Blacks Creek Reservoir, south of Boise on Kuna Mora Rd, on the eastern side of the reservoir
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
In a row of small trees and sagebrush around the shoreline
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
Observed for roughly 30 minutes. It was a pretty smoky with low clouds, so it looked overcast for a part of the morning. Not windy. Used my canon EOS 7D with 300mm 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 Guide to Birds Second Edition
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Brown-yellow colored wood-warbler with brown streaking on belly. Wings darker brown with faint yellow on wing coverts. Bird had yellow rump/vent with brown tail, white underneath the tail with black on the sides. Brown cap, dark eyeline, black bill, faint pale eye-arcs, brown auriculars, brown malar, and unmarked throat.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
Constant tail-pumping up and down, also observed walking on ground briefly. Was in a loose mixed flock of other warblers and sparrows, mostly yellow-rumped warblers. Bird also made high-pitched distinctive calls making it easy to locate when it would call. Heard a slow buzzy trill a few times, possibly from this bird.
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
I saw a small bird pump its tail in bush in front of me and took a picture without thinking, I couldn't see the bird clearly at that moment. Then I blew up the picture on my camera and saw palm warbler. The tail-pumping was the most helpful ID clue.
HOW DID YOU ELIMINATE SIMILAR SPECIES? WHAT WERE THEY?
Distinctive tail pumping eliminated almost all other yellowish warblers, and warbler size and shape eliminated any flycatcher.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
Have never seen a palm warbler before, but familiar enough from photos and field guides to have known exactly what it was when I looked at the first picture I got of it.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
I've been birding for almost 4 years now, I would rate my level as pretty-experienced in Idaho at least.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (If any)
[Photos posted on Flickr]
WERE PHOTO(S), VIDEO, AND/OR AUDIO OBTAINED FROM THIS SIGHTING?
FIRST ROUND VOTING:
Description and photos support identification of Palm Warbler.
Great documentation includes many diagnostic photos, written details including physical description, description of vocalizations, and important behavioral details (foraging motions). Good timing for one of our more-regular eastern vagrants.
description and photos confirm the identification
Decent report which mentions key field marks and behavior. Diagnostic photos clinched identification.