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 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.