20 YEARS AGO November–December 2000 November–December 2000 An adult Black Brant , Branta bernicla nigricans , was found at Plymouth on November 4. There were fewer than 10 records of this subspecies in the state. An immature Gyrfalcon spent almost three weeks at the Plum Island salt marshes, proving surprisingly reliable for the many birders who chased it. A Yellow Rail was flushed from a Nantucket marsh on November 28. A Barn Owl was found in the dunes along South Beach in Chatham in November. The Mountain Bluebird , the fifth for the state, remained at the Concord sewer beds until November 2. Other rare passerines included Western Tanagers in Gloucester and East Falmouth, a Henslow’s Sparrow in Dorchester, and a Sedge Wren on Nantucket. Best sighting: Tropical Kingbird at World’s End in Hingham, November 8–30. This represents the first state report of this species. 40 YEARS AGO November–December 1980 November–December 1980 Four Tundra Swans (then known as Whistling Swans) were observed flying between Ipswich and Plum Island in December, and another was seen in Nantucket on the CBC. An impressive 18 Northern Goshawks were reported, including three on the Newburyport CBC and four on the Concord CBC. The Newburyport CBC also turned up a Barn Owl on December 27. Nine Boreal Chickadees were scattered around the state, including three in Salisbury, and two in Wellesley. A Sedge Wren (then known as Short-billed Marsh Wren) was banded in Nantucket in November and lingered long enough to make the CBC. The Loggerhead Shrike that appeared in Salisbury on September 13 stayed until November 25. Marlboro hosted a Varied Thrush on December 21–22. Three Brewer’s Blackbirds were found in Marshfield on November 9–12. A male Black-headed Grosbeak was reported from a feeder in Walpole, December 2–27. The Concord CBC, held on December 28, recorded 915 Evening Grosbeaks, 33 Pine Grosbeaks, 123 Purple Finches, 95 Common Redpolls, and 74 Pine Siskins. Best sighting: Ash-throated Flycatcher , Wellesley, November 11–12. This was the third record for 1980, before which there had been only three records for the state.