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Bird Sightings Week 52
December 24-30*

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Rarities for Week 52:

Red-necked Grebe 30-Dec-99

Report for December 27, 2016                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Our last official survey for 2016 was pretty uneventful after a bang of a start. The day was relatively warm (up to the low 40ís) and the rain held off except for a few drops near the end. It even, eventually, got light enough to see. Eventually.

Before our 8:00 a.m. official meetup, those of us at the Viewing Mound had good (if distant) looks at a BARN OWL, mostly over the model airplane field, but briefly closer. It was still flying around after 7:30.

Then, as we gathered to start on the main walk, Jordan spotted a SHORT-EARED OWL flying high over the grass soccer fields. It made a circle or two up there, remaining quite high but still giving us good looks.

Other highlights:

Ring-necked Duck              Female in slough far below weir Ė First of Fall
Lesser Scaup                      Female with a female GREATER SCAUP in slough
Western Grebe                   One WAY out on the lake
Green Heron                      Sitting on the beaver lodge again
Bald Eagle                          Juvenile(s) as well as our resident pair
Cooperís Hawk                 Caught a junco in the Pea Patch
Northern Shrike                  North of fields 7-8-9
Brown Creeper                   At least a couple
Western Meadowlark         ~12 between Viewing Mound & model airplane field
Purple Finch                       Some really good looks

Misses today included identifiable gulls besides Glaucous-winged, Stellerís Jay, Bushtit, and Pine Siskin.

For the day, 54 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Short-eared Owl doing lazy circles high overhead at 8 a.m..  Photos by Ollie Oliver


Arguments about whether these were Greater or Lesser Scaup can finally be answered:  One of each.  The Lesser Scaup (foreground) has a small, narrow "nail" on the end of the bill.  The Greater Scaup has a large, wide nail.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Here, the subtle differences in head shape can be seen, with the Greater Scaup (right) having the highest point of the head over the eye with gentle rounding behind. The eye of the Lesser Scaup is even further forward on the face too. Photo by Ollie Oliver


Common Goldeneye male.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Common Goldeneye female.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Green Heron on the beaver lodge.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Western Grebe far out on the lake.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 24, 2015                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

Oh what difference the weather makes. Today was really quite pleasant out, for while still gray, there was little wind, no rain, some warmth, no fog. And there were birds! (Though only seven birders)

Highlights:

Nine species of duck          Including 1 N. Shoveler, several Am. Wigeon
Pied-billed Grebe               Maybe 40 on the lake, most in a tight clump!
Green Heron                      Juvenile at Rowing Club pond again
Virginia Rail                       One heard east of East Meadow, near Wilsonís Snipes HERRING GULL              First time Iíve IDíd one in flight
Barn Owl                           Sharon had sightings at 6:45 and maybe 7:15
Pileated Woodpecker         Two around mansion and heading towards lake
Northern Shrike                  Juvenile again north of fields 7-8-9
HUTTONíS VIREO          One or maybe two east of the ponds at Rowing Club
Cedar Waxwing                 Our 9th-ever Dec. sighting, 1 bird SE of East Meadow
Lincolnís Sparrow              1st bird I saw, before sunrise, Viewing Mound
Western Meadowlark         1-2 birds, waaay over at model airplane field
Purple Finch                       1 near Dog Area portapotties

We also had a close look at a healthy-looking COYOTE near the concert stage just after 8.

For the day, 56 species, or 12 more than last week. Weíll close out 2015 starting at 8:00 a.m New Years Eve

== Michael Hobbs


Female Common Mergansers in the slough near the weir.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Male Bufflehead.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

American Coots.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Adult Cooper's Hawk.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Bald Eagle pair.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Juvenile Northern Shrike north of fields 7-8-9.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Male Belted Kingfisher at Rowing Club pond.  Photo by Bob Asanoma

Coyote in Concert Venue, 8:00 a.m.  Photo by Diana Antunes

Eastern Cottontail.  Photo by Diana Antunes

Report for December 24, 2014                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

To avoid Christmas, we did the weekly survey a day early. Despite a forecast that called for a squall, we had delightful weather, with overcast and 40 degrees melding into partly sunny and 42, with no wind. Weatherwise, it certainly didnít feel like were just days past the winter solstice. Unfortunately, the birds were not forthcoming; it was an extremely quiet morning. The large quantity of unfrozen seasonal ponds elsewhere probably attracted many of our waterfowl elsewhere. I guess we saw most of the rest of the expected species, but with very few surprises. Oh well, it was still a nice day.

Highlights:

Cooperís Hawk         Several sightings
Wilsonís Snipe           Two popped up briefly west of the slough
MERLIN                   Last bird of the day, west of Rowing Club
Northern Shrike         Adult, east of East Meadow
Bewickís Wren          Three came in fiercely to iPod in Big Cottonwood Forest

For the day, just 49 species.  Big misses included Cackling Goose!

Iím off to Costa Rica in a week, but Brian, Matt, Sharon, et. al. will cover the walks as 2015 starts. Happy New Year.

== Michael Hobbs


Ruby-crowned Kinglet.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Bewick's Wren.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Adult Northern Shrike.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver.

Report for December 26, 2013                                                                                                                     Birding at Marymoor

It was cold and foggy this morning, with the fog again thin enough that we could sense that things were more pleasant just a few hundred yards upslope. Birds apparently have sense, because many of them seem to have moved up for warmth and sunshine, leaving those of us weighed down by holiday cooking to wander around in the mists. It wasnít very birdy, but it wasnít too bad.

Highlights:

Greater White-fronted Goose     1 adult with Cacklers and a few Canadas
Horned Grebe                            1 well out on lake, late
Virginia Rail                                Responded from boardwalk
American Coot                           Filled the slough near the lake
Wilsonís Snipe                           Brian flushed one in East Meadow
Barn Owl                                   Brian had one around 7 a.m.
SHORT-EARED OWL             One over East Meadow closer to 7:30
Belted Kingfisher                        One at weir

The pair of BALD EAGLES that hangs out at the mouth of the slough may have been why the coots were all in the slough. One of the eagles was sitting in the water at lakeís edge.

We had no big misses except for the continuing absence of White-crowned Sparrows, Purple Finches, Pine Siskins, and American Goldfinch.

For the day, we managed 51 species.

Iíve posted the 2014 time schedule.

== Michael Hobbs


Adult Bald Eagle in the water at the edge of the lake.  It was still foggy out there.
Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Lincoln's Sparrow.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Female Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Anna's Hummingbird.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Male Red-breasted Nuthatch.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Hooded Merganser pair.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Adult Greater White-fronted Goose with Cackling Geese.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz


Eastern Gray Squirrel.  Photo by Dasha Gudalewicz

Report for December 27, 2012                                                                                                                             Birding at Marymoor

The weather was MUCH nicer this week than last, which made for both more pleasant bird watching and more birds to watch. We did have a little bit of light rain early on, fading quickly to drizzle, and then even that stopped by about 9:30. It never got sunny, but there was no wind, and it was warm (over 40 degrees all morning).

Highlights:

Wood Duck                     Male in slough, from RC dock
American Wigeon             One in duck puddle on grass soccer fields
Northern Pintail                 Nice look at small flyby flock
Western Grebe                 Two out on lake
Virginia Rail                      Several heard east of N end of East Meadow
Wilsonís Snipe                  Heard, same place as rails, but pre-dawn
Barn Owl                          Three, between 7:00-7:15
Red-breasted Sapsucker  One NE of mansion
Hairy Woodpecker           One, south end of East Meadow
BARN SWALLOW         Still 3 over south end of East Meadow
RED CROSSBILL           More than a dozen around mansion

We had 10 species of duck, total, but there were only a dozen CANADA GEESE, and while I heard CACKLING GOOSE at one point, no more than 1 was seen. There were about 1500 Cacklers at the park on Christmas day.

We found all of the chickadees-wrens-kinglets and nuthatch, creeper, and bushtit, that we usually find - we don't always get that whole set of 10 species.

There was a COYOTE hunting the East Meadow at 7:00 a.m.

For the day, 55 species.

== Michael Hobbs


Male Downy Woodpecker.  Photo by Michael Hobbs

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Hugh Jennings


Mallard pair at Rowing Club.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Northern Shrike, 2012-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Golden-crowned Sparrows, 2012-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Lincoln's Sparrow, 2012-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Trumpeter Swans, 2012-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Trumpeter Swan, 2012-12-21.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 29, 2011                                                                                                                           Birding at Marymoor

(Michael was in Florida)

Cloudy but no rain.

Greater White-fronted Goose - 1 with Cacklers
Cackling Goose - approx. 1500
     (estimate by Dave Anderson of WDFW,
     they are doing a waterfowl survey in the area)
American Wigeon - 4 flew over early
Northern Pintail - 7 flew over - males and females
Cooper's Hawk - adult
Mew Gull - probably 400 (flying overhead and most went toward lake)
Barn Owl - 1 at airfield early, Matt had some later
Common Raven - 1 being harrassed by crows

We wound up with 50 species.

 

Brian H. Bell

Woodinville WA


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


Male Hooded Merganser doing a stretch-and-flap display.  Photos by Ollie Oliver

Gadwall and Common Mergansers.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Steller's Jay, 2011-12-24.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Adult Sharp-shinned Hawk, 2011-12-24.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Ring-necked Duck and female Hooded Merganser, 2011-12-24.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 30, 2010                                                                                                                          Birding at Marymoor

Our last walk for 2010 was cold (27-34F), with crunchy snow pellets on the ground.  For the first couple of hours we were in fog, which impeded viewing and kept the birds under cover.  When the sun finally came out, we were able to see more birds.

Highlights:

Swan sp.                         Mark saw two fly north
Bald Eagle                       1 gave us great looks along the slough
Killdeer                           15+ on grass fields, rare for late Dec.
Anna's Hummingbird        Female at park office feeders
Hairy Woodpecker          A couple of looks
Pileated Woodpecker      Two looks, probably same bird
Northern Shrike               Juvenile in East Meadow again
Varied Thrush                  At least 3
CEDAR WAXWING     4 in East Meadow
Townsend's Warbler        Probably more than 1, NE of mansion

For the day, 57 species, despite having only 1 species of gull.  Other "misses" included Common Merganser, Belted Kingfisher, Bushtit, and Red-winged Blackbird.  And the Green Heron at the Rowing Club may have moved on due to ice.

== Michael


Mallards and Gadwall in the fog at the weir


Bald Eagle along slough


Pine Siskin on a Red Alder.  Photo by Ollie Oliver


Male Hairy Woodpecker


Adult Bald Eagle further along the slough.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Brown Creeper.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Cedar Waxwings with an American Robin, in the East Meadow

Male Varied Thrush

Male Varied Thrush

Bewick's Wren, 12-25-2010.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Ring-necked Ducks at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

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

European Hazelnut catkins at the Rowing Club

Two Bobcats resting the East Meadow trail, 12-31-2010

Both photos by Lillian Reis

Report for December 24, 2009

Seven of us braved the cold this Christmas Eve, 24 Dec 2009, at Marymoor. It was 31F and foggy when we started. We made an effort for an owl early, but drew a blank - guess the Barn Owl stayed warm someplace. It took a while for the sun to burn the fog off, but by mid-morning we almost thought we could feel some heat.
 
It was very quiet for Marymoor this morning with the fog and cold keeping the small birds inactive until later in the day. Nevertheless we did get some nice views. 48 species.
 
Cackling Goose
Cooper's Hawk
Lincoln Sparrow
Pine Siskin - a flock of about 50
Purple Finch
Common Merganser - overhead
Virginia Rail
Northern Shrike - in the East Meadow
Yellow-rumped Warbler
Red-breasted Sapsucker
Green Heron - at rowing club pond
 
Brian H. Bell
(standing in for Michael Hobbs, in Prague)
 

Morning mist.  Photo by Scott Ramos

Sunrise by Ollie Oliver

Ollie being artistic again, and nicely

Displaying Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Displaying Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Displaying Great Blue Heron.  Photo by Hugh Jennings

Opossum in a European Hawthorn.  Photo by Scott Ramos

What's the technical term for a bird pooping?  Cooper's Hawk, photo by Ollie Oliver

Green Heron at the Rowing Club.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Northern Shrike. Photo by Lillian Reis

Northern Shrike in flight, showing white wing patches.  Photo by Lillian Reis

Immature White-crowned Sparrow taking off.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Male Belted Kingfisher.  Photo by Ollie Oliver
Male Spotted Towhee.  Photo by Ollie Oliver

Report for December 24, 2008

It was just the 3 Amigos again today - myself, Brian Bell, and Ollie Oliver.  The temps were right at and above the freeze.  We had heavy snow until we got to the lake platform, and then it switched to a mix of rain and snow.  There was more than a foot of snow on the ground to slog through, and almost nobody else but us there.  Not very birdy, and rather damp by the end.  But we did have some good sightings.

Highlights:

SNOW GOOSE              7 feeding near the Compost Piles along the road
                                        They were there all morning
Wilson's Snipe                  Quite a few good sightings
Red-breasted Sapsucker   One at the Rowing Club
Hairy Woodpecker           Good looks just south of the Dog Meadow
Northern Shrike                Flew over the Compost Piles
Townsend's Warbler         At least 3 together, NE of the mansion, low in the trees

Brian had the special honor of seeing the ONLY - singular - AMERICAN ROBIN

The total number of birds was quite low - only single birds for many other species too.

Lots of ducks, though down to 9 species today.

I think we ended up with 44 species.

== Michael


Six of the seven Snow Geese

Close-up


They were there all morning


Hairy Woodpecker


Looking across the river at Dog Central


Looking south from the Dog Meadow into the forest


Fungi from the boardwalk


Brian celebrates his robin sighting under the roof of the kiosk


Male Townsend's Warbler northeast of the mansion


There were at least 3 warblers

Report for December 27, 2007   

Matt Bartells and I got to substitute for him at Marymoor. It turned out to be a classic late December day - chilly to start (37F) and the temperature didn't rise much (39F). Followed by a light rain after about 20 minutes accompanied by a light breeze. It could only be called raw.

In spite of the weather we were joined by 10 other folks. The birds didn't seem to like the weather any better than we did, as they were very quiet most of the day. The river was up slightly since last week, so those who didn't have high boots had to walk around when we came to the boardwalk. We finally wound up with 49 species, but we certainly had to work for them.

Matt had two BARN OWLS near the Windmill early, and we had a couple of flyby WILSON'S SNIPEs over the East Meadow. Some fairly large flights of NORTHERN PINTAILs flew south toward Lake Sammamish early. As has been the case for several weeks we had large groups of MEW GULLs fly in from the lake just after dawn. Notable for being missing for the first time in 4 weeks was the very large group of CACKLING GEESE.

We had a nice flock of BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEEs, GOLDEN-CROWNED KINGLETs and some RUBY-CROWNED KINGLETs that followed our path. The sparrows were not very cooperative at the dirt piles, but we did pick up SONG SPARROW, GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROW, and WHITE-CROWNED SPARROW. Earlier we had a large flock of mostly GOLDEN-CROWNED SPARROWs with a few WHITE-CROWNED SPARROWS by the middle dog water access.

We ended the day with a nice adult COOPER'S HAWK perched right near the lot we park in, and while we were watching it a MERLIN blasted past (first suggested by all the starlings and robins in the soccer field taking off in panic).

All in all it was a good day.

Brian H. Bell


Pine Siskins in an Oregon Ash tree, 2007-12-31

Golden-crowned Sparrow, 2007-12-31


"Sooty" Fox Sparrow, left, and an aberrant, mottled one on the right, 2007-12-31


Perhaps luckily for this bird, his white markings look like the dappling effect from sunlight
filtering through branches.  However, when he moved, he really stood out.


Brown Creeper on a Big-leaf Maple, 2007-12-31

This American Robin also showed improper white patches, 2007-12-31.

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Bird Sightings Week 52
December 24-30*      *adjust by 1 day in leap years

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