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#ABArare – Asian Brown Flycatcher – Alaska

St. Paul strikes yet again. Guides Scott Schuette and Doug Gochfeld found and beautifully photographed an Asian Brown Flycatcher (Code 5) on Sep 6. It was still present on Sep 7, the same day the island hosted the Bering Sea’s first Alder Flycatcher. These two species are in different families the Asian Brown is an Old World Flycatcher (Muscicapidae) while the Alder is a New World Flycatcher (Tyrannidae) — but it’s still an unexpected and impressive collection of flycatchers nonetheless.

Asian Brown Flycatcher. Photo by Doug Gochfeld.

Asian Brown Flycatcher. Photo by Doug Gochfeld.

Asian Brown Flycatcher. Photo by Doug Gochfeld.

Asian Brown Flycatcher. Photo by Doug Gochfeld.

 

The Asian Brown Flycatcher was found in stacks of crab pots just outside of town. On the tundra of St. Paul, the pots function as tree substitutes for wayward migrants. They hosted the ABA Area’s first Brown Hawk-Owl in 2007, among many other vagrants over the years.

This is St. Paul’s first Asian Brown Flycatcher and the third or fourth record for the ABA Area. The first was on Attu on May 25, 1985, and the second was at Gambell on Jun 9, 1994. There is also a sight-only report from Buldir, May 29, 2005. Some authorities list this as a “record”, while others treat it only as a “report” because there is no physical evidence (e.g., photo or specimen) to support it.