October 7: Along the New England shore, September and October are both good months to observe migrating shorebirds, especially juveniles. At Hammonasset State Park in Madison, CT the muddy fields and puddles near west beach offered close-up views of both White-rumped and Pectoral Sandpipers. The large open field by the nature center is annually a good spot for a few American Golden Plovers, and this year was no exception. They often keep company with Black-bellied Plovers for which they can be, and often are, mistaken, but seeing the two species side by side makes the differences quite apparent. Besides the subtle coloring, the American Golden Plover has a less plump appearance, with a smaller head and a darker cap.