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Bird Sightings Week 42
October 15-21*

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Rarities for Week 42:

Trumpeter Swan 21-Oct-99  
Pacific Loon 20-Oct-09 Out on lake.  Seen from lake platform, verified from Cabana.
Pectoral Sandpiper 19-Oct-11 Reported by Graham Hutchinson

..Pectoral Sandpiper

20-Oct-11  
Mountain Chickadee 17-Oct-04 Reported by Aaron Martin & Fred Parent
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher 21-Oct-99 East end of boardwalk

Report for October 20, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

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

Highlights:

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

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

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

== Michael Hobbs


White-throated Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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


Juvenile White-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


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


Pacific Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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


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

Report for October 15, 2015                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

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

Highlights:

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

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

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

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

== Michael Hobbs


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


Juvenile Glaucous-winged Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile gull warning.  I may be wrong...

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

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

Steller's Jay.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Yellow-rumped Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for October 16, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

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

Highlights:

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

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

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

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

== Michael Hobbs


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

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


Female Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Purple Finch.  Photo by Lillian Ries


Brown Creeper.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Steller's Jay.  Photo by Lillian Reis


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


Juvenile Cedar Waxwing.  Photo by Lillian Reis


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


First of three Turkey Vultures.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Killdeer.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Green Darner Dragonfly.  Photo by Lillian Reis


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

Report for October 17, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

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

Highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

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

== Michael Hobbs


Adult Bald Eagle near lake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Two adult Bald Eagles.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


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


Northern Shrike photos by Ollie Oliver


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


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


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


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

Report for October 18, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

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

Highlights (FOF = First of Fall):

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

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

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

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

== Michael Hobbs


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

Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Wilson's Snipe near the weir

Wilson's Snipe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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

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

Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Report for October 20, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

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

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

Barn Owl                                Over east meadow

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

55 species

Brian H. Bell

Woodinville WA


White-throated Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


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

Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pectoral Sandpiper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pectoral Sandpiper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Ring-billed Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Mew Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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

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

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

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

Report for October 21, 2010

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

Highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

But it was pretty quiet.

For the day, 53 species.

== Michael


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

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


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

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

American Goldfinch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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

Fir branch covered in spider webs

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

Report for October 20, 2009

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

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

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

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

= Michael


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

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

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

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

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

Report for October 15, 2009

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

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

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

Other highlights:

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

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

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

== Michael


One of many Golden-crowned Sparrows

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

Same White-throated Sparrow as above, I believe

American Coot at the lake

White-throated Sparrow at the Compost Piles

Merlin in Snag Row

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

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

Report for October 16, 2008

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

Highlights:

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

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

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

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

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

For the day, 53 species of bird.

== Michael


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


Ollie's photo of an American Crow in the rain

Ollie Oliver's photo of a Paddletailed Darner

Ollie's photo of a Canada Goose

Four adult and one juvenile Greater White-fronted Goose

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

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

Report for October 18, 2007

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

Highlights:

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

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

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

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

== Michael

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

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