20 YEARS AGO January–February 1998 An immature Brown Pelican fishing in the frigid surf off Nantucket in January was the first winter record of this species for the state. A Gyrfalcon arrived at Logan Airport on January 10 for a layover that lasted through February and into March. An Eastern Whip-poor-will on Martha's Vineyard was the first January record for the state, possibly a beneficiary of the mild winter that year, which was attributed to the El Niño effect. Best sighting: Ancient Murrelet , Race Point, Provincetown, January 4. This was the second record for the state of this north Pacific alcid, the first being from Rockport in November 1992. 40 YEARS AGO January–February 1978 Five Cattle Egrets in Westport on January 28 became the first winter record for this species in the state. A high count of 1,500 Canvasbacks in Assonet was not atypical for the period 1975–1981. An impressive 13 Goshawks were counted in January and a gray phase Gyrfalcon was present at Orleans February 11–15. Red Knots overwintered, including 50 at Revere Beach. Boreal Chickadees were recorded in West Boylston, Waltham and Clinton. A flock of European Starlings on Martha's Vineyard included a male Brewer's Blackbird . 1977–1978 saw an excellent flight of winter finches: 1,000+ Pine Grosbeaks in the state; 1,258 Pine Siskins on the Concord CBC, and 500 at one feeder in Lincoln; and Plum Island alone hosted 27 Red Crossbills and over 200 White-winged Crossbills. Best sighting: Eurasian Curlew , Menemsha Pond, Martha's Vineyard, February l8. This bird, the second record for Massachusetts, stayed into March.