Friends of Marymoor Park

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Bird Sightings Week 46
November 12-18*

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Rarities for Week 46:

Tundra Swan 15-Nov-07  
Cattle Egret 15-Nov-94 Reported by Bob Dolphin, as reported in WOSNews 35
Thayer's Gull 14-Nov-96  
Mountain Bluebird 12-Nov-09 Photographed by Tom Sanders

...Mountain Bluebird

13-Nov-09  
Swamp Sparrow 14-Nov-01 Compost Piles
Swamp Sparrow 18-Nov-10 Below weir

Report for November 17, 2016                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

We had really nice weather – unexpectedly nice weather – today. A bit overcast, but no precipitation beyond maybe a hint of sprinkles. No fog. Sunshine emerging. Little wind. Couldn’t ask for better. And it was pretty birdy.

Highlights:

SNOW GOOSE                    Flock of ~200 flew up the slough about 7:45
Cackling Goose                      Flock of maybe 600 on grass fields
Trumpeter Swan                     Four flew close overhead, CALLING
Greater Scaup                        Lone female with Buffleheads at lake
Common Merganser               Three flew by – first in a month
- small loon -                          Close flyby, which meant we got underside view
Green Heron                          One at Rowing Club pond
W. Screech-Owl                    Matt heard one early
Great Horned Owl                  Matt heard two early near park maintenance bldg.
Pileated Woodpecker             Pair worked apple trees near 3rd dog swim beach
Merlin                                    TWO just south of Dog Area and across slough
HUTTON’S VIREO              One just in front of Clise Mansion
Orange-crowned Warbler       One briefly seen at Pea Patch
Townsend’s Warbler              One just in front of Clise Mansion
WH.-THR SPARROW          One near east footbridge south of East Meadow

The LOON looked like either PACIFIC or RED-THROATED, as it seemed very much Common Merganser sized, and not large and fat like a Common Loon. Very white underside. It flew south past the boardwalk.

The HUTTON’S VIREO is only about our 12th sighting EVER for that species at Marymoor.

For the day, 67-68 species!

= Michael Hobbs


A small portion of the flock of Snow Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bushtit.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Matching juvenile White-crowned Sparrows.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pileated Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Double-crested Cormorant.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Two of the four Trumpeter Swans.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

A shy Lincoln's Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Skulking White-throated Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

White-throated Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Townsend's Warbler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hutton's Vireo.  Compare with Ruby-crowend Kinglets below.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for November 16, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The cold settled firmly down in the valley. It was sunny and TWENTY-THREE degrees when we began our walk this morning. Luckily, no wind, but after the first 45 minutes we began to get swaths of very thin clouds that we did not appreciate at all, since they cut down on the sun’s warmth noticeably. Despite (or perhaps because of) the cold, it was pretty birdy this morning. And it did warm up eventually, to perhaps 42 degrees.

Highlights:

Gr. White-fronted Goose Two with a huge flock of Cacklers
Cackling Goose               ~1250 spent the morning in the NE corner
Trumpeter Swan              5 flew over right at 7:30.
Ring-necked Duck          Two at Rowing Club – First of Fall
Greater Scaup                 Small flock flyover, ID’s by length of white wing stripes
Common Goldeneye        Two females in slough – First of Fall
Northern Saw-whet Owl  Matt heard one near park entrance cedars early
Hairy Woodpecker          First in five weeks
Northern Shrike               Juvenile in middle of Dog Meadow
Bushtit                             Three flocks, after 2 months of rare scattered sightings
Evening Grosbeak            Male perched in Oregon Ash at Rowing Club

We had a total of NINE species of duck this morning, our first fall day with a really good selection of waterfowl.

The large CACKLING GOOSE flock was mostly the minima subspecies but did include several larger Cacklers, presumably Taverners. There was also one minima type that had a lot of white speckling all over the head and neck, and another one that was partially leucistic and was “frosty” all over.

Todd and Lillian both reported AMERICAN KESTREL and NORTHERN HARRIER once the day got warmer. Todd also had a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK.

We had 61 species on the walk, plus the three species seen by Todd, for a total of 64 species on a frosty November day. Not bad at all.

== Michael Hobbs


Trumpeter Swan family.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Downy Woodpecker  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Barrow's Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Barrow's Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Killdeer with frost on its back.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Female Purple Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult Bald Eagle.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


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


Cackling Geese put to flight by a Bald Eagle.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Juvenile Bald Eagle.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Juvenile Mew Gull with odd tuft of neck feathers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Mew Gulls, and 2nd winter Ring-billed Gull (left) in flight.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Ring-necked Duck pair at Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Evening Grosbeak.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Evening Grosbeak.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Northern Harrier.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Male American Kestrel.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Male American Kestrel.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Eastern Gray Squirrel.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male American Kestrel, 2014-11-11.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult Northern Shrike, 2014-11-11.  Photo by Vickie Scales


Bewick's Wren, 2014-11-11.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


White-crowned Sparrow juvenile, 2014-11-11.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Song Sparrow, 2014-11-11.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for November 14, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The weather was way better than we had any right to expect. It rained, somewhat hard at times, between about 6:15 and 7:45, but as our official start time was 7:30, we mostly missed the precipitation. There was some mist for a while, and then not even that. And soon after I got home, rain started again, so we definitely dodged a bullet.

We had birds in little spurts, and nothing terribly notable. The CLAY-COLORED SPARROW seems to have moved on, maybe with the SAVANNAH SPARROWS. We found neither today, and I couldn’t find any eBird reports of those species at Marymoor from after Veteran’s Day.

Here are some of the highlights we *did* have:

Wood Duck                        Drake at lake
Green-winged Teal              3 at Rowing Club
Ring-necked Duck              1 at RC – First of Fall
Common Goldeneye           1 female at lake, First of Fall
Common Merganser            Five flew north at about 7:45
Hairy Woodpecker              Male in East Meadow
Northern Shrike                   Adult this week (I had a very brown juvenile last week)
Varied Thrush                      Male near windmill
American Pipit                     Heard twice over Compost Piles
Purple Finch                        Two, East Meadow, after 3 week absence

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Male Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


This Varied Thrush was so high up a tree, we had trouble seeing the field marks.
 Photo by Ollie Oliver


Yellow-rumped Warbler, showing it's distinctive tail markings in flight.
Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Green-winged Teal at the Rowing Club.  Note how different angles change
the apparent color of the green specula.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Marsh Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Marsh Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for November 15, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

The fog that was forecast for this morning was all at Marymoor. We could see sun shining all around the park, but we were in cold, clammy, gray gloom until we got to the Rowing Club. I think some birds were avoiding the park because of the fog. We heard geese (CANADA and CACKLING) fly by unseen in the fog. Our sparrow count was probably low for a different reason – a very active COOPER’S HAWK working the Compost Piles seemingly all day.

Highlights: FOF=First of Fall

Greater(?) Scaup                      FOF – about 4 at lake
Common Goldeneye                 FOF
Northern Harrier                      Working the north end of the East Meadow
Merlin                                      Sharon and Ollie both saw one
WILSON’S SNIPE                 GREAT LOOKS below weir, at least 8
Barn Owl                                 Only owl, despite lots of searching for others
Pileated Woodpecker              Heard at both N & S ends of park
Common Raven                       Sharon saw one, harassed by crows
Varied Thrush                          Sharon heard one
ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER One near Dog Central

This was just the 8th ORANGE-CROWNED WARBLER sighting we’ve ever had for the Nov.-Feb. timeframe, with the previous sightings on 01-Nov-07, 07-Nov-01, 21-Nov-01, 30-Nov-01, 19-Dec-01, 24-Dec-01, 09-Jan-02, and 19-Jan-95 (and no sightings for February). Today's bird gave us some really nice looks.

For the day, we just eked out 60 species, but that included several species seen/heard only by one or two people. Still, not bad for a foggy day in November.

== Michael Hobbs


Three Wilson's Snipe below the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

There are five Wilson's Snipe in this shot.


That's the sun at about 8:30 a.m.  No special filter necessary for taking the shot.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Hairy Woodpecker near the lake platform.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by OllieOliver

American Crow giving token harassment to a Northern Harrier.

Adult Northern Shrike.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Brilliant male Anna's Hummingbird a the park office feeder. Photo by Hugh Jennings

Report for November 17, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

The weather could have been way worse. By the time we started this morning, it was over 40 degrees, and at least partly sunny (and getting sunnier). The wind was dropping down to where it was only gusty, but without much sustained wind, at least at times. We didn't get any rain.

There was still enough wind, though, to keep the little birds mostly hidden away and quiet. But we did okay for a November day.

Highlights:

Northern Shoveler               2 in the slough - First of Fall (FOF)
Ring-necked Duck              5 at the Rowing Club pond - FOF
Common Goldeneye            Male in slough - FOF
Merlin                                 1 at RC. Seen 15 of 46 weeks in 2011!
Great Horned Owl              Matt & Scott had many looks before 6:30 am
Northern Shrike                  Seen both from Compost Piles and north of 7-8-9
                                           (same bird, we believe)

We also ended up with some pretty nice looks at various common birds, such as GOLDEN-CROWNED and RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETS, and BROWN CREEPER.

For the day, 53 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Northern Shoveler.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Anna's Hummingbird near the park office.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Four of the five Ring-necked Ducks with a Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Olvier

White-crowned Sparrow, Golden-crowned Sparrow, 2011-11-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mew Gull, 2011-11-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mew Gulls, 2011-11-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lincoln's Sparrow, 2011-11-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper, 2011-11-13.  Photo by Lillian Reis  

Report for November 18, 2010                                                                                                                          Birding at Marymoor

Cold, blowy, and sometimes rainy, the weather didn't give us much hope for birds.  Adding in the incessant noise of leaf blowers from all quarters, along with the swish-swish sound from people's rain pants, and more dog/dog owner noises than usual, birding by ear was really tough.

But early on, Matt heard a chip note and immediately called it right.  The chip note sounded a bit like White-throated Sparrow only a bit sweeter, perhaps.  We were about 100 yards north (downstream) from the weir, and the calls were coming from the edge of the blackberries.  Matt pulled out his iPod, and after an EXTENSIVE effort, we got some quick views of a SWAMP SPARROW.  Based on the chip notes, there might have been two birds present.

We had a LONG quiet spell after that, without too much to be seen.  The Rowing Club, though, also proved delightful.

Highlights:

Wood Duck                 Pair in slough
Northern Shoveler        1 female at Rowing Club.   First of Fall.
Green Heron                 Still on the west edge of the RC pond
Merlin                           Flew by while we were looking at the SWSP
Wilson's Snipe              Amazing look at RC pond
Hairy Woodpecker       Along east edge of East Meadow
Northern Shrike            Juvenile again in East Meadow
SWAMP SPARROW  As noted above

For the day, we managed 54 species.

== Michael


Swamp Sparrow
This Northern Flicker looked like a Yellow-shafted form in flight...


...and it had the red mark on the nape of the neck like a Yellow-shafted...

...but the malar stripes were red, and the lower face was gray like a Red-shafted form

Buffleheads in the slough

Northern Shoveler at the Rowing Club

Wilson's Snipe at the Rowing Club

This guy just sat there forever, giving us great looks

"What-are-you-lookin'-at, Bub?"

American Crows mobbing an adult Cooper's Hawk, 2010-11-12.
Photos by Hugh Jennings

Wilson's Snipe, Rowing Club, 2010-11-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Belted Kingfisher, 2010-11-12.   Photo by Ollie Oliver
Green Heron near the old beaver lodge at the east edge of the main pond
at the Rowing Club, 2010-11-12.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for November 12, 2009

Before and after a touch of dawn fog, we had an absolutely gorgeous day at Marymoor today.  It was chilly but windless, and when the sun shone, it was very pleasant.  Not too terribly birdy, but there were some good, if brief, sightings.

Upon arriving home this evening, I was greeted by an email from Tom Sanders, with links to photos.  At about 1:00 p.m., he had a stunning male MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD in the East Meadow.  We've never had a fall bluebird sighting before, and I cannot find any reference to a November western Washington Mountain Bluebird sighting ever.  Does anyone have one?  (I found records from every other month, but with very few October sightings and no November).

There was one other sighting that I'll mention here.  I'm almost positive of ID, but because the sighting was brief and of birds in flight only, I'm refraining from adding this species to the Marymoor list right now.  As some of us were walking the north edge of the East Meadow, I heard waxwing-like calls from a flock of fast-flying birds - only the call was a kind of churring call.  I called out "waxwing", but my sense was that they seemed large and grayer.  I also noted some white spots on the upper wing in flight.  It penetrated my consciousness that these might (or some of these might) be BOHEMIAN WAXWINGS.  I tried, as they flew away, to get a confirming look at undertail coverts.  They *seemed* dark, but the birds were past so quickly, I cannot be 100% positive.  They were heading west, and we were unable to locate any waxwings subsequently.  I'm so, so, so close to being sure that's what they were.  But...

Other highlights:

Cackling Goose            Flocks totaling at least 500
Northern Pintail            A small flock flew down slough
Northern Harrier          Adult male, flying very high, heading south
Cooper's Hawk           Gorgeous adult at Compost Piles
Pileated Woodpecker  Two sightings on far side of slough
Winter Wren                Like last week, singing east of weir
Purple Finch                Again in tiny Ash at 2nd dog beach
Evening Grosbeak       One flew circles around Compost Piles calling

For the day, 53 species.

== Michael

 

Tom Sanders found this male Mountain Bluebird in the East Meadow around 1pm

The Cascades were sparkling in fresh snow

Ollie Oliver's shot of the Pileated Woodpecker

Bewick's Wren

Most of today's group.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Hugh Jennings keeps his feet dry on the new boardwalk extension (6" of water below)

Adult Cooper's Hawk at the Compost Piles

Ollie's photo of the Cooper's Hawk stretching

Northern Flicker on the windmill blade

Some of about 50 American Coots in the slough near the Rowing Club dock

Ollie's photo of a Great Blue Heron at the Rowing Club, 2009-11-10

Ollie's photo of a Wood Ducks at the Rowing Club, 2009-11-10

Report for November 13, 2008

I think the rain stopped about 6:00 a.m. (Matt and Scott, who were already birding at that hour might be able to be more precise on the timing).  The morning was still cloudy to start, with a few breezy gusts, but it turned into a gorgeous morning.

Birds were about, probably glad for a break in the weather.  For some reason, we didn't manage that many really close sightings of most species, but things were definitely around.

The water level was about 1' 3" higher than last week!   (And about 4" higher than yesterday morning)  This meant flooding near the start of the boardwalk, and generally muddy conditions elsewhere. Rubber boots were definitely called for.

Matt and Scott had BARN OWLs, Matt with 2 at the windmill, and another flying over the road; Scott had one over the East Meadow.  Scott also flushed a SHORT-EARED OWL.  Those guys were out birding about the time I got up for the day...

We had the usual 5 species of gulls for this time of year at Marymoor - mostly MEW GULLs, with about 10% GLAUCOUS-WINGED and "Olympic" Gulls, a few RING-BILLED GULLS,  at least one CALIFORNIA GULL, and one pure-looking WESTERN GULL.  All of these were swirling around the grass fields early on. With one group was a small shorebird, probably a DUNLIN.

The biggest surprise was an amazingly late-season VAUX'S SWIFT that was generally above the weir area at about 8:00 a.m.  This is fully 6 weeks later than we've ever had one before.

Large flocks of CACKLING GEESE flew overhead before about 8:30.  Some of those flocks had a few CANADA GEESE as well.  In all, we had 400-500 Cacklers, though none on the ground.

A NORTHERN SHRIKE (I think only one) gave us many good looks.  It was ranging over a large area, from the model airplane field all the way over to the Pea Patch (though never seen north of the road, and usually within about 100 yards of it.)  A very nice adult bird.  This was our first look at a shrike at Marymoor this fall, although Tom Sanders photographed possibly the same one on the 4th - see the next issue of WOSNews.

We had many accipiter sightings (at least 3-4 different birds and more sightings).  I'm confident we had both Sharpie and Cooper's, but I was definitely not able to tell on several of the sightings

Duck numbers continue to be low.  We had a few MALLARD, about a dozen BUFFLEHEAD, a somewhat late WOOD DUCK, and several HOODED MERGANSER.  John Tubbs reported some GREEN-WINGED TEAL, but that was it for ducks.

For the day, 59 species (and no mammals, curiously enough).

== Michael


A flock at least substantially comprising Cacking Geese
though there may be a Canada Goose or two

Northern Shrike near model airplane field


Lincoln's Sparrow at the Compost Piles


Lincoln's Sparrow watching a Song Sparrow zip past.


Northern Shrike, north of grass soccer fields 7-8-9


Bufflehead pair at Rowing Club


Flooded fungi


This mushroom, in the East Meadow, was about 2" tall

Report for November 15, 2007

Weather reports, schmether reports. Despite many of us gearing up for rain, the weather was very nice this morning until well after 11:00, and we didn't get real rain until we were past the pond at the Rowing Club. The rest of the morning it was fairly warm, windless, and pleasant. We noodled our way around the park, finding what was there and looking for what wasn't there.

A few highlights:

Hundreds of CACKLING GEESE flew into the park and landed on the grass soccer fields between about 7:10 and 7:30, and remained at least for the whole morning. They easily outnumbered CANADA GEESE. Most were clearly minima subspecies. There were some geese that were intermediate between the big Canadas and the small minimas; whether they were small CANGs or large CACGs, I don't know. I took some photos, but I'm stumped at this point as to how to identify the muddle in the middle.

The slough edge was active with PINE SISKINS. We watched one flock of 50+ fly around the first dog swim area, but further down there seemed to be many more, with groups of 20-30 flying from treetop to treetop and generally being everywhere in that strip of riparian corridor between the weir and the south end of the dog area. 75? 100? 200? more? Hard to say. Nice to have large numbers back after the last couple of winters.

A juvenile TRUMPETER SWAN was a surprise. We found it floating down the slough a the 3rd dog swim beach, and it quickly drifted towards the weir. I *so* wanted it to be Tundra, but I must confess that it wasn't. This is the second time I've ever had a juvenile swan at Marymoor, both Trumpeters, both in the slough above the weir. We've had adults fly over the park 14 times. Of those, the ones that called were all Trumpeters, but most flocks were silent or too far up/away to hear. So Trumpeter Swan is on the park list and Tundra remains stubbornly off.

A First-Of-Fall COMMON GOLDENEYE, a female, was at the lake with a few BUFFLEHEADS and a HOODED MERGANSER. There were 25-30 Bufflehead today, the most we've had this fall. And we had 10+ Hoodies, 4 at the Rowing Club and the rest at the lake. But duck diversity and numbers are still very low.

There were at least a couple of flyby AMERICAN PIPITS, including one that called very close to our heads at the south end of the East Meadow as it flew by.

A single TOWNSEND'S WARBLER popped out among Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Golden-crowned Kinglets, Red-breasted Nuthatches, and Brown Creeper northeast of the mansion.

A SHARP-SHINNED HAWK, heavily laden with prey, was flushed by three off-leash dogs near the mansion. It flew up the path right past us, at an elevation of about three feet, then disappeared into the shrubbery. I think it was carrying a Spotted Towhee, but it went by too suddenly to be sure.

At the Rowing Club, a WILSON'S SNIPE gave us a close look at the near edge of the pond before scuttling out of view behind some branches.

For the day, 54 species. For the year, 154 species.

== Michael


Just to confuse the issue further, local Washington swan expert, Martha Jordan, feels that this was a TUNDRA SWAN, not a Trumpeter.


Presumed small Canada Geese with minima Cackling Geese.


Minima Cackling Geese.


Wilson's Snipe at the Rowing Club pond, just before the rain hit.

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Bird Sightings Week 46
November 12-18*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years

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