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Mushrooms under the cedar near the windmill.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for October 10, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It as a marvelous week to be back at Marymoor. The weather was delightful, neither cold nor warm, thin overcast with moments of sunshine, and pretty good birds to greet a great group of friends out birding. And NO RAIN.


Cackling Goose              Dozen+ FLOCKS overhead - but no definitive Canadas!
Gadwall                          Male at weir – first since mid-August
Northern Shoveler          5 at lake
Western Grebe               One barely visible at lake – First of Fall
Accipiters                       Many sightings, Sharpie & Cooper’s
BONAPARTE’S GULL Two flew close past the lake platform
Hairy Woodpecker         Male in tree at south end of East Meadow
Pileated Woodpecker     Female near weir, calling loudly
Small falcon                    Probably kestrel, flying south
Swallows                        2-3 seen, species not determined
Pacific Wren                   One near old boathouse – First of Fall
Varied Thrush                 2-3, First of Fall
Or.-crowned Warbler     One southwest of mansion
Common Yellowthroat    One near start of boardwalk – late
Fox Sparrow                  Many, with lots of singing

We also had several deer in the East Meadow pre-dawn, and Lillian saw a Long-tailed Weasel at the dog area green barn (tool shed).

For the day, 62 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Gadwall at weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Belted Kingfisher at weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

One of five Northern Shoveler at the lake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Shoveler at the lake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Two Bonaparte's Gulls flew past the lake platform.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

...Ollie thought they looked like terns.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Long-tailed Weasel at the Dog Area tool shed.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Long-tailed Weasel at the Dog Area tool shed.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for October 11, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

The fog formed a thick layer above us, so we birded today in a gloomy, not-too-cold, calm beneath. Notable today were a tremendous number of AMERICAN ROBINS, pretty much constantly streaming over us heading west, generally. There was also a lot of robin activity in the trees and on the fields, so it wasn’t *just* a flyover. YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS were also notably numerous, and there were plenty of AMERICAN CROWS. Much of the rest of the birds were pretty quiet, though we did hear some songs – autumnal recrudescence of the amatory urge?


GR. WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE  Five, seen 3 times, staying together
Cackling Goose                               One small flock flew overhead, 7:45 a.m.
Western Grebe                                One on the lake – First of Fall
Cooper’s Hawk                              Adult and juvenile(s?) seen
MERLIN                                        One distant flyby. Seen 4 of last 5 weeks
Ring-billed Gull                                First positive-ID for the fall, 1-2 birds
Barn Owl                                        2+, great looks. Seen as late as 7:06 a.m.
NORTHERN SHRIKE                   2 seen simultaneously. First of Fall
Varied Thrush                                 1 heard, SE of East Meadow
American Pipit                                2 over fields 7-8-9 flying in big circles
BL.-THR. GRAY WARBLER       One, with YRWAs. Late sighting
AMERICAN TREE SPARROW   1 seen by Ollie & Sharon at Compost Piles

For the day, 55 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Five juvenile Greater White-fronted Geese on grass soccer fields.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Shrike between Compost Piles and model airplane field.
At the same time, there was a second bird north of fields 7-8-9...

...Two photos by Ollie Oliver

Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Tree Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.
Compare with juvenile White-crowned, right:
Bicolor bill, dark over yellowish, versus all pinkish-orange bill
Dark lores, versus unmarked lores
Dark legs, versus pinkish legs
Note the feathers on the lower back of the American Tree Sparrow (tertials?):
They are black with bold white edges.  Compare with the photo on page 78 of Beadle&Rising "Sparrows of the United States and Canada: The Photographic Guide"

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow. Photo by Ollie Oliver.
Note the color difference between both the supercillium and the forward part of the crown stripe, versus the cheek/nape color.

The size difference shown in these photos is approximately correct.

Male Anna's Hummingbird near the Park Office

Rattier-looking male Anna's, also at the Park Office. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for October 13, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

Michael and family are still over in Prague so Matt and I got to play at being Michael on Thursday at Marymoor. The day was schizophrenic - starting out quite foggy and chilly and damp, and then in late mid-morning burning off and lots of nice warm sun.

The birds were doing some singing, but early we couldn't always see thru the fog. Some notable birds for the day included:

Greater Scaup                  Out at the lake
Cackling Goose                A flock of over a hundred
Northern Harrier                Juvenile
Cooper's Hawk                 Immature seen several times
Barn Owl                           1 early in the fog
Common Raven
Barn Swallow                    1 really late one
Swainson's Thrush            1 early, a late bird

A total of 56 species in spite of the low visibility for much of the day.

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA

Male Greater Scaup.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Greater Scaup.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Sapsucker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Long-tailed (???) Vole.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

1st-winter Pied-billed Grebe, 2011-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Hooded Merganser, 2011-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

1st-winter Green Heron eating a dragonfly, 2011-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Steller's Jay and Red-breasted Sapsucker, 2011-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Steller's Jay, 2011-10-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Northern Harrier, 2011-10-08.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Juvenile Northern Harrier, 2011-10-08.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for October 14, 2010

Chilly to start, but otherwise a gorgeous, wonderful day at Marymoor this morning.  It was quite birdy, though some of the birds were a bit reluctant to let everyone see.  Still, there were highlights throughout the morning, and lots of nice sunshine to soak up once the thin early fog
burned off.


Greater White-fronted Goose     Three together near climbing rock
Cackling Goose                          Couple of flock flybys, plus more with GWFGs
Common Merganser                   Two flew north up down slough - FOF
Western Grebe                           20+ on lake
Northern Harrier                         East Meadow - great looks
Merlin                                         Took swipe at gulls on grass fields
Virginia Rail                                Heard several
SORA                                        Heard across slough from start of boardwalk
Red-breasted Sapsucker            1 at mansion office
"Yellow-shafted" Flicker             Juvenile around mansion.  Marymoor 1st!
Pileated Woodpecker                 3 sightings, at least 2 birds
Townsend's Warbler                   First of Fall, near S.O.D.A. barn
White-throated Sparrow             2 near S.O.D.A. barn
Western Meadowlark                 6 in NE corner of Dog Area
Evening Grosbeak                       Frequent flyovers continue

Last week Scott reported a large, dark owl that he thought was probably a BARRED OWL.  Today, a woman walking her dog reported that shed had a Barred Owl from the start of the boardwalk on October 2.  She emailed me a  confirming photograph.  So Scott probably saw the same bird 6 days later. Nice to have that mystery almost certainly cleared up.

For the day today, 63 species.  For the year, adding BARRED OWL and SORA, 141 species, I believe.   We still have a decent shot at 150 for the year.

== Michael

Golden-crowned Sparrow in the early morning fog

Townsend's Warbler in a Red Elderberry

Down the hatch - a Cedar Waxwing swallows a hawthorn berry

Pileated Woodpecker flying over the lake platform

White rump-patch on a juvenile Northern Harrier in the East Meadow

Northern Harrier in flight.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Three juvenile Greater White-fronted Geese behind a much larger Canada Goose

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

Red-breasted Sapsucker and Anna's Hummingbird work the same sap wells near the park office

Garter Snake at the Rowing Club

Song Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver, 2010-10-13

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver, 2010-10-13

White-throated Sparrow in the Pea Patch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver, 2010-10-13

Two Red-tailed Hawks.  Photo by Ollie Oliver, 2010-10-13

Barred Owl near the start of the boardwalk.  Photo by Kimberly L. Tripp, 2010-10-02

Michael, Ollie, and Brian, 2010-10-07.  Photo by Capt. Haridas

Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Kimberly L. Tripp, 2010-10-02

Report for October 8, 2009

Maybe it was a good thing that several of my "regulars" were out of town or otherwise away today, as there were 20 of us even so.  That's a big group, but we just sort of strung along and tried to let those at either end know what was being seen.  Sharon kept calling us back for the good birds!

The morning was foggy to start, though not so bad that it really hindered viewing except at the lake.  But after the first hour or so when things were hopping, the day got REALLY SLOW - basically from the weir to the lake, we saw almost nothing.  It picked up a bit after that, though, and our 5+ hours netted a good species list and a few surprises.


Greater White-fronted Goose    2 with Canadas, seen by few of us
RUDDY DUCK                       First of the year, female at lake
Western Grebe                          Brian and 1 had 2 late on the lake, FoF
Green Heron                             3 sightings
Northern Harrier                       1 or more constantly overhead, it seemed
Sharp-shinned Hawk                 Tiny presumed male at Compost Piles
Cooper's Hawk                         Juvenile.  Also, some accipiter sp. seen.
Wilson's Snipe                           First of Fall (FoF), 2 at Rowing Club
Barn Owl                                  1 flew north across soccer fields early
Hairy Woodpecker                   Male gave great views near weir
Anna's Hummingbird                 3+, including displaying male at Pea Patch
Red-breasted Sapsucker          1-2 birds, seen poorly
COMMON RAVEN               1 calling as it flew west - First of the year
American Pipit                          About 10 near east-end ball fields
BREWER'S BLACKBIRD      First of the year - rare bird for Marymoor
Pine Siskin                                FoF - 3-4 at Pea Patch

Essentially no summer birds left.  Absolutely no swifts, flycatchers, vireos, swallows, Swainson's Thrush, warblers (except for Yellow-rumped), tanagers, Black-headed Grosbeaks, Lazuli Buntings, or cowbirds.

Only about 4 of the 61 species we had today are birds that don't winter in this area.

== Michael

Terrible photo of the female Ruddy Duck at the lake

Northern Harrier

Sharp-shinned Hawk, photo by Hugh Jennings


Male Anna's Hummingbird

Female Gadwall

Adult Ring-billed Gull, 2009-10-11.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Song Sparrow eating Bittersweet Nightshade berries, 2009-10-11.
Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for October 9, 2008

A very interesting day.  It was cool, and the fog was above us in the morning, clearing somewhat by mid-morning.

Looking through past data, it's very clear that the peak of fall raptor migration is this week, the 2nd week of October.  While we didn't have any falcons today (we've had falcons about half of the years during the 2nd week in October), we made up for it with other raptors:

OSPREY                     One flying out over the lake
Bald Eagle                    At least 2 adults
Northern Harrier          1-2 (two disparate sightings)
Sharp-shinned Hawk    2+
Cooper's Hawk            3+, MANY sightings

Independently, Scott and Ed (up from Stellacomb) had sightings of single BARN OWL early.  Conceivably the same bird.

Then Scott and I walked down the path to the south end of the East Meadow, pre-sunrise.  The last two weeks we'd seen fresh feathers from American Robin, and I was just about to alert Scott to the possibility that some raptor might snag a Robin for breakfast when that's exactly what happened. A large SHARP-SHINNED HAWK flew down from a tree and nailed an AMERICAN ROBIN right next to the path about 15 yards ahead of us.  It mantled over the bird for a minute or so, then flew off with it to cover.  A couple of minutes later, we saw a Sharpie nearby again, possibly the same bird.  Maybe it lost its prey, maybe it cached its prey, or maybe it was a different Sharpie.

We had a NORTHERN HARRIER about 7:25, flying north across the grass soccer fields.  About 9:00, we had a Harrier land in the large snags east of the bend in the boardwalk.  Could have been the same bird, but who knows.  Just before the Harrier came in to the snag, there had been a large COOPER'S HAWK
there, one of many Cooper's sightings.

We had a juvenile RED-TAILED HAWK land in a tree *right* next to our cars to
start the official walk.  When we returned to our cars 4.5 hours later, the same hawk was on a low post nearby eating a vole, and giving us great looks.

Non-raptor highlights:

Western Grebe                                  2-3 on lake
Hairy Woodpecker                            1 on unusually small branches
Winter Wren                                      1 just before lake platform
Varied Thrush                                    1 flyover, either with others or with AMRO
Orange-crowned Warbler                  2
Yellow-rumped Warbler                    Ubiquitous
BLACK-HEADED GROSBEAK     1, VERY late, near the weir
Pine Siskin                                         With HOFI and AMGO at Compost Piles

Back to accipiters, we had a broad mix of adults and immatures, with both small and large representatives of both species, making it quite clear that we weren't just seeing the same few over and over.  Snag Row featured at least a daring juvenile COOPER'S HAWK that was mixing it up with crows and an adult male SHARP-SHINNED HAWK further west.  In all, we had accipiter sightings about once every 20 minutes all morning.

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael

Scott Ramos' photo (left) and Ollie Olliver's photo (right) of the juvenile Red-tailed Hawk
in the parking lot first thing in the morning

Winter Wren

Northern Harrier

Ollie Oliver's photo of the Northern Harrier

Savannah Sparrow at the Compost Piles

Ollie Oliver's photo of a Savannah Sparrow on Himalayan Blackberry

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with prey

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with prey

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk with prey

Ollie It's important to wash one's talons after eating

Report for October 11, 2007

I lost track of the number of BIRDERS when it exceeded 20. I think we ended up with about 25 people, but I'm not sure I even got to meet them all. I ended up splitting the group, with Matt Bartels leading the regular walk and me leading a group in a reverse circuit. Matt's group did "better", but both groups exceeded 55 species. It was a birdy day, and while we didn't refind the Tropical Kingbird, nor any other rarity, there were a lot of birds to look through.


  • Green Heron                       Matt's group had one flying over the meadows
  • Cooper's Hawk                  Two juvies chasing each other around, plus adult
  • Merlin                                 Flying up the slough at about 7:45
  • Barn Owl                            One at the south end of the East Meadow early
  • Violet-green Swallow          1-2 high overhead near the lake
  • American Pipit                     Still dozens around according to Matt
  • Orange-crowned Warbler   Hard to pick out among the YRWAs
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler     Hundreds (literally), especially near the slough
  •  Townsend's Warbler          Matt's group had a couple with YRWAs
  • Western Meadowlark         Matt's group reported several in NE corner

For the day, I think we ended up with 63 species combined. For the week, at least 66 species. For the year, we're at 154.

== Michael

Tom Mansfield's photo of aggressive behavior between two Great Blue Herons.

Bald Eagles in a cottonwood as seen from the lake platform.
This is one of their common perches.

American Coot from the lake platform.

Report for October 9, 2007

Today at noon I came across a TROPICAL KINGBIRD at Marymoor Park.  I watched it long enough to get good looks at the white throat, yellow-green breast & belly & plain tail, then went to find a pay phone. Unfortunately, by the time I returned, the Kingbird was gone. We looked until about 1:30, without ever relocating the bird. I hope it turns up again -- it seems that most of these Tropical Kingbirds tend to stick around for a few days, so I think it would definitely be worth some searching despite our bad luck this afternoon.

The TRKI was flycatching from a lightpost and a small grove of trees along the fenceline of the baseball fields in the northeast part of the park.

Also present today at Marymoor were some other nice birds:

  • AMERICAN PIPIT - 50 or more, mostly in the field between the road and ball fields [that's why I headed over to this random part of the park]
  • WESTERN MEADOWLARK - 12 at least - also in this field [2 [more?]] were in the East Meadow.
  • NORTHERN SHRIKE - in the East Meadow [first of season for me]
  • NORTHERN HARRIER - over the East Meadow

Matt Bartels Seattle, WA

*     *    *    *    *

I was able to find Matt Bartels' Tropical Kingbird at Marymoor this afternoon at about 3:30, in the East Meadow. At about 4:00, it flew to the western portion of Snag Row, and at about 4:15 it flew to some conifers near the concert stage. I left Brian Bell and Ryan Merrill trying to spot it over there, with several other people coming down to the park to look. I hope they got to see it, but it was clearly willing to move around the park.

This Tropical Kingbird has the honor of being the 200th bird on the Marymoor Park list. I include all birds that have been seen on my weekly surveys, as well as birds reported by credible sources. I've included all historical records that I've come across, though we've managed to see most of the notable birds from older records (like the Least Flycatcher, with a historical report from 1983, but with one found this year). As it turns out, the oldest unrepeated sighting on the list is a Cattle Egret sighting from November, 1994, so this list represents the species seen in less than 14 years. .I've personally seen 186 of the 200. 

== Michael

Tropical Kingbird photo by John Tubbs.  For more photos, see


Bird Sightings Week 41
October 8-14*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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