We don’t have a lot of shorebird habitat hotspots in central Vermont so we make do with puddles in cornfields, small mudflats along the rivers and ponds, and other spots where water gathers. We go over to Lake Champlain or down into Addison County for real shorebird birding.
However, this time of year when stuff is starting to move, we’ll sometimes spot a long-billed migrant in the county. One spot I like is just down the road from a gathering spot we all love — The Red Hen Bakery — consisting of a little pull off busy Route 2 right beside the Winooski River. There are often ducks there and today, a sole little wading bird.
I had the dog with me in the front seat and she wanted to join the action as I scanned the river and set up my scope. I took a few so-so digiscoped shots (the sun was not a big help) and looking over the shots, realized that it was a Solitary Sandpiper. No big deal per se but the first one for me this year and a nice looking bird. And by itself — oh yeah, solitary.