Tom Ford-Hutchinson and I birded the Colchester causeway from two  
directions this afternoon/evening.  Tom started at the south end in  
Colchester and walked to the cut while I went up to south hero.  Tom  
called me as I was driving up to let me know that he was watching an  
owl flying away from the causeway.  When I got up to South Hero, I was  
able to watch the owl flying back toward and then past the causeway.   
However, it was not a Snowy Owl, as we had expected, but was actually  
a SHORT-EARED OWL.  I then moved to another location to get a better  
view of the cut, where I watched the owl circle a few times and then  
land in a tree (I think on the Colchester end).  However, when I  
walked out to the cut, I could not re-find the bird.

Other birds I saw from the South Hero end include:
SCAUP sp.(the very large flock is still just off shore.  I assume both  
greater and lesser, but the light was very bad and I did not bother to  
differentiate the two.

Tom mentioned seeing a few other birds in addition to what I saw above  

(I may have missed a few others that Tom had mentioned)

Michael Lester

Quoting Stephen Antell <[log in to unmask]>:

> I walked all the way out to the cut from the Colchester side today but was
> unable to find the purple sandpipers.  My disappointment was largely
> mitigated though by the female snowy owl sitting on the rocks.  It took off
> toward land while I was making my way back, so I don't know if others are
> likely to find it there again.  A spectacular morning for a walk on the
> causeway.
> Steve Antell
> From: Vermont Birds [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Jim Mead
> Sent: Tuesday, November 11, 2008 12:26 PM
> To: [log in to unmask]
> Subject: [VTBIRD] Purple Sandpipers at Colchester Causeway
> Hi All,
> After reading Doug and Spencer Hardy's posting yesterday regarding the two
> Purple Sandpipers flying by at a close distance, I headed there this
> morning. I
> was at the steel bridge when a new birder named, Marianne Ward caught up
> to me. We began walking together and just beyond the 2.5 mile post she
> said, "What are those?" I said, "Where?" Then she said, "I just saw some
> small
> birds over there". She was pointing ahead on the left (west) side of the
> causeway. We walked a little further and she said, "There they are, what are
> they?" I put my binos on them and said, "Those are PURPLE SANDPIPERS". I
> counted 13 of them. They took off heading north. I relocated them again on
> the west side of the causway a little while later, as we were walking north.
> I
> counted 13 of them again, and then they took off heading south. Then, we
> found a group on the east side of the causeway. I counted 12 and then
> another one joined them, from an area left of the rock that they were on. As
> we got closer to them , I saw 6 more on a rock next to the other 13, for a
> total of 19 in one group. We watched them for a while and then they took off
> headind east. I had to get going about then. Marianne kept heading north and
> I headed back. On the way in I found 14 Purple Sandpipers on the east side
> of
> the causeway. My official count is 19 all together because that is how many
> I
> am certain that I saw at the same time. The original 13 could have been
> joined by 6 more. The 14 could have been part of the group of 19. All of
> these
> Purple Sandpipers were seen past the 2.5 mile post coming from the
> Colchester side of the causeway. The first 13 were seen at 9:33 a.m. The
> last
> 14 were seen at 10:33 a.m.
> Enjoy Birds,
> Jim Mead