Friends of Marymoor Park

Recent Bird Sightings

Report for October 4, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

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


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

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

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

The year list is now at 150 +/- 1

== Michael Hobbs

Double-crested Cormorant.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Clay-colored Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Clay-colored Sparrow.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Northern Flicker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for September 27, 2018                                                                                                                   Birding at Marymoor

Michael was out and Brian Bell & I substituted as leaders. After all the goodies of last week, we had hopes of this week holding surprises. Alas, we hit one of those lulls in the pulses of migration — we saw some good birds, but overall the species count and species seen were not all that remarkable.


  • River Otter - 4 of them near dog central
  • Green-winged Teal - a pair flew by along the slough
  • Virginia Rail - one or two responded to clapping along the slough
  • Osprey - still one present , seen multiple times
  • All 5 expected woodpecker species seen
  • Merlin - one from the lake viewing platform
  • Peregrine Falcon - one soaring around late, as we were nearing the Pea Patch
  • HUTTON’S VIREO - still pretty unusual at Marymoor. We had one near the windmill.
  • American Pipit - five flying overhead in the north fields
  • Fox Sparrows - singing away in the good weather
  • For warblers, we only had a single Orange-crowned, a few Common Yellowthroats, and maybe 15-20 Yellow-rumped Warblers.

Misses for the day included owls, any swallows to species [we did have a flock of a dozen too far out to get beyond swallow sp], ducks beyond Mallard, Wood Duck, Common Merganser, and the teal, and the longed-after rarity.

For the day, 52 species

Matt Bartels, Seattle, WA

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Killdeer.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

River Otters.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

River Otters.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

River Otters.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Spider on her web.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for September 20, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

The day dawned dark, with rain threatening but never arriving. Viewing was awful. Birds were kind of scarce. But after about 9, the day brightened and the birds CAME OUT. It turned out to be a stupendously good day. The highlight was a First for Marymoor RED-NECKED PHALAROPE at the north end of the lake. But it was only one of the...

Highlights: (FOF=First of Fall)

  • American Wigeon – FOF, photographed from the Lake Platform, and ID’d later (thanks, Bob)
  • Green-winged Teal – FOF, small fly-by flock
  • Horned Grebe – FOF, at least one from Lake Platform
  • RED-NECKED GREBE – First for 2018 – at least 2 from Lake Platform, confirmed by photos (thanks, Bob)
  • Mourning Dove – two near mansion
  • Vaux’s Swift – seemed to be streaming south – 25 minimum; probably a lot more
  • Virginia Rail – FOF, heard from Lake Platform
  • RED-NECKED PHALAROPE – New for the Marymoor List – #235
  • Double-creasted Cormorant – FOF, one
  • Green Heron – TWO at Rowing Club ponds
  • TURKEY VULTURE – FOF, one over mansion area
  • Osprey – still one or two; should be leaving soon
  • Sharp-shinned Hawk – 1-2
  • Cooper’s Hawk – 1-2
  • Barn Owl – Mark & Lee spotted one pre-dawn, south of East Meadow
  • - four woodpecker day – and we *may* have seen incredibly distant Red-breasted Sapsucker, which would have been #5
  • MERLIN – two in quick succession at Rowing Club (unless one executed a very quick circle; two passes 10-15 seconds apart)
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher – two glimpses for me, great look for Hugh and Sharon; three birds probably
  • Violet-green Swallow – 100?
  • Cliff Swallow – latest ever for Marymoor; two glimpses
  • Barn Swallow – 150-300
  • Ruby-crowned Kinglet – FOF, maybe 3 total
  • Swainson’s Thrush – still about 5-6 heard, mostly pre-dawn
  • American Pipit – FOF, one heard north of Viewing Mound
  • EVENING GROSBEAK – FOF, flock of 8 over Lake Platform, heading east
  • Fox Sparrows – at least a dozen, with quite a bit of singing
  • Golden-crowned Sparrow – at least 4, with one singing
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – maybe 8, some very drab green, some yellowish with grayish heads
  • Yellow Warbler – 1-2 at Rowing Club
  • WESTERN TANAGER – male at Rowing Club – getting late for them

Lots of FOFs; an amazing return of fall birds, but still good representation of summer birds (though most of those are clearly migrants passing through from further north). Definitely a feeling that ANYTHING could have shown up.

For the day, 72 species! On Tuesday, a trip led by Sharon to Marymoor had HOODED MERGANSER, CALIFORNIA SCRUB-JAY, TOWNSEND’S WARBLER, and BROWN-HEADED COWBIRD, to make 76 species for the week so far.


We also had fabulous looks at an AMERICAN BEAVER at the Rowing Club ponds.

== Michael Hobbs

Red-necked Grebe taking off.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-necked Grebes.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-necked Phalarope, facing right, at extreme distance and magnification.
Photo by Michael Hobbs

American Wigeon.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Pacific-slope Flycatcher.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Lincoln's Sparrow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for September 13, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

I’m glad we were out yesterday, and not this morning. Instead of soaking showers, we had a thin overcast and little to no wind. It was very pleasant; good owling weather pre-dawn, and a good morning of birding after that featured a good mix of species, if lacking in huge numbers of birds and great looks.

Predawn, we had an eight-year-old girl and her dad out by 5:00 a.m. to try for owls, and we were at least fairly successful. Wonderful to nurture the excitement of preadolescent learning!


  • Vaux’s Swift – still a couple around flying with swallows
  • Green Heron – juvenile at Rowing Club pond again
  • Osprey – two sightings
  • Bald Eagle – one adult at lake
  • Northern Harrier – one over Dog Meadow
  • Cooper’s Hawk – two sightings
  • Red-tailed Hawk – several
  • Barn Owl – a couple of brief views, one early, one just before sunrise
  • Western Screech-Owl – heard very well east of boardwalk; don’t know how we never saw it
  • – Four woodpecker day – and we may have heard Pileated as well
  • MERLIN – seen twice, second time going after Barn Swallows
  • Willow Flycatcher – still a couple
  • PACIFIC-SLOPE FLYCATCHER – juvenile in Dog Meadow
  • Violet-green Swallow – At least 20
  • Barn Swallow – At least 100, with another hundred+ swallows over lake, too far for ID
  • Swainson’s Thrush – should be gone in a week or two, but still had 2 sightings, 3+ more heard
  • – EIGHT sparrow day – including: FOX SPARROW – First of Fall, fairly early date, and GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW – First of Fall – At least 2
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – seen at several locations - 5+ birds
  • Common Yellowthroat – a few around, and still singing mature males
  • Yellow Warbler – seen at several locations - 4+ birds
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – one in Dog Meadow pine tree

On my way out, I added GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULL and ROCK PIGEON; that got us to 60 species for the day, despite missing Hooded Merganser, Band-tailed Pigeon (might have glimpsed), American Coot, Marsh Wren, Yellow-rumped Warbler, and Western Tanager (possibly glimpsed).

Over the next two weeks, extensive changes in the species list are expected, coinciding with the equinox.

== Michael Hobbs

Adult Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for September 6, 2018                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

A gorgeous and birdy day at Marymoor today. I got there a little after 5:00 a.m., and the sky was dark and clear, with brilliant stars (Orion, the Pleiades, etc.) showing well despite a shining crescent moon. Just a little ground fog, no wind, and warm enough that I didn’t even care that we struck out on owls. After sunrise, the birds were out, and there was a lot to see.


  • Vaux’s Swift – about a dozen in one flock
  • American Coot – one from Lake Platform; first since April
  • Osprey – only 1-2, juvenile(s?)
  • Cooper’s Hawk – one
  • Red-breasted Sapsucker – several sightings, maybe 4 birds?
  • Western Wood-Pewee – one at Rowing Club
  • Willow Flycatcher – at least 3 sightings
  • Pacific-slope Flycatcher – one, west edge of Dog Meadow
  • Warbling Vireo – a couple
  • Barn Swallow – only 2, and no other swallows
  • Swainson’s Thrush – 2 seen, a few more heard; far fewer than last week
  • Lincoln’s Sparrow – 1 seen at each of 3 disparate sites
  • Red-winged Blackbird – 60 or more – large number for Marymoor
  • Orange-crowned Warbler – one, south of East Meadow
  • MacGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER – one, hawthorn in NW corner of Dog Area
  • Common Yellowthroat – still many, including singing adult male(s)
  • Yellow Warbler – many (6+)
  • Yellow-rumped Warbler – at least 1
  • Black-throated Gray Warbler – many (5+)
  • Western Tanager – at least 1, East Meadow
  • Black-headed Grosbeak – 2 south of windmill

So a 4-woodpecker, 3-flycatcher, 5-warbler day!

Misses today included Hooded Merganser, Rock Pigeon, gulls, Green Heron, and Violet-green Swallow. Rufous Hummingbirds have apparently all left (on schedule). Bald Eagles are on vacation, as they often are at this season. We could not find a Wilson’s Warbler either; we’ve had them more that 1/3 of the time this week of the year, but not today.

Also had a couple of Mule Deer bucks, and Matt heard a beaver while not hearing owls.

For the day, 56 species.

== Michael Hobbs

Sunrise.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-winged Blackbirds.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Osprey.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Juvenile Osprey.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Yellow Warbler.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Black-throated Gray Warbler.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Anna's Humminbird.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Mule Deer bucks.  Photo by Jordan Roderick

Male Yellow-headed Blackbird.  Photo by Joseph Calev

Report for August 30, 2018                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

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


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

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

== Michael Hobbs

Male California Quail.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Canada Geese in the slough.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

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

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