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Bird Sightings Week 51
December 17-23*

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Rarities for Week 51:

Brant 17-Dec-09 With Cacklers in NE corner, 02-Dec, 03-Dec, 17-Dec
Trumpeter Swan 21-Dec-12 Three birds
Redhead 19-Dec-12 Female, identified only in the photo from Ollie below
Western Scrub-Jay 22-Dec-11 Seen by Sharon Aagaard and Scott Ramos

Report for December 22, 2016                                                                                       Birding at Marymoor

The thermometer said it was much warmer than in recent days – 31 degrees and up – but it felt cold, due to high humidity and a slight breeze. The clouds formed a beautifully rumpled blanket overhead, and that eventually led to a few drops of rain. Mostly, though, the weather wasn’t too, too bad. It mostly didn’t feel very birdy, though.

Highlights:

Gr. Wh.-fronted Goose     1 with ~650 Cackling Geese
- 8 species of duck -
Western Grebe                  Seen 13 of the last 14 weeks; unusually common
GREEN HERON              One on near side of slough, just north of Dog Central
Barn Owl                          One near windmill, 6:15 a.m.
PEREGRINE FALCON   One flew over Lot D around 11:30
Northern Shrike                 Nice adult, East Meadow today
Western Meadowlark        ~12 between Compost Piles and model airplane field
PINE SISKIN                  About 30. First since early September!

For the day, we managed 58 species, though many of those were not seen by more than a couple of people.

== Michael Hobbs


Female Common Goldeneye, just up from a dive.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Rounded head (in all views), large curved bill, point to GREATER Scaup.
Photo by Ollie Oliver

Nail on the end of the bill looks fairly (but not totally) small, which might point to LESSER Scaup.  Same bird.  I believe it was a Greater.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Purple Finch eating Oregon Ash seeds.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female House Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Greater White-fronted Goose.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Greate White-fronted Goose (rear).  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Slate-colored" Dark-eyed Junco, 2016-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2016-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

"Audubon's" Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2016-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal, 2016-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female Northern Shoveler, 2016-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Chestnut-backed Chickadee, 2016-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Chestnut-backed Chickadee with Douglas Fir seed, 2016-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 17, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was just nasty out there this morning. Moderately hard rain wouldn’t have been too bad, but throw in gusty winds and it became a dark, cold, wet, uncomfortable morning. My fingers are still cold.

Highlights:

Northern Pintail                    Flyby of a flock. Pintail aren’t common at Marymoor
Green-winged Teal               Three at Rowing Club. Only fifth sighting this fall
Greater Scaup                      1 female in the slough. Only 3rd sighting this fall
Common Goldeneye             1 in slough. Only 3rd sighting this fall
Green Heron                         Juvenile at Rowing Club pond again
NORTHERN HARRIER     One flew over Pea Patch. 2nd sighting this fall

We also had a RIVER OTTER in the slough just above the weir.

Getting 9 species of duck helped the count for the day, so amazingly, we ended with 44 species, only 1 less than last week. But our species count belies the low number of birds, as 18 species were represented by single birds, and another 12 species had fewer than 4 birds noted. So those 30 species comprised only about 50 birds.

We’ll be back on the 24th hoping for better weather.

== Michael Hobbs


The intrepid crew looked everywhere for birds.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

 


Probably our best look at a Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Wind-blown Dark-eyed Junco.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Even the Hooded Merganser looked wet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


The Green Heron spotted Ollie...


...and RAN AWAY.  It was that kind of day.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 18, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

We had a fine morning, since the rain held off until noon and even then started out just as very light rain. Unlike many such mornings, it didn’t feel like rain was imminent. The sun frequently poked its way through the overcast, and while I don’t think we ever saw our shadows, there was at least yellowish light. Temps were in the 40’s, with no wind, so it was quite pleasant. It was pretty birdy, too, with several surprises.

Highlights:

Greater White-fronted Goose      At least 4 with a large flock of Cacklers
Northern Pintail                           Male in slough below weir, more as flybys
Horned Grebe                             Two visible well out from Lake Platform
GREEN HERON                        West shore, from Lake Platform. 1st since Sept.
Cooper’s Hawk                          Two juveniles, 1 mobbed by crows
Belted Kingfisher                         A female has been at RC ponds this Dec.
PEREGRINE FALCON             Stooped on flying Mew Gulls
Northern Shrike                           Juvenile north of Fields 7-8-9
BARN SWALLOW                   1-2 flying around south of Dog Meadow
American Goldfinch                     1 at Compost Piles; scarce this winter

Just before 8:00 a.m., the MEW GULLS that often gather on the grass soccer fields were up in the air, swirling back towards the lake with energy. They’d been notably active already. Then we noticed a PEREGRINE FALCON streaking south. It came in high, then folded its wings and arrowed towards the gyre of gulls, flaring its wings when it neared, but failing to nab any gull. It then dropped down on some gulls lower down, but I believe it again came up empty. Later, we saw the Peregrine flying towards the lake as we walked the boardwalk.

There were probably 200 gulls total that we saw today, but they were unsurprisingly jumpy, and we never had an opportunity to see them on the ground except from extreme distance, so we were not able to sort through them for Ring-billed or California. Clearly, the vast majority were Mews, as we could hear their calls, and we scanned many birds that flew overhead.

As for BARN SWALLOWS, this is just the 4th winter sighting at Marymoor, with all of those sightings coming in December. We’ve had one sighting from the first week in November, but all other sightings are limited to mid-March through mid-October.

For the day, 58 species. Next week, we do the walk on Christmas Eve, instead of Christmas.

== Michael Hobbs


Male Northern Pintail with Mallards in the slough below the weir.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Green-winged Teal.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Green Heron from Lake Platform.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Red-tailed Hawk.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


American Robin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


American Robin.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Pied-billed Grebe.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Green-winged Teal in the small pond at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Michael found this Honey Bee looking cold an inactive on the pavement, and let it climb up and warm itself on his Little Hotties hand warmer for several minutes.  It was then able to take flight.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 19, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was a gorgeous morning (sunrise was spectacular) and quite frosty; 24 degrees to start, and it only warmed up to about 33 by noon. Thin overcast drifted in late in the morning. Very nice all around, but quite cold, and not tremendously birdy.

Highlights:

Cackling Goose              Flock of about 650, but no White-fronted Geese
REDHEAD                    Female, not noted in field, but ID'd from photo below
Virginia Rail                    Responded from lake platform
BARN OWL                 Matt had one quite early, East Meadow
SHORT-EARED OWL East Meadow, around 7 or 7:15
Hairy Woodpecker        Pair at Rowing Club parking lot
MERLIN                       One in mansion area
Northern Shrike             One north of fields 7-8-9

The female REDHEAD was only our 5th sighting of that species ever at Marymoor.  The previous Redhead sighting was way back in 2002!

We also had a duck which thought might be a RING-NECKED DUCK x GREATER SCAUP SP. hybrid, due to the extensive nature of white on face at the base of the bill.  However, on further investigation, we decided it was probably simply a female RNDU at the extreme end for coloration.

Possibly the best highlight of the day wasn’t a bird at all. A NORTHWESTERN SALAMANDER was crossing the path at the Rowing Club. I don’t recall ever seeing a salamander at Marymoor. Coincidentally, we had a Long-toed Salamander last Saturday at Red Brick Marsh in NE Redmond.

We eked out 50 species for the day.

== Michael Hobbs


Male Hooded Merganser.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Ring-necked Duck and female Common Goldeneye.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Redhead.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Ring-necked Duck with a lot of white on the face.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Ring-necked Duck with a lot of white on the face.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


American Coots.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Pacific Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Hairy Woodpecker.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Long-toed Salamander at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Cackling Geese, 2013-12-14.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Cackling Goose X5@
Banded near Kasiglook, AK 7/17/13.
Hatched in 2012 or earlier.


Cedar Waxwing, 2013-12-14.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Juvenile Cooper's Hawk, 2013-12-14.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for December 20, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

It was WET. Steady, hard rain until 11:00 a.m., when the wind briefly blew the rain away. Quite soon, however, the rain regained its strength despite the wind. It was WET. Though the thermometer said it was a balmy 41 degrees, try telling that to my hands. Oh, and it was WET.

Highlights:

BARN SWALLOW - 3 SE of East Meadow – probably the same ones seen on Saturday on the Eastside Audubon CBC. We’ve never had any swallows at Marymoor in the winter before (Dec-Feb).

BROWN CREEPER - Singing! A couple of Bewick’s Wrens also sang, but they might have been triggered by the sound of an iPod playing Pacific Wren

RED CROSSBILL - Heard at 8:00 a.m. near mansion

COOL FUNGI - Growing on the deceased Camperdown Elm next to the windmill, at least 3 species

For the day, the eight Intrepid Birders found 48 species.

== Michael Hobbs
 


It was so wet, many people stopped trying to use binoculars.  Photo by Hugh Jennings
 


Three Barn Swallows taking a rest.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Barn Swallows taking a rest.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Bewick's Wren, 2012-12-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Great Blue Heron, 2012-12-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Song Sparrow, 2012-12-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Pine Siskins, 2012-12-18.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 22, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

(Michael was in Florida)

Marymoor started out cold (26F) and foggy, but quickly burned off and the rest of the day was quite nice and sunny. The best bird of the day was a WESTERN SCRUB-JAY - the second record for the park (Michael didn't see the first one either). This could have been better as only two of our group saw the bird.

Birds of the day:

Western Scrub-jay
Greater White-fronted Goose   1 with 600 Cackling Geese
Brown Creeper                           4 birds
Purple Finch                                (including 4 bright males)
Pileated Woodpecker
Northern Shrike                           (in East Meadow for a change)
Red-tailed Hawks                       4 or 5

We wound up with 55 species, nice for a cold December day.


Brian H. Bell
Woodinville Wa


Adult Bald Eagle.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Golden-crowned Sparrows.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Scaup with male Bufflehead.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Male Purple Finch.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Wilson's Snipe at the Rowing Club pond, 2011-12-19.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 23, 2010                                                                                                                          Birding at Marymoor

Several of us braved the cloudy morning, with only a little rain late at Marymoor today. Michael was not with us (in Toronto).

We had the Barn Owl in the East Meadow for the first time in two weeks. Also early, was a distant heard Great Horned Owl. The water levels are down considerably from last week, and we were able to do the complete loop.

 
Notable birds:

Barn Owl

Great Horned Owl                       Heard off to the southeast early
Cooper's Hawk                           Blasted through out at the lake
Cackling Goose                          About 650 on the soccer fields
Greater White-fronted Goose    2 with the Cacklers
Northern Shrike                           Immature in East Meadow
Western Gull                                1 adult
Yellow-rumped Warbler               Nice flock, probably all Audubon's
 
Otherwise, all the regulars for this time of year.   54 species
 
Brian H. Bell, Woodinville, WA


Buffleheads in the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Song Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver, 2010-12-22


Flooding at the lake platform, 2010-12-22.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Yellow-rumped Warbler, 2010-12-17.  Photo by Lillian Reis


Greater White-fronted Geese, 2010-12-17.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Golden-crowned Sparrow. 2010-12-22.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Golden-crowned Kinglet, 2010-12-19.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Report for December 17, 2009

What a nice morning.  It wasn't too cold, and it was sunny for part
of the time.  No wind, though that left us with a small amount of fog.
Nothing too serious.  The birds sure were out, to make for a really good day
for December.  We saw just about everything one might expect to see, plus a
few others.

Highlights:

BRANT                     Again, 1 with a large flock of Cacklers
Northern Pintail       Some flying, some on lake
ducks, generally      Nine species total, pretty good diversity
MERLIN                   Third week in a row.  Chased by a crow.
Barn Owl                  Scott had one early at the windmill
Hairy Woodpecker  One in East Meadow
Northern Shrike       Adult in East Meadow
Varied Thrush          Male at start of boardwalk
Cedar Waxwing       Maybe 40 total - very active
Y.-rumped Warbler  Two or three - scarce in December
Fox Sparrow             LOTS - 20+

For the day, 61 species.

== Michael

 

Golden-crowned Sparrow, photo by Hugh Jennings

Two male Ring-necked Ducks, showing different plumages.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Female and male Purple Finch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Spotted Towhee (top) and Golden-crowned Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie.

Fox Sparrow photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Kinglet photo by Ollie Oliver

Another great shot by Ollie

Varied Thrush near the start of the boardwalk

Northern Shrike in the East Meadow

The Merlin landed for just a moment in Snag Row before crows chased it off

Double-crested Cormorant photo by Lillian Reis

Bewick's Wren photo by Lillian Reis

Cedar Waxwing photo by Lillian Reis

Lillian Reis photographed three (of four) River Otters in the slough on 2009-12-18...

...and an Opossum in the Pea Patch

Report for December 18, 2008

There was six inches of snow when we started, and more falling (about another 2" during the count).  The roads were treacherous.  I was surprised I wasn't birding alone.  But Brian Bell managed to make it down from Woodinville, and Ollie walked down from his house.  A beautiful morning, snowing most of the time, and only windy at the end.  Birdy too. While the little birds were hard to come by, those we saw gave us great, close looks.  Waterfowl numbers were way up, probably because everything else is frozen.

Highlights:

A four-goose day, with CANADAs being outnumbered perhaps 5-1 by CACKLERS. We had one SNOW GOOSE and one or two GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE.

Twelve species of duck, including First-of-the-winter NORTHERN PINTAIL and
GREATER SCAUP (one female each).

We had 20 KILLDEER fly overhead, which seemed surprising in the winter, plus
a couple of WILSON'S SNIPE.

Brian had a RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER.

The NORTHERN SHRIKE was hunting in the East Meadow.  It chased off a WESTERN MEADOWLARK there.

Two or more AMERICAN PIPITS flew over the East Meadow.  This is our first-ever December sighting for that species.

Two gorgeous male PURPLE FINCHES fed at about eye-level for us.  FOX SPARROWS and SPOTTED TOWHEES were especially prevalent and visible.

Ollie walked through the mansion area on his way home after Brian and I left.  We all skipped the Rowing Club.  So it was an abbreviated visit.

Still, we managed 52 species!

== Michael


View towards the mansion

Gadwall with snowy backs


Male Spotted Towhee


Towhees and Fox Sparrows were especially conspicuous on the snowy day


Western Meadowlark in a shrub in the East Meadow


This Northern Shrike displaced the meadowlark moments later


Just south of Dog Central


Ollie's photo of the windmill


Ollie's photos of Wilson's Snipe, 2008/12/20


The snipe were below the weir


Ollie's photos of a flock of Snow Geese, 2008/12/20


Okay I've never had a flock of them at Marymoor - a special find

Report for December 20, 2007   

There were a bunch of us (more than 15), and we enjoyed a very birdy hour-and-a-half of sunshine early on (which Ollie referred to as the "eye of the drizzle").  After that it clouded up and got breezy and colder, but didn't rain despite the clouds.

Highlights:

Hairy Woodpecker            Good long look near boardwalk
NORTHERN SHRIKE     Juvenile seen from Compost Piles
Lincoln's Sparrow              Saw 2-4 at Compost Piles
Purple Finch                       Several great looks
Western Meadowlark        1 near R/C club early

I was too tired from the Cle Elum CBC to really get excited about much, but it was a pretty good day.

We had 56 species.

== Michael


A cooperative Purple Finch at the 2nd dog swim beach


Western Meadowlark north of the model airplane field, just before 8:00 a.m.


Pine Siskin (right) and male Purple Finch


Male Hairy Woodpecker just before the start of the boardwalk

Golden-crowned Sparrow

Alexia and her friends dissect an owl pellet NE of the mansion

Some of the bones are laid out in the lower left.

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Bird Sightings Week 51
December 17-23*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years

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