Seen the next day by John Hanna and then by Peter Olsoy and Katie Sorenson on 11/25.
LOCALITY OF OBSERVATION
Mann Lake, east of Lewiston Orchards in Nez Perce County
HABITAT WHERE THE BIRD WAS OBSERVED
Dense woodland of shrubby ("sandbar" type) willows and some small to medium cottonwoods with a dense understory of fall grass, adjacent to mud flats of an irrigation reservoir, some rocky shoreline areas, and freshly graded/disturbed mud.
SIGHTING DURATION, CONDITIONS, and EQUIPMENT USED
Initial sighting of 60-90 seconds, but 90 minutes later I relocated it and enjoyed it on and off for an hour+ Fairly calm, mostly cloudy, and extraordinarily warm (near 60F when I left).
DID YOU TAKE NOTES?
No, not at all
DID YOU CONSULT A FIELD GUIDE OR OTHER REFERENCE WORK?
No, not at all
DESCRIPTION OF THE BIRD(s)
Whoops, I forgot to ever take notes, so I'll just submit the photos for your consideration.
BEHAVIOR OF THE BIRD(s)
Actively foraging in the willows and on the mud flats and disturbed areas. When I first encountered it, it was traveling alone, but later in the day it was associating with yellow-rumped warblers and dark-eyed juncos. As it foraged, it was constantly pumping its tail in a fluid motion. It typically foraged low and often on the ground. Usually called quite a bit, which was useful in spotting it (as was just scanning with the naked eye for that tail motion).
HOW AND WHEN DID YOU POSITIVELY IDENTIFY THE BIRD, AND WHAT CLINCHED THE IDENTIFICATION FOR YOU?
As soon as I saw a non -Yellow-rumped warbler, brownish overall with yellow undertail, supercillium, and rusty cap, and pumping its tail like crazy, I pretty much knew right away. Later I had to remind myself to take the time to enjoy looking at it with my binoculars, since I pretty much skipped straight to camera when it appeared.
WHAT IS YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THIS (AND SIMILAR) SPECIES?
I have seen these primarily as a late fall or winter vagrant in the west (New Mexico, Arizona, California, Nevada, west Texas, and once previously in Idaho) and occasionally in the neotropics.
DESCRIBE YOUR GENERAL BIRDING EXPERIENCE
~17 years birding for fun and professionally as a wildlife biologist and now a Ph.D. Candidate studying avian ecology at the University of Idaho. Term-limited former member of the Nevada Bird Records Committee and eBird reviewer for Nevada and Idaho.