Friends of Marymoor Park


Bird Sightings Week 49
December 3-9*


Rarities for Week 49:

...Brant 05-Dec-08 With Cacklers, 26-Nov and 05-Dec
...Brant 03-Dec-09 With Cacklers in NE corner, 02-Dec, 03-Dec, 17-Dec
Dunlin 06-Dec-07  
American Dipper 08-Dec-22 Swimming and feeding in slough side channel below weir
Common Redpoll 09-Dec-21 Flock of 8 just south of Dog Area along slough in alders

...Palm Warbler

05-Dec-18 fide Vic Nelson. Also seen 06-Dec-18 by Michael Hobbs. Presumably same bird as Hank Heiberg, 25-Nov-18, also in the Pea Patch

Report for December 7, 2023                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Long ago I learned not to be frightened off by weather forecasts.  Rarely is the morning as bad as it looks on the hourly forecast the day before.  Today was absolutely no exception.  We had no rain before dawn, and from 7:45-11:45 we had more minutes without rain whatsoever than with, and only maybe 20 minutes of steady rain.  It wasn't even that dark and dreary for most of the morning, and the wind only puffed up a few times.  Now, the park is flooded, with high water in the slough and even water over the boardwalk.  The central part of the Dog Meadow also has standing water in more than just the ditches.  That changes what we see somewhat, but it doesn't make for bad birding.

  • Cackling Goose - Way down from recent weeks - probably fewer than 50 birds in flyover flocks
  • Canada Goose - Three birds late in the morning were our only Canadas!
  • Wood Duck - Flyby pair
  • American Wigeon - Pair below the weir
  • Common Goldeneye - Two males below the weir, First of Fall (FOF)
  • Barn Owl - One working the East Meadow predawn
  • Short-eared Owl - One mobbed by crows above the East Meadow and model airplane field about 7:40 a.m.
  • Pileated Woodpecker - One across the slough from the Big Cottonwood Forest
  • Northern Shrike - Nice adult, just east of the East Meadow
  • Western Meadowlark - Six in wetland triangle just north of Fields 7-8-9
Notably few finches seen, sparrow numbers lower (or probably they were just under the blackberries), and American Robin numbers much lower than recent.

Misses yesterday included: Green-winged Teal, Hooded Merganser, Anna's Hummingbird, Virginia Rail, and Purple Finch.

For the day, 54 species.

- Michael Hobbs

Short-eared Owl soaring high to escape American Crows. Photo by Tony Ernst

Marsh Wren. Photo by Tony Ernst

Juvenile Red-tailed Hawk. Photo by Tony Ernst

Northern Shrike. Photo by Tony Ernst

Report for December 8, 2022                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

It was damp and dark for most of the morning.  The light rain and wind let up pre-dawn, leaving us with light winds, mizzle, and damp.  Not a very birdy day, with long stretches of nothing but robins.  There were LOTS of robins, and crows.  Coots and geese were also in the triple digits, with Golden-crowned Sparrows and Dark-eyed Juncos around 50 each.  Everything else was pretty sparse and scarce.  

  • Ring-necked Pheasant - We saw George a couple of times, for our first record since before Thanksgiving (which apparently he survived)
  • Wilson's Snipe - Nice looks at ten or more along the slough downstream of the weir
  • BARN OWL - One flew past the Viewing Mound around 7:15, our first in 3.5 months
  • Hairy Woodpecker - One near the Heronry
  • AMERICAN DIPPER - Just our 4th ever; one foraging in the near side channel of the slough, about 100 yards downstream of the weir
  • Varied Thrush - 3 or 4 near the concert venue
  • Savannah Sparrow - 2 or 3 in the East Meadow; only our 7th-ever December sightings
This was our first DIPPER since 2016, and obviously First of Year (FOY).  We now have single sightings in each of June, August, October, and December.  No obvious pattern there.

Misses today included Common Merganser, Northern Shrike, Bushtit, Marsh Wren, Purple Finch (maybe heard one very distantly), and Pine Siskin.

For the day, 54 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Report for December 9, 2021                                                                                                                      Birding at Marymoor

I’ve decided weather reports are worse than useless.  Last night’s report called for rain, but this morning’s report predicted very little precipitation which was totally spurious.  Some people believed the morning report and were sorry.  Temps might have been right around 40-41 all morning, but they FELT LIKE 33; a damp breeze was responsible there.  And the weather report didn’t even hint that we bring floodlights to illuminate our way through the gloom.  Bah. 
Mist, mizzle, drizzle, deep-sinking cold, and bleak darkness was what we got.  But we made the most of it.  It turned out to be a pretty good day by the end.
  • Cackling Goose – two big flocks on the ground probably totaled 3000-3500!
  • Pied-billed Grebe – a single scan count from the Lake Platform hit 50!
  • Barn Owl – Matt had one early; first since September!
  • Northern Shrike – one *heard only* somewhere to the east of our meeting place at 8:00
  • American Robins – everywhere, once again.  Easily a couple of hundred
  • Cedar Waxwing – at least 2, with American Robins, East Meadow
  • COMMON REDPOLL – Flock of 8 just south of the Dog Area along the slough, in Alders.  The 7th record for the park, first for the year (FOY)
  • Pine Siskin – at least 100, though none with the Redpolls
  • White-throated Sparrow – one at the north edge of the Dog Area with other Zonos.
  • Western Meadowlark – one in the East Meadow
  • WILSON’S WARBLER – In cottonwoods at the Dog Meadow edge near Dog Central – small, very yellow warbler with big black eye and a face/head pattern like a 1st year and/or female
The COMMON REDPOLL landed in a tree across the slough from us, where we noted pink on some of the breasts, but definite white wing bars (so not House/Purple Finch).  We could barely make out more, but we had decided they truly were redpoll just before they flew over TO OUR SIDE and eventually gave us decent looks.  Nice.
This was our first ever WILSON’S WARBLER for December, and we’ve only ever had two sightings in November.
We had three RIVER OTTERS next to the beaver lodge visible from the Lake Platform. 
Misses today included Common Merganser, Cooper’s Hawk, Purple Finch, and American Goldfinch.  A late scan of the lake turned up two RING-NECKED DUCKS, and as I drove out of the park I found some EUROPEAN STARLINGS and three ROCK PIGEONS; otherwise those three would also have been on the Misses list.
For the day, 56 species.

= Michael Hobbs

Common Redpoll. Photos by KT Kingsbury

Report for December 6, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

It was a gorgeous day; though it dawned a bitter 23 degrees, it was fogless and sunny, with only occasional winds. During the morning, it warmed 19 degrees by the time we finished at the Rowing Club. It was birdy too, especially for the first few hours. And several birds, that were previously MIA this winter, decided to show up.

After the walk, I went back to the Pea Patch, and after a half an hour of searching, I finally spotted the PALM WARBLER working the sunny side of the wall between the Pea Patch and the Pet Garden. This bird was first seen by Hank Heiberg about 10 days ago, and not noted again to my knowledge until yesterday morning. It is a very drab juvenile, showing only a trace of a reddish crown, and a hint of an eye line. The breast has a lot of blurry streaking. The undertail coverts are bright yellow, though, up the white spot at the end of the underside of the tail.


  • Greater White-fronted Goose – at least 1 juvenile in with a couple of thousand Cacklers – First of Fall, finally
  • TRUMPETER SWAN – five adults in a slow fly-over. Thankfully they called – First of Fall
  • Northern Shoveler – four at lake – first since late October
  • - 8 species of duck total – nothing notable, except this is the best showing we’ve had. Included both Common and Hooded Mergansers
  • Ring-necked Pheasant – male at Pea Patch again
  • Horned Grebe – one on lake
  • Green Heron – far side of slough, north of last dog swim area
  • Northern Saw-whet Owl – Matt heard one well pre-dawn
  • Merlin – Mark saw one flying north near the mansion
  • Northern Shrike – adult, 2 sightings
  • PINE SISKIN – suddenly everywhere – maybe 100. First of Fall
  • Western Meadowlark – one for the group near the Viewing Mound. Six for me just before 8 am
  • PALM WARBLER – after the walk; see notes above

Our only big misses today were American Wigeon and Mew Gull. A really good day, with 63 species (counting the Palm Warbler).

== Michael Hobbs

COLD, but sunny.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

American Crow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

One of the many Pine Siskin.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

The huge flocks of Cackling Geese continue.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Boeing's "Dream Lifter", a modified 747.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for December 7, 2017                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

As I drove into the park, the temperature plummeted. At my house, it was 34. Even just a half mile away, and already down in the valley, my thermometer read 31. But by the time I got to the Viewing Mound, it read just 27 degrees. Brrr. Luckily, no wind. Unluckily, we were beset by bands of fog on and off all morning.

From the Lake Platform we could only see to the close buoys. But it was a pretty good day nonetheless, and at times the scenery was gorgeous, with sun shining through fog causing fog-bows, etc.


  • Greater White-fronted Goose – finally, First of Fall. One adult with Cacklers
  • Cackling Goose – about 1500 landed early. On a late drive-through, the flock had moved to the cricket field, and looked to have grown to 2000-2500. Impressive.
  • Rock Pigeon – a half-dozen near SR-520 were our first in weeks
  • Green Heron – One at Rowing Club pond and one in slough from Rowing Club dock, at the same time
  • Barn Owl – great views from the Viewing Mound after 7 a.m.; no other owls
  • FIVE woodpecker day – with our first Red-breasted Sapsucker in two months (near the windmill), and the other four simultaneously in the old heronry
  • American Goldfinch – amazingly, two at the Pea Patch were our first in a month
  • Townsend’s Warbler – in cedars near windmill
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – one along SE edge of East Meadow
  • Western Meadowlark – five in East Meadow

I drove over to the NE corner of the lake to look at what we missed from the Lake Platform in the fog, and found:

  • Scaup sp. - Four, only our second scaup sighting of the fall
  • Bufflehead – About 60, compared to ~10 from the Lake Platform
  • Common Merganser – at least 7, compared with 1 from the Lake Platform
  • Pied-billed Grebe - ~15, compared to 1
  • Horned Grebe – one
  • Western Grebe – one
  • Ring-billed Gull – one

Misses included American Wigeon, Ring-necked Duck, Hooded Merganser, Mew Gull, and Northern Shrike.

For the day, 57 species, plus 4 more at the NE corner of the lake. Not bad for a cold day in December.

== Michael Hobbs

Lake Platform view, pre-dawn. Photo by Bob Asanoma

Just one of dozens of flocks of Cackling Geese flying in around sunrise.
Photo by Bob Asanoma

Cackling Geese landing on grass soccer fields.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Cackling Geese.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

All of the Canada Geese were in the slough.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Great Blue Heron in a cottonwood.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Northern Flicker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

On several occasions we saw a "fog bow" like this.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Cooper's Hawk at Pea Patch.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-breasted Sapsucker near the windmill.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Green Heron at Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for December 8, 2016                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

Cold settles down into the valleys on nights like last night. So dawn was COLD at Marymoor. The air was so dry that there were just a few little rosettes of frost on the windows of my car. Frost was heavy on the grasses of the meadows. The air was clear and frigid. The stars were bright. Temps dropped down to at most 20 degrees at sunrise. My hands still ache with cold, though the rest of me did pretty well. Birding was slow despite the almost-sunny morning, though it did pick up a bit at the end when it got up to 34 degrees.


Gr. White-fronted Goose                At least 4-5 with Cacklers
Cackling Goose                              Est. 1300 on grass fields
- ducks -                                        Seven species
Sharp-shinned Hawk                      One near Dog Area portapotties
Cooper’s Hawk                             1-2 birds
Killdeer                                          One near park entrance – first in 7 weeks
Northern Saw-whet Owl                1-2 heard by early birders
Red-breasted Sapsucker                Rowing Club – first in 6 weeks
Northern Shrike                             Adult in East Meadow
Common Raven                             Two flew across slough – 2nd week in a row
Varied Thrush                                1 at Rowing Club – First of Fall
OR.-CROWNED WARBLER      1 at East Kiosk – only 4th ever in December
Western Meadowlark                     3+, model airplane field, Compost Piles
coyotes                                          At least 2 pre-dawn

And we were able to sample the fresh-made mini donuts at Bear Creek Coffee in Lot D for the first (and definitely not the last) time.

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Female Greater Scaup in the slough.  Based on eye color and facial pattern, the bird on the left is adult, while the bird on the right is juvenile.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Sharp-shinned Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

A Great Blue Heron landed very close to the Sharp-shinned hawk.  The hawk merely glared at it.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Golden-crowned Sparrow in the frost.   Photo by Ollie Oliver

Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Orange-crowned Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Song Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Greater White-fronted Goose, adult, with Cackling Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 3, 2015                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

We had wind and rain early, but both eased off a bit later. The disturbed weather kept the birds hidden and quiet, though, and even though conditions weren’t nearly as bad as I’d feared, the birding was pretty pathetic. For long stretches of the morning, it wasn’t just that we weren’t seeing anything new for the day – we weren’t seeing, or hearing, ANYTHING.


Cackling Goose              Large flock (750+) took a LONG time to decide to land
Wood Duck                   Pair in slough near Dog Central. First since October
Northern Pintail              Two, flyby, First of Fall
Green Heron                  Juvenile at Rowing Club pond again
Cooper’s Hawk             East Meadow, juvenile
Western Gull                  One that looked good for Western, First of Fall
Pileated Woodpecker     Flyby as we drove to Rowing Club
Northern Shrike              Juvenile on soccer goals north of fields 7-8-9
American Pipit                1-2, East Meadow, with one landing in Dog Meadow
Purple Finch                   2 in Oregon Ash at 2nd Dog Swim Beach,
                                              just 2nd since October

For today, just 47 species, which includes several seen only by one or two people.

== Michael Hobbs

Wood Duck pair.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cackling Geese just couldn't decide when or where to land...

...more swirling Cacklers.  Two photos by Bob Asanoma

Cackling Geese finally landed.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Whitecaps on the lake mean very few birds.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Just a portion of the dozens of crows that hung out along the east edge of the Dog Meadow for a bit.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Hooded Merganser at the Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
(Did you spot the Green Heron in the background?)

Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pacific Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pacific Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 4, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was a fairly typical "nice" December day; cloudy and chilly, but only a hint of precipitation now and then.  Okay, maybe there were some periods of drizzle.  It was fairly birdy, in terms of there being a lot of birds to look at.  But rarities are, well, rare in December.


Northern Shoveler           About 10 feeding communally on the lake
- ducks spp. -                  All told, 10 species; good diversity for Marymoor
Horned Grebe                 One out on the lake
Cooper's Hawk               Both adult and juvenile
Barn Owl                         Early birders saw one perched, East Meadow firs
N. SAW-WHET OWL   Matt had 2-3 really early; one near park entrance seen
Red-breasted Sapsucker  Two, not together
AMERICAN KESTREL  Beautiful male seen again, on Viewing Mound
Purple Finch                     Some landed right next to us, in Oregon Ash tree

For the day, we managed 52 species, and really didn't miss any of the expected species except Common Goldeneye, Wilson's Snipe, and European Starling.

== Michael Hobbs

Male Ring-necked Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Breast markings seem more typical for Sharp-shinned Hawk,  but rounded tail and the shape/color of the back of the head look better for Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Mew Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pacific Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

I counted 144 Pine Siskins in this flock.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Up close, note forked tails and yellow wing stripes on the Pine Siskins.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male American Kestrel, 2014-12-03.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.
We saw this same bird on Thursday as well, but Ollie's photos weren't quite as good.

Male Anna's Hummingbird, 2014-12-03.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Sometimes the best way to spot a Greater White-fronted Goose is to look for the orange legs.  Photo, 2014-12-03, by Ollie Oliver

Cackling Geese, 2014-12-03.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 5, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

More of this ridiculous frosty, dry weather. It was 20 DEGREES when we started this morning, and only just got to 31-32 degrees when we left at noon. There was no wind to clear the thin, high overcast, which instead thickened through the late morning. It made for a cold day, but manageably cold due to the still dryness. Ducks may have been assembled around the slough due to frozen ponds elsewhere; certainly the Rowing Club ponds were nothing but ice. The high numbers (12 species) of ducks made up for low numbers of passerines.


Greater White-fronted Goose   One with Cacklers on grass fields
TRUMPETER SWAN             4 flew silently overhead – First of the year
Wood Duck                             At least 1 pair
American Wigeon                     One female barely visible in slough
Northern Shoveler                    Several
Green-winged Teal                   At least 1 pair
Lesser Scaup                            A few seen late on lake
Pied-billed Grebe                      A late count on the lake: 20+
Horned Grebe                           Four seen late on lake
Cooper’s Hawk                        Maybe a Sharpie too
Pileated Woodpecker               One heard from Rowing Club
AMERICAN KESTREL          One on Field 9

For passerines, we managed to find at least 1 of many of the usual suspects, but nothing unusual. We were at Dog Central (maybe 9:00 a.m), and the list was already at 30 species before we got our first AMERICAN ROBIN. I doubt we had even 10 total; probably more like 6-8.

Our only previous winter sightings of AMERICAN KESTREL were all in the winter of ‘08/’09. A male was seen 11-Dec-08, a male on 01-Jan-09, a female on 08-Jan-09, and a pair on 15-Jan-09. It’s unclear how many individuals that represents, but regardless, it’s clear that this species is quite unusual in winter at Marymoor. We have no sightings from November or February.

A really pretty COYOTE, maybe the same one that was photographed so wonderfully last January, crossed the grass soccer fields right at 8:00 a.m. Matt also heard an AMERICAN BEAVER pre-dawn. There is a LOT of beaver activity (i.e. cutting down trees) at the park right now!

For the day, 53 species.  I believe we're at 157 species for 2013.

== Michael Hobbs

Beautiful, frosty sunrise.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Trumpeter Swans.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Double-crested Cormorant in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Northern Shoveler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female American Kestrel.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Greater White-fronted Goose with Cackling Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Cooper's Hawk, probably male based on small size.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Anna's Hummingbird near Park Office feeders.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Anna's Hummingbird near Park Office feeders.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Ring-necked Ducks at the Rowing Club pond, 2013-12-03.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Snipe at the Rowing Club pond, 2013-12-03.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 6, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

It was unrelentingly overcast today, with some drizzle, and a variable but stiffly annoying breeze. Still, with temps around 45 degrees, and no real rain, it wasn’t too bad. We had some good birding highlights, even if much of the day wasn’t terribly birdy.


Cackling Goose                Huge flocks overhead, with ~800 on the ground
Wood Duck                     Pair in slough
Northern Pintail                Flock of 8-10 overhead
PEREGRINE FALCON Adult bird, seen twice today (and once yesterday too)
Barn Owl                         Probably at least a couple of birds
Short-eared Owl              Great looks, kiting over model airplane field, after 7 a.m.
Northern Shrike               Two seen simultaneously, East and Dog Meadows
Pacific Wren                    Six noted – ties a high count
Purple Finch                     Five along slough
RED CROSSBILL          100+,  high in trees around mansion all morning

Except for one unidentified flyover woodpecker while we drove to the Rowing Club, we were without any kinds of woodpeckers at all. Not even a flicker.

Wednesday, however, Ollie Oliver had DOWNY and PILEATED WOODPECKERS and NORTHERN FLICKER, as well as a HORNED GREBE.

For the day, 54 species.

== Michael Hobbs

About 100 Red Crossbills.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Goldeneye pair in slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ring-necked Duck pair in slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Two Great Blue Herons were standing atop nests at the heronry.  Unclear if they were defending territory, or doing a little maintenance.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Adult Peregrine Falcon launches herself off the top of a Doug Fir near the mansion.
 Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Peregrine Falcon in flight.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2012-12-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Horned Grebe, 2012-12-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Pileated Woodpecker, 2012-12-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Hooded Merganser, 2012-12-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Red Crossbill, 2012-12-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red Crossbills in flight, 2012-12-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red Crossbills, 2012-12-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Red Crossbill, 2012-12-05.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Black-capped (left) and Chestnut-backed Chickadees, 2012-12-05.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-breasted Nuthatches at the park office feeders, 2012-12-05.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 8, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

We were all shocked. The forecast was for patchy morning ground fog, and Marymoor is *always* one of those patches. But not today. Instead, we had high overcast and a bit of a chilly breeze, but otherwise excellent weather. And it was birdy.  It was also an amazing group.  Augmented by three who just graduated (congratulations Scott, Paula, and Phyllis), there were seven Seattle Audubon Master Birders amongst the 12 of us!


Greater White-fronted Goose   1 adult with Cacklers
Cackling Goose                        Huge flock on grass soccer fields
Wood Duck                             2 pair? (maybe only 1 pair seen twice) on slough
Green-winged Teal                   First of fall - male at Rowing Club
Common Goldeneye                 Especially numerous (dozen or more)
Barn Owl                                 Nice looks as late as 7:15
Hairy Woodpecker                  Male near park office
Northern Shrike                       Fields 7-8-9 after 8:00 a.m.
Common Raven                       1-2, a couple of sightings
American Pipit                         1 flew over soccer fields
Yellow.-rumped Warbler         Several at Rowing Club
Red-winged Blackbird             30+ at Rowing Club (all males?)
Pine Siskin                               Many great looks at large flocks

We couldn't turn up any Common Redpolls, despite the Pine Siskins being unusually cooperative.

For the day, 59 species. I had a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK near the windmill yesterday, to make at least 60 species for the week.

== Michael Hobbs

American Crow eating a fish below the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Wood Duck near the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Goldeneye pair.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Common Raven.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal at Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Red-winged Blackbirds at Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 9, 2010                                                                                                                          Birding at Marymoor

The most amazing thing about this morning was that after about 8:15, it essentially didn't rain at all.  We even had sunshine for a few moments.  We were all prepared for and/or dreading the worst, and were very pleasantly relieved.  Given the hard rain all night, it was quite a surprise.

There were a fair number o birds to look through today, too, but it was mostly the birds we expect to see.


Wood Duck                1 male in slough
Northern Pintail           2 flocks overhead - first of 2010
Green Heron               At Rowing Club pond
Bald Eagle                   4 adults
Killdeer                       Not so common in December
Anna's Hummingbird   At park office - first since October
Northern Shrike          One east of East Meadow
Purple Finch                Some good looks, heard more

We managed 57 species today, all together, though nobody saw them all...

== Michael

Common Goldeneye pair.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female and male Purple Finch eating Oregon Ash seeds.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male and 3 female Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Canada Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron at the Compost Piles.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hooded Merganser female at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hooded Merganser female at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hawthorn Berries.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Frost, 2010-12-04.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for December 3, 2009

What a glorious day to be out.  Even an hour before sunrise, the full moon, shining through thin overcast onto frosty fields, made it bright enough to read.  And it was frosty - 28 degrees at 7:30.  We had to deal with some fog from 7:30 until about 8:00, but then it cleared off nicely, leaving us with a mostly windless day with some sun, and crisp, clear air. It wasn't very birdy early, but with a large group of birders (18), we managed to find quite a bit by the end.  Along the way, we had some nice
looks at a few birds as well.


We had a flock of about 500 CACKLING GEESE, comprised of several subspecies, inside one of the baseball diamonds in the NE corner of the park.  Amongst them were two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE, and probably the same BRANT I saw yesterday.

Matt, Natalie, and Mark saw three (presumed) TRUMPETER SWANS fly overhead.

We had good (for this winter) duck diversity, if not high numbers, with 1 WOOD DUCK, a few AMERICAN WIGEON, MALLARDS, a single female GREEN-WINGED TEAL, four BUFFLEHEAD, three  COMMON GOLDENEYE flying, three HOODED MERGANSER, one or more male COMMON MERGANSER flying,   Still, pathetically low numbers.

The GREEN HERON was again tucked in along the east edge of the Rowing Club pond.

We had three different COOPER'S HAWKS, two adults and one juvenile.

A MERLIN streaked across the river at Dog Central and flew though trees loaded with robins.  Later we saw it fly across the Dog Meadow heading east.

We had one HAIRY WOODPECKER in an ash tree.

We had a not-terribly-cooperative NORTHERN SHRIKE in the East Meadow, which gave us a few views.

A COMMON RAVEN was being harassed by crows NE of the mansion.

We also had a RIVER OTTER well out on the lake.

For the day, 59 species, though that number is somewhat inflated by birds
seen only by one or two of the 18 of us.

== Michael


Frosty East Meadow, 7:27 a.m.

The Merlin briefly landed in a distant cottonwood

The clouds, the moon, the trees, and the frost

The moon, a bit past full, setting around 8:30 a.m.

Hairy Woodpecker high in an Oregon Ash tree

Lillian Reis' photo of a Downy Woodpecker

American Coot from the lake platform

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk, seen from the boardwalk

Song Sparrow at the Compost Piles

Bewick's Wren at the Compost Piles.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Brant goose with Cackling Geese

Ollie Oliver got a little closer for his nice shot

Ollie's photo of an adult Greater White-fronted Goose with Cackling Geese

Juvenile White-crowned Sparrows, from front and back.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Anna's Hummingbird in the Pea Patch

Ollie's photo of same

Adult Cooper's Hawk next to the Pea Patch

Vexing gull. Almost looks like a Western Gull.  The head is a bit smudgy, though, and the mantle isn't that dark.  Probably at least mostly a Western, though it may have a Glaucous-winged  ancestor somewhere...

Report for December 4, 2008

Our first December outing was chilly, but manageable.  We were under the fog early on, and it burned off in only a few hours, leaving us under glorious sunshine.  The only odd thing was the paucity of birds.  What we were mainly missing were passerines.  What we did have today, that we've been mostly missing this winter, were ducks.


There was one SNOW GOOSE with a hundred or so CACKLING GEESE in the grass/gravel parking lot north of the grass soccer fields.  We had many huge flocks of mainly Cacklers, but some CANADAs, flying overhead most of the morning.  Three goose day.

For ducks, we had two male WOOD DUCKS, which are not at all common in December at Marymoor.  We had a pair of AMERICAN WIGEON at the north end of the lake, and later in the slough.  Quite a few MALLARDS, of course.  A single male RING-NECKED DUCK at the Rowing Club pond, lots of BUFFLEHEAD everywhere, and a lone female COMMON GOLDENEYE near the windmill, three female HOODED MERGANSERS also at the Rowing Club pond, and a flyby male COMMON MERGANSER.  Eight species, though the total number of ducks was only about 50 individuals.

The Rowing Club was really the place to be, with a GREEN HERON and quite a few WILSON'S SNIPE. 

Matt and Scott had a BARN OWL early over the East Meadow, and later we had  two HAIRY WOODPECKERS at the north end of the meadow.  The NORTHERN SHRIKE was seen there, as well as near the first dog swim area *and* north of fields 7-8-9.  It was very active today.

Three RIVER OTTERS were seen a few times in the slough.

For the day, 51 species.

== Michael

The weir under fog

Pair of adult Bald Eagles

Ollie's photo of a small Cooper's Hawk

Northern Shrike from the Compost Piles

Ollie's photo of a Dark-eyed Junco at the Compost Piles

Snow Goose, with Cacklers (foreground) and Canadas (background)

"Sooty" Fox Sparrow

Ollie's photo of Killdeer in Lot B

Ollie returned to Lot B for a closer photo of the Snow Goose

Male Ring-necked Duck at the Rowing Club

Report for December 6, 2007   

We had a really interesting day at Marymoor today. Water is high, and water birds were all around. The slough path to the boardwalk is blocked by deep water. A dozen of us had fun under mostly cloudy skies that occasionally dripped tiny amounts of water on us. We had a good half-hour of almost sunshine, followed by increasing gloom and chill. But the birds kept us awake.


The juvenile TUNDRA SWAN has taken up residence in a large pond on the grass & gravel parking lot just north of the grass soccer fields. Also enjoying the pond (it's a BIG puddle) were MALLARD, GADWALL, AMERICAN WIGEON, BUFFLEHEAD, geese, and gulls.

We also had four adult swans fly north over the compost piles, and based on their large size and looooong necks, Brian Bell and I concluded they were TRUMPETER SWANS. (Thanks Knut, for spotting them)

The geese arrived late. The first flock came in and quickly left. It appeared to be mostly CACKLING GOOSE with one (presumably the same as previous weeks) juvenile SNOW GOOSE.

More geese came in while we were admiring the Tundra Swan, round about nearly noon. In all, I think about 500 Cacklers came in, with no more than 50 Canadas. Among the late arrivals was one GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE.

Other ducks seen today were: GREATER & LESSER SCAUP, COMMON GOLDENEYE, COMMON & HOODED MERGANSER, and NORTHERN SHOVELER (at the Rowing Club). So just from swans, geese, and ducks, we were at 16 species.

Other highlights:

OSPREY WOW - circled over east meadow, flew south Sharp-shinned Hawk One bird flying towards the lake Townsend's Warbler Nice male just as we were leaving the Rowing Club Purple Finch Distant views from Cottonwood Forest. Close views at Rowing Club.

After the walk, Brian and I went over the lakeside cabana to try to get a positive ID on the scaup (both were present). We added a single HORNED GREBE and a flock of 23 DUNLIN.

For the day, 61 species. Not bad for December.

== Michael

A late Osprey, high over the East Meadow

Northern Shoveler and Hooded Merganser at Rowing Club

23 Dunlin over Lake Sammamish

Dunlin coming in for a landing on one of the docks.


Bird Sightings Week 49
December 3-9*
*adjust by 1 day in leap years


 Home | Mission | Members | Events | News | Maps | Getting There | Contact Us | Links | Search
Meeting Summaries |
Wildlife at Marymoor | Birding at Marymoor Park

Problems, comments, suggestions?  Email the FOMP webmaster at