Friends of Marymoor Park

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Bird Sightings Week 47
November 19-25*

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Rarities for Week 47:

Trumpeter Swan 25-Nov-09 Five birds
Trumpeter Swan 24-Nov-10  
Tundra Swan 21-Nov-07  
Barrow's Goldeneye 19-Nov-03 Two birds
Franklin's Gull 24-Nov-10 Flying
Red-naped Sapsucker 25-Nov-11 Reported by Darrel DeNune
Mountain Bluebird 25-Nov-09 East Meadow

Report for November 23, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Today was our annual Wednesday walk that precedes Thanksgiving. The weather was chilly early, and there was a breeze up the East Meadow, but otherwise there was mostly just a thin overcast. The only rain we got was while we drove to the Rowing Club. It was very birdy early, followed by a long stretch without much of anything. Things got more interesting near the park office again.

Highlights:

Trumpeter Swan ?               Two distant, silent swans with VERY long necks
Northern Pintail                    Large flying flock contained at least 1 Pintail.
 - rest of flock -                    “Am. Wigeon/N. Pintail” and some “duck spp.”
Green Heron                       One on beaver lodge caught a fish
Cooper’s Hawk                  Adult on same branch of same tree as last week
Barn Owl                            Early birders had 1 at windmill, 1 at East Meadow
W. Screech-Owl                 Early birders heard 2 near west end of boardwalk
N. Saw-whet Owl               E. B.’s heard 2 (glimpsed 1), east end of boardwalk
Hairy Woodpecker             1 a little north of weir
Pileated Woodpecker         1 flying north, far side of slough, north of weir
Merlin                                 1 near weir. Possible 2nd before walk, East Meadow
Northern Shrike                  1 harassing Red-tail, n. of Fields 7-8-9 at 7:30 a.m.
Townsend’s Warbler           1 between Park Office and Clise Mansion

We had a GYNANDROMORPHIC MALLARD below the weir. Her bill was the orange with dark blotches of a female, and she was hanging out with a male Mallard as if they were paired. But her plumage looked like female plumage dusted over with male coloration. The head was greenish, especially on the crown, but with a hint of green all over. There was a whitish neck collar at the bottom of the greenish head. The breast was faintly but distinctly washed with chestnut. The back was frosted with pale gray. The tail feathers were curled like a male’s.

The “Odd Snag” is the tallest object anywhere around Marymoor. It is an enormous broken-off Doug Fir that sticks up above the forest, west of West Lake Sammamish Parkway, across from the windmill. We call it the “odd snag” because there is a spike of wood that sticks up from the top like a giant toothpick. Red-tailed Hawks have nested at the base of the toothpick for many years. Today, a BELTED KINGFISHER perched at the very top of the toothpick, which seemed a very odd (and very high) place for a kingfisher.

For the day, 63 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Gynandromorphic Mallard.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

Her bill has normal coloration for a female, as does her lower face, her upper back, and her flanks.  You can see a tiny amount of the blue-and-white speculum on her folded wing, indicating her wings are fairly typical for a female.  But the top of her head is tinged with dark green from the top of the bill all the way over and down the nape.  Her breast is chestnut, and she shows a white collar at the top of her breast like a male.  The tertials are like a male's, and she has a male's curly tail feathers.


Red-winged Blackbirds in a London Plane tree.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Green Heron eating a fish.  Photo series by Ollie Oliver


Pied-billed Grebe, also eating a fish.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Muskrat and male Gadwall.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Hooded Merganser displaying.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Two males displaying while a female looks on.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Juvenile Ring-billed Gull, 2016-11-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Townsend's Warbler, 2016-11-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2016-11-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Displaying Hooded Mergansers, 2016-11-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Wood Duck pair, 2016-11-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Northern Shrike, 2016-11-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Bald Eagle, 2016-11-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for November 25, 2015                                                                                              Birding at Marymoor

We did the Marymoor survey today, so we could be with family and friends for Thanksgiving. It was a magical morning, bitterly cold at the start (25 degrees at 6:00 a.m. when Sharon and I went owling), but calm, sunny, and delightful. The full moon setting, Mars and Jupiter bright in the sky, and then a nice sunrise and Mt. Rainier visible to the south, and birds and animals, and...

Highlights:

Greater White-fronted Goose           At least 7 with Cacklers
Cackling Goose                               1000 on NW ball fields, maybe 1500 total
SWANS                                          7 flew NE at 7:40, 1 on lake
Barn Owl                                         At least 1 from Viewing Mound
SHORT-EARED OWL                   1 from Viewing Mound after 7:00 a.m.
Northern Saw-whet Owl                  Sharon & I saw one near
                                                                   E. end of boardwalk 6:20 a.m.
Northern Shrike                                East of Parking Lot B
Common Raven                                One at Rowing Club
Yellow-rumped Warbler                   1-2
WESTERN MEADOWLARK         5 at Viewing Mound

Mammals were a big highlight of the day. Sharon & I had an AMERICAN BEAVER slapping its tail in the moonlight at the Lake Platform. Later, the whole group saw 3 RIVER OTTER from the Lake Platform, a COYOTE near the shrike near Lot B, and a BLACK-TAILED DEER at the Rowing Club parking lot. Oh, and Eastern Gray Squirrels...

For the day, 52 species of birds.

== Michael Hobbs


Short-eared Owl just before sunrise.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
 


Seven swans and three geese, probably Trumpeter and Canada respectively.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Eighth swan on the lake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Four of the five Western Meadowlarks.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Steller's Jay.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ring-necked Duck, Green-winged Teal, and Mallards, 2015-11-21.
Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Lincoln's Sparrow, 2015-11-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2015-11-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2015-11-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Cackling Geese, 2015-11-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for November 19, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

A really pleasant morning, with clear skies early, and a bit of overcast later, but no wind or rain. Surprises throughout the morning kept things interesting. The trail continues to be flooded, requiring tall rubber boots. There’s about 8” of water in places, both approaching and over the boardwalk. While the lake and river are high, interior areas of the park are not particularly flooded; this storm mostly dumped rain uphill from Marymoor.

Highlights:

Western Grebe                  4 seen on lake late in the morning
Green Heron                     Juvenile at Rowing Club pond
Virginia Rail                      Called from well inland of usual sites
BONAPARTE’S GULL   Five on grass fields at 7:30
Northern Saw-whet Owl   Heard around 6:00 a.m. near boardwalk
Pileated Woodpecker       1 flew south past weir
Merlin East                        Meadow & mansion area – 2 birds.  Taiga type?
Northern Shrike                Juvenile east of East Meadow today
Varied Thrush                   Only 1 heard-only
Yellow-rumped Warbler   At least 2 “Audubon’s”-type
WILSON’S WARBLER  Probably same male as 2 weeks ago – LATE

We’ve not had very many fall records of BONAPARTE’S GULL at Marymoor, and this record is a couple of weeks later than any other. I thought 5 might be a new high count, but we’ve had 5 before, and I completely forgot the 2005-11-01 record of 16 birds!

The WILSON’S WARBLER was near the Dog Area portapotties, and looked very much like the one from 2 weeks ago. He was already notably late 2 weeks ago. Today’s is a month later than any late bird from previous years.

I drove through the park on the way out, and got the only CANADA GEESE of the day. Pre-sunrise, we had a few large flocks of presumed CACKLING GEESE; during the walk we saw a few more Cacklers. But we’ve yet to have a large flock (100+) land in the park this fall. In previous recent years, we’ve had flocks of hundreds to thousands starting in early October.

For the day, 58 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Juvenile Bonaparte's Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bonaparte's Gulls, juvenile on the right.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Juvenile (left) and adult Bonaparte's Gulls.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

All five Bonaparte's Gulls.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Warbler, male.  Very late.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Wilson's Warbler, male.  Very late.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Mallards on the path.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

We displaced the Mallards.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Merlin, probably a male Taiga-type.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Looks like a female or immature "Taiga" Merlin. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Green Heron at the Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron, 2015-11-15.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Herring Gull, 2015-11-15.  Photo by Ollie OIiver

Juvenile Herring Gull, 2015-11-15.  Photo by Ollie OIiver

Report for November 20, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

The weather was way better than seasonal. Mid-40’s, and only mostly overcast. There were a few sprinkles long before the walk, and a few drops afterwards. No wind. It was birdy and quiet in waves, and it was not a day without surprises.

Highlights:

Gr. White-fronted Goose  One adult with Cacklers
BRANT                           One with Cacklers, also seen Saturday
Cackling Goose                750 or so, grass fields in NE part of park
Wood Duck                     Cooperative flying male made a circle so all could see
Common Merganser         1-2 males, seen flying past 3-4 times. First since Sept.
Pied-billed Grebe              35+ on lake
Cooper’s Hawk                Cooperative juvenile at Pea Patch
Herring Gull                      Adult with Mew Gulls on grass fields
BARN OWL                    Two flying around until 7:00ish
SHORT-EARED OWL    Flying and calling until 7:30, East Meadow
Peregrine Falcon               Sharon saw one, heading NE
Northern Shrike                Immature seen twice
C. YELLOWTHROAT    Immature male, Compost Piles. VERY LATE !!!

This is the third fall where a single BRANT goose has joined a flock of Cackling Geese. One was seen twice in Nov/Dec 2008, and one was seen three times in Dec 2009.

We’ve had probably this same immature male COMMON YELLOWTHROAT on October 16, October 30, and now today: our first-ever November sighting for the species. This is BY FAR the latest date we’ve ever had a yellowthroat.

For the day, 57 species. For the year, I believe we’re up to 159 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Female Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Wilson's Snipe on far side of slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


American Coot and male Gadwall.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Killdeer.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Brant, with Cackling Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Brant, with Cackling Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Brant, with Cackling Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Partially leucistic Cackling Goose.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Same pale Cackler, 2014-11-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


A different kind of partial leucism on a Cackling Goose, 2014-11-21...


...two photos by Ollie Oliver

Report for November 21, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Okay – 23 degrees is cold and frosty, and even by 11:00, it had only gotten up to 36, with frost still on the ground in every patch of shade. But it was windless and sunny and gorgeous. It wasn’t tremendously birdy, however, and some of what we did see was birds flying over the park, possibly looking for a less frozen spot. Apparently one such spot was the Rowing Club; we picked up six additional species there, including five species of duck.

Highlights:

Northern Shoveler               Five at Rowing Club pond
Green-winged Teal              One drake at RC pond
Common Goldeneye            4-6, including flybys
Common Merganser            3 in NE corner of lake, late
Horned Grebe                     3 on lake, late
Shooper’s / Carpies             Two difficult-to-ID accipiters, possibly both Sharpies
Virginia Rail                         Matt heard one from boardwalk early
Short-eared Owl???            Ollie had a dark, not-a-Barn-Owl early,
                                               from the Viewing Mound
Hairy Woodpecker              Pair near Dog Central
Pileated Woodpecker          Presumed pair glimpsed twice
Northern Shrike                   East Meadow, adult
Brown Creeper                    One near Dog Central
Varied Thrush                      One with American Robins, Dog Central
Yellow-rumped Warbler      1-2 glimpsed, barely heard

No notable misses for the day, except that we could only identify gulls down to “Glaucous-winged” and “black wing-tipped”, since we only had early morning and/or distant flyby views.

For the day, 57 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Adult Glaucous-winged x Western Gull hybrid taking a bath.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult Glaucous-winged x Western Gull hybrid taking a bath.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Male Gadwall (left) with Northern Shovlers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Northern Shoveler.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

 
Male Bufflehead coming in for a landing.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Wilson's Snipe.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


American Crow.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Golden-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Northern Shrike chasing prey, 2013-11-15.  Photos by Dasha Gudalewicz


I can't tell what kind of bird the shrike is chasing.  Maybe a sparrow?


Note that throughout the twisty chase, the shrike's head always remains level.


The early bird gets the worm.  Ring-billed Gull, 2013-11-15.
Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Report for November 21, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

We went out on Wednesday this week because of Thanksgiving. The weather report was inauspicious, but things could have been worse. In fact, we didn’t get rain until 9:30, and had only about 1 hour of hard rain during the 5 hours I was there. But it was blowy (10-15 mph gusts at times). Thankfully, temps were in the low 40’s, so we didn’t freeze.

Because of the weather, I dawdled on my way to the park, figuring owling was a lost cause. I didn’t arrive at the East Meadow parking lot until right at 7:00 a.m., and it was pretty bright out by then, and windy. I was kind of shocked (but delighted) to see two BARN OWLS flying around actively hunting, giving me good looks. I never even bothered to get out of my car, but instead just watched from there for about five minutes. Then I decided to drive over to the model airplane field, where I immediately spotted a SHORT-EARED OWL that came really close to my car, giving outstanding looks. As I drove back towards the west side of the park at 7:11 a.m., I could see the Short-eared had swung over to the East Meadow, where there was still at least 1 Barn Owl flying around. I expect both settled down for the day before 7:15.

That was by far the best highlight of the day for me; it was a good day for ducks and gulls, but really quiet for passerines, with many expected species missing from our lists, or else just barely seen. We didn’t get a BEWICK’S WREN until just before noon as we approached our cars at the Rowing Club!

The recent rains have flooded a good portion of the grass/gravel parking lot just north of the grass soccer fields. All day long it was filled with MALLARDS and CANADA GEESE, as well as a few gulls, plus two AMERICAN WIGEON, at least two GADWALL, some KILLDEER, and a few CACKLING GEESE. I could easily imagine other ducks showing up in this “pond”.

We also had some huge flocks of ducks high over the park (very unusual), that appeared to be mixed flocks of dabblers. We did pick out NORTHERN SHOVELER and NORTHERN PINTAIL among what were probably mostly Mallards and Wigeon.

Other highlights:

Sharp-shinned Hawk                Over weir, having trouble with the wind
Western Gull                            Sharon had one near the duck puddle
California Gull                           Scott had one near the duck puddle
Lincoln’s Sparrow                    One at the Compost/Dirt Piles
“SLATE-COLORED” Junco    Really nice looks at the Compost/Dirt Piles

The Rowing Club had a pretty nice collection of birds, including a RING-NECKED DUCK, three HOODED MERGANSERS, a BELTED KINGFISHER, and a WILSON’S SNIPE.

Things we missed for the day included Cooper’s Hawk, Merlin (which has been quite regular recently), Northern Shrike, Steller’s Jay, Varied Thrush, White-crowned Sparrow, and Purple Finch.

But still, we managed 55 species.

== Michael Hobbs


The morning was unexpectedly pretty, though windy

Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


We were dressed for the weather, and the flooding.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Female American Wigeon in the parking-lot ponds.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

More parking-lot ducks.  Mostly Mallards, but American Wigeon male in lower left, and Gadwall male, rear view, near the top right.  Photo by OllieOliver

Mew Gull.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ring-billed Gull. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ring-billed Gull. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ruby-crowned Kinglet, 2012-11-20. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron, 2012-11-20. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Downy Woodpecker, 2012-11-20. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Fox Sparrow, 2012-11-20. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Spotted Towhee, 2012-11-20. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bewick's Wren, 2012-11-20. Photo by Ollie Oliver

First-winter Pied-billed Grebe, 2012-11-20. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Eastern Gray Squirrel, 2012-11-20. Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for November 23, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

Rain, rain, rain... It was dark and rainy and sometimes breezy, but I'm thankful it wasn't cold as well. We were a small group today, visiting Marymoor on a Wednesday because of Thanksgiving, and we definitely missed our friends for their eyes and ears as well as their presence. There wasn't much out - More than 10 species were recorded with just a single bird each, and 3 were heard-only. It was that kind of day.

Highlights:

Gadwall                  Six in a flooded gravel parking lot
American Wigeon   With Gadwall early
Western Grebe       One on the lake, seen late
Cooper's Hawk      Wet adult
Virginia Rail            First of fall, one heard from boardwalk
Barn Owl               Brian had one early near Gadwall
Common Raven     1 seen twice, I believe
American Robin      Hundreds - many more than recently
Purple Finch           A dozen seen well at last dog beach

For the day, just 48 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Birding in the rain.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Male Bufflehead.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Great Blue Heron from the lake platform.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Marsh Wren, 2011-11-20.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Ring-necked Pheasant, 2011-11-20.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Male Ring-necked Pheasant, 2011-11-20.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for November 24, 2010                                                                                                                          Birding at Marymoor

Today was cold (19F at the start) and with snow on the ground at Marymoor. Michael was in New Mexico, so I substituted for him. Three others made it out for the day.

We had some notable birds today:

Greater White-fronted Goose  2 at weir
Snow Goose                              1 with about 400 Cackling Geese
Trumpeter Swan                        Immature on the river between
                                                     the mouth of the lake and the rowing club
American Wigeon                     About 20 - first of season
Gadwall                                      About 30 - first of season
Common Goldeneye                1 female on river - first of season
Northern Shrike                         1 adult (in the dog area near Dog Central)                                                    1 immature (in the East Meadow).
Hermit Thrush                            2 in Mansion area
Varied Thrush                            2 (first of season)
Wilson's Snipe                          1 along river
                                                            (everything else was frozen up)
FRANKLIN'S GULL                   Early flyby, but good enough to identify.
Red-breasted Sapsucker         1 near old maintenance barn
Yellow-rumped Warbler            1 (near 1st dog access point)

9 species of duck - the unfrozen water at the lake and river provided the only good place for them

This is just the 2nd Marymoor record of Franklin's Gull.  The previous sighting was in late May, 2002.

We wound up with 55 species for the day, not bad for a cold and snowy day.

Good Birding,

Brian H. Bell
Woodinville, WA


Sunrise.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Killdeer in the snow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Fox Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Northern Shrike.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Trumpeter Swan in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Trumpeter Swan in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cackling Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Juvenile Snow Goose with Cackling Geese.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Varied Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Hermit Thrush.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Gadwall.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, and a Mallard.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Swans, 2010-11-21.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Golden-crowned Sparrow, 2010-11-23.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for November 25, 2009

A glorious day today.  Almost sunny, after the fog burned off. Fairly warm.  No wind.  We had lots of great looks at birds, and a few surprises to make for an even better day.

Water levels are high.  The boardwalk is partly flooded, as is the approach along the slough.  We discussed whether Eastside Audubon should extend the boardwalk further, but as there is just as much water over the old parts of the boardwalk, so it hardly seems worth the effort.

Highlights:

Green Heron                         1 hard-to-see at the Rowing Club
Mourning Dove                     1 along the slough trail
R.-breasted Sapsucker          Fabulous looks near mansion
Northern Shrike                    One at Compost Piles etc.
Winter Wren                         Unusually common, strange locations
MOUNTAIN BLUEBIRD    East Meadow, like 2 weeks ago, 1 male
Cedar Waxwing                    Good sized flock (35+)

Additionally, we had really excellent, close views of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET, BROWN CREEPER, DOWNY WOODPECKER, and many other of the common birds.

Scott Ramos left early and had a large flock of CACKLING GEESE, and some TRUMPETER SWANS to the northeast.

Counting Scott's birds, that made for an even 60 species today, MUCH better than last Thursday's rainy result.

== Michael

 

Golden-crowned Sparrows

Male Mountain Bluebird

The sign is right - there are blue birds along the Audubon Birdloop Main Trail

Male Anna's Hummingbird in the Pea Patch

Red-breasted Sapsucker near the mansion

Male Dark-eyed "Oregon" Junco

Great Blue Heron across from the rowing Club dock

At the lake was a kind of algae we've never seen there before

It was a very strange color - very much a blue-green
Fungus in the grass at the south end of the East Meadow

Report for November 19, 2009

Ugggh - it was wet.  Dark and wet and not terribly warm and wet and fairly birdless and wet.  Ten of us started out, with a few dripping by the wayside after the main loop.  There wasn't much to see, though we did have a good little flock near the mansion, and a few birds at the Rowing Club.  Water levels are pretty high, especially for mid-November.  We were grateful for the new boardwalk extension, as there must have been at least 8" of water under it that we'd otherwise have had to slog through.

Highlights:

Common Goldeneye    Male at the lake, first of the winter
Barn Owl                     Matt & Scott had 2 sightings early
Varied Thrush               Nice male singing at the Rowing Club
Townsend's Warbler     Female in the firs NE of the mansion
Purple Finch                 One made the briefest visit to its usual tree

See, I told you there weren't many highlights.

The group total for the day was a whopping 49 species.

== Michael

 

Even more thankful for the boardwalk extension.
The remaining photos are from previous days, as the weather Thursday was not conducive to photography

Lillian Reis photographed the male Mountain Bluebird on 2009-11-13

She also had some unidentified swans fly overhead

Ollie Oliver's photo of an adult Northern Shrike in the East Meadow, 2009-11-17

Ollie's photo of a Pied-billed Grebe and a Gadwall at the Rowing Club, 2009-11-17

Male Varied Thrush at the south end of the East Meadow,...

...2009-11-14

A few of the hundreds of Cackling Geese land inside the northeast baseball fields...

...then all of them fly out, 2009-11-14

Report for November 20, 2008

After a truly amazing sunrise and about an hour of good birding, we got completely hammered by the weather.  First were puffs of really warm wind - maybe 60-65 degrees, with sudden darkening of the skies.  You could tell the weather was about to flip.  At 8:30, it began to drizzle for a few minutes, and then the wind and the rain hit, and the temperature plummeted. It was not a real squall - it was not that sudden, nor were the winds that high, nor was it over quickly.

After a couple of days of nice weather, this must have felt to the birds  like something they could ride out.  The birds simply disappeared.  We continued walking around for two more hours, completing our loop in record time.  There were NO BIRDS TO SEE or hear.  I think we went an hour without a single bird in flight - no crow, no robin (okay, maybe a gull).  We ended up skipping the loop around the mansion and went straight to the Rowing Club, which was duckless (except for Mallard), but seemed a bit more sheltered, perhaps, and did provide a few birds to end the morning with.

Highlights:

Brian Bell reported a GREAT HORNED OWL crossing West Lake Sammamish Parkway, I believe just south of SR-520.

Matt and Scott had BARN OWLS near and in the windmill, and WILSON'S SNIPE calling all over the East Meadow at dawn.

We had many RED-TAILED HAWK sightings - I'd seen four (at least 3 different
ones) in 10 minutes right before we began.  The day ended with a SHARP-SHINNED HAWK scaring the wits out of some Mallards at the Rowing Club with a low strafing pass.

There were large flocks of gulls, some of which landed on the grass soccer fields.  We had MEW, RING-BILLED, GLAUCOUS-WINGED, and WESTERN, but could not find California nor any rarity.

Good looks at PINE SISKINS.

And that was about it.

For the morning, counting a single Rock Pigeon I saw on my way out, 40 species.

== Michael


Sunrise photos by Scott Ramos


Great Blue Heron in the drizzle and dark.
Photo by Ollie Oliver, right before he put his camera away for the day.

Report for November 21, 2007

It was foggy and frosty this morning, but a dawn wind slowly cleared the fog, and we had an amazing, sunny wintery day that was very enjoyable. It was strange being there without Matt Bartels, but he's off to Wyoming for Thanksgiving. Many of the other regulars were there, though - I think we were eight people total.

The first highlight is that the juvenile swan continues at Marymoor. Several "dog" people came up to ask or comment about the swan. And I must relate that after last week's trip, I pondered the identity of the swan further. I had to turn to swan experts Martha Jordan and Dennis Pauson who kindly reminded me that Trumpeter Swan juveniles at this time of year are a dark, battleship gray, whereas this bird, a TUNDRA SWAN, is nearly white. So that's bird #201 for Marymoor. BTW - several of the dog people mentioned that the swan has been seen most/all days since last Thursday. It will be interesting to see if it sticks around.

It was a great day for seeing Anserinae species - besides the TUNDRA SWAN, there were about 200 CANADA GOOSE, about 300 CACKLING GOOSE, at least 2 GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GOOSE, and a juvenile SNOW GOOSE (the latter at the northeast corner of the park).

Other highlights:

Wood Duck 3 drakes at the Rowing Club pond Sharp-shinned Hawk Small adult at the Compost Piles

Besides the swan and geese, though, the biggest highlight were the regular ordinary birds in beautiful winter sunlight with a winter blue sky behind them and yellow leaves on the trees! Notables included some close views of GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLET at several locations; WILSON'S SNIPE at the Rowing Club; DOUBLE-CRESTED CORMORANTS looking glossy and fine with their bright orange bills; a particularly stunning DARK-EYED JUNCO at the Pea Patch; the sootiest FOX SPARROW ever at the Compost Piles, singing; a flock of COMMON GOLDENEYE flying past; and at least three LINCOLN'S SPARROW. Oh, and some great looks at flocks of PINE SISKIN and BUSHTITS. Siskins are gorgeous in flight when well-lit.

So it was a good day. A few misses left us at "just" 52 species. Snow Goose was new for the year.

== Michael


The same juvenile Tundra Swan from last week, with a Common Merganser,
in the slough, though the fog..
 

Golden-crowned Sparrow


Fox Sparrow


Pair of adult Bald Eagles


Just taking off...

...Sharp-shinned Hawk in flight

Juvenile Snow Goose and adult Greater White-fronted Goose with Cackling Geese

Double-crested Cormorant

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Bird Sightings Week 47
November 19-25*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years

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