Stilt Sandpiper

Stilt Sandpiper

Yesterday Ian Worley and I were planning to bird in the wood to look for early migrating Warblers, but our plans were diverted by a post by Gary Chapin to the VTBIRD listserv about a Stilt Sandpiper he had found at Dead Creek Wildlife Management Area in Addison.  We headed directly over there in the early morning and were lucky to quickly find the bird on a mudflat alongside the Brilyea Access road. We were able to observe this bird for about 40 minutes and take several pictures of it before it took off and flew quite a way to the South before turning around and flying back and dropping down out of sight into another mudflat near by. Other birders were able to relocate the bird there later in the day.

Stilt Sandpipers are uncommon visitors to Vermont, so far always found singly and generally loosely associated with flocks of Yellowlegs. They are a fairly distinctive bird with a stout down-curved bill, long legs and leaned-over feeding style.

Also of interest on the same mudflats were Lesser & Greater Yellowlegs, Least Sandpipers, Semipalmated Sandpipers, Pectoral Sandpiperrs, Semiplamated Plovers, and Wilson’s Snipes. With the water low and the mudflats easily viewable from the access road, now is a great time to visit Dead Creek to see what other neat shorebirds might show up.

– Ron Payne

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