It is springtime! Well, by the calendar at least. And the number of migrants arriving continues to increase. Three species have arrived this week.

A great egret showed up in the marshes of Brush Pond on March 15, spotted by both Lisa Maxfield and Joanie Ames.

A number of American oystercatchers have appeared. Suzan Bellincampi was the first to report one, in the marshes of Sengekontacket Pond on March 13. Ann and James Suozzo spotted one in the Bend in the Road marshes of Sengekontacket Pond on March 15, while that same day Vasha Brunelle observed one at Ferryboat Island. And Penny Uhlendorf saw one as it flew across Beach Road in Vineyard Haven on March 16.

American oystercatcher. — Lanny McDowell

The third species is the brown-headed cowbird which visited Jill Bouck’s feeders on March 16. She also reports her first female red-winged blackbird of the season and that her flock of grackles has moved on.

Early male red-wings have been around since February, but many males were singing all over the fields at Katama on March 14, as reported by both Mike Ditchfield and John Nelson.

Ospreys are returning in greater numbers. Ned and Joy Robinson-Lynch saw one at Windy Gates on March 12. Mariah Ben David found one on March 15 near the Edgartown transfer station; Maria Newton Thibodeau saw one that same day at nearly the same location. Also that day, Polly Bassett saw one from her office as it was fishing in the nearby harbor. Tracie Clark reports one of the Lobsterville birds has returned to its nesting pole on March 15, and Bob Shriber observed it the next day. One of the Head of the Lagoon birds returned on March 16, as reported by both Matt Pelikan and Dick Jennings. And Laurie Meyst spotted one at Squibnocket on March 17.

Purple sandpiper. — Lanny McDowell

They may be overwintering birds that have gone unreported until now, or they may be migrants; we will never know. John Nelson spotted two meadowlarks at Katama Airpark on March 15. This species used to be common during all seasons but now we rarely find them.

Bob Shriber spotted eight purple sandpipers at Philbin Beach and six harlequin ducks at Squibnocket on March 16.

On the large predator front, Sharon Simonin spotted a northern harrier at Cow Bay on March 16. Even larger are the two bald eagles spotted by Michael Whittemore near North Road in Chilmark on March 12. Albert Fischer also spotted two eagles at Squibnocket on March 14.

It is a good time of the year to hear owls, and Ira Certner reports that he has been hearing both great horned owls and screech owls calling from the northeast corner of State Forest this winter.

Waterfowl are on the move. Many of them are winter residents that are already starting to depart for their more northern nesting grounds. So sightings now may become the last sighting of the season. Cheska Zayda spotted a long-tailed duck in Edgartown Harbor on March 11. In Middlepoint Cove, Martha Moore spotted an American wigeon on March 12, and a northern pintail on March 13. I observed the flock of about 60 brant in Ocean Park on March 13. James Suozzo visited Squibnocket on March 16 and notes that many of the ducks have already left. He only spotted harlequin ducks, surf and black scoters, and bufflehead. Though they are not ducks, he also spotted both horned grebes and great cormorants.

Brown headed cowbirds. — Lanny McDowell

There has been a male Barrow’s goldeneye hanging out with a flock of common goldeneyes in Sengekontacket Pond since mid-January. Jeff Bernier recently photographed a female Barrows there. Has it been there all along or did it just join the flock?

Finally, back in late February Gus Ben David reported a glaucous gull visited his yard. Last week I reported two other sightings of this species, both of which were near the Head of the Lagoon. Were these sightings all of the same individual?

Spring is here and their northward migration has only just begun! Please report your sightings to

More bird photos.

Robert Culbert schedules private guided birding tours, and is an ecological consultant with Nature Watch LLC living in Vineyard Haven.