North American Birds

VOLUME 69 NO2 2016

A Quarterly Journal of Ornithological Record Published by the American Birding Association. The mission of the journal is to provide a complete overview of the changing panorama of our continent’s birdlife.

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Figures 1, 2. Common Redstart on St. Paul Island, 8 October 2013. Note the small salt-and-pepper bib, restricted to the throat and face; bold white supercilium; mainly brownish mantle and back; and the absence of a white patch at the base of the tertials and secondaries. Photographs by Doug Gochfeld. N O R T H A M E R I C A N B I R D S 186 First North American record of Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) on St. Paul Island, Alaska First North American record of Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) on St. Paul Island, Alaska SCOTT C. SCHUETTE • 3130 EAST 46TH AVENUE, APT. 4A, ANCHORAGE, ALASKA 99507 • (SSCHUETTE01@HOTMAIL.COM) DOUGLAS GOCHFELD • 1312 DITMAS AVENUE • BROOKLYN, NEW YORK 11226 • (DOUGLAS.GOCHFELD@GMAIL.COM) Abstract We present the first documented record of Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) for North America, a single bird on St. Paul Island, Alaska, 8-9 October 2013. Field Encounter On 8 October 2013, Scott Schuette, Neil Hay- ward, Jay Lehman, Paul Sykes, Larry Peavler, Bill Frey, Ed Borowik, and Jim Zamos were birding the eastern side of Black Diamond Hill next to a long series of sand dunes near the town of St. Paul, St. Paul Island, Alaska (57.138º N, 170.263º W). At approximately 1430 HADT (Hawaii-Aleutian Daylight Time), Schuette and Hayward flushed a small passer - ine from a patch of low vegetation contain- ing Nootka Lupine (Lupinus nootkatensis) and Seacoast Angelica (Angelica lucida). The bird flew a short distance and disappeared into another patch of lupine, angelica, and Beach Grass (Leymus mollis mollis) and was lost. At this point the group re-gathered, and Schuette called Doug Gochfeld, who was birding close- by, on the other side of the hill, to inform him that an unusual bird had been located, so Gochfeld began moving the few hundred meters toward the group. During the course of this call Hayward began scanning the area with his scope and re-located the bird on a stalk of angelica. While still on the phone with Gochfeld, Schuette obtained his first look at the bird through Hayward's scope and imme - diately recognized it as a species of Old World redstart (Phoenicurus sp.). He conveyed this information to the others on the scene, Goch - feld on the phone, and anyone else that may have been within a kilometer of group. The bird remained on the angelica stalk long enough for all present to see the bird, but the bird flew off and was lost before photo - graphs could be taken. Shortly after this, Go- chfeld arrived, and the group set off to sweep the adjoining area. All nine people formed a line approximately 150 m long, spanning the lower slope of the hill and adjoining sand dunes, and began walking to the north- northwest along the interface between these two habitat types. They proceeded for nearly 300 m without success. While the line was stopped near the northern extent of the inter - face zone, Frey spotted the bird uphill (west) of the observers. After flying a short distance, the bird again perched in angelica and was seen by most. During this encounter, it was photographed by Gochfeld, both perched and in flight. The bird continued to move uphill away from the observers eventually reaching the ridgeline (where a road is located), where it was once again lost. A limited sweep of the upper hillside and other side of the hill was unsuccessful, and all observers returned to the vehicles to consult field guides. The decision was then made to continue birding elsewhere for several hours, in hopes the bird would re - turn to its original location. All nine observers returned to the area at approximately 1730 HADT and proceeded to the location of the original sighting, at which point the bird was re-found almost imme - diately, still using the mixture of lupine and angelica along the base of the hill next to the sand dunes. The observers were able to ob - serve and photograph the redstart over an extended period of time (Figures 1, 2). After

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