5 YEARS AGO November–December 2017 Six Ross’s Geese were recorded from four coastal locations. Westfield hosted a Pink-footed Goose and a Barnacle Goose. A Tundra Swan was on Farrar Pond, Lincoln, on November 10, and an Eared Grebe was photographed off Race Point, Provincetown in early December. An American White Pelican was in Marshfield and an immature Brown Pelican was reported in Nahant and Barnstable. Cattle Egrets were in four locations in November. Snowy Owls were reported from 14 locations, including a single-day high of 16 individuals at Plum Island on December 18. A Barn Owl was found roosting in a garage in Lexington in mid-December. Hammond’s Flycatchers—the sixth and seventh records for the state—were found in Concord and Medford in November, and four Ash-throated Flycatchers were scattered around the coast. A Bell’s Vireo—the eighth record for the state—spent 16 days in Fairhaven. Other passerine highlights included a Townsend’s Solitaire in Dartmouth, a MacGillivray’s Warbler in Hadley, a Black-throated Gray Warbler in Wakefield, and a male Painted Bunting in Mashpee. Best sighting: A Western Meadowlark at Plum Island on November 21–23. Despite many historical reports, this was the first substantiated record reviewed by the Massachusetts Avian Records Committee (MARC) and the first accepted record for the state. Since then, two more records have been accepted—single birds in Eastham on February 22, 2014, and on Cuttyhunk Island on October 24, 2020. 10 YEARS AGO November–December 2012 A Ross’s Goose continued in Sharon through December 20. Up to four Western Grebes were present at Plum Island, and another was found in Orleans. Allen’s Hummingbirds were noted from Great Barrington and Martha’s Vineyard and six Rufous Hummingbirds were banded—in Concord, Amherst, West Bridgewater, and three on Cape Cod. Two Northern Lapwings continued on Nantucket with additional single birds discovered in Middleboro and Bridgewater. A Black-capped Petrel was sighted at Andrew’s Point in Rockport on December 21. A Little Egret was discovered in Barnstable on November 21, and a White Ibis was at Allens Pond in mid-November. Hurricane Sandy blew through Massachusetts in the last days of October bringing Brown Pelicans to nine locations, with up to three birds seen at once. The hurricane also brought an Ash-throated Flycatcher to Squantum, a Scissor-tailed Flycatcher to Wellfleet, and a LeConte’s Sparrow to Eastham. Other novelties of the period included a Mountain Bluebird in Gloucester, a Varied Thrush on Cuttyhunk, a MacGillivray’s Warbler in the Fenway, four Audubon’s Warblers , a Western Tanager in Berkley, a Bullock’s Oriole in Marblehead, a Yellow-headed Blackbird at Cumberland Farms, and a Painted Bunting on Thompson Island. Best sighting: A Black-browed Albatross was photographed on December 2. It was 50 miles southeast of Point Judith, Rhode Island—just four miles into Massachusetts state waters. This was the third accepted record for the state and the first to be photographed. 20 YEARS AGO November–December 2002 A Barnacle Goose , present in Ipswich on November 7–11, was the first record accepted by the state as representing a genuine, wild vagrant. Eared Grebes were reported from Salisbury, Plum Island, and Gloucester Harbor. Western Grebes were found at Plum Island and Plymouth. An unprecedented movement of Red-throated Loons was observed in mid-November, a result of a northeast storm hitting at their migration peak. The high count was on November 17 when 10,080 passed Corporation Beach in Dennis. The adult Gyrfalcon returned to its South Boston haunts on December 13. A Cassin’s Kingbird , present in Whately on November 1–2, was the second accepted record for the state coming 40 years after the first. The state’s third Say’s Phoebe was found in Pittsfield on November 6. Other November highlights included a Varied Thrush that was banded at Manomet, and a female Brewer’s Blackbird in Ipswich. A first-year male Yellow-headed Blackbird spent the beginning of December in West Bridgewater. Best sighting: an immature male Calliope Hummingbird was visiting a feeder in Eastham, November 1–December 19. Its identification was only established on December 15 by a visiting Cape Cod Christmas Bird Count (CBC). It was the first record for the state. There have been six more records since. 40 YEARS AGO November–December 1982 An adult and immature Tundra Swan were present on Nantucket for much of the period. A Western Grebe —possibly the same bird returning from the previous winter—was found at Duxbury Beach on November 28 and stayed through the end of the year. Up to nine Cattle Egrets were present in Ipswich with others at Eastham, Marshfield, North Carver, Truro, and Nantucket. A Golden Eagle was spotted over Provincetown on November 28. An American Three-toed Woodpecker was reported in Brewster on November 2. A Red-bellied Woodpecker continued in Holden. Two additional birds were seen on the Buzzards Bay CBC as well as one on the Plymouth count. A late Ash-throated Flycatcher was discovered in Magnolia on December 27. A Western Tanager was found in Chatham in the last week of December. A Henslow’s Sparrow was discovered in a field adjacent to the Brookline incinerator during the CBC and remained for the rest of the month. Best sighting: a Eurasian Jackdaw was found near Tom Nevers Head on Nantucket on November 28. The bird remained on the island for more than four years, during which time it was joined by a second individual on July 9, 1984. These are the only records of this Eurasian corvid for the state.