After getting my closest look ever at red-necked grebe in breeding plumage, I had about decided that it was a pretty good consolation prize for the missing phalarope.
It was raining, cold, and windy as several of us searched the pond from the access just off VT 100. Five birders had gotten great looks at spotted sandpipers and a greater yellowlegs, all posed close to the parking lot when a tremendous clap of thunder lifted us nearly as far into the air as the it did the birds we were watching. We agreed that that one had been rather close. One man said, "I'm getting in the car." His companion said to him, "What kind of birder are you?!" He allowed as he didn't want to get hit by lightning. "Not even for a phalarope?" I asked, not entirely kidding.
After driving over to the road that goes across the dam, however, my luck improved. Two helpful birders pointed out the phalarope, which was so close to the dam that I couldn't see it from my vantage point on the other side of the control structure. The sun broke through the clouds at almost the same time that I finally spotted the little guy. He phalaroped around in a most engaging manner as I watched him out of sight.
On the way home--the long way, via Dead Creek--I found a Dunlin at the west end of the goose-viewing area...a fine end to a day of good birds.