20 YEARS AGO March–April 1999 Record high numbers of American Kestrels were counted migrating past Plum Island with 297 recorded on April 7. A male Ruff was found in Ipswich on the early date of March 31. A total of 343 Common Snipe in two fields in West Bridgewater represented the second-highest count ever recorded in the state. A Lark Sparrow that had been visiting a feeder in Salisbury during the winter remained until April 3. Another feeder bird—a Yellow-headed Blackbird —continued in Nantucket throughout March. Best sighting: the state's first Pink-footed Goose that was found in Dennis in mid-January continued until April 11. 40 YEARS AGO March–April 1979 Cattle Egrets were reported from Martha's Vineyard and seven locations on Cape Cod at the end of March. A Whimbrel of the white-rumped, European subspecies, phaeopus, was on Nantucket between April 29–30. An adult Mew (Common) Gull was found in a flock of 250+ Ring-billed Gulls in East Bridgewater on April 1. At least six Great Gray Owls lingered into early March, including a bird at Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary in Topsfield that stayed until March 28. A Boreal Chickadee was found at Essex on April 25. The Varied Thrush from the previous period remained at a Chelmsford feeder until March 4 and an immature Harris's Sparrow spent five weeks in Peabody. Best sighting: some 2,000 Red-necked Grebes were packed along the bay shore between Wellfleet and Provincetown on April 4 and set a high-count record for New England and perhaps the entire country.