5 YEARS AGO January–February 2017 Ross’s Geese were recorded in multiple locations including Plum Island, Saugus, Longmeadow, Northbridge, and Concord. The Ross’s x Snow Goose hybrid found at Plum Island last period continued at Ipswich, and a Pink-footed Goose spent the period in northern Essex County. A Yellow Rail was found on the Nantucket Christmas Bird Count and a Purple Gallinule was found dead in South Truro. A Mew Gull discovered in Nahant on February 25 was banded; the number showed that it was born in Iceland in the summer of 2013. Two White-winged Doves continued throughout the period at the Fenway Victory Gardens in Boston. A Boreal Chickadee —the first since 2010—spent most of the period in Peru, western Massachusetts. A Harris’s Sparrow was present for most of January at a feeder in Dalton and a Sedge Wren continued at Fort Hill in Eastham. Best sighting: a Boreal Owl found at the Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary during the Super Bowl of Birding was the first sighting in the state since a bird in Boston in October 2000. 10 YEARS AGO January–February 2012 Rare geese lingering from the previous period included a Barnacle Goose in West Newbury and a Cackling Goose in the Jamaica Plain area. Two different Slaty-backed Gulls were reported within a day of each other: in Gloucester on January 21 and in Wellfleet on January 22. Up to seven Short-eared Owls were seen at Boston’s Logan Airport, which also hosted a Gyrfalcon on February 11. The Cassin’s Kingbird , found at West Newbury on November 25, continued until January 14, and the Townsend’s Warbler , visiting Jim and Natalie Berry’s feeder in Ipswich, continued through the whole period. A Spotted Towhee found in Rockport on January 26 stayed until February 25. Best sighting: a very cooperative Lazuli Bunting at Wellfleet Bay Wildlife Sanctuary on February 4–28. This was the third record for Massachusetts. 20 YEARS AGO January–February 2002 An Eared Grebe was in Sandy Neck, Barnstable in mid-January, in addition to the regular wintering bird in Gloucester. A Gyrfalcon found on the Boston Christmas Bird Count in December continued throughout the period alternating between Logan Airport and a building in South Boston. Single Red-headed Woodpeckers were found in Melrose and Great Esker Park in Weymouth. A Western Kingbird was recorded from Woods Hole in January. The Gray Jay first found in December in Windsor continued through the first half of January, and Boreal Chickadees were reported from five locations. A Townsend’s Solitaire was in Essex in February, and a Varied Thrush was reported from Belchertown. Unusual warblers included a Townsend’s Warbler photographed in Centerville and a Yellow-throated Warbler that visited a Scituate feeder for two days in February. Best sighting: a Barnacle Goose was in Lynnfield and Wakefield marshes from February 17–19. This was the first record for the state that was accepted as a wild bird. 40 YEARS AGO January–February 1982 Five Greater White-fronted Geese were in the Newburyport area for much of February. A probable Western Grebe (at the time recorded as a “dark-morph Western Grebe”–distinct from the light morph which was later split as Clark’s Grebe) was recorded on the Nantucket Christmas Bird Count on January 2. An injured Yellow Rail was found on North Beach, Chatham on January 13. It died in rehabilitation and the specimen was donated to the Massachusetts Audubon Society in Lincoln. An overwintering Marbled Godwit was in Scituate for the whole of February. A Gyrfalcon (one of three for the period) was found in Squantum during the Take A Second Look (TASL) harbor census. Varied Thrushes were reported from Eastham, Dennis, and Framingham, and the Townsend’s Solitaire continued on Martha’s Vineyard until February 10. Best sighting: an immature Golden-crowned Sparrow visited feeders in Holyoke. The owners, the Bigelows, generously invited birders into their home to view the bird.