This is one of those once in a lifetime birds in North Carolina. In fact it was the state's first record ever. It took me two attempts to get it which involves a 3 hour drive and a boat trip to the Core Banks. I have seen them out West, but never this close. Mountain Plovers usually summer in the plains of the midwest and winter on fields on the border near Mexico. So this individual was certainly way off course. The first time I tried for it, we scoured the South side of Ophelia Inlet for several hours and saw about 500 Black-bellied Plovers. The second time we saw zero Black-bellies and found the Mountain Plover in 5 minutes.
I actually could have been closer and obtained better photos but I am always a bit wary when other folks are around.