[Tweeters] Marymoor Park (Redmond, WA) 2014-12-18

Michael Hobbs birdmarymoor at frontier.com
Thu Dec 18 17:15:36 PST 2014


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:

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




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