Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 42
October 15-21*


Rarities for Week 42:

Surf Scoter
15-Oct-20 Four seen on lake from Lake Platform
Sandhill Crane
21-Oct-21 Two flying over the Pea Patch, fairly low
Pectoral Sandpiper 19-Oct-11 Reported by Graham Hutchinson.  Also reported 20-Oct-11
Pacific Loon 20-Oct-09 Out on lake.  Seen from lake platform, verified from Cabana.
Mountain Chickadee 17-Oct-04 Reported by Aaron Martin & Fred Parent
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 21-Oct-99 East end of boardwalk
American Tree Sparrow
15-Oct-19 In Pea Patch.  eBird report by Jacob McGinnis with photo.

Report for October 19, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was a gorgeous day.  The clear dawn, with Venus and Jupiter to the East and West was gorgeous, if a touch foggy, and rather nippy at 46 degrees.  The mostly sunny morning took care of the chill quickly.  It wasn't terribly birdy, but things popped up here and there.  That said, quite a few species were heard-only.

  •  Cackling Goose - Perhaps 1200 in many small flocks flying past at sunrise; a very few landed in the park
  •  Mourning Dove - Two near the start of the boardwalk
  •  American Coot - Some in the NW corner of the lake, First of Fall (FOF)
  •  Ring-billed Gull - At least one on the grass soccer field flock of gulls at dawn (FOF)
  •  California Gull - Ditto, including the (FOF)
  •  Glaucous-winged Gull - Most of the flock was "Olympic" gulls, with a few seemingly pure GWGU
  •  Double-crested Cormorant - Two flying down the slough (FOF)
  •  Cooper's Hawk - Several sightings  Possible Sharp-shinned too
  •  Pacific Wren - Three, heard-only, as were all of our three species of wren.  (FOF)
  •  Orange-crowned Warbler - One along the slough just downstream of the boardwalk
  •  Yellow-rumped Warbler - Several
  •  Townsend's Warbler - One or two in the Dog Meadow, for a 3-warbler day in late October
Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Western Grebe, Virginia Rail, Merlin, Purple Finch, Savannah Sparrow, and Lincoln's Sparrow.

For the day, 55 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Fox Sparrow. Photo by Tony Ernst

Mourning Dove. Photo by Tony Ernst

Male Spotted Towhee. Photo by Tony Ernst

Adult Cooper's Hawk with a full crop. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for October 20, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It's hard to bird when thick fog and thicker smoke dim the sunlight and reduce most birds to gray silhouettes.  And when your N-95 mask makes your glasses and binoculars fog up pretty much constantly.  And when there's a strong desire to finish quickly so everyone can get out of the hazardous air with AQI above 200 and rising...   Not one of our better days at the park.

It's super hard to do numbers in eBird when you can, for instance, hear Black-capped Chickadees and Yellow-rumped Warblers in the tree ahead of you, see that there at least eight individual birds there, manage to glimpse two chickadees of indeterminate species, see one actual Yellow-rump (yay!), and someone else says they're seeing a Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  

So, so, so looking forward to rain.

  • Virginia Rail - two called back from far side of slough
  • Northern Flicker; Downy, Hairy, and Pileated Woodpeckers, all seen
  • Merlin - One flying south out of the East Meadow
  • White-throated Sparrow - NW corner of Dog Area
  • Savannah Sparrow - at least 3 at Compost Piles; likely heading out shortly
Okay, a bit of a stretch to talk about highlights.

Yesterday, I had at least two CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAYS in the East Meadow.

Misses today included Western Grebe, Rock Pigeon, American Coot, Wilson's Snipe, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Double-crested Cormorant, and Lincoln's Sparrow.

For the day, an even 50 species, which all things considered is actually quite good.

= Michael Hobbs

Smoke and fog at the Lake Platform. Photo by Bob Asanoma

"Black-tailed" Mule Deer. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 21, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

It turned out to be a pretty good day at the park.  Dawn was slow in coming but featured purple clouds with flaming orange edges and a setting full moon.  The overcast was patchy, and temps were warm (58-66).  But we had blustery winds all morning, which definitely makes birding tougher.  Wind-blown leaves were also way more numerous than birds.  The morning started VERY slowly, and only picked up starting at the Pea Patch once we were mostly done.
  • Green-winged Teal – three at the Rowing Club
  • Ring-necked Duck – one from the Rowing Club dock – First of Fall (FOF)
  • Greater Scaup – one female from the Lake Platform (FOF)
  • SANDHILL CRANE – two flying fairly high over the Pea Patch heading east!  First of Year (FOY)
  • Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard one pre-dawn.  WESO have now been recorded at least once in every week of the year, cumulatively
  • Great Horned Owl – also heard pre-dawn
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one flyby west of the slough
  • Merlin – one streaking by in typical fashion
  • Northern Shrike – One seen *very* distantly across the slough from the Lake Platform.  Later one near the Compost Piles. (FOF)
  • American Pipit – 2 or 3 in gravel parking area north of Pea Patch
  • Townsend’s Warbler – female near windmill, female at Rowing Club
The SANDHILL CRANES were the first ever for the Marymoor Survey (and for me personally), and only the 3rd sighting that I know of for Marymoor Park.  2010-04-03, two were reported to have been on the grass soccer fields.  About a week later, 2010-04-11, Ryan Merrill, Charlie Wright, and Evan Houston had two fly over (photographed).  Yesterday’s was the first fall sighting of cranes at Marymoor, and my personal 225th species for the park.
Misses yesterday included Hooded Merganser, Western Grebe, Virginia Rail, Cooper’s Hawk, and Lincoln’s Sparrow. 
For the day, 61 species despite the blustery winds.
= Michael Hobbs

Northern Shrike. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Western Meadowlark. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Sandhill Cranes. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 15, 2020                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

The day really could not have been nicer.  Warm enough, sunny, windless, birdy, with a good crew of birders.  It’s the kind of day that reminds me (if I ever need reminding) exactly why I keep going back to Marymoor week after week after week, year after year after year.
  • Green-winged Teal – at least two below the weir.  First of Fall (FOF)
  • SURF SCOTER – as previously noted on Tweeters, four far down the lake, but still visible from Marymoor.  Our only other SUSC was a lone male in April, 2000.  MY first for Marymoor
  • Red-necked Grebe – three from Lake Platform, confirmed on late scan of lake (when I saw the Surf Scoters)
  • Northern Harrier – the First for 2020 for the survey, though others have seen them at the park this year
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – glimpsed a couple of times on the far side of the slough, south of the Dog Area
  • Cooper’s Hawk – one seen twice, or two
  • Barn Owl – glimpses, pre-dawn, from Viewing Mound
  • SHORT-EARED OWL – FOF, seen from Viewing Mound.  Perched for a long time in a shrub in the model airplane field after 7:00 a.m.
  • Hairy Woodpecker – at least one at Dog Central
  • Pileated Woodpecker – one close flyby, for a 4 woodpecker day (incl. several Downies, many Flickers)
  • Merlin – quick flyby, seen from Pea Patch.  They have been seen almost 50 % of all years during this week; best week of the year for them
  • CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY – one flew over grass soccer fields and landed north of Fields 7-8-9.  2nd sighting of the year for 2020, FOF
  • BARN SWALLOW – 3-4 seen from Lake Viewing Platform. Only 5 or 6 later sightings in the year, ever.
  • American Pipit – 6th straight week; 2-3 overhead, but didn’t see them on the ground
  • Savannah Sparrow – at least 3; these should peter out over the next several weeks, though we have records in every month of the year
  • Western Meadowlark – one in East Meadow, calling a lot
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – one seen briefly along edge of Fields 7-8-9.  This is another species we’ve seen every month of the year, but sparsely from Oct-April
This was just our 11th record for CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY.  With so little data, it’s not clear what seasonality we’ve got, except to say that 8 of 11 sightings have been between August-October
Brian had a GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE on his way out when he left early.  Alan had the RING-NECKED PHEASANT at the model airplane field, also on his way out when he left early.  These (plus the Surf Scoters) brought the day’s list to 69 species.
= Michael Hobbs

Lincoln's Sparrow. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Ring-billed Gull. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 17, 2019                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

The weather report was pretty dismal, but we had very little precipitation this morning, and only a little wind.  It was rather dark, but it was warm.  Also, I’m afraid, somewhat lacking in birds.  We’re still waiting for many of the winter waterfowl to return, but we’ve lost almost all of the summer birds.  Still, not a bad day.
  • Ring-billed Gull – several, for the first time this fall, along with California and Glaucous-winged Gulls
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – probably two
  • Cooper’s Hawk – at least three
  • Barn Owl – Matt had one in the East Meadow until around 7 a.m.
  • Hairy Woodpecker – one, heard only; first in 5 weeks
  • Merlin – three sightings.  At one point it chased a Sharpie that was going for House Finches
  • Northern Shrike – Juvenile in NE corner of East Meadow
  • Savannah Sparrow – still one, north of Fields 7-8-9
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – one in Pea Patch
  • WHITE-THROATED SPARROW – one SW of Pea Patch, later in SW corner of Pea Patch, with White-crowned Sparrows.  Probably the same bird as last week
  • WESTERN MEADOWLARK – First of Fall for us; one or maybe two north of Fields 7-8-9
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – two; our only warblers
We had many accipiter sightings, plus the Merlin sightings, and the Northern Shrike, so perhaps low numbers of small passerines should not have surprised us – a good day to make yourself scarce at the park if small and tasty.
Misses included Western Grebe, Rock Pigeon, American Coot, Red-breasted Nuthatch, Pacific Wren, and Purple Finch.
For the day, 55 species.
= Michael Hobbs

White-throated Sparrow. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 18, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

A gorgeous day, but rather uneventful birding. Very few surprises, but a wonderful time to be out anyway. Temps ranged from 39-64, and the early morning fog burned off quickly.


  • Cackling Goose – a couple of big flocks few north before 7:30 – first large flocks of fall
  • Ring-billed Gull – First of Fall (FOF), but only 1
  • Green Heron – one along the slough
  • Barn Owl – Matt saw one, East Meadow, before 7
  • SHORT-EARED OWL – FOF – accidentally flushed from east of East Meadow
  • NORTHERN SAW-WHET OWL – FOF – Matt heard one (maybe 2) south of East Meadow, early
  • American Pipit – one flew over us, NE of Viewing Mound
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – our only warblers

For mammals, besides Eastern Gray Squirrel, we had a young buck MULE DEER. Along the near edge of the slough, just south of the Dog Area, was a deceased AMERICAN BEAVER. Looked like it just climbed up out of the water and died. ?!?!?

Misses today included Wood Duck, Gadwall, Virginia Rail, Mew Gull, California Gull, and Lincoln’s Sparrow.

For the day, 53 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Cackling Geese before sunrise.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Adult Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-winged Blackbirds.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Green Heron on the beaver lodge across from Dog Central, a favorite location.
Photo by Hugh Jennings

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Coot.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Dead American Beaver.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Short-eared Owl.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Short-eared Owl.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Report for October 19, 2017                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

It was dark and wet and a little bit breezy and quiet. The weather was not good, though not horrible. The birds were pretty quiet, though we did manage to see a few things. We seem to be past the last remnants of thru-migration, and our winter birds are slowly showing up.


  • Bufflehead – First of Fall (FOF), 2 females
  • RUDDY DUCK – one female at lake – FOF
  • Green Heron – two sightings, beaver lodge at Dog Central, and Rowing Club pond
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – at least 1
  • Cooper’s Hawk – at least 1
  • Barn Owl – two flying the meadows, 6:50-7:18 a.m.
  • Merlin – third week in a row
  • Varied Thrush – at least a couple
  • Western Meadowlark – around 5, grass & gravel lot SE of Climbing Rock

We also saw two deer, and what might have been a MINK (next to the slough, below the weir).

Gulls were playing hard-to-get; we still haven’t had a good flock sit down on the grass fields. Also, no big flocks of geese yet; we had about 23 CANADAs yesterday, and I had about that number of CACKLING GEESE on Wednesday.

For the day, 52+ species (the plus standing for the gulls we couldn’t positively ID).

== Michael Hobbs

Ring-necked Ducks.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Distant flock of Cedar Waxwings.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Female Ruddy Duck from Lake Platform.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Mule Deer.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Chestnut-backed Chickadee.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for October 20, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

I must commend my crew for their dedication. The weather was NOT nice today, with rain and hard rain for most of the morning. There were some periods, especially later in the morning, when the clouds thinned and the rain stopped, but we were thoroughly soaked long before then. Despite this, we didn’t hurry, and we worked hard to find the birds that were there. As is often the case, our efforts were rewarded.


Green-winged Teal          2 females. First in over a month
Common Merganser        4 together flying north, first in 3 weeks
Green Heron                   1 on the beaver lodge
Barn Owl                        2 sightings, East Meadow, between 6:45 and about 7:10 Red-breasted Sapsucker 1 heard near windmill
Pileated Woodpecker      Sharon had two at the Rowing Club
Northern Shrike              Adult north of fields 7-8-9
OR.-CR. WARBLER    1 with warbler flock near park office
Yellow-rumped Warbler About a dozen “Audubon’s” near park office
Townsend’s Warbler      1 with flock near park office – First of Fall
White-throated Sparrow 1-2 SW of Pea Patch. Nice looking bird(s)
Western Meadowlark     6 north across road from Compost Piles

There was, surprisingly, a fairly large GARTER SNAKE at the Rowing Club.

For the day, a fairly astounding 58 species by the time we were done.

== Michael Hobbs

White-throated Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow.  Note the buffiness of the back.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

A wet day, even for a duck.  Male Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pacific Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Perfect vee of Snow Geese, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Snow Geese, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Cooper's Hawk, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Cooper's Hawk, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Fox Sparrow, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Purple Finch, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wood Duck, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Wood Duck, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Typically distant view of Western Grebes, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit, 2016-10-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for October 15, 2015                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

The morning started a little chilly with a gray overcast, and was rather quiet. Slowly, the weather improved. Slowly the birding improved. I think if we had done the loop a second time, numbers would have been up, and we might have seen some more species. But we did pretty well, with several notable birds throughout the day.


Cooper’s Hawk                     Juvenile gave us unusually good views
Wilson’s Snipe                       3-5 - Several good flyby views
Mew Gull                               First of fall; maybe Ring-billed too
Eurasian Collared-Dove         One flew past Viewing Mound
Merlin                                    Interacting with crows near weir
HUTTON’S VIREO              Rowing Club, near parking lot
American Pipit                        Several heard overhead, 4 on grass&gravel field
Yellow-rumped Warbler         Only warbler, maybe 20, both subspecies
WH.-THR. SPARROW         One at Pea Patch, one at Rowing Club
Western Meadowlark             6 NE of Viewing Mound

There were several gulls today, but all only in flight and most juveniles. Definitely had GLAUCOUS-WINGED and MEW, and probably had California and Ring-billed.

This is just our 9th HUTTON’S VIREO sighting ever, but our *third* for this year! All three sightings for 2015 have been near the Rowing Club parking lot, and may be all of the same bird.

For the day, 55 species we were confident we identified correctly, plus a large-than-normal number of “wasthatta...”’s that got away.

== Michael Hobbs

With the wing-tips slightly but definitely darker than the back, this would be a Glaucous-winged x Western Gull hybrid, otherwise known as an "Olympic Gull".
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Glaucous-winged Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile gull warning.  I may be wrong...

...but I think this is a Ring-billed Gull.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

Spotted Towhee. I presume this is a juvenile molting into adult plumage.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Steller's Jay.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for October 16, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Despite recent wet weather, today was really nice. Pre-dawn, it was fogless, windless, light overcast and 50 degrees. By noon, it was sunny, windless, and 61 degrees. It wasn’t tremendously birdy, but there were a handful of surprises.


Cackling Goose            200+, early flyovers mostly. None landed.
TURKEY VULTURE  Latest fall sightings ever – 3 birds by the end
Ring-billed Gull             First of Fall
Barn Owl                     Matt watched from before 5 a.m.
                                    Had one bird after 7 a.m.
Falcon                          Possibly a Peregrine, flying south over east park edge
American Pipit              Several flyovers, none found on the ground though
C. YELLOWTHROAT Same bird as last week; only 4 records later
PINE SISKIN              20-30 birds. First for 2014, only 2nd since July 2013

After the walk, I made a last look at lake birds from the northwest corner, and found FIVE additional species:

Canada Goose              Eight. Might have been some in morning Cackler flocks SCAUP sp.                  Four birds – First of Fall, early
RUDDY DUCK           Three birds confirmed FOF, early
                                     Saw but could not ID from lake platform
Horned Grebe              1
California Gull               At least 1

For the walk, 55 species. Counting my final five: 60 species.

== Michael Hobbs

We had terrible looks, in the very dim early morning light, at a Western Grebe
150 yards below the weir, tucked in against the shore.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Can you find all four birds, of four different species, foraging on the rocks
below the weir?  Photo by Lillian Reis

Female Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Purple Finch.  Photo by Lillian Ries

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Steller's Jay.  Photo by Lillian Reis

American Coots, seen from Lake Platform.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Juvenile Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Juvenile male Common Yellowthroat near Compost Piles.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

First of three Turkey Vultures.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Killdeer.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Green Darner Dragonfly.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Some kind of new-fangled Dragonfly.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for October 17, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The overcast was impenetrable all morning, and the air felt dead. The birds were scarce; we got glimpses and distant sounds and few birds at a time. Things didn’t get more active until we got to the Viewing Mound and Compost Piles. But over the course of the whole morning, we ended up seeing quite a few good birds.


Green-winged Teal                   Lake and Rowing Club – First of Fall
Barn Owl                                 One great long look, East Meadow, just before 7
Pileated Woodpecker              Heard 3 times, finally saw from RC dock
Merlin                                      Twice over Dog Meadow
Peregrine Falcon                      Adult at 7:30, grass fields, mansion area
NORTHERN SHRIKE           First of fall – TWO at Viewing Mound area
Common Raven                       Two from lake platform
Varied Thrush                          Very well marked male near windmill
American Pipit                         Six flew towards model airplane field
Common Yellowthroat            One first-year male near west kiosk
Townsend’s Warbler               1-2 in cedars near windmill
Clay-colored Sparrow?           Or Chipping? Glimpsed early at Compost Piles
Western Meadowlark              Flew over Viewing Mound

We also had several flocks of unidentified ducks that probably included some American Wigeon.

We’ve only had three later sightings for COMMON YELLOWTHROAT: 18-Oct-12, 19-Oct-05, and 21-Oct-99.

At about 7:20, I got a look at a Spizella sparrow at the Compost Piles. I didn’t get a long look; just long enough to note the pale tones, small size, bold pale supercillium, and completely plain breast. We never were able to relocate the bird. Obviously, CHIPPING SPARROWs are more common in King County generally. But looking at both my Marymoor records, and at eBird records, Chippers appear to clear out by the end of September, making CLAY-COLORED actually more likely now. American Tree Sparrow would also be possible in late October, but there was no central breast spot.

Yesterday, I had a male NORTHERN HARRIER while mowing the East Meadow trail.

For the day, 61 species. I believe we’re at 151 species for the year at Marymoor.

== Michael Hobbs

Adult Bald Eagle near lake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Two adult Bald Eagles.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hard to see, but there are two Northern Shrike in this photo

Northern Shrike photos by Ollie Oliver

Displaying Hooded Mergansers at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-capped Chickadee, 2013-10-12.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Orange-crowned Warbler, 2013-10-12.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Mourning Dove at the Compost Piles, 2013-10-12.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for October 18, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

A delightful day, not to cold, mostly sunny, windless. There as early morning fog, and we didn’t see any owls, but sunrise was gorgeous. Fourteen of us rambled around, and managed to see just about everything one might expect on a nice fall day (though our only goose species was Canada).

Highlights (FOF = First of Fall):

American Wigeon           One in slough
Green-winged Teal          FOF – 6 north of entrance bridge
Common Merganser       Two small flyby flocks
Western Grebe               One far out on lake
Northern Harrier             One flying all around
Wilson’s Snipe                FOF – 1 near weir, 1 on far side of slough
California Gull                 FOF – Ryan Merrill had one
Red-breasted Sapsucker 3 sightings
Pileated Woodpecker     1 in Big Cottonwood Forest
Northern Shrike              THREE, incl. 1 along lake shore
Varied Thrush                 One heard across the slough
American Pipit                A few flying overhead
Common Yellowthroat    1 in Dog Meadow
Townsend’s Warbler       1 west of mansion
Red Crossbill                   Ryan Merrill had 30 fly over
Evening Grosbeak           Several – flyovers

Uncharacteristically, we had really nice looks at the WILSON’S SNIPE. They usually fly off shortly after (or before) we notice them.

We had several accipiter sightings, not all of which we were able to get to species, but we definitely had both Cooper’s Hawk (early) and Sharp-shinned Hawk.

So, nothing rare, but 64 species for the day!

== Michael Hobbs

Lenticular clouds at Mt. Rainier at sunrise.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Snipe near the weir

Wilson's Snipe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Sharp-shinned Hawk in the Community Gardens.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Wigeon settling its feathers in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Black-tailed Deer at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Pacific Wren, 2012-10-17.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Pacific Wren, 2012-10-17.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Crayfish in the slough, 2012-10-16.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Fall color, 2012-10-14. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Northern Shrike, 2012-10-14.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Young male Red-winged Blackbird, 2012-10-14.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for October 20, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

Matt Bartels and I again subbed for Michael Hobbs at Marymoor this morning. The day started out gray and overcast with a temperature of 54F. About 10:30 the misty drizzle started and continued for the rest of the day.

In spite of this it was a great morning out at Marymoor with the following notable birds:

Barn Owl                                Over east meadow

Short-eared Owl                    Over the east meadow
Pectoral Sandpiper              First seen last night, but still continuing today (in with lots of Killdeers on soccer fields) (first in several years)
White-throated Sparrow      2 tan stripes near first dog beach east of weir
Northern Shrike                     Near soccer field parking lot, first of season
Brewer's Blackbird               Not frequent
Cackling Goose                    About 170
Green Heron                          Adult at Rowing Club pond
Pacific Wren                          First of season?
Townsend's Warbler             Adult male

55 species

Brian H. Bell

Woodinville WA

White-throated Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Glaucous-winged x Western hybrid Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pectoral Sandpiper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pectoral Sandpiper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Ring-billed Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Mew Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pectoral Sandpiper with Killdeer, 2011-10-19.  Photo by Graham Hutchinson

Pectoral Sandpiper with Killdeer, 2011-10-19.  Photo by Graham Hutchinson

Male Ring-necked Pheasant, 2011-10-15.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Red-breasted Sapsucker, 2011-10-13.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for October 21, 2010

It was foggy this morning at Marymoor, but surprisingly our best birding was before the fog lifted.  And unfortunately, the good birding didn't return when the fog moved back in.  It was the quietest day at Marymoor since July, and at least in July one gets to watch nesting activities.  Nonetheless, it wasn't really all that bad; just a little disappointing.


Early on our walk, we came across a large flock of GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS with one WHITE-THROATED SPARROW that popped up in a bush, giving us great looks.

We also had an ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER, and later a TOWNSEND'S WARBLER in with a bunch of Audubon's YELLOW-RUMPED WARBLERS.

From the boardwalk, we saw a female HAIRY WOODPECKER, but that was about the end of the highlights.

We had a mixed flock of CANADA and CACKLING GEESE, on the grass fields near the NE corner of the park, that was rather funny because the Canadas were all on one side and the Cacklers all on the other.  There were probably 300 Cacklers and we got good looks. But there were no other geese hidden in the flock.

And, yeah, we had a couple of fly-over AMERICAN PIPITS, but they never landed.  And we had a good look a pair of PURPLE FINCH, and we had a good group of people to walk around with on a day that wasn't too cold or rainy.

But it was pretty quiet.

For the day, 53 species.

== Michael

White-throated Sparrow below the weir.  Photo by Ollie OIiver

Male Belted Kingfisher at the weir in the fog.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pacific Wren (recently split from the Winter Wren).  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ruby-crowned Kinglet. Photo by Lillian Reis, 2010-10-16

Fir branch covered in spider webs

Branch dangling over the slough, suspended by some monofilament fishing line

Report for October 20, 2009

I made a quick stop at Marymoor this afternoon (the weather was too nice to pass up).  Generally, things were extremely quiet, but on the lake, along with Western Grebes, Pied-billed Grebes, and Wood Ducks, was a single, sparkling PACIFIC LOON.

I was able to get pretty good looks, and was able to note the satiny-silver back of the neck, the pure white chin, throat, breast, and belly, cut only by a hint of a chin-strap.

When the rowers came out, it swam around the corner to the east, but it may be visible from East Lake Sammamish Parkway at 187th Avenue.

This is a new bird for Marymoor, and is our 215th species for the park.

= Michael

The windmill, 2009-10-16.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Fungus growing in wood chips. Photo 2009-10-16 by Lillian Reis

Close-up of a male House Finch, 2009-10-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Savannah Sparrow photo by Ollie Oliver, 2009-10-18

Red-winged Blackbird male, photo by Ollie Oliver, 2009-10-18
White-crowned Sparrow juvenile, photo by Ollie Oliver, 2009-10-18

Report for October 15, 2009

Fifteen of us enjoyed unexpectedly good weather today.  Early on, there was a touch of fog, somewhat hiding the crescent moon.  The fog cleared fast, though, and the rest of the morning there was thin overcast with occasional sun breaks.  The early morning chill (45 degrees) gave way to rather warm conditions for mid-October (63 degrees).  The park was filled with sparrows.

We had at least 3 and maybe as many as 5-6 WHITE-THROATED SPARROWS, seen today.  There were two along the slough trail north of the Dog Area, one in an elderberry at the northwest corner of the dog area, one at the Compost Piles, and two in Snag Row along the edge of the Community Gardens (Pea Patch).  I may even be forgetting a sighting.  In any case, we had some really nice looks.  None of the birds was white-striped, but they ranged from drab juveniles to quite bright and crisp adults.  Maybe not so coincidentally, I've had a White-throated Sparrow at my house the last 3 days.

The other big highlight was a MERLIN perched in Snag Row that gave us good,
long looks.

Other highlights:

Mew Gull                          1, with Ring-billed Gulls - First of Fall
Barn Owl                           Matt & Scott, early, East Meadow
Short-eared Owl                Matt & Scott, early, East Meadow
Orange-crowned Warbler  1 in the Pea Patch
Western Meadowlark        2 at the north end of the East Meadow
Evening Gosbeak               Heard a couple of times overhead

Sparrows were very numerous, with good numbers of all 8 regular species (towhee, Savannah, Fox, Song, Lincoln's, White-crowned, Golden-crowned, and junco).  We heard singing from Fox, White-crowned, and Golden-crowned.

For the day, 60 species.  For the year, I think we're up to 153.

== Michael

One of many Golden-crowned Sparrows

Our second White-throated Sparrow, just north of the Dog Area

Same White-throated Sparrow as above, I believe

American Coot at the lake

White-throated Sparrow at the Compost Piles

Merlin in Snag Row

White-throated Sparrow in Snag Row next to the Pea Patch

Hugh Jennings caught the same bird just leaving
Hugh Jennings photo of a moth(?)

Report for October 16, 2008

The weather was better than we had any right to hope - basically no rain except for a bit of mist, no wind, fairly warm, overcast but a touch of blue.  It was pretty birdy too, though not terribly diverse.


Cackling Goose         1 or 2 large flocks flying overhead
Western Grebe          About 8 at the lake
Northern Harrier        1 hunting the Dog Meadow
Mew Gull                   First of Fall, about 3 on grass fields
American Pipit            Heard 1 near the velodrome early
Cedar Waxwing         Many, many, many
Townsend's Warbler  3 at 2 sites around mansion

On my way out, I drove back through the park and found 5 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE just west of the velodrome - First of Fall

The Compost Piles were more active than they've been recently, with quite a few sparrows and finches, which then attracted a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK.

The Community Gardens (Pea Patch) was even birdier, with all 8 common sparrow species represented, plus 3 species of finch and ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD.

A RACCOON paced us on our walk out to the slough, working the far shore at our same slow trudge.  We saw it about 4 times.

For the day, 53 species of bird.

== Michael

Same juvenile Red-tailed Hawk in the same tree in the parking lot
to start this week, same as last week

Ollie's photo of an American Crow in the rain

Ollie Oliver's photo of a Paddletailed Darner

Ollie's photo of a Canada Goose

Four adult and one juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose

Ollie Oliver's photo of adult Greater White-fronted Geese

Ollie Oliver's photo of an adult Greater White-fronted Goose

Report for October 18, 2007

The number of birders present today was a far cry from last week. Only six of us showed up. We did get rained on some (though not too badly) and we did get blown around, especially at the lake platform. But it wasn't too cold, and there were long periods of calm. Birding was spotty, but it was definitely NOT a dud week.


  • SWANS                               5 - silent - flying south west of the slough
  • Wilson's Snipe                      1-2 East Meadow
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk             One near mansion
  • MERLIN                              One over the old cricket pitch
  • Barn Owl                              Matt had 1 at 6:50 over the East Meadow
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker       Rowing Club parking lot
  • Northern Shrike                    1 along the north edge of grass soccer fields
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler        Still hundreds around
  • Nashville Warbler                  Matt & I glimpsed one west of mansion
  • Townsend's Warbler             1 or more at Rowing Club parking lot
  • Western Meadowlark           15 on the old cricket pitch

At about 7:20, two geese flew north over the Dog Meadow. It was perfect. The lead goose was a CACKLING (probably minima subspecies) and the trailing goose was a CANADA. Amazing flight comparison, with a huge size difference between the birds, and the very short bill and neck of the Cackling evident.

We had an Aythya duck at the lake that caused a lot of discussion. Wind conditions precluded getting a definitive ID, but it was probably a Lesser Scaup. It just looked *wrong* for scaup to me somehow, but I was in the minority there. I was thinking Ring-necked Duck (despite a dark face and lack of white on the bill), or Ring-necked x Scaup. Tufted female even came to mind...

For the day, 57 species. Not bad at all considering the weather.

== Michael


Bird Sightings Week 42
October 15-21*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years



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