We broke the record! The final total for the Felix Neck Birdathon was 132 species, and what a couple of beautiful days we had. The official start was 6 p.m. Friday and the end was 6 p.m. on Saturday. Friday early evening was clear, so owling was possible. A brief shower in the early morning hours of Saturday gave us what is known in the birding world as a fallout. Sunny, bright and warm with a bit of wind was the weather that greeted the birders on Saturday morning. Whit Manter hit the jackpot at Squibnocket as a mixed flock of warblers and vireos plus a couple of other song birds were in the willows to greet him.

Matt Pelikan, Flip Harrington, Pat Hughes and I also observed warblers downed by the rain as they migrated north. A good mix of shorebirds was observed by Rob Culbert, and David Babson added long-legged waders from Trustees of Reservations properties on Chappaquiddick. Everyone added interesting sightings from Tisbury to Aquinnah and over to Chappaquiddick. We thank everyone who participated and those who sponsored us.

The following is a list of the birds seen. Species that nest on the Vineyard are starred — the others are migrants.


* Canada goose

* Mute swan

* Wood duck

American black duck

* Mallard

Blue-winged teal

Common eider

Harlequin duck

White-winged scoter

Black scoter

Red-breasted merganser

* Ring-necked pheasant

* Wild turkey

Common loon

Red-throated loon

Northern gannet

* Double-crested cormorant

Great blue heron

Great egret

Snowy egret

Little blue heron

* Green heron

* Black-crowned night heron

Glossy ibis

* Turkey vulture

* Osprey

* Northern harrier

Sharp-shinned hawk

* Red-tailed hawk

Black-bellied plover

Semi-palmated plover

* Piping plover

* Killdeer

* American oystercatcher

Spotted sandpiper

Solitary sandpiper

Greater yellowlegs

* Willet

Lesser yellowlegs

Ruddy turnstone

Red knot


Semi-palmated sandpiper

Least sandpiper


Short-billed dowitcher

* American woodcock

Laughing gull

Ring-billed gull

* Herring gull

* Great black-backed gull

* Least tern

* Roseate tern

* Common tern

* Rock pigeon

* Mourning dove

* Black-billed cuckoo

* Barn owl

* Eastern screech owl

Northern saw-whet owl

* Whippoorwill

* Chimney swift

* Ruby-throated hummingbird

* Belted kingfisher

* Red-bellied woodpecker

* Downy woodpecker

* Hairy woodpecker

* Northern flicker

* Eastern wood pewee

* Eastern phoebe

* Great crested flycatcher

* Eastern kingbird

* Red-eyed vireo

* Blue jay

* American crow

* Horned lark

* Tree swallow

* N. rough-winged swallow

* Bank swallow

* Barn swallow

* Black-capped chickadee

* Tufted titmouse

* Brown creeper

* White-breasted nuthatch

* Carolina wren

* House wren

* Eastern bluebird


Swainson’s thrush

* Hermit thrush

* Wood thrush

* American robin

* Grey catbird

* Northern mockingbird

* Brown thrasher

* European starling

* Blue-winged warbler

* Northern parula

* Yellow warbler

Chestnut-sided warbler

Magnolia warbler

Black-throated blue warbler

Yellow-rumped warbler

Black-throated green warbler

Blackburnian warbler

* Pine warbler

* Prairie warbler

Blackpoll warbler

* Black-and-white warbler

* American redstart

* Ovenbird

Northern waterthrush

* Common yellowthroat

Wilson’s warbler

* Scarlet tanager

* Eastern towhee

* Chipping sparrow

Field sparrow

* Savannah sparrow

* Song sparrow

White-crowned sparrow

* Northern cardinal

* Rose-breasted grosbeak

* Red-winged blackbird

* Common grackle

* Brown-headed cowbird

* Baltimore oriole

* House finch

* American goldfinch

Evening grosbeak

* House sparrow

Bird Sighting:

A few birds were seen last week that were not seen during the birdathon. They included an American golden plover seen by Floyd Norton at Bluefish Point at Katama on May 15. Unfortunately Floyd was not a member of the Birdathon team so this plover could not be counted.

Larry Hepler called me at 4:22 a.m. Saturday morning and held the phone up so a whippoorwill could be heard. Suzan Bellicampi said that, as with Floyd, Larry wasn’t on an official team so it wouldn’t count. Luckily the whippoorwill was heard by a birdathon team member elsewhere. Thanks anyway, Larry!

Matt Pelikan saw and heard a white-eyed vireo at Katama on May 16.

R.W. Price spotted a solitary sandpiper at Sengekontacket on May 16 and 17. He also spotted ruddy turnstones at Sarson’s Island on May 16, so these migrants haven’t left yet.

I didn’t have all the data on the ospreys of Martha’s Vineyard last week. Rob Bierregaard and Dick Jennings report that there are 72 breeding pairs this summer as well as 10 housekeeping pairs. Another record broken, as the total in the past was 69!

Penelope, the osprey that was fitted with a transmitter at Long Point, Tisbury Great Pond, is on her way home. Last data showed her moving parallel with Route 95 in South Carolina along the Little Pee Dee River a bit north of Florence.

Ronnee and Heidi Schultz have had a red-headed woodpecker at their West Tisbury feeder. Unfortunately none of the birdathon team members went to the Schultz’s on Saturday, as the bird was there on and off all day. We can’t get them all!

Please report your bird sightings to the Martha’s Vineyard Bird Hotline at 508-627-4922 or e-mail to birds@mvgazette.com.

Susan B. Whiting is the coauthor of Vineyard Birds and Vineyard Birds II. Her Web site is vineyardbirds2.com.