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Bird Sightings Week 7
February 12-18

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Rarities for Week 7:

Barrow's Goldeneye 15-Feb-07  
Herring Gull 12-Feb-15 2nd-winter juvenile
Herring Gull 13-Feb-14  
Herring Gull 15-Feb-07 Grass soccer fields
Herring Gull 18-Feb-16  
Thayer's Gull 18-Feb-04  
Thayer's Gull 18-Feb-16  
Glaucous Gull 15-Feb-07  
Horned Lark 15-Feb-02 Two present
Horned Lark 16-Feb-17 Grass soccer fields. Remained through 19-Feb
American Tree Sparrow 12-Feb-09 Compost Piles.  Present 15-Jan to 19-Feb

Report for February 16, 2016                                                                                                                 Birding at Marymoor

We had unexpectedly nice weather today, and over a dozen birders. The birds cooperated, making for an excellent day. It was warm, and partly sunny by our start time (though Matt got rained on pre-dawn).

After our recent rains, there was water everywhere. Large puddles in fields and parking lots, water over the paths, water over the boardwalk. It was passible with over-the-ankles boots, but just barely and only with care.

Sadly, we also noticed that the “odd-snag”, a tremendously old Douglas Fir snag that stood just SW of the park entrance, has broken off very short. For at least a couple of decades, RED-TAILED HAWKS nested atop the snag, which featured a “toothpick” spike about 6 feet tall that stuck up from above the broken-off top. The hawks would nest at the base of the spike which I expect it made the nest harder for eagles to predate (though we did once witness an eagle take a baby hawk). A few weeks ago, a Red-tail was seen building up the nest for another year; now they will have to find a new place to nest.

Highlights:

Northern Pintail              One male in a field puddle – First for 2017
California Gull                Maybe 3
Herring Gull                   At least 1; possibly a Thayer’s or two as well
Green Heron                  Continues at Beaver Lodge
SHORT-EARED OWL Matt & Sharon saw two, pre-dawn, East Meadow
R.-breasted Sapsucker   2, possibly flirting, Rowing Club
Pileated Woodpecker     Male (first year?), Dog Meadow
Northern Shrike              Seen several times
HORNED LARK          One on soccer fields west of Fields 7-8-9
- SWALLOWS -          About 6. At least one was almost certainly a TREE. CEDAR WAXWING    A flock of 11, Dog Meadow
Yellow-rumped Warbler Several “Audubon’s”
Western Meadowlark     At least 2 at model airplane field

It was a big surprise to find a HORNED LARK on the grass fields just NE of Lot C (where we meet). This is just our 3rd spring sighting ever for Horned Larks at Marymoor (and only our 18th sighting in all). The two previous spring sightings were 2002-02-15 (only one day off from today’s date!) and 2002-04-17.

It was a good day for animal sightings too. In addition to the usual Eastern Gray Squirrels and Eastern Cottontails, Matt *saw* a BEAVER pre-dawn, and we had at least 2 RIVER OTTERS on the lake. At the Rowing Club pond were at least 3 RED-EARED SLIDERS and 1-2 very bright PAINTED TURTLES.

For the day, 60 species. For the year, I believe we’re at 82 species (plus swallow sp.)

== Michael Hobbs


Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Red-winged Blackbird.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Double-crested Cormorant.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


The Great Blue Heron nests are very active.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Cedar Waxwings.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Cedar Waxwings.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


See if you can spot the Green Heron on the beaver lodge.  Photo by Rupali


Northern Shrike.  Photo by Bob Asanoma


Northern Shrike.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Male Northern Pintail.  Photo by Bob Asanoma


Male Northern Pintail.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for February 18, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We had a very nice morning today, with virtually no precipitation, and even with some hints at sunshine. Temps were in the 40’s-low 50’s. Birds were singing all over.

Highlights:

Green Heron                    Juvenile on beaver lodge across from Dog Central
SEVEN SPECIES OF GULL on grass fields including:
   Western Gull                 At least 1
   California Gull               Two – first since Week 1
   Herring Gull                  One
    THAYER’S GULL      One
W. SCREECH-OWL      Matt heard one in the “Mysterious Thicket”
N. Saw-whet Owl            Matt heard one near east footbridge
Pileated Woodpecker      One on far side of slough
Western Meadowlark      THIRTEEN north of Fields 7-8-9

I was ecstatic to see the GREEN HERON, for with this sighting for Week 7, we’ve now seen Green Heron at least once during each week of the year. 45 other species have been seen in all weeks.

The GREAT BLUE HERONS are being very confusing. There was only one heron on the old heronry. There were over 30 herons in three trees about 100 yards north of the heronry. They have started about a dozen nests at the new site, all but one in a single tree. It’s unclear if this is an expansion or a relocation of the heronry. If it’s a relocation, I’m baffled as to why.

As I mentioned, there was a lot of singing today. Some of the birds noted singing included AMERICAN ROBIN doing full, insistent songs, RUBY-CROWNED KINGLET, SPOTTED TOWHEE, DARK-EYED JUNCO doing variations on trill songs, HOUSE FINCH, and (quietly) WESTERN MEADOWLARK.

Today’s animal list included AMERICAN BEAVER (Matt saw/heard one early), and our First of the Year MUSKRAT. The Bullfrog tadpole mentioned two weeks ago turned out to be a NORTHWESTERN SALAMANDER when I examined Ollie’s photos. We had not previously documented that species at the park. It was being eaten by the juvenile Green Heron.

Tuesday, I had HUTTON’S VIREO and VARIED THRUSH at the Rowing Club, both new for the year.

For today, 57 species. For the year, adding WESTERN SCREECH-OWL, HUTTON’S VIREO, and VARIED THRUSH, I believe we’re at 76 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Bald Eagle.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Bob Asanoma


Great Blue Herons at the new site, 100 yards north of the old heronry.  You can see the extent of their new nestbuilding efforts.  Photo by Bob Asanoma


Juvenile Green Heron on American Beaver lodge.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


All 13 Western Meadowlarks.  Some were singing.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


A close-up of some of the Western Meadowlarks.  Photo by Bob Asanoma


Ring-billed Gull.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


California Gull.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Report for February 12, 2015                                                                                                                    Birding at Marymoor

The weather is so nice it’s scary. There was a hint of pre-dawn fog, but that cleared by sunrise. We were left with a warm, partly sunny, windless, rainless day. Water level was highest so far this winter, just barely puddling 1 section of the boardwalk. The birds were out and about, singing and loafing. Lots to see.

Highlights:

Greater White-fronted Goose  Two with Cackling Goose flock near entrance
Great Blue Heron                    35+ at heronry, most bringing in twigs
Virginia Rail                             Singing Kik Kidik songs from east of East Meadow
Wilson’s Snipe                         Two flushed from east of East Meadow
California Gull                          At least 1 adult with large gull flock
HERRING GULL                    2nd winter bird with large gull flock
Northern Saw-whet Owl          Matt heard one very early
Belted Kingfisher                      Heard from lake platform. First in 5 weeks
Red-breasted Sapsucker          Big Cottonwood Forest – First of Year
Northern Flicker intergrade      Red-shafted head markings, distinctly yellow shafts
Northern Shrike                       Bright adult, East Meadow. First since Jan 1
Yellow-rumped Warbler           Myrtle’s-type
Townsend’s Warbler                One north of maintenance barn – First of Year
WH.-THROATED SPARROW Like last week, one at Rowing Club parking lot

Along with the same list of birds singing last week, add VIRGINIA RAIL, NORTHERN FLICKER, and SPOTTED TOWHEE. An ANNA’ S HUMMINGBIRD was doing display flights at the south end of the Dog Area.

For the day, 61 species! And we’re up to 79 species for 2015.

== Michael Hobbs


Male Red-winged Blackbird, singing.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult Northern Shrike.  Only our 2nd shrike sighting of 2015.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult California Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


2nd-winter Herring Gull.  Note eye is paling, though still somewhat dark.  Also note sparse "adult" feathers on back.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


2nd-winter Herring Gull.  Note pink legs, and largish, messy bill with a somewhat pale base and blotchy darkness at the tip.  Note, too, the dark tail band, checked upper tail coverts, and whitish rump above that.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


2nd-winter Herring Gull.  Note pattern of a dark secondary bar (trailing edge of wing near the body), a pale area covering inner primaries, and dark outer primaries.
Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Townsend's Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Pied-billed Grebe at Rowing Club pond, in "porkpie hat" posture.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


White-throated Sparrow at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


White-throated Sparrow at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Coyote near mansion at 7:30.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Crows gathering to roost, 2015-02-18.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Report for February 13, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Matt and I got to substitute for Michael who is on the road.

The day was pretty good at Marymoor with no rain, but strong winds early.

Nice gull flock early, and we pulled out at least one Herring Gull. This is a week when we often see Herring.

Notable birds:
Herring Gull

Merlin
Virginia Rail               Heard
Northern Shrike
Accipiter species      Too distant, and left quickly so couldn’t i.d. further

Great Blue Heron      At least 9 back on nests, or next to them.
                                    One snuggled down into the nest.

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville WA


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


Herring Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Herring Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


This gull spawned much discussion, as to whether the head shape, bill size, and apparent white on the underwing indicated Thayer's Gull.  However, in flight, there appeared to be significant black on the underwing, so it was probably a second
Herring Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Pacific Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Activity increasing at the Great Blue Heron nest site.  Photos by Ollie Oliver


 


Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Red-eared Slider.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for February 14, 2013                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

The drizzle to start the day was a bit annoying, but it cleared up about a third of the way through our walk, leaving us with really a nice day. It’s February, and the birding isn’t always that exciting in February. But with the nice mild weather we’ve been having, things weren’t too bad.

Highlights:

Green-winged Teal           26 at Rowing Club pond
Greater Scaup                  One male in slough
Western Grebe                 One well out on lake
Northern Harrier               One west of the slough
Virginia Rail                      Spontaneously singing along boardwalk - one glimpsed
                                         More heard east of East Meadow
Barn Owl                          I saw one briefly pre-dawn
Great Horned Owl            Matt heard pre-dawn, west of the park entrance
Hairy Woodpecker           One at south end of Dog Meadow
Northern Shrike                One north of fields 7-8-9
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW Last bird of the day, Rowing Club parking lot Red Crossbills                  Continue around mansion
American Goldfinch          One at Park Office again

While we were at the Rowing Club, 20 GREAT BLUE HERONS took flight from the heronry (they’ve been hanging out at the nests, perhaps laying claim and pairing up – we haven’t seen much repair or nest building going on yet). Moments later, a juvenile BALD EAGLE flew by. The herons circled around for a while before returning to their posts.

Matt may have heard the screech of GREAT HORNED OWL babies, as well as the hoots of an adult. This is up the ravine, just west of the park entrance off West Lake Samm. Parkway.

There was a RIVER OTTER in the slough upstream of the Rowing Club dock, and a turtle (Red-eared Slider) hauled out at the Rowing Club pond. Matt also heard BEAVER pre-dawn in the slough.

For the day, a very respectable 58 species.
For the year, adding WHITE-THROATED SPARROW, we’re up to 81 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Shrike, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Male Varied Thrush on the park office, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Pied-billed Grebe, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Double-crested Cormorant, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Male Anna's Hummingbird, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton


Eastern Gray Squirrel, Thursday afternoon.  Photo by Mike Hamilton

Report for February 16, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

I checked the weather last night, and their predictions for the day sounded horrible. So much for weather prediction. We did have rain, but much more than half the time there was no rain, and for a short while we had blue skies. We also had birds!

Highlights:

Greater Whte-fronted Goose           Two with Cacklers
Cackling Goose                               Flock of ~500, including 2 w/neck bands
Northern Pintail                               Two drakes in the slough
MERLIN                                        One atop tall fir south of mansion
Virginia Rail                                     2-3 responded to clapping from boardwalk
Barn Owl                                        Windmill, East Meadow, as late as 6:50
Northern Shrike                               Middle of the Dog Area
Yellow-rumped Warbler                  1 Myrtle's-type at Rowing Club

The neck-banded Cackling Geese have been at Marymoor several times this winter. They (and presumably much of this flock) are from Chevak, Alaska.

There were lots of birds singing: Anna's Hummingbird (display flight), Northern Flicker (kwik-kwik-kwik calls, drumming), Black-capped Chickadee, Bewick's Wren, Pacific Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, American Robin, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, Red-winged Blackbird (okalee), Purple Finch, House Finch, Pine Siskin

Additionally, a RED-TAILED HAWK was at least visiting the old nest site atop the odd snag west of the park entrance.

For the 2nd straight week, no woodpeckers other than Northern Flicker.

For the day, a great February total of 57 species. For the year, adding MERLIN, 76 species.

== Michael Hobbs
 


Male Northern Pintails.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Northern Pintail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Pair of Gadwall.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cackling Geese, including one with an odd white throat.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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

Mew Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Common Merganser, 2012-02-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit, 2012-02-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Northern Pintail, 2012-02-12.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for February 17, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

The sleet stopped just before our 7:30 start time, and we really had quite a nice morning.  No real precipitation, and the wind didn't kick up until we were past the East Meadow.  Compared with last week, it was quite birdy.

Highlights:

Lots of ducks - 10 species, including a NORTHERN PINTAIL that landed briefly at the weir.  Almost all of the NOPI sightings we've had at Marymoor have been flyovers.

Lots of accipiter sightings.  Matt saw a COOPER'S HAWK adult early on. During the walk, we had many sightings of immature birds, and we're confident that we had both Cooper's Hawk and SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, though there were many sightings that had us confused.  We sure scrutinized some well-worn tails, and peered at breast streaking hoping for enlightenment. One gave  a great, speedy pursuit of a NORTHERN FLICKER; we concluded that one was a Cooper's.

Matt had a couple of BARN OWLS early at the model airplane field.  He also had a noisy GREAT HORNED OWL in the conifers near the mansion.  We're not sure of that's the same bird that we saw in the ivy-covered tree in the Big Cottonwood Forest near the big nest.  Seeing a GHOW there again today makes it seem much more likely that they are, indeed, nesting in the eagle-built nest.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE was atop a tall willow far off to the east of the East Meadow.

There were an extraordinary number of GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWS, but we were unable to find anything different in with them.  We had nary a White-crowned Sparrow anywhere in the park for the 4th straight week.

Singing birds included BEWICK'S WREN, AMERICAN ROBIN, SONG SPARROW, DARK-EYED JUNCO, RED-WINGED BLACKBIRD, and HOUSE FINCH.  An ANNA'S HUMMINGBIRD was displaying.

For the day, 56 species.


== Michael Hobbs

Thursday was not very photogenic, but Ollie Oliver took these shots the day before, on Wednesday, 2011-02-16
Adult Red-tailed Hawk
Steller's Jay


Pied-billed Grebes


American Wigeon pair

Gadwall pairl

Hairy Woodpecker female

Red-breasted Nuthatch

Green Heron at the Rowing Club

Report for February 18, 2010

A bit of early fog, and a bit colder than recently at the start, but another gorgeous day all-in-all.. 

Highlights:

Cackling Goose             Still some with Canadas on grass parking lot
Western Screech-Owl    Heard by several people way early near windmill
Pileated Woodpecker     First of the year
Northern Shrike             North of fields 7-8-9
Winter Wren                  East end of boardwalk
Cedar Waxwing             Lillian spotted 9 for us, near Dog Central
Yellow-rumped Warbler Rowing Club; also near east entrance
Lincoln's Sparrow           Compost Piles.  First since Jan. 7

Notable were all of the species heard singing::

Black-capped Chickadee
Brown Creeper
Marsh Wren
Bewick's Wren
Winter Wren
Ruby-crowned Kinglet
American Robin
European Starling
Song Sparrow
Dark-eyed Junco
Red-winged Blackbird
House Finch

For the day, 59 species.  For the year, Pileated was new.

= Michael

 


Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Pied-billed Grebe

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Golden-crowned Kinglet

Female Bushtit.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Red-tailed Hawk, 2010-02-19.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Willow

Report for February 12, 2009

It was quite a nice day today - thin high overcast, but some sun. Frosty to start, but it warmed well enough.  Birdy enough, especially the beginning and the end.  The downer was that Scott's car got broken into between 6:30 and 7:00.  Having to call the sheriff is no way to start a morning.

The AMERICAN TREE SPARROW was again seen around the Compost Piles.  We missed it, but Jeff went back and found it, so after the Rowing Club, I went over and we found it again.  This is the 5th week for this individual.

Highlights:

Cackling Goose                  Big flock flew over around 8:00
California Quail                   Heard again this week, SW of the mansion
Western Grebe                   Two out on the lake
BARN OWL                     Roosting in cedar near windmill - seen at 11am
Short-eared Owl                Matt and Scott - East Meadow early
Red-breasted Sapsucker    At the Rowing Club - not the hybrid
NORTHERN SHRIKE      Two individuals - one much browner

Lots of singing birds, including Black-capped Chickadee, Brown Creeper, Bewick's Wren, Spotted Towhee, Fox Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Dark-eyed Junco, House Finch, and Purple Finch.  Mallards were copulating.  A Red-tailed Hawk was atop the odd snag nest for a while.

After the Tree Sparrow, I went over to the 187th Ave. access off East Lake Samm Parkway and walked a bit of the East Lake Samm Trail back towards Marymoor.  New birds for the day were:

Lesser (?) Scaup      20 at the north end of the lake
Wood Duck             Six in the NE corner of the lake
Winter Wren
House Sparrow

So for the day, 59 species.  For the year, still at 79 species.

== Michael


Red-tailed Hawk on nest atop odd snag

Ollie Oliver's nice shot of a Golden-crowned Sparrow


Green-winged Teal on the far side of the slough


Ollie's photo of the adult Northern Shrike


Three Great Blue Herons in Snag Row


Barn Owl being warmed by the sun, in a cedar near the windmill


American Tree Sparrow at the Compost Piles again


Six Pied-billed Grebes in the NE corner of the lake

Mount Rainier from the NE corner of the lake

Report for February 14, 2008   

We had a great day at Marymoor today.  The weather was delightful, starting out just above the freeze and warming, no wind, quite a bit of sun. Really very pleasant.  It was pretty birdy too.  Water levels were back up - you need tall boots again to get to the boardwalk.  Humor levels were somewhat below usual, as Matt Bartels is working a temp job and missed Marymoor today.

Highlights:

Wigeon                        Had a flyby that *might* have been Eurasian
Hairy Woodpecker      Great looks in the Cottonwood Forest
Brown Creeper            5-6 total, at 4 different locations
Northern Shrike           Atop tall cottonwood well south of East Meadow
Dark-eyed Junco         We had a nice Slate-colored along the slough
Western Meadowlark  3 in East Meadow, one SINGING

There was lots of singing - American Robin, Dark-eyed Junco, Marsh Wren, Bewick's Wren, Black-capped Chickadee, and the Meadowlark, plus maybe some others.

We had birds making weird sounds - a robin making repetative noises a la a mockingbird, and a Song Sparrow making strange noises I'd never heard before.

We had a lot of tussles between male robins, and an apparent display between a male and a female junco.

Maybe it was all Valentine's Day stuff...

Anyway, for the day we had 56 species, which is really good for Marymoor in February.  Hairy Woodpecker was new for the year.  Oh, and Ollie and Scott reported seeing a BEAVER in the slough.  It was a good day.

== Michael


Back view of a Western Meadowlark singing from an English Hawthorn
in the East Meadow, 2008-02-12


Male Hairy Woodpecker on a balancing broken branch in the Cottonwood Forest


Hazelnut Catkins


Brown Creeper...


Eastern ...poking into the moss and lichens


American Robins in the top of a Cottonwood.
 Wait - the top one is a NORTHERN SHRIKE


Male Gadwall in the ditch near the East Footbridge


Awfully early in the year for a bird's egg.  Probably European Starling...


Pine Siskin east of Clise Mansion


More Pine Siskins, engaged in some ritual pair feeding exercise, I think.


Chestnut-backed Chickadee, northeast of Clise Mansion

Report for February 14, 2007

It was a lousy day - clouds, blowing mist most of the morning, gusts maybe up to 10-15 m.p.h.  Couldn't find more that about 5 Song Sparrows, only 3 glimpses of Spotted Towhee, and no House Sparrows or Rock Pigeons.  The median number of individual birds per species was 4.  That all said, it was a great day!  Really.

Highlights:

Barrow's Goldeneye        Female at the lake platform
Bald Eagle                       Female eating coot near nest; adult hunting coots at lake
HERRING GULL             First confirmed sighting at Marymoor
GLAUCOUS GULL         First winter - first ever at Marymoor
Anna's Hummingbird        Male definitely on territory south of windmill
Belted Kingfisher             First of 2007, on slough
Northern Shrike                On a bush north of grass soccer fields
Brown Creeper                3-4 on a single Doug Fir near the mansion

This was only our 7th sighting of a BARROW'S GOLDENEYE, but this was the 2nd week in a row for the species.  Last week was a fly-by male, this week was a female, probably first-winter.

The pair of BALD EAGLES was near the new nest, and the female (based on size) was eating a coot draped over the branch of a cottonwood quite close to the trail.  The little feet dangling down made ID of the prey easy. Later, when we got to the lake, we watched an adult Bald Eagle hovering and making swipes at a tight ball of AMERICAN COOTS.  The coots mostly just flapped their wings, but otherwise remained motionless.  They didn't dive and they mostly didn't try to flee.  Apparently the mass of wing flapping is an effective defense.

When we first arrived in the morning, there were a few gulls on the grass fields near where we park.  We were searching through them for RING-BILLED GULL (there were a few among the MEW GULLS and GLAUCOUS-WINGED GULLS). There was also a larger black wing-tipped gull at the far end of the field that I first thought was probably our usual, singular, WESTERN GULL (he showed up later).  But the head was dusky, and yet it didn't look right for a GWGUxWEGU hybrid.  The more I looked, the more I got suspicious. Guys, this wouldn't be a Herring, would it?"  We got out a scope, but even so, it was too far to tell.  However, after having walked halfway across the field, we were able to get decent, confirming looks.  Previously, we'd had only one very uncertain maybe in mid-October, 2004.  So it was very nice to add this species to the park list!

After our whole loop, plus the swing around the mansion, as we were returning to the cars, I saw the Western Gull on the road.  Behind our cars were more gulls, some obviously larger than Ring-billed or Mew.  I suggested that we should scan the gulls before leaving to see if the Herring was there again.  Scan we did, but no Herring.  But my eye was drawn to a large immature gull.  "Um, guys?  Could this be a Glaucous?"   Matt looked and
told me, in no uncertain terms, to go fetch my scope.  Through the scope there was no question, and a couple of looks in short flights also added to our certainty that it was, indeed, a first-winter GLAUCOUS GULL - not a gull any of us had expected at Marymoor.

Ollie spotted the NORTHERN SHRIKE north of grass fields 7-8-9 after the rest of us had passed by that area.  I'd been pretty sure we *wouldn't* see a
shrike today, because of the wind.  I guess I shouldn't assume.

We also got to see a very cool, very fast, very low, direct flight of an
adult COOPER'S HAWK, which winged maybe 150-200 yards along a ditch and into Snag Row.  We'd seen quite a few AMERICAN ROBIN, EUROPEAN STARLING, and DARK-EYED JUNCO in the snag area where the Cooper's was aimed, but  it came up empty and landed in the Pea Patch.

For the morning, 55 species, with three added to the year list (HERG, GLGU,
and BEKI) for a total of 81.

== Michael

 

Glaucous Gull and Bushtit photos by Ollie Oliver

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Bird Sightings Week 7
February 12-18

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