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Hello Vermont Birders:

I am pleased to read others caught up to the Purple Sandpiper (PUSA) Becky
Marvil and I were lucky enough to find.  I posted an image of the chubby
shorebird to my Flickr account at:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/emhimages/sets/72157628340859335/with/6480088553/

Finding a Snowy Owl in the Champlain Valley was our goal when we set out
for an afternoon of birding.  We had no luck turning snow-covered dirt
clumps into Snowies but the PUSA was a nice consolation prize.  We also
enjoyed at least five Rough-legged Hawks (four dark morphs).  An adult Bald
Eagle flushing the Snow Geese (still ~4,000 strong) at Dead Creek WMA made
for an incredible show.  A Great Blue Heron was lingering along the
shoreline at Stone Bridge Dam as well.

Burlington CBC birders might be interested in yesterday's highlight.  I was
picking up my niece from daycare at Pine Forest near the railroad tracks on
lower Flynn Ave at 4:30 p.m.  A mostly silent mass of crows was swirling
just over the treetops which I quickly made a gross estimate of 1,500
birds.  If the roost isn't right there, it can't be far away.

Good birding,

Eric Hynes
South Burlington