#ABArare - Dark-sided Flycatcher - Alaska
The guides on St. Paul Island have found another mega, joining the collection already on the island. The latest find is a Dark-sided Flycatcher (Code 4), discovered by Doug Gochfeld and Jennifer Wolfson on Aug 16 when it flushed from the upper cut at Polovina Quarry. Luckily, it didn't fly far, and all the birders on the island who looked for it were successful. Scott Schuette saw the flycatcher in the lower cut of the quarry on Aug 17.
Dark-sided Flycatcher, formerly known as Siberian Flycatcher, is a member of the family Muscicapidae, the Old World flycatchers. They are not closely related to "our" flycatchers, the Tyrannidae. Besides Dark-sided Flycatcher, there are 13 other members of Muscicapidae on the ABA Checklist, but only two — Bluethroat and Northern Wheatear — breed in the ABA Area. The others are vagrants or at best very rare but regular migrants on the outermost Aleutians (Siberian Rubythroat). This is the seventh record of Dark-sided Flycatcher from the Pribilofs. There are at least 10 other records from western Alaska. Interestingly, there is a specimen from Bermuda, 29 Sep 1980).
In other St. Paul birding news, the previously-reported White-tailed Eagle and Pin-tailed Snipe (arguably the first twitchable one in the ABA Area) are still being seen, along with Wood Sandpiper, Red-necked Stint, Sharp-tailed Sandpiper, and a Violet-green Swallow, the island's fourth and first in 26 years.
For more information about visiting St. Paul to look for these birds or general information about birding on the island, email Scott Schuette, the director of St. Paul Island Tours.