Don Jones got me out for an afternoon of birding in Addison County today. All the usual spots were very slow, with hardly any noteworthy birds...until we got to McCuen Slang. There we quickly spotted a large shorebird sleeping on floating reeds at the edge of the shallows far out into the lake. It was too far to ID from the parking lot, so we headed out towards the duck blind on the spit of land to the south. Along the way, I flushed a small bird from some tall grass. It perched momentarily in the open on a willow branch--yellow warbler, gray hood, thin eye ring...and then it WALKED along the branch out of sight--CONNECTICUT WARBLER! When we finally got to the end of the spit, the shorebird was still there, and awake. It was still distant, but the really long bill, dark legs, and relatively unmarked chest confirmed our faint suspicion--HUDSONIAN GODWIT.
All in all, not a big numbers of bird, but a lot of other interesting species including one American Coot, two Ruddy Ducks, and a Winter Wren.
The biggest surprises are often when you least expect them!