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Bird Sightings Week 2
January 8-14

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Rarities for Week 2:

Trumpeter Swan 10-Jan-07 Four birds
Mandarin Duck 14-Jan-06 Escapee.  With Wood Ducks during major flood event
Dunlin 13-Jan-00  
Dunlin 09-Jan-02  
Swamp Sparrow 08-Jan-11 Below weir - same birds as 06-Jan-11?
Common Redpoll 10-Jan-08 Glimpsed amongst a huge flock of Pine Siskin

Report for January 12, 2016                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

It was a balmy 18 degrees when we started this morning, but the weather was gorgeous, with no wind and plenty of sunshine. And there were birds. Frozen ponds and streams means waterfowl continue to be gathering in the slough and lake.

Highlights:

Gr. Wh.-fronted Goose                One in mixed goose flock
Snow Goose                                Prob. same juvenile as last few weeks
Ruddy Duck                                 55 on lake, seen late
- 12 species of duck total -
Green Heron                                One on near side of slough
TURKEY VULTURE                 1 at Rowing Club. 1st winter sighting ever!
Cooper's Hawk                           2, one caught a VIRGINIA RAIL :(
Western Meadowlark                  Matt saw a group in NE corner

As we got to the boardwalk, we saw two COOPER'S HAWKS interacting. As we approached the lake platform, one of the hawks landed on the railing with a VIRGINIA RAIL in its talons. We seldom detect rails in winter, especially when it's this cold, so this was a sad shock.

At the lake, looking into the sun, we saw one merganser that we thought might be a Red-breasted (which would be new for the park), based mostly on impressions of shape, crest, and bill. After the walk, I viewed the lake again, and found many Commons but no Red-breasted.  Photos appeared to show only Common and Hooded Mergansers on the lake.

Also from the lake platform, we had seen a flock of ducks on the water to the southeast that I couldn't identify at all. But in my late lake scan I found the flock of RUDDY DUCKS that I believe were what we had seen. Definitely a high count for that species.

Generally, we then saw almost everything we might expect at this time of year except gulls (only Ring-billed and GW today), Northern Shrike, Bushtit, Red-breasted Nuthatch, and Pine Siskin.

For the day, including the deceased rail, 66 species!

- Michael Hobbs


Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Lesser Scaup.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Lesser Scaup.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Bufflehead, preening.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Steller's Jay.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Steller's Jay.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult Cooper's Hawk with freshly-killed Virginia Rail.  Photo by Mason Flint


Spiky Anna's Hummingbird on a spiky twig.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Wilson's Snipe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Wilson's Snipe near female Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Turkey Vulture.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Turkey Vulture.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Ring-necked Duck pair.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Ring-necked Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Wilsons's Snipe, 2017-01-06.  Photo by Bob Asanoma


Out-of-bounds dog flushes the birds, 2017-01-06.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for January 14, 2016                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

We had a really nice morning at Marymoor today. Above freezing to start, and warming in the sunshine under clear skies with no wind. It was birdy on-and-off, though there were also surprisingly long stretches with not too much. And much of the birdiness involved only a few species seen in large numbers.

Highlights:

9 species of duck       Including a few Greater Scaup
Horned Grebe           At least 1 on lake
Western Grebe          3 on lake
GREEN HERON      Juvenile along near shore of slough
Virginia Rail               Heard from bend in boardwalk
Killdeer                     Matt heard one pre-dawn
Western Gull             1 wh.-headed, dark backed, black wing-tipped, pink-legged
Northern Shrike         Juvenile again north of fields 7-8-9
Bushtit                       Many sightings. Often high in cottonwoods
Y.-rumped Warbler   3 times had single birds
Pine Siskin                 Single bird in an alder. Where are his friends?

The NORTHERN SHRIKE is frequently seen in the area north of fields 7-8-9. Today’s views were somewhat typical though. We saw the bird from the Viewing Mound, where we watched it fly from a tree to a bush to a soccer goalpost to another goalpost and then disappear. When we walked over that way, no shrike to be seen. Last week we walked past that area, and I finally played shrike calls. A couple of minutes later, when we’d walked on towards the Pea Patch, someone spotted it perched up back behind us in its usual spot. So this bird likes to hunker down a lot, but seems to stay in the same location. Some day it might even give someone a good look, but it seems shy.

For the day, 57 species (same as last week). For the year, 64 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Green Heron.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


American Coots.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Bufflehead.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Bald Eagle.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


American Robin in European Hawthorn.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


American Crow.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


BUNNY!.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Marsh Wren, 2016-01-08.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Northern Shrike drops from its perch, 2016-01-02.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for January 8, 2015                                                                                                                  Birding at Marymoor

0600 – 1300, Overcast all day, 39F - 41F.  Pretty birdy – 45 species by the time we reached dog central. Good birds – Northern Saw-whet Owl, Barn Owl – both early by Matt.  Horned Grebe on lake, Wood Duck, and good numbers of sparrows.  56 species – not too bad for a chilly, overcast January day.


White-crowned Sparrow, with Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Bufflehead.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Wood Duck.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Common Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Glaucous-winged Gulls.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Coyote.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for January 9, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Not a lot of bird action today, though it wasn’t cold, and the rain almost entirely held off. Sunrise was spectacular though.

Highlights:

Pied-billed Grebe           AT LEAST 63 on north end of lake
Sharp-shinned Hawk      Adult, juvenile – First of Year
Cooper’s Hawk             Adult - First of Year
FRANKLIN’S GULL    Probably same bird as in late Nov., with Mew Gulls
N. SAW-WHET OWL  Matt heard/saw 1 pre-dawn, east of East Footbridge
Wh.-crowned Sparrow   First since October!

So, just 49 species for the day. Four new species for the year puts us at 60 (plus scaup sp. today).

== Michael Hobbs


Sunrise photos by Michael Hobbs


Male Ring-necked Duck preening the neck ring from which the species gets it name. Usually, the wine-colored ring is hidden.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Common Goldeneye in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Common Goldeneye in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult Sharp-shinned Hawk with a full crop, crossing the East Meadow.
Photo by Ollie Oliver


Probably the same accipiter we left unidentified last week.  This week, we decided it was a Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Anna's Hummingbird at the park office, looking fine.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Red-tailed Hawk pair just east of the Rowing Club parking lot.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for January 10, 2013                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

Not the greatest weather in the world, but not bad. Fog pre-dawn, really quite nice from about 7:30-9:30, then turning dark and chilly with traces of drizzle and a sapping breeze occasionally. But temps were above freezing (barely), the wind often abated, and the precipitation didn’t even make viewing difficult except for the flat light. It was birdy sometimes and quiet others, but it made for a good day in all.

Highlights:

Wood Duck                   Pair near mouth of slough
Western Grebe               Two out on lake
Northern Harrier             Nice adult male flew over Pea Patch
Sharp-shinned Hawk      One at Rowing Club
Cooper’s Hawk              Same bird as last week
MERLIN                       On cottonwood in Snag Row
Virginia Rail                    Again, heard east of East Meadow
Mew Gull                       Hundreds swirling overhead
Barn Owl                       At least one, just after 7, Viewing Mound
Northern Shrike             Three sightings, but probably same bird
Red Crossbills                Mansion area, Rowing Club, 50+?
Pine Siskin                     Only ONE!

We also had 3-4 COYOTES, before 8:00, and 3 RIVER OTTERS at the lake.

For the day, 59 species! For 2013, we’re at 67 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Male Hooded Mergansers ignore a Common Goldeneye taking off

American Robin

Calling Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Just a few of the Mew Gulls swirling overhead.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Close-up of some of the Mew Gulls.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Bufflehead.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for January 12, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

I never did send out a message to Tweeters, since I left somewhat early to head to the airport, while Brian, Matt, and the rest continued around the mansion and to the Rowing Club.  Gorgeous sunrise.  It was cold, but not windy or raining.  The birds were hard to come by, especially the small passerines, but ducks were plentiful in the slough until the jetski sped down towards the weir...

Highlights:

Greater White-fronted Goose      At least 1 with Cacklers/Canadas
Nine species of duck
Sharp-shinned Hawk                   Small (male?) landed in cottonwood along slough
Barn Owl                                    Matt had one very early around the tents
Lincoln's Sparrow                       1 at the Rowing Club - seldom seen there

For the day, 56 species.

= Michael


Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Downy Woodpecker working a blackberry cane.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Ring-necked Ducks at the Rowing Club.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal doing the "walk on [frozen] water" trick.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bewick's Wren, 2011-01-06.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for January 13, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

It rained hard at times, and water levels are pretty high (5' reading at the gauge).   There were some gusts of wind too.  But it was in the upper 40's, and we had some pretty long stretches without rain and even a touch of sun.   So the weather wasn't nearly as bad as it could have been.

Highlights:

Northern Shoveler          4-5 in flood puddles
Northern Pintail              Flock of ~15 flew south
GREEN HERON           Back at Rowing Club pond
Peregrine Falcon             Repeated attacks on Red-tail
Barn Owl                        Several early sightings
Hairy Woodpecker         One at S. end of East Meadow
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Shrike              Juvenile at N. end of E. Meadow
Purple Finch                   Several sightings

We had singing Black-capped Chickadee, Bewick's Wren, Red-winged Blackbird, and House Finch.

I got some reports from last Saturday, January 8, which included:

Snow Goose                 ~200 overhead
California Gull
Band-tailed Pigeon      ~6
Great Horned Owl        Near east kiosk
Varied Thrush
Swamp Sparrow            Recent spot along slough
Pine Siskin

So, for the day, 54 species.  For the week, 61.

For 2011, adding Snow Goose, Northern Shoveler, Green Heron, Cooper's Hawk, Peregrine Falcon, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Rock Pigeon, Band-tailed Pigeon, Great Horned Owl, Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Pileated Woodpecker, Northern Shrike, Varied Thrush, and Purple Finch, the park list is up to 72 species.

== Michael



Juvenile Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Pacific Wren.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Swamp Sparrow with Golden-crowned Sparrows, 2011-01-08.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Swamp Sparrow, 2011-01-08.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


American Coot, 2011-01-08.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Brown Creeper, 2011-01-08.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2011-01-08.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Crow with dead vole, 2011-01-09.  Photos by Lillian Reis

Report for January 14, 2010

We were blessed by several hours without precipitation this morning.  We had a beautiful sunrise, it didn't start misting until 10:30, and the rain held off until noon.  Not too terribly birdy, but a decent day none-the-less.   Water levels are high, after all of this rain - about 5 feet at the weir gauge.  There were  some large puddles approaching the boardwalk, and the boardwalk itself was under as much as 4 inches of water in places.

Highlights:

8 species of duck
Double-crested Cormorant    Dozens overhead towards lake
Green Heron                         Once again, at the RC pond
Short-eared Owl                   Matt had 1 or 2 early
Hairy Woodpecker               At least two, seen pretty well
Northern Shrike                     Seen at 8:00 a.m., but not later
Cedar Waxwing                     2-3 at Dog Central
American Goldfinch                Good sized flock

Cedar Waxwings are rare in the depths of winter at Marymoor, so they were a nice find.

For the day, 53 species.  For the year, we're up to 63 species.

== Michael
 

 


Another great purple and orange sunrise

Hairy Woodpecker west of the mansion.  It looks to have worked these branch for a while.
 Photo by Ollie Oliver

Steller's Jay.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult White-crowned Sparrow at the Compost Piles.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Cooper's Hawk next to the Community Gardens.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Originally identified (based on song) as a Winter Wren, upon close examination
of the photo, it was determined to be an iPod.  Photo and joke by Ollie Oliver

Mew Gulls.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Cedar Waxwings.  Streaking on the sides and flanks, as well as the absence of red tips on the wings, indicates that the near bird is a subadult.  Photo by Lillian Reis.

Report for January 8, 2009

The rain took a hiatus long enough for our walk, not starting to fall until I got home.  The wind, however, took no break.  In the early morning it was fairly calm, but the winds just picked up more and more as the morning went on.

Flooding was the story today.  At the 2nd dog swim spot, water was clearly flowing from the slough to the interior of the park.  The water gauge read 6.2 feet at the weir.  The trail starts to flood at 4.1 feet, so it was clear we weren't going to get to the boardwalk via the slough trail.  We instead worked our way around the south edge of the Dog Meadow, but that meadow was also extensively flooded (just not as deep).  From the east side, we were able to get to the boardwalk, which was flooded too, and almost got to the lake platform.  At the Rowing Club, we could not get anywhere near the slough or the dock due to high water.

Birding was pretty slow, with both few birds and fairly low diversity.  We did manage a few highlights though:

American Wigeon            One in the slough
Northern Shoveler           One with Mallards on "SODA Lake"
GREEN HERON            Atop the beaver lodge at the Rowing Club
American Kestrel             Female this week, hunting the model airplane field
Barn Owl                         Scott and Matt had 2 early, windmill and East Meadow
Pileated Woodpecker      Flew up the slough as we approached the weir
Northern Shrike               Hunting in the Dog Meadow
Red-winged Blackbird     Quite a few males with starlings and crows
Purple Finch                    Good looks at S end of Dog Meadow

This was just our 5th-ever January sighting of Green Heron.  We've seen Green Heron every week of the year except for 3 weeks in January and February.  But these winter sightings are quite uncommon and quite a treat.

For the day, 47 species (same as last week).

Just got a note from KC Parks:

Due to flooding and standing water, Soccer fields # 2 and # 3 are closed tonight, Thursday January 8. User groups have been notified.

Flooding in the off-leash area has increased throughout the day. Access will be restricted in some portions of the off-leash park. Park Maintenance staff and SODA volunteers will erect signs and barricades after evaluating the site tomorrow morning.

The Clise Mansion, Maintenance shops and administrative buildings are not impacted by flooding at this time.

== Michael


Swollen slough below the weir

Female Northern Shoveler in flooded Dog Meadow area


"SODA Lake" - named for www.soda.org


Crossing the first west footbridge


Bewick's Wrens were SINGING


The boardwalk, approaching the lake platform from the east


Failing to get to the Rowing Club dock


Ollie Oliver's photo of a Bewick's Wren


Ollie's photo of the female Northern Shoveler


Ollie's photo of the Green Heron on the beaver lodge at the Rowing Club

Report for January 10, 2008   

Fourteen of us were out today, on a day that turned out nicer that it looked at first.  We were admittedly beset by random drizzle squalls, but the wind seemed to blow mostly over us, and there were long periods of clearing.  The light could have been better, and the birds seemed unhappy with the weather, but we didn't get soaked, and it wasn't too cold, and we did see some birds.

The biggest highlight was one or two COMMON REDPOLL among a large flock of PINE SISKINS near the windmill.  Unfortunately, just as Brian was trying to get the rest of us on the bird he'd been looking at, the whole flock flew across the river to the east.

Other highlights:

Wilson's Snipe           3-4 flew east from ~ East Meadow
Barn Owl                   Scott had great looks early in the East Meadow
Anna's Hummingbird  Two along east trail
Northern Shrike         Distant but well-seen, to the southeast
Townsend's Warbler  2+ NE and west of the mansion

Other than that, it was a lot of the usual suspects - three accipiter sigthings, hundreds of flying Mew Gulls, several Cackling Geese, at least 5-6 Bald Eagles, all the usual sparrows, etc.

For the day, 55 species.  For 2008, already up to 66 species.

== Michael


Brian Bell found a Common Redpoll in this large flock of
Pine Siskins near the windmill. 

 

Report for January 10, 2007

We had a nicer morning at Marymoor than I was expecting.  While cold and sometimes windy, it
remained well above freezing and didn't snow except for a few flakes.  No rain either, and moments
of blue skies.  It was even birdy in spots.  Still, nothing truly notable showed up.

Highlights:

Trumpeter Swan          Family of 4 flew over early, trumpeting
Gadwall                 16 in a large puddle in the Dog Meadow
Red-breasted Sapsucker  One near the windmill
Hairy Woodpecker        One at the base of a tree, calling incessantly
Northern Shrike         One atop a small tree in the Dog Meadow
Purple Finch            2 males, 2 females opposite Rowing Club
Western Meadowlark      2 near grass soccer fields

The GADWALL count is at least a recent High Count for Marymoor, by a long shot.  They've been
relatively scarce the past few years.

There was a huge flock (200+) of AMERICAN ROBINS on the grass soccer fields, mixed with about
100 starlings.

The only geese we had was a mixed flock of CANADA and CACKLING that circled around for a long
time.  They may have landed for a few minutes, but they didn't stay.

For the day, 54 species, bringing the 2007 total to 59.

= Michael

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Bird Sightings Week 2
January 8-14

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