Allen:  The bird is without a doubt an Alder Flycatcher, nice recording.  A lot has been learned regarding the fall pattern of Alder Flycatchers, and empids in general, since R & E was published (1992).  With that said, right now IS the window for Alders to be passing through, and salix stands are certainly their preferred habitat.   Matter of fact Mark Robbins himself reported the first 2 of the fall season via eBird at Nodaway Valley CA 6 Aug. Here is his checklist with his comments:


Considering there is still a lot to learn, particularly regarding their pattern and abundance through the eastern part of the state, I would encourage you to enter this sighting in eBird and/or submit it with your fall seasonal report.


Congrats on the find,


Josh Uffman






From: Missouri Wild Bird Forum [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Allen Gathman
Sent: Saturday, August 09, 2014 12:35 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Alder Flycatcher in Apple Creek Conservation Area


At around 8:15 this morning I was at the wetland in the northwest corner of Apple Creek Conservation Area, when I heard what seemed to be an Alder Flycatcher's song coming from a low thicket of willows.  I heard it repeatedly, and moved over closer, when of course it stopped.  I worked my way between the thicket and a shallow pond, and just as I was about to leave the bird started calling again.  I recorded it with my iPhone -- the file is available at

And then I hung around for a while trying to get a look at the bird.  Eventually I saw an Empidonax flycatcher perched about 6 feet above the ground in the shrubs.  It was a rather typical Empidonax -- olive-greenish back, head slightly darker, throat and breast pale, two pale wing bars, upright perching posture.  

It dropped back down into the brush, but I continued to hear it singing intermittently over the next 30 min or so as I birded in the area.  

R&E says "Virtually no information exists for the fall period. Presumably it passes through during the later half of Aug. and early Sept."    Perhaps it passes through a bit earlier than that?  

-Allen Gathman

Pocahontas, MO (Cape Girardeau County)



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