The dynamic duo of arctic birding guides, Doug Gochfeld and Scott Schuette, discovered an ABA code 5 Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), on St. Paul Island, AK on the afternoon of October 8, the first time this species has been discovered in the ABA area.
Common Redstart is a common woodland breeding species across most of Europe east to about Lake Baikal and extreme NW China, wintering in the Arabian Peninsula and Africa. The closest normal range for this species is about 2,500 miles west of St. Paul Island.
The bird was first discovered by Schuette, and the initial identification was a redstart, either Common or Daurian Redstart. They were able to relocate the bird, obtaining the photos below and confirming the identification as Common Redstart.
St. Paul has been host to a number of ABA area rarities discovered by Gochfeld and Scheutte in the past 3-4 weeks, including Fork-tailed Swift, Gray-streaked Flycatcher, Middendorff’s Grasshopper Warbler, Asian Brown Flycatcher, Common Rosefinch, Olive-backed Pipit, and the long-staying White-tailed Eagle.
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