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October 2014


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Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Eric Hynes <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 20 Oct 2014 21:48:20 -0400
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Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
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Hello Vermont Birders:

Three cheers to the VT birding community. My request for information was
met with multiple courteous and insightful responses. No surprise there,
but it was truly appreciated.

I launched my canoe this morning at the little access point off Shipyard
Road in Highgate Springs and paddled across Goose Bay to the mouth of Dead

All of the shorebirds I could find were concentrated just to the east of
the mouth of the creek. They were mostly roosting on driftwood logs or
standing in the shallows. Considering where in the world I was, it shocked
me to see 106 Dunlin. All the Dunlin I got close enough to scrutinize were
juveniles molting into basic/first winter plumage. Conspicuously larger
among the Dunlin were 16 Black-bellied Plovers. The BBPL also appeared to
be all juveniles. Two White-rumped Sandpipers and a Pectoral Sandpiper
added some diversity.

I was starting to think I was going to dip on both rarities when a
Hudsonian Godwit came flying in high from the west and settled down near
the Dunlin horde.

No sign of the American Avocet during the hour and a half that I was out
there but there is a ton of habitat to the west that I didn't cover.

Other noteworthy species were a Bald Eagle, a Peregrine Falcon with a
shorebird in its talons, and two White-winged Scoters.

A couple FYIs:

1. If you intend to visit the area by boat/canoe/kayak, I recommend
bringing a scope. The area around the mouth is very shallow. Also there are
a bunch of posted signs of no trespassing stuck way out into the lake
(struck me as odd that you could be in a boat on the lake and trespass?) in
this area. The substrate in these shallows was quiet firm. I wish I had my
scope with me so I could stand in boot deep water beyond the posted signs,
with my back to the sun, and study them better. I'm sure I might have
overlooked a few goodies.

2. Be aware that the area immediately to the west, Big Marsh Slough, is a
popular duck hunting spot. The din of shotgun blasts kept me from traveling
up Dead Creek or to the west.

Beautiful morning to be out.


Eric Hynes
Burlington, VT
Field Guides Birding Tours