Melanistic (?) Ash-throated Flycatcher at Old Basso Bridge

Garry Hayes

While birding at Old Basso Bridge on 5/12/20 I encountered a strange-looking dark-colored bird. I got a couple of pictures (posted on e-Bird at The bird had the shape and size of an Ash-throated Flycatcher apart from the dark color. I conferred with Flycatchers of North America and Birding California on Facebook (thanks Sal for the advice), and most of the commenters tended to coalesce around it being a melanistic individual. The bird was close to the southwest bridge abutment in the Russian Olives about 30-40 feet away from the road. I didn't hear it vocalize. I was back there today and saw a normally-hued ATFC, but did not see the darker one. I appreciate any perspectives in the identity of this bird!