Kas Dumroese originally found this bird on December 19, 2018: https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S50803897. Not re-found until this report.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Potlatch Sewage Lagoons (eBird Hotspot location: https://ebird.org/hotspot/L2408948), Latah County, Idaho.
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Wetland vegetation along the Palouse River.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
I observed the bird for ~30 seconds in very good light (sun was out and at my back). Weather: mostly clear, temp in 30s, breezy conditions. Optics: Eagle optics 10x42 binoculars and Canon 7D Mark 2 DSLR with a 300mm F4L lens.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
Yes, during the observation
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, later the same day
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
Sibley Birds V2 Smartphone App.
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Melospiza sparrow with extensive rufous in wings and tail, dark streaking on back, rufous and gray facial pattern, minimal streaking on breast and belly.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
Moving around amongst long wetland grasses, also calling frequently.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
When I heard the bird calling I immediately knew it was a Swamp Sparrow. Upon seeing the Melospiza sparrow with a clean, gray front and extensive rufous in the wings and tail also clinched the ID.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
Song Sparrow eliminated due to lack of streaking on front and extensive rufous in wings and tail.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
This is my third Swamp Sparrow in Idaho this winter. Extensive experience with Song Sparrow (one of the most common wintering sparrows in northern Idaho).
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
Birding intensively since 2014.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
Definitive photos included with report.
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Photos and description are conclusive.
excellent photos confirm identification
Combination of good description and excellent photos make this a relatively easy call.