The plover was first seen and reported by R.L. Rowland. Cheryl Huizinga was with me at Jack's Creek.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
C.J. Strike, Jack's Creek access, Owyhee County, Idaho
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Reservoir surrounded by riparian areas and campsites. The plover was seen in an area of the reservoir that has a few sandbars and a marshy area.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
We watched the bird for approximately 35 minutes. Weather conditions were mostly cloudy and windy. Storm clouds were on the horizon. Equipment used: Vortex binoculars (10x42) and Vortex hd scope, Zeiss 8x42 binoculars and Zeiss scope.
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
No, not at all
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
Yes, during the observation
WHICH GUIDE(S) OR REFERENCE(S): DID YOU CONSULT?
Sibley birds, iphone app
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
A small sized plover with white underparts and a very light brown back. It had a black stripe on its forehead, black eyeline and broken black band on each side of its neck (it didn't extend to the front of the lower throat/chest). It also had a black bill and light colored legs.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
The plover was running back and forth along the sandbar foraging for food. It stayed away from the other birds that were on the sandbar (gulls, Killdeer, Spotted Sandpipers and Willet)
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
Cheryl and I traveled to Jack's Creek access specifically to look for the Snowy Plover. Visual confirmation allowed us to see the above-mentioned features.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
-Piping Plover is similar to the Snowy Plover as their coloring is comparable. But this is not the range of the Piping Plover and it has a full neck band.
-Wilson's Plover and Semipalmated Plovers are larger than the Snowy Plover. They also has a larger bill and a unbroken neck band. And their look is just different from the Snowy Plover.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
Snowy Plovers are uncommon visitors to Idaho but it seems like they show up in southwestern Idaho every year or so. I have observed this species 4 or 5 times previously in Idaho.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
Good. I have been birding for approximately 20 years.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
Cheryl and I did not take any photos of the Snowy Plover but other observers did. See https://ebird.org/view/checklist/S46076662