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October 2015


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Donald Jones <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Birds <[log in to unmask]>
Mon, 5 Oct 2015 20:11:56 -0400
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Hi all,

This afternoon, I had an adult Red-necked Phalarope in nonbreeding plumage
at the Tri-town Water Treatment Plant in Addison. This is presumably the
same bird first found yesterday by Ali Wagner and seen by myself, Dave Hof,
and Taj Schottland. While it was impossibly distant to ID yesterday,
despite the four of us spending more than half an hour scrutinizing it,
when I spotted the bird this afternoon it was much closer and in better
light. Although still a difficult ID, I was able to pick out the dark
hindcap and neck, messy dark upperparts, and very thin bill. eBird
checklist at http://ebird.org/ebird/view/checklist?subID=S25311375.

At Whitney Creek, there was a late Baird's Sandpiper present, along with
one Least, two Pectoral, and the continuing dowitcher. I've spent more than
three hours watching this bird in the last two days, and have found it to
be one of the most difficult identifications I've ever faced. After
wavering back and forth, I was definitely leaning toward thinking it was a
Short-billed, although without any confidence. Just this evening, though, I
spoke with Dave Hof, who was at Whitney Creek after me this afternoon and
reported finally hearing vocalizations from the bird. Somewhat to my shock,
he says they were a perfect match for Long-billed! Just goes to show that
there are always birds which will be a challenge, and that it's important
to stay humble. eBird checklist at

Good birding,
Don Jones
Middlebury, VT / Laramie, WY