[Tweeters] Marymoor Park (Redmond, King Co.) 2014-04-17

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at frontier.com
Thu Apr 17 16:21:46 PDT 2014

Tweets – after all of the glorious weather we’ve had recently, it was a little disappointing to have pretty much steady drizzle all day under rather dark gray clouds. But April birding, even when it’s not great, is wonderful. The most notable thing about the day was that the sky was FILLED WITH SWALLOWS. We had ~200 VIOLET-GREEN SWALLOWS in a constant swirl over the slough just below the weir. Then, at the lake, the number of swallows (again, mostly Violet-green) was astonishing. The East Meadow had a slightly sparser cloud of swallows, but still the sky was notably busy. There, TREE SWALLOWS were at least as common as Violet-greens.

Other highlights (FOS – First of Spring):

GR. WH.-FRONTED GOOSE Flock of ~120 flew west over East Meadow
CINNAMON TEAL Male with Green-winged Teal below weir
COMMON LOON One pretty far out, southwest part of the lake – FOS
Great Blue Heron Adults huddled tight on their nests
Barn Owl Matt heard a couple, East Meadow, pre-dawn
VAUX’S SWIFT Only 2-3, mixed in the swallow hoards – FOS
PURPLE MARTIN One male at Viewing Mound – FOS
CLIFF SWALLOW I had 2 from the cabana, late – FOS
Barn Swallow Probably fewer than a dozen
Or.-crowned Warbler A few, singing
Yellow-rumped Warbler Fewer than last couple of weeks
Common Yellowthroat Ubiquitous, loud, and mostly invisible
Townsend’s Warbler Female near windmill

The flock of GREATER WHITE-FRONTED GEESE was amazing and unexpected. Normally, when we get GWFG, it’s 1-5 birds mixed in with Cacklers and/or Canadas. Our previous high count was 10. Also, it’s very late for GWFG, so these are assuredly migrants from further south passing over the park in a hurry. We’ve never had White-fronts later than April 5th! But Evan Houston reported that he saw 200 Greater White-fronted Geese fly over the park on May 2, 2010, which was probably a very similar flock. So our sighting was not completely unprecedented.

Today’s VAUX’S SWIFTS tie 2008 for earliest spring sighting. Actually, today’s was earlier, since 2008 was a leap year. The PURPLE MARTIN is five days earlier than the previous early sighting from 2010.

We also had a five mammal day, with deer, muskrat, and river otter as well as the usual bunnies and squirrels.

We had 60 species for the day. The four new for the year brings our 2014 list to 108 species I believe.

I will miss the next two Thursday at Marymoor, as I’m heading to Texas. But Brian and Matt will be ably leading in my stead.

== Michael Hobbs
== www.marymoor.org/birding.htm
== BirdMarymoor at frontier.com

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