As I write this we are heading into a week where the temperatures will mostly be below freezing. Brrr. Maybe the groundhog’s prediction of six more weeks of winter will prove accurate. But the optimist in me heard more bird song this week — white-breasted nuthatches, tufted titmice and cardinals joined the previously heard Carolina wrens, chickadees and song sparrows. And I just talked to Allan Keith, who reports that Canada geese have begun to pair up, flying together and hanging out on the edges of the larger flocks. Spring is in the air. Bird Sightings

Black crowned night heron. — Lanny McDowell

We have a few reports of birds attempting to survive the winter rather than heading further south. The most interesting of these sightings are Bob Shriber’s Feb. 7 sighting of a greater yellowlegs in Aquinnah and two ruddy ducks on Squibncket Pond on Feb. 3.

Jeff Peters caught up with the Lapland longspur that has been hanging out with the flock of 60 snow buntings in Katama on Feb. 5. This latter species is not easy to catch up with; I have been trying for weeks.

Other hopefully hardy birds attempting to overwinter include the following. On Feb. 2, Lanny McDowell spotted a flock of red crossbills in the pines near his house. Thaw Malin and Cynthia Bloomquist report that two fox sparrows, robins and an eastern towhee were in their yard on both Jan. 30 and Feb. 3. Also that day, Mike Tinus spotted an eastern meadowlark and a northern harrier at Katama Farm, and Stuart Norton spotted four green-winged teal standing on the submerged ice in a small pond at Sweetened Water Farm.

Eastern meadowlark. — Lanny McDowell

On Feb. 7, Luanne Johnson checked Norton Point and spotted four gadwall and nice numbers of winter resident shorebirds: 27 black-bellied plover, 26 sanderling and 73 dunlin. And that same day at Katama Farm I spotted a merlin, kestrel, horned larks and a single red-winged blackbird amongst a flock of 250 starlings. Will these birds stick around now that the forecast is for mostly below-freezing temperatures for the next week?

Both Ned Casey and Tom Hodgson spotted golden-crowned kinglets on the ground near feeders on Feb. 4 and Feb. 1, respectively. This is unusual as this species normally resides in the upper reaches of evergreen trees.

Tufted titmouse. — Lanny McDowell

John Nelson spotted a flock of 38 greater scaup in Oak Bluffs harbor on Jan. 31, and an unfortunately dead razorbill at the East Chop Beach Club. There were 25 robins at the East Chop Lighthouse on Feb. 8.

Finally, Katherine May-Waite spotted one of the adult bald eagles at the Mill Pond on Feb. 6, where there also was a pair of river otters on the ice, one of which had caught a large-mouthed bass (yes, I know they are not birds).

The list of species seen on the Jan. 2 Christmas Bird Count follows.

Snow goose (2); greater white fronted goose (1); brant (293); canada goose (3560); mute swan (66); wood duck (count week), gadwall (70; Eurasian wigeon (count week); American wigeon (50); American black duck (465); mallard (629); black duck/mallard hybrid (1); northern pintail (1); green-winged teal (108); redhead (1); ring-necked duck (55); greater scaup (449); lesser scaup (13); common eider (1188); harlequin duck (33); surf scoter (345); white-winged scoter (446); black scoter (92); long-tailed duck (771); bufflehead (1249); common goldeneye (251); hooded merganser (211); common merganser (12); red-breasted merganser (885); ruddy duck (count week); ring-necked pheasant (1); wild turkey (264); red-throated loon (39); common loon (145); horned grebe (6); red-necked grebe (1); northern gannet (292); double-crested cormorant (66); great cormorant (20); great blue heron (23); great egret (1); black-crowned night heron(18); turkey vulture (70); northern harrier (11); sharp-shinned hawk (5); Cooper’s hawk (13); bald eagle (1); red-tailed hawk (36); Virginia rail (2); American oystercatcher (2); black-bellied plover (21); greater yellowlegs (3); sanderling (233); dunlin (51); purple sandpiper (10); American woodcock (count week); dovekie (41); razorbill (21); black-legged kittiwake (70); Bonaparte’s gull (4); ring-billed gull (189); herring gull (1483); lesser black-backed gull (6); great black-backed gull (318); tern species (5); rock pigeon (91); mourning dove (210); barn owl (4); eastern screech-owl (4); great horned owl (1); belted kingfisher (19); red-bellied woodpecker (77); yellow-bellied sapsucker (5); downy woodpecker (127); hairy woodpecker (21); northern flicker (66); American kestrel (count week); merlin (2); peregrine falcon (1); eastern phoebe (2); blue jay (322); American crow (1922); fish crow (757); common raven (1); horned lark (95); black-capped chickadee (1187); tufted titmouse (292); red-breasted nuthatch (113); white-breasted nuthatch (159); brown creeper (9); winter wren (4); Carolina wren (215); golden-crowned kinglet (16); ruby-crowned kinglet (4); eastern bluebird (124); hermit thrush (5); American robin (826); gray catbird (11); brown thrasher (1); northern mockingbird (11); European starling (560); American pipit (29); cedar waxwing (20); snow bunting (78); black-and-white warbler (1); palm warbler (4); pine warbler (26); yellow-rumped warbler(116); yellow-breasted chat (2); grasshopper sparrow (2); American tree sparrow (5); chipping sparrow (count week); field sparrow (9); fox sparrow (2); dark-eyed junco (191); white-throated sparrow (135) savannah sparrow (21); ‘Ipswich’ sparrow (1); song sparrow (232); Lincoln’s sparrow (count week); swamp sparrow (9); eastern towhee (7); northern cardinal (240); red-winged blackbird (27); eastern meadowlark (14); brown-headed cowbird (4); Baltimore oriole (1); house finch (152) purple finch (1); red crossbill (20); common redpoll (count week); American goldfinch (140); house sparrow (122).

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