Perhaps the most unusual bird spotted this week was a dickcissel, a species rather easy to ignore because it is very similar to a house sparrow. David Padulo has seen one at Katama Farm on Oct. 12 and again on Oct. 14. He also spotted a merlin and both palm and blackpoll warblers.

Also unusual this week is the black-billed cuckoo observed by Lanny McDowell on Oct. 14 near the intersection of Moshup Trail and State Road in Aquinnah.

Lincolns sparrow — Lanny McDowell

The October push of southward migration continues. Allan Keith had a good sighting on Oct. 17: a Tennessee warbler at Menemsha Hills. The next day was even better, with the Gay Head Cliffs producing sightings of five sparrows: white-crowned swamp white-throated, dark-eyed junco and song sparrows, as well as five species of warblers: pine, western palm, yellow-rumped, blackpoll and a yellow-breasted chat. Both sharp-shinned and Coopers hawks were also spotted.

Bob Shriber visited Aquinnah on Oct. 12 and spotted a Lincoln’s sparrow, an orange-crowned warbler and an indigo bunting. The next day, he found a pectoral sandpiper at the opening to Chilmark Pond.

On Oct. 13, Lanny McDowell found two marsh wrens and both palm and yellow warblers at Quansoo. Susan Whiting and Allan Keith spotted a blue-headed vireo and a red-breasted nuthatch on Cape Poge on Oct. 14.

Lisa Maxfield reports four dark-eyed juncos at Brush Pond on Oct. 14, the same day that Shea Fee found them at Wasque. The next day, Tom Johnson found both juncos and a white-crowned sparrow onboard a NOAA research vessel half way to Block Island.

Thaw Malin and Cynthia Bloomquist found the closely-related white-throated sparrow at their home on Oct. 15. They have also seen red-breasted nuthatch. phoebe and palm warbler.

Golden-crowned kinglets are starting to arrive. Gus Ben David spotted his first of the season this week and Shea Fee spotted them as well as red-breasted nuthatch, common grackle, and both blackpoll and yellow-rumped warblers on Oct. 17.

Eastern phebe — Lanny McDowell

Still present on the Island is the Hudsoniann godwit. Ted Gilliland found it at Hancock Beach on Oct. 11. Susan Whiting, Bob Shriber, and Cathy Paris saw it there on Oct. 16, where they also spotted a stilt sandpiper, sanderlings, red knots and a peregrine falcon. They found it again on Oct. 17, along with semipalmated plover, sanderling, dunlin, lesser black-backed gull, and both sharp-shinned and Cooper’s hawks.

The Eurasian wigeon is hanging around. Ted Gilliland found it on Oct. 12 at Crackatuxet Cove. David Padulo spotted it there on Oct. 13, along with some American wigeon, a greater yellowlegs and a palm warbler. Cathy Paris and Susan Whiting saw it on Oct. 15 in the company of the American wigeon and a gadwall.

The immature snow goose is lingering at Ocean Park with the Canada geese. David Amaral has seen it and Brenda Hanson saw it on Oct. 13. We are watching almost daily to see the first of the returning flock of brant that spend the winter in Ocean Park. The only brant seen this season has been a solitary one at Little Beach, last seen by Dave Padulo on Oct. 11.

Killdeer — Lanny McDowell

A regular but never-abundant lingering shorebird is the American golden plover. Two have been hanging out at Katama Farm, along with more abundant fall transients. David Padulo found it there on Oct. 14, along with semipalmated plovers and dunlin. Susan Whiting and Cathy Paris saw it there on Oct. 15, along with black-bellied plover, bobolink, palm warbler, killdeer and Cooper’s hawk. Cynthia Bloomquist spotted a white-rumped sandpiper at Long Point on Oct. 14. The next day, Bob Schmidt spotted oystercatchers, ruddy turnstone, greater yellowlegs and a great egret at State Beach.

Great egrets are plentiful, with some rather remarkable flocks reported this week. John Nelson spotted 12 great egrets in Sengekontacket Pond on Oct. 12, along with four greater yellowlegs, and two black ducks - his first of the season. Jason Colin reports finding 29 great egrets in the West Basin at Lobsterville on Oct. 13, the same day that Ann Floyd spotted seven in Caleb’s Pond.

Northern harriers have been spotted recently. John Nelson found a male on Oct. 12 near the southern end of Sengekontacket Pond. On Oct. 15, Susan Whiting and Cathy Paris found two, one at Crackatuxet Cove and another at Katama Farm. Thaw Malin also spotted one near his West Tisbury home on Oct. 15. Shea Fee observed a merlin as it flew over Wasque on Oct. 17.

On Oct. 18, Gus and Debbie Ben David observed a shadow pass overhead and watched an adult bald eagle land in a nearby tree. It stayed for 20 minutes before heading toward Edgartown Great Pond. They also have up to 13 turkey vultures visiting daily.

Black ducks — Lanny McDowell

Susan Whiting and Allan Keith went to Cape Poge on Oct. 14 and spotted 14 American oystercatchers, black duck, laughing gull, common loon and common raven. That same day, Shea Fee found two ravens over her Wasque house.

Judi Drew Shubert added a new location for great horned owls with her Oct. 8 report of one calling near Crow Hollow off Tiah’s Cove Road. On Oct. 11. Lanny McDowell spotted a brown creeper at his home. On Oct 15, Thaw Malin spotted a ring-necked pheasant at Sepiessa Point and on Oct. 17, he saw a yellow-bellied sapsucker and eastern bluebirds in his yard.

Finally, Lucy Goeke saw a chipping sparrow in downtown Edgartown on Oct. 16.

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

Editors note: Last week’s bird column was mistakenly repeated from a year ago. The correct column can be found online.