It’s official: The pinkletinks are back in town

Spring can't be far away.

Heard Friday night in the vicinity of Lambert's Cove: Pinkletink, aka "Peeper," "Tinkletoes," "Hyla Crucifer." — courtesy U.S. Geodetic Survey
Alex Goethals, the artist of this piece, is one of the Lambert’s Cove peeper reporters. – Courtesy a friend

Our Edgartown columnist reported hearing rumors of the little harbingers of spring this week, also known as northern tree frogs (or peepers), but reports from Lambert’s Cove have made it official: Pinkletinks are singing, at least in West Tisbury.

Several Lambert’s Cove residents historically have vied for the honor of being first to report the sound of pinkletinks to us. This year, it was Nancy-Alyce Abbot, who wrote in on Friday evening, “The pinkletinks are singing tonight at 7 pm, March 16, on Lambert’s Cove Road.”

In a reversal of a trend, this first peeper report comes a good three weeks later than last year (Feb. 21), which was three days earlier than 2017 (Feb. 24). In 2015, the first peeper sang on March 27.

Pinkletinks prefer marshy ecosystems, so the early reports from Lambert’s Cove make sense. Last year, Alex Goethals was the first to call in.

In a story by Nathaniel Horwitz describing the Lambert’s Cove peeper competition, MV Times Wild Side columnist Matt Pelikan confirmed that the marsh and wetland characteristics of the Lambert’s Cove area contributed to its being host to so many early, and vocal, peepers. “They can become almost deafening when you’re up close,” he wrote. “Physically painful.”

Listen to them!