[Tweeters] Marymoor Park (Redmond, King Co.) 2014-08-14

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at frontier.com
Thu Aug 14 13:12:16 PDT 2014

Tweets – what an amazing and unusual day at the park this morning. It was darkly overcast, and we had a few sprinkles though nothing sustained at all. So we were dry, if squinting to make out details on the birds sometimes due to the darkness. It was muggy, though not very warm, and the air felt dead and heavy. But the birds popped up in groups here and there, and contrary to the usual August day, the species list was not limited to the expected species.

Two huge highlights for the day:

First, at 5:30 a.m., Matt & I were pretty convinced that we wouldn’t see any owls due to ground fog (and we didn’t see any). Matt dejectedly started asking if it had been a whole year since we’d added a bird to the park list (not quite; the last one being Long-tailed Jaeger on August 29th last year). Shortly thereafter, we heard a flying bird calling. I thought “shorebird”, but Matt was more adept at identification and he quickly came out with “SEMIPALMATED PLOVER”. I cued up the call on my phone and it matched perfectly (the “cherry-up” call on the Sibley app). We heard the bird call about a dozen times as it flew around the northeast portions of the park. We never were able to see the bird, but the call was clear and distinctive. Not a particularly unexpected bird, but NEW FOR THE MARYMOOR PARK LIST!

The other huge highlight came much later as we made our way through the Community Gardens (aka the Pea Patch). There were dozens of American Goldfinch, but I spotted a LESSER GOLDFINCH amongst them. Earlier, as we’d neared the East Meadow, Matt & I thought we might have heard a Lesser; and Grace & Ollie had seen a Lesser in their yard (a half mile away from the park) yesterday; so we’d had LEGOs on the mind and were therefore scrutinizing every goldfinch we could find. We got some fairly decent looks at the Lesser at the gardens, and heard it (or another) call once or twice. ANOTHER NEW BIRD FOR THE MARYMOOR PARK LIST!!

I believe you have to go all the way back to 2007-02-15 to find the last time we had two new species for the park on the same day. That was when we had both Herring and Glaucous Gulls. The last time we had two unrelated species added to the park on the same day was way back on 1999-10-21, when Trumpeter Swan and Blue-gray Gnatcatcher were added!

And there were other highlights:

Common Merganser Three at the weir
Pied-billed Grebe Lone juvenile in slough
Great Blue Heron One juvenile seen in the heronry, not on a nest
Spotted Sandpiper One at the weir
Pileated Woodpecker One seen/heard, distantly
Pac.-slope Flycatcher 1-2
Purple Martin Female attending 2 young at gourd
Cliff Swallow One over lake
Swainson’s Thrush I think just one bird
MACGILLIVRAY’S WARBLER 1-2 birds, east edge of Dog Meadow
Bl.-throated Gray Warbler 1-2 birds, east edge of Dog Meadow
Wilson’s Warbler 2 birds, east edge of Dog Meadow
Wh.-crowned Sparrow Suddenly well over a dozen, Pea Patch
Black-headed Grosbeak Just one, across WLSP from Rowing Club

Two new species for the park puts the list at 224. MacGillivray’s Warbler was also new for the year, bringing the 2014 park list to 145. And 59 species for the day. Quite a day.

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

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