[Tweeters] Marymoor Park (Redmond, King Co.) 2020-12-24

birdmarymoor at gmail.com birdmarymoor at gmail.com
Fri Dec 25 16:42:27 PST 2020

Tweets – We were out Christmas Eve morning for the Thursday Marymoor survey. Predawn was gorgeous and frosty, but the fog (which had been hanging above) dropped down right around 8:00 a.m. This greatly limited our viewing (and probably the bird activity). The fog was so thick at the Lake Platform that we had no view of the lake whatsoever. It made for a strange morning.

a.. Greater White-fronted Goose – one in the slough below the weir, much smaller than the Canadas it was with
b.. Killdeer – at least 35 on grass soccer fields
c.. Barn Owl – brief but good looks at 7:25 a.m., from the Viewing Mound
d.. Western Screech-Owl – Matt heard one pre-dawn
e.. Northern Saw-whet Owl – Matt and I heard at least 1 predawn along the boardwalk – first since last January
f.. Pileated Woodpecker – two (pair?) in Big Cottonwood Forest south of the Dog Area
g.. Golden-crowned Sparrow – several fairly large flocks
The most exciting sightings were many instances of Frost Flowers / Cotton Candy Ice / Hair Ice, most probably the specific kind noted in this article https://www.cnet.com/news/candy-floss-ice-spun-by-fungus/ that is formed when water freezes in the capillaries of fungi on dead branches. As the water freezes, it expands, and amazingly thin threads of ice are extruded from the surface. My guess is that it can only really happen on the first hard frost of winter, probably under windless and fairly dry conditions. (Thanks to Nadine for finding that article, and to Matt for passing it on).

Misses yesterday included Bufflehead, Hooded Merganser, Common Merganser, Rock Pigeon, Mew Gull, Ring-billed Gull, Glaucous-winged Gull (or indeed any gull), Cooper’s Hawk, and Lincoln Sparrow. We still managed 48 species.

Last Saturday, I did the Marymoor sector of the Eastside Audubon CBC. The morning was really fabulous, with the rain holding off until pretty much exactly noon. I had a fairly complete sampling of the regular birds for this time of year, along with:
a.. Great Horned Owl – pre-dawn, a pair near the slough, below the weir
b.. Northern Shrike – adult a the north edge of the grass soccer fields
c.. White-throated Sparrow – TWO together, in one of the flocks of Golden-crowned Sparrow
For the day, I had 56 species at the park.

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