20 YEARS AGO July–August 2000 At least six pairs of Ospreys nested on the North Shore, “more than ever before”. A pair of Sharp-shinned Hawks nested in Essex County for the first time since 1896. An adult King Rail was found with downy young in Orleans in July. Rare shorebirds were limited to a Black-necked Stilt at South Monomoy, and an American Avocet and Ruff at Plum Island. A South Polar Skua was photographed on Stellwagen Bank on July 17. A California Gull was found at South Beach in Chatham on July 23, the second accepted record for the state. Gull-billed Terns were reported from Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard, and a Bridled Tern was at Muskeget Island. Breeding firsts were confirmed for Tufted Titmouse and Rose-breasted Grosbeak on Martha’s Vineyard. A rare summering Blue Grosbeak was in Southwick, June 23–July 14. Best sighting: male Garganey , Plum Island, August 4–11. This bird, in eclipse plumage, was accepted as wild and remains the most recent record for this species in Massachusetts. 40 YEARS AGO July–August 1980 Two Audubon’s Shearwaters were spotted 55 miles south of Nantucket on July 27. An adult Red-necked Stint was at Scituate (Third Cliff), July 17–22. This was the second record for the state, hot on the heels of the first, found only a month earlier at Monomoy, June 24. Two American Avocets were at Plum Island. A White-winged Dove at the Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary, July 2–4, was the second record for the sanctuary. A Sabine’s Gull was spotted at Stellwagen Bank on August 15, and a Gull-billed Tern was on Monomoy, August 10. Also on Monomoy was a Loggerhead Shrike on August 24. A Barn Owl pair with four young was seen at Newburyport on August 12. Best sighting: Burrowing Owl , Martha’s Vineyard, July 12–22. This was presumably the same bird that was first found in Plymouth on May 13 and then again on Monomoy. It is the second record for the state after the first in Newburyport in May 1875.