It is the holiday season. Wow, already! A wish list of species I hope will be found before the end of the year are as follows. And I can already cross off one of them.

Female evening grosbeak — Lanny McDowell

Ned Casey reports that he had a female evening grosbeak visiting his Edgartown feeders from Dec. 15 until at least Dec. 18. This species is one of the irruptive northern finches that only head south if food is scarce much further north. Flocks of these grosbeaks will gluttonously eat sunflower seeds, quickly emptying your feeders.

We have eight records for this species on the Vineyard in the past 25 years. The previous sighting of an evening grosbeak was an unusual spring sighting on June 13, 2021. The most memorable sighting for me was on Dec. 9, 2001 in West Tisbury, with several birds calling from a nearby tree after the memorial service for the late Arnold Brown, an avid birder. I think they came to pay their last respects.

There are other irruptive northern finches that I am hoping will make an appearance soon. The most likely of these is the pine siskin, three of which have already been sighted on the Island this fall. Other species have yet to be sighted on the Island but have been sighted in Massachusetts: red crossbills have been reported from nine different locations on Cape Cod; their cousins the white-winged crossbills have one sighting on Cape Cod; and there have been two sightings of common redpolls so far this fall, again on Cape Cod.

Northern pintail — Lanny McDowell

There are three non-finch species that may make their way to our shores soon. The most conspicuous of these is the snowy owl, the large white owl of beaches and open fields that has had an historic run of sightings, being seen through much of the winter each year since the winter of 2013-2014. The Bohemian waxwing, a close cousin of our cedar waxwing, has not been seen on the Island since 2015 but there have been three seen recently on Cape Cod. A species that has yet to reach Cape Cod ­this season — though they have been sighted elsewhere in Massachusetts — is the northern shrike, which somewhat resembles a mockingbird in coloration.

These species are all relatively nearby, at least somewhere in Massachusetts. But just because they are on my wish list does not mean they will turn up later this month and/or on the annual Christmas Bird Count on Jan. 1. Hope springs eternal.

Pine warbler — Lanny McDowell

Nancy Nordin has been a busy birder who has found some good birds. The highlights from her feeders between Dec. 13 and 15 were brown creeper, golden-crowned kinglet, red-breasted nuthatch, pine warbler, yellow-rumped (formerly myrtle) warbler and American tree sparrow. On Dec. 18 she found the clay-colored sparrow that is still hanging around near the Gay Head Cliffs.

On Dec. 5 Richard Couse stood out at the end of the pier in Menemsha and “had a blast tracking the Boneparte’s gulls zipping by in the high winds. Now that’s what I call a good time!” Nancy Nordin also spotted these birds and also saw a laughing gull. At the Hoft Farm, Richard Couse found brown creeper, winter wren, hermit thrush, field sparrow and American tree sparrow on Dec. 8.

The Martha’s Vineyard Bird Club, led by Richard Couse and Lanny McDowell, had a trip to the Squibnocket parking lot and then on to Menemsha. They found hooded mergansers, lesser scaup, common eider, harlequin duck, long-tailed duck, red-breasted merganser, ruddy duck, horned grebe, common loon, laughing gull and double-crested cormorant. Gus Ben David reports that a female wood duck and an immature male pintail are regularly showing up in his ponds.

Sub-adult. male northern pintail with mallards and ring-necked ducks. — Lanny McDowell

On Dec. 15 Thaw Malin and Cynthia Bloomquist’s feeders produced the following highlights: red-breasted nuthatch, brown creeper and a large flock of 23 dark-eyed juncos.

Bob Shriber saw a pied-billed grebe at Squibnocket on Dec. 13, and two days later at Philbin Beach he found a flock of five purple sandpipers. Matt Born’s highlights at Squibnocket were four long-tailed ducks, nine ruddy ducks and a great blue heron on Dec. 14. Isaiah Freedman also spotted a great blue heron at upper Chilmark Pond on Dec. 15.

The quartet of Nancy Nordin, Cynthia Bloomquist, Lisa Maxfield and Thaw Malin visited Norton Point on Dec. 6 and saw 40 dunlins, 64 sanderlings and a lone black-bellied plover. A few greater yellowlegs are still hanging around; Joyce, Hugh and son John McCormick spotted five of them and a lingering American oystercatcher on Chappaquiddick on Dec 2, and Bob Shriber found three of them at Town Cove on Dec. 4.

Female wood duck — Lanny McDowell

There have been three sightings of bald eagles in December. Bob Shriber saw one immature at Quitsa Pond on Dec. 1; Richard Couse spotted an adult at Long Point on Dec. 4; and Susan Whiting spotted one at Old Fields Path on Dec. 13.

Lastly: two other sightings. David Stanwood spotted seven razorbills near Middle Ground Shoals on Dec. 7; it is these birds that likely range over to the beach under the West Chop cliffs occasionally. And I saw two ravens flying away from the Verizon tower and offices on Dec. 17.

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