My husband, JC, and I were fortunate to stop at Shelburne Bay yesterday afternoon and find Jim and Paul, who generously shared their scopes and their sightings and their expertise with us.  JC and I are novice and enthusiastic birders and we greatly appreciated their time and information.  Vermont has a wonderful birding community!

Take care, and happy birding,
Val Biebuyck
Rutland, VT

Sent from my iPad

On Sep 7, 2012, at 4:44 AM, Jim Mead <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> I was at Shelburne Bay late this afternoon and eventually confirmed a Stilt 
> Sandpiper- long story. . On Wednesday evening I was there and birding with 
> Scott Sainsbury & Alison Wagner. Scott was about to leave when I announced 
> that I might have a "good candidate" for Stilt Sandpiper. Alison then got onto 
> it with her scope and we tried & tried to ID it but it was simply too far out 
> toward the east to get what I consider to be a positive ID, so we had to let it 
> go. Tonight I saw what could possibly be the same bird and it was again too 
> far out to positively ID it, so I had to let this one go. A little while after that 
> while birding with Paul Wieczoreck, Tyler Pockette arrived and began showing 
> us pictures of some shorebirds that he had taken while standing on/near Bay 
> Rd. He asked me to look at one in particular because he wondered what it 
> was. I took one look and immediately recognized as a Stilt Sandpiper. I then 
> relocated that bird with my scope and finally confirmed it. Thank you Tyler for 
> showing up when you did and providing a great picture to positively ID this 
> bird. It was a "life bird" for both Tyler & Paul!!!
> The Willet was also still there (and an additional life bird for Tyler).
> Congrats to both of them.
> Earlier- Paul saw a duck flying by us and heading west. While in the air I 
> noticed that it showed a white speculum. That ruled out Mallard because it 
> has a blue speculum with a white bar along the leading and trailing edges. It 
> splashed down and I got it in my scope. This duck had a nice triangular white 
> patch near the rear (secondary feathers). It also had a slight bill which dark 
> on the top and orange edges. A Mallard swam behing it and was larger than 
> this duck. These 3 field observations made it look good for Gadwall. However, 
> the head shape was more similar to a Mallard's. It had a dark eye line, dark 
> central (kind of stripe) that started at the cap and followed along the hind 
> neck. It did not show a steep forehead. the head was actually quite rounded 
> and sloped in the front. I did find out (with a little research) that Gadwall and 
> Mallard are not an uncommon hybrid. Apparently at one time it was thought to 
> be a distinct species- Brewer's Duck. Anyway, even though it is difficult to ID 
> hybrids in the field, I "suspect" that this duck is one. It looked like a Gadwall 
> with a Mallard's head placed on it and a Gadwall's bill attached to the head. 
> Perhaps others will see this duck and possibly add their own comments. . .
> Enjoy Birds,
> Jim Mead