The migration season is winding down, although it is far from over. Migrants will continue their southward travels into January.

One unexpected sighting tops the news; two winter resident species arrived; and there were numerous sightings of lingering summer residents.

Summer tanagers are not frequently seen here. Most sightings are in the spring, of birds that overshot their breeding grounds or were carried too far north by strong winds. So Allan Keith’s sighting of a summer tanager at Squibnocket on Nov. 18 is noteworthy. He found it again on Nov. 21, in the same thicket with the same flock of 20 robins.

Purple sandpipers — Lanny McDowell

Two winter residents that arrived are horned grebe and purple sandpiper. Margaret Curtin, Nancy Weaver, Shea Fee and Luanne Johnson spotted six of the grebes and one purple sandpiper at Squibnocket on Nov. 21. Their other highlights included small numbers of common eider, harlequin ducks, all three scoter species, bufflehead, red-breasted mergansers, both red-throated and common loons, northern gannets and an Ipswich sparrow at Dogfish Bar.

Snow buntings are still newly arrived as only a lone individual was reported in last week’s column. On Nov. 20, Bob Shriber spotted 15 snow buntings at Dogfish Bar. Allan Keith found that flock again the next day. Katherine Zhang found two snow buntings at Lucy Vincent Beach on Nov. 16.

John Nelson found larger numbers than previously reported of two ducks: he counted 34 red-breasted mergansers and four common goldeneyes at Eel Pond on Nov. 17.

Tree swallow — Lanny McDowell

Lingering summer resident species are most of the remaining sightings. They linger here because our milder climate keeps temperatures warmer and invertebrate food is more abundant. Why go further south if food is plentiful where you are?

On Nov. 15, Allan Keith spotted a red-winged blackbird and a barn swallow at his house. Remarkably, a solitary tree swallow also showed up. Shea Fee spotted one on Nov. 21 at Chappaquiddick Point.

The Martha’s Vineyard Bird Club hosted a bird walk led by Luanne Johnson in the state forest on Nov. 20. A highlight was a field sparrow. This species breeds in small numbers on the island, but sightings are more numerous in November and December so this bird may be a migrant from further north. They also spotted golden-crowned kinglets, catbird, hermit thrush, cedar waxwings, two palm warblers and two pine warblers.

Cattle egret — Lanny McDowell

The most recent sighting of the cattle egrets at Katama Farm was by John Nelson. On Nov. 17, he found one of the four that had been foraging with the herds of sheep or cattle. He also spotted a killdeer in the field next to the parking lot.

Kathleen Kinsman found an eastern towhee at John Presbury Norton Farm on Nov. 14. Jeff Bernier spotted four wood ducks at Jernegan’s Pond on Nov. 15. On Nov. 16, Bob Shriber found a brown thrasher at Pilot’s Landing. Tracy Winn spotted another lingering migrant — an American kestrel — at the Gay Head Cliffs on Nov. 18, as well as two catbirds, 36 robins and 23 cedar waxwings.

Bonaparte's gull — Lanny McDowell

On Nov. 19, Steve Carey visited Quansoo Farm and found two catbirds, a hermit thrush, a towhee and two ring-necked pheasants. Also that day, Shea Fee observed gadwall and a Bonaparte’s gull at Cape Pogue while Katherine Zhang observed a greater yellowlegs at Felix Neck.

Eastern bluebirds are always a popular species to find. Fortunately, they are not uncommon. Their call notes are frequently uttered and can give away their presence before they are seen. On Nov. 16, Katherine Zhang saw 11 at Felix Neck. Bruce Polikoff saw that flock the next day. John Nelson found eight at Slough Cove Farm on Nov. 1, and Lanny McDowell saw a flock on Nov. 18. Jane Hawkes saw bluebirds at Charles Neck Road on Nov. 20. The Martha’s Vineyard Bird Club saw 18 in the state forest on Nov. 20.

Scarlet tanager — Lanny McDowell

Some species do not get mentioned very often because this column does not have enough space to include everything. On Nov. 15, Danguole Budris spotted a great blue heron at Tiah’s Cove. On Nov. 21, she saw a turkey vulture and a red-tailed hawk at Lucy Vincent Beach. Also on that day, Matt Pelikan watched a flicker eating juniper berries in his back yard, and Cynthia Bloomquist and Thaw Malin observed a yellow-bellied sapsucker in their yard.

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