The southward migration has been raging since late June, and it will continue into the early weeks of next year. Now it is our arriving winter residents that are powering this influx.

Most prominent in this list is the common gallinule spotted by Nancy Weaver, Luanne Johnson and Margaret Curtin at Head of the Lagoon on Nov. 15. This immature bird was swimming in and out of the shoreline vegetation, methodically pumping its neck back and forth as it swam. This species is not seen every year. A close relative, the more common American coot, was spotted by Susan Whiting and Bob Shriber on Nov. 15 at Black-Point Pond. They also spotted gadwall, northern pintail, and an amazing four pied-billed grebes. Allan Keith spotted the latter species the day before in Squibnocket Pond.

An eagerly anticipated species (the first snowy owl of the season) was spotted by Ned Casey at Katama on Nov. 10. This bird has not been re-sighted. They used to be considered an irruptive species, but they may have lost that label since we have found them every winter since 2013-2014. Whether irruptive or not, seeing this heavyset day-time owl from the Arctic is a highlight of anyone’s day.

Common gallinule. — Lanny McDowell

The first purple sandpipers were spotted this week, once on some rocks offshore of Aquinnah by Lanny McDowell on Nov. 14, and then by Luanne Johnson at Philbin Beach that same day. This sandpiper prefers rocky shorelines rather than sandy beaches, so maybe we should call it a purple rockpiper.

Mike Zoll reports a dark adult blue morph snow goose in a flock of Canada geese at Farm Neck on Nov. 15. Two facts make it unlikely that this sighting is one of Gus Ben David’s captive but full-winged birds: there was only one snow goose and there have been numerous recent sightings of wild snow geese elsewhere in southeastern Massachusetts.

And on Nov. 14 Bryn Willingham and James Freitas saw and photographed an eastern meadowlark at Long Point. Nowadays this species is mostly a fall transient. Alas, they used to be a fairly abundant year-round resident. They also spotted red-tailed hawk, northern harrier, surf scoter, Atlantic brant and eastern bluebirds. Influx indeed!

Bird Sightings Allan Keith has spotted a few interesting species, including an indigo bunting, blackpoll warbler and palm warbler in Aquinnah on Nov. 9. The next day at Squibnocket he spotted two ruby-crowned kinglets, hooded mergansers and four great egrets in Quitsa Pond. The latter were also seen by Luanne Johnson on Nov. 14. That same day at Squibnocket, Mr. Keith’s highlights were both ruby and golden-crowned kinglets, a peregrine falcon, and a yellow-bellied sapsucker. The next day he found six wood ducks on a pond at his farm, and there was a flock of more than 100 northern gannets sitting on the water off the Gay Head cliffs. On Nov. 10, Bob Shriber spotted a long-tailed duck at Squibnocket. On Nov. 15 he birded Black Point Pond with Susan Whiting. In addition to the species mentioned above, their highlights included 75 green-winged teal, two marsh wrens, both Lincoln’s and swamp sparrows, a Baltimore oriole, and a lingering osprey which Martha Moore had seen on Nov. 12 on Middlepoint Cove.

Pied billed grebe. — Lanny McDowell

Phil Edmundson spotted an adult bald eagle along the south shore on Nov. 10 that was headed from West Tisbury toward Edgartown.

John Nelson spotted a male kestrel at Katama Farm on Nov. 12 and 13, while I spotted a female kestrel flying overhead there on Nov. 15.

The Gay Head cliffs are still an active place for birders. On Nov. 14 Lanny McDowell, Allan Keith, Luanne Johnson and Bob Shriber visited there and their highlights include killdeer, merlins and tree sparrow, while elsewhere in Aquinnah they found white-throated and field sparrows, hermit thrushes, purple finch and yellow-bellied sapsucker. Bob Shriber adds to the Aquinnah list a greater yellowlegs Nov. 10, common raven Nov. 11, and a house wren Nov. 13.

In Vineyard Haven outer harbor the next day, Lanny McDowell spotted 35 Bonaparte’s gulls and a flock of 9 common loons.

White-throated sparrows and dark-eyed juncos are increasing in abundance. One or both of these species have been seen by Peter Enrich near Tea Lane Farm on Nov. 9, Martha Moore near Middlepoint Cove on Nov. 12, Sioux Eagle at home on Nov. 13, Luanne Johnson along Lighthouse Road on Nov. 14, and on Nov. 15 Thaw Malin and Cynthia Bloomquist at home, Luanne Johnson at the Head of the Lagoon and the Frisbee golf course, and me at Slough Cove.

Purple sandpiper — Lanny McDowell

Double-crested cormorants are departing for southern climes. Gus Ben David watched as a flock of over 200 cormorants departed from Sengekontacket Pond in early November. Small numbers of cormorants remain and have been seen by Phil Edmondson on Watcha Pond on Nov. 10 and Pete Gilmore at Lambert’s Cove Beach Nov. 11. On Nov. 14 Pete Gilmore at Sheriff’s Meadow Sanctuary, Bob Shriber in Aquinnah, and me at the west arm of the Lagoon. The next day it was Luanne Johnson at the Head of the Lagoon, Susan Whiting and Bob Shriber at Black Point Pond, and me at Edgartown Great Pond.

Finally, Joyce and Hugh McCormick visited Little Beach on Nov. 15 and spotted six Common Goldeneyes, 12 American Oystercatchers, Buffleheads, and a flock of brant. The previous day, Rachel and Kristoffer Mack heard a unique bird call near the Menemsha Coast Guard Station and spotted the first belted kingfisher they have seen on the Island.

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More bird pictures.

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