What is up with blue jays? They are loud, exuberant and aggressive! Even now they are noisy, long after their nesting season ended. Yet birders from other continents think they are gorgeous! Perhaps we tend not to notice their beauty because we know their aggressive behaviors.

Just about the only other bird that is still singing at this time of the year is the Carolina wren, a favored species for many birders, even though they are loud, aggressive and quick to scold intruders. Their song is typically a loud, whistled, three-syllable song. Everyone wants to have Carolina wrens in their yard!

White ibis — Lanny McDowell

This species is widespread in southern Florida, but not on Martha’s Vineyard. Walt Looney, Russ Salisbury and Don McLagan visited Pocha Pond reservation on Chappy and found a white ibis in the salt marshes there, hanging out with a group of eight great egrets. His description: “Unmistakable long red down-curving bill, slightly greyer white than egrets, much shorter with shorter neck. In flight, black wing tips clearly visible, wow!”

This is the third sighting of this species on the Island; the first was by Bruce Sorrie and Edith Andrews at Squibnocket Pond on June 1, 1984, and the second sighting was by Dale Carter at Chappaquiddick Point on March 17, 2006.

This year, a white ibis was spotted by multiple observers in Middlesex and Bristol counties back on August 16-18.

On Sept. 25, a stilt sandpiper was observed at Tisbury Great Pond by Luanne Johnson, Lanny McDowell and Jeff Peters. This species is a fall transient not seen in large numbers.

Bob Shriber spotted an olive-sided flycatcher in Aquinnah on Sept. 25, a rare transient on the Island. The white wing-patch characteristic of this species was plainly visible.

Olive-sided flycatcher — Lanny McDowell

We also had two sightings of a group of flycatchers that are incredibly difficult to identify, so we say we saw empidonax flycatchers. On Sept. 24, Allan Keith spotted one at Squibnocket. I saw two at the State Forest headquarters on Sept. 25, along with an eastern kingbird.

Other flycatchers include Frank Murphy’s eastern wood-pewee on Old Fields Path in Chilmark on Sept. 21, and a phoebe spotted by Luanne Johnson at the Oak Bluffs pumping station on Sept. 26.

Further evidence of the peaking songbird migration comes from the variety of warblers and other songbirds seen this week. On Sept. 21, Susan Whiting and Frank Murphy spotted blue-headed vireo, scarlet tanager, northern parula and American redstart at Tiasquam Valley; Allan Keith and Geoff Muldaur joined them at Squibnocket, where they saw veery, red-eyed vireo, house wren, yellow and prairie warblers.

The next day, Doreen McCabe had a common yellowthroat visit her suet, and Penny Uhlendorf and Scott Stephens had a black-throated green warbler in Pilot Hill. On Sept. 23, Greg Pattison had a redstart at his house.

Palm warbler — Lanny McDowell

On Sept. 24, Allan Keith visited Squibnocket and found northern waterthrush, blackpoll, parula, redstart and yellow warblers, as well as three Cape May warblers at his house. Penny Uhlendorf and Scott Stephens spotted four blackpoll warblers.

Bob Shriber reports warbling vireo, blue-headed vireo, tree swallow, house wren, bobolink, Baltimore oriole, magnolia warbler, Cape May warbler, blackpoll, pine, yellow-rumped warbler and a dickcissel, all from the Gay Head Cliffs on Sept. 25.

At Wasque, Shea Fee found red-eyed vireo, ruby-crowned kinglet, and chestnut-sided, pine, yellow-rumped and blackpoll warblers.

On Sept. 26, Susan Whiting and Bob Shriber found a blackburnian warbler in Aquinnah, while at Quansoo Farm Luanne Johnson and three others spotted white-eyed vireo, three barn swallows, one white-throated sparrow and palm warbler. They continued on to the Oak Bluffs pumping station and found yellowthroat, yellow and prairie warblers.

Susan Whiting, Allan Keith and Bob Shriber birded in Aquinnah on Sept. 27 and found kestrel, blue-headed vireo, ruby-crowned kinglet and the following warblers: yellowthroat, redstart, Cape May, parula, yellow, chestnut-sided, blackpoll, palm, yellow-rumped, prairie and a yellow-breasted chat.

This is a remarkable 15 species of warblers, only six of which nest on the Island, and four species of vireos, two of which nest here. Now that is more like what songbird migration is supposed to be!

Stilt sandpiper — Lanny McDowell

Also seen this week are all three species of falcons. Susan Whiting found a kestrel at Quenames on Sept. 24 and another on Sept. 27 in Aquinnah, while Allan Keith found a merlin and two peregrines in Aquinnah on Sept. 27. Thaw Malin and Cynthia Bloomquist spotted a peregrine at the cliffs on Sept. 21, as did Dana Bangs. Shea Fee spotted a merlin at Wasque on Sept. 25, and she also spotted both accipiters (Cooper’s and sharp-shinned hawks) there.

A few osprey are still hanging around: they have been seen by Dana Bangs at Tisbury Great Pond on Sept. 23, and by Luanne Johnson at Black Point Pond on Sept. 25 and Lagoon Pond the next day.

Whimbrels continues to be unusually common. There have been more sightings this week than we get for some entire years! They were seen by Jeff Peters at Quansoo on Sept. 21; Bob Shriber found two at Lobsterville on Sept. 22; Stuart Santos spotted probably the same ones on Sept. 24; and by Shea Fee at Wasque on Sept. 25.

There are lots of great egrets around Menemsha Pond. Stuart Santos counted 16 at Lobsterville on Sept. 24, and Allan Keith found 18 scattered around Menemsha Pond. A piping plover was reported at Tisbury Great Pond on Sept. 26 by both Luanne Johnson and Penny Uhlendorf and Scott Stephens. On Sept. 23, Lisa Maxfield found one lingering common tern at Norton Point Beach.

More bird photos

Please email your sightings to birds@mvgazette.com.

Robert Culbert is an ecological consultant with Nature Watch LLC living in Vineyard Haven.