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LBJ from partial description, Massachusetts USA (1 Viewer)


Speak softly and carry a long lens
The light was a bit dim, I wasn't wearing my glasses, and this bird flew away quickly, but here goes:

Walking the dog along a quiet street (near a lake and woods), I saw a couple of chipping sparrows (I'm pretty sure, sparrows are not my forte but they had the reddish caps) foraging on an open lawn. A few feet farther away was a sparrowlike, sparrow-sized LBJ. It was facing mostly away from me. I didn't get a good look at the beak. The head, neck, mantle, and wings were a few shades of nondescript brownish-grey, with the wings a bit darker than the body. I did not notice any kind of eye-stripe or head pattern. The part that I thought should make it identifiable, but which I can't match in my books, is that peeking out from under the wing (i.e., on the flank, below the point where the primaries meet the secondaries when the wing is folded) was a small area of strongly-contrasting stripes. I got the impression the stripes did not extend onto the chest, belly, or vent, though it was in the grass and facing the wrong way for me to be sure.
It promptly flew off. As far as I noticed, the entire upper surface of the tail, rump, back, and wings was a dull, unmarked brownish.

Any suggestions?
I thought it was much less strongly marked than that on its head and mantle. (It was dark-ish, and this bird wasn't very close, so I might be wrong, but it was light enough for me to see the head pattern on the adult chipping sparrows.) A female bunting (e.g. Indigo) would be a very good match for the color and pattern of the upperparts. It's just the hint of striping under the wing that's confusing me.
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