Hi Larry & Mona
There are probably only 3 choices for your sandpiper ( I almost never think anything rare so I don't go there)
Western and Semipalmated sandpipers or Sanderling. You mentioned 'medium' which for me means 8" instead of smallish 6.5" (which the Western and Semi are 6.5" and the Sanderling 8" but I don't put a whole lot of concern to and inch size difference if the bird is alone as this one is . Also there is a tremendous amount of variation in bill size and shape for each of those species.
This time of year there is also lots of variation in their plumage with juveniles and adults going from breeding to winter plumage. In your picture unfortunately all the feathering is very dark but at least it is clear the underside is primarily white and un-streaked. Just looking at its bill and coloring of head area (even with angle of bird bill can be seen differently) I like it for a Western juvenile. If you google Western Sandpiper photos, you can look through dozens of Westerns in various plumage and see their bills from lots of angles. But this is still a guess : (
Subject: Help with Sandpiper ID (way off topic)
Date: Wed Sep 4 2013 7:41 am
From: 4181rogers AT comcast.net We were at Jones Beach on Long Island last week and saw a lot of medium sized sandpipers with black legs, a longish slightly downcurved bill, and dark eye stripe and neck ring. We can't figure out what we saw. They looked ploverish but the bill was too long and thin.
We realize that this has very little to do with Vermont birds but would appreciate some help.
Larry and Mona
- See more at: http://birding.aba.org/message.php?mesid=505838&MLID=VT&MLNM=Vermont#sthash.6InvZg51.dpuf