Grass Flats: A Naturalist's List
From the Simpson Journals:
A list of the bird life on the Peninsula, Erie Bay and Shores, as noted personally by Ralph Bernard Simpson.
March 1st, 1941.
This list is made up from birds seen and taken by myself on short trips during earlier years when hunting for ducks and shore birds-also, from a few specimens sent to me by friends who took them there. My hunting trips were made as follows:
1900, September 6 to September 19, inclusive.
1902, April 24 to April 27, inclusive
1902, November 17 to November 23, inclusive
1903, April 13 to April 17, inclusive
1903, November 10 to November 14, inclusive
1904, October 5 to October 8, inclusive
1905, May 17 to May 20, inclusive
1905, September 19 to September 23, inclusive
1908, February 22 to February 24, inclusive
Since them, and especially since the Peninsula has become a sanctuary for all wild life, I have driven up and spend a day a great many times, at different times of the year, especially during the spring and fall seasons, but have been there for a day frequently during the winter and summer months.
The following list is complete up to March of 1941 and is mad up from my notes and dates recorded from time to time in my notebooks.
1. Holbells Grebe
I have in my collection a specimen of this grebe in fall or winter plumage that was sent to me by Charlie Enger who shot it on the bay on November 20, 1912. On January 3, 1934, I saw on in an opening in the ice on the bay. As I have met this grebe at Warren a number of times I am sure of the identity of this January 3 bird.
2. Horned Grebe
During my November and April trips I met with this grebe quite frequently. I saw one on the bay May 18, 1905. Also saw it on the October 5 thru 8 trip.
3. Pied-billed Grebe
Seemed to be fairly common about the bay and in the pond on my spring and fall trips.
Seen frequently spring and fall. Several dates I have are April 27, 1932-saw 7 or 8. April 20, 1936 and October 17, 1911, I saw one. May 12, 1932-saw one; and on October 5 to 8, I saw several.
5. Red-throated Loon
I received one in the flesh that was shot February 17, 1904. This was in winter plumage and was shot in an opening in the bay by a friend. Up to date, I have not seen it at Erie to identify it.
6. Brunnichs Murre
I have one in my collection that was shot in the bay on November 27, 1900. It was given to me by the late S.E. Bacon of Erie.
7. Glaucous Gull
February, 22, 1908, I spent the morning laying on the ice a the mouth of Mill Creek at the bay. There were 20 or 25 Herring Gulls about all the time-and with them a very large white one. There was quite a bit of open water around the mouth of the creek and at times some of the gulls would fly up past me to the railroad tracks. I expected the odd bid, sooner or later, to get within range, but not once did it come close enough.
There was a dead fish or food of some kind out in front of me. It was frozen onto the ice at the edge of the water. It was entirely out of shotgun range. This odd gull and the herrings worked around this at times. At other times it they stood about close together on the ice so that I had a fine chance to compare them. This odd gull had no dark wing tips, and it was considerably larger than any of the herrings. It was white all over except on the back and wings where I could see a creamish or yellowish was when it came nearer to me. Owing to its larger size, as compared to the Herring Gull, it had to be a Glaucous, not an Iceland.
8. Herring Gull
Abundant diving some of my trips. I have seen them more or less every trip, at all seasons.
9. Ring-billed Gull
A regular migrant on the spring and fall trips. Common during my November, 1902, trip. April 26, 1902, several about. May 12, 1932, saw one. Wintered on the bay the open winter of 1931-32.
10. Bonapartes Gull
Common spring and fall trips. A few wintered 1931-32.
11. Caspian Tern
Irregular migrant, spring and fall. A few seen during September, 1900, trip. April 26, 1902, three seen. Several seen on the September, 1905 trip. April 27, 1932, three seen. May 12, 1933, several seen. May 23, 1934 several seen. May 24, 1935, several seen.
12. Common Tern
Regular migrant and summer resident. Quite a nesting colony on the outside beach at the eastern end of the Peninsula. I have found and examined nests: May 29, 1932, four sets of three eggs each; May 24, 1933, seven nests, two sets of three and five sets of two. May 24, 1935, one nest with two eggs, and one nest with three eggs. 1941, Terns seem to have deserted nesting grounds.
13. Black Tern
During my September, 1900, trip we had a bad storm and on the 16th during which this tern was very abundant everywhere about the bay and the Peninsula. All in fall plumage, no good adults. April 27, 1902, I saw one in adult plumage. September 15, 1932, I saw one. September 13, 1933, I saw one.
14. Double-crested Cormorant
During the mild winter of 1931-32, when the swans and so many other waterfowl wintered, I saw cormorants on each trip. On March 1, I saw five. On April 10, 1932, I saw two, and on April 27, I saw three. I saw one on January 3, 1934 and I saw on one April 20, 1936.
15. American Merganser
Common fall, winter, and spring. Seen on all trips.
16. Red-breasted Merganser
Migrant. Common spring and fall. February 22, 1940, I saw fully 50 in the open water about the fish houses at the foot of State Street.
17. Hooded Merganser
Regular migrant. I have seen a few on my November and April trips. February 17, 1938, I found a female wintering with the mallards a the duck sanctuary.
Quite common migrant. Quite a bunch stay at the duck sanctuary the year round. They try to nest, but the crows get most of their eggs before a full clutch is laid, and if the crows don't find them, the skunks do after the females line the nest with down and start to incubate. So between the two they don't have much luck trying to raise young.
19. Black Duck
Common spring and fall. Abundant the winter of 1931-32. I have shot it as early as October 8. Have seen pairs and singles about the ponds on different trips in May and early June. Possibly breeds.
Have met this species but once at Erie. November 18, 1902, I saw on that a gunner had just shot in Niagara Pond. It was with a small bunch of Mallards and had been wounded. It had got into the shelter of the cattails and heavy growth near shore. For fear of losing it, he shot its head off at close range, utterly spoiling it for a specimen.
21. American Widgeon
Have seen and taken this duck on my April and November trips. Also have taken it as early as October 6 (1904). On March 29, 1932, I saw a flock of all of 200 in Niagara Pond.
22. Green-winged Teal
I have taken this duck at Erie in April and October, also during my November, 1903, trip. A few wintered 1931-32. On April 20, 1936, I saw several. March 28, 1938, saw three and on April 18, 1941, saw six.
23. Blue-winged Teal
Have found a few about the ponds April and September trips. I have on different trips seen this duck in pairs or singly about the pond during Many and the first week of June. Possibly breed.
24. Shoveler Duck
Shot one in Misery Bay, November 13, 1903, a female. April 26, 1934, I found three pairs on Boat House Pond. I watched them for sometime. During the winter of 1937-38, a very nice male wintered at the duck sanctuary with the Mallards. On February 17, he had become quite tame and allowed me to get h is photo at quite close range. April 18, 1941, saw several on Niagara Pond.
25. Wood Duck
Occasionally seen abut the ponds or at the head of the bay during April, September, October, and November. I have seen it occasionally in June. June 10, 1932, saw 3 or 4 males about the ponds.
Have shot this duck at Erie in April and October. IN 1931-32, a few wintered. March 29, 1932, a great flock settled in Yellow Bass Pond, about 200 birds. This was just after a big flock of about the same number of Widgeons had alighted in Niagara Pond. February 25, 1941, I found one wintering with the mallards at the duck sanctuary.
27. Red-head Duck
Seen during my November trips. April 10, 1932, quite plentiful near the head of the bay. March 16, 1933, a few small flocks. April 24, 1935, about 20 seen. April 20, 1936, a few seen. I have a fine adult male shot there April 10, 1906.
28. Canvas-back Duck
I have a fine pair of this duck in my collection. They were taken on Erie Bay, the male on December 3, 1903, and the female December 6, 1904. Some recent records of mine are March 1, 1932, two males; April 10, 1932, saw 40 or 50; April 27, 1932, saw 12; April 20, 1936, saw a few; March 23, 1938, saw several; and on January 11, 1939, I saw several.
29. American Scaup
Have taken specimens in the bay on my November trips. I have a few recent dates when I saw this duck and was sure by comparison with the Lesser Scaup, of which they are associated. The Greater seemed to keep pretty much together and the little bunches did not seem to mix with the numerous Lesser Scaup that were scattered all about them. April 10, 1932, saw several; April 27, 1932, saw four of five; and saw several on April 1, 1934, and April 20, 1936.
30. Lesser Scaup
Abundant. Common winter of 1931-32. On April 10, 1932, about 2,000 were in Misery Bay. February 1, 1935, saw ten at the fish houses. Saw quite a few during May in Misery Bay.
31. Ring-neck Duck
Migrant, spring and fall. Not common. I have take them on my April and November trips. Of recent years have seen a few in Misery Bay: April 10, 1932, saw 6 or 8; March 1, 1933, saw 2; March 27, 1935, saw several; and March 23, 1938, saw 3 or 4.
Quite common during migrations. Few in winter.
Formerly quite common. Much scarcer of recent years: April 27, 1932, saw a few; May 12, 1932, saw 5 females; January 20, 1933, saw 3; and January 3, 1934, saw 4.
34. Long-tail Duck
Common in former years, now scarce. April 24-27, 1902, saw a few; April 8, 1934, saw several; April 16, 1936, saw several; and April 27, 1937, saw 3 or 4.
35. King Eider
Have a specimen in my collection that shot by Jay Fuller of the Life Saving Station on the outside beach of the Peninsula. Date: December 22, 1904, bird was in very poor flesh.
36. American Scoter
I have a specimen in fall or winter plumage that I shot off the point in Misery Bay on November 11, 1903. Saw one at the foot of State Street in the open water at the fish houses on February 25, 1941, and again March 7 I saw one, probable the same bird.
37. White-wing Scoter
Have seen it a few times on my November trips. Shot one November 21, 1902, and November 13, 1903, off the point in Misery Bay. Have seen a number of Scoters several different times off the outside beach in the open lake, but couldn't be certain of the species at the distance at which they kept from shore.
38. Surf Scoter
Have one shot in Horseshoe Pond back of the Life Saving Station, November 7, 1903.
39. Ruddy Duck
I have found this duck to be scarce on my trips. On my April, 1902, and November, 1903, trips I noted several. On May 3, 1939, I saw 7 or 8 in Misery Bay. April 18, 1941, I saw one male.
40. Blue Goose
During the open winter of 1931-32, a fine adult wintered in the bay with the great drove of Swans and other wild fowl. I saw and watched this goose on each of my visits there that winter. It seemed to stay with the Swans, and did not seem to associate with the ducks. On October 30, 1936, I saw 18 on a sand bar in the bay, 5 or 6 of these were adults.
41. Canada Goose
Regular migrant. I see nice flocks feeding in the bay of recent years on days on which I have been there in early April.
42. Whistling Swan
In former years I did not often see swans on my trips, but of recent years, since spring shooting has been abolished and swans absolutely protected, they seem to be regular visitors. I have seen them there as early as October 30, 1936, on which day I found a flock of full 100. The winter of 1931-32, a large number wintered in the bay--possibly 1,000 and maybe more. I see them there of recent years regularly in early April. I think a few winter even in severe winters now if there is any open water in the bay. February 25, 1941, I found fully 60 there. They must be wintering.
43. American Bittern
Have found this bittern regularly on my September and April trips. I have also found it regularly in May. May 12, 1932, I flushed a flock of 7 in Niagara Pond, and at this place I have seen it on June 1, 2, and 3, in 1910; June 22, 1932; and June, 1936. It may breed.
44. Least Bittern
Have met with it regularly in September and May. May 17, 1928, I saw several. May 12, 1932, I saw 7 or 8. May 20, 1932, I saw 10 or 12 in Niagara Pond and June 10, same year, I saw 4 or 5 still there, but cold not find a nest. In June, 1910 and 1911, I found birds on this same place.
45. Great Blue Heron
Met with regularly on my trips. January 20, 1933, I saw one.
46, American Egret
Saw one in Boat House Pond August 16, 1932. Saw 3 about the bay, September 3, 1904.
47. Green Heron
Seen at times on my various trips. Not common.
48. Virginia Rail
Met with occasionally about the ponds, spring and fall. Have found this bird in summer, in June, when from its actions I know it had young.
49. Sora Rail
I have met with this rail frequently in September about the ponds.
50. Yellow Rail
I have 3 in my collection that were taken at Erie. S.E. Bacon sent me two that were taken April 23, 1904, and adult male, and one in the fall plumage taken September 26, 1900. Another killed itself by flying against the glass of a greenhouse in Erie on October 4, 1908.
51. Florida Gallinule
Saw one at the duck sanctuary April 24, 1935. Saw one in Niagara Pond, May 10, 1935.
Always found it to be quite common during migrations. A few wintered in the bay with the other waterfowl the open winter of 1931-32. One time up there I counted about 50.
Met with it at different times on the Peninsula in April and October.
54. Wilsons Snipe
Have met with it frequently spring and fall. Have seen it on the Peninsula twice in June: June 2, 1910, saw one; and June 22, 1932, saw two.
55. Knot Sandpiper
Shot one from a flock of killdeer on the outside beach on September 10, 1900. Saw one September 3, 1934.
56. Pectoral Sandpiper
Have met with it only a couple of times on the Peninsula. Shot one September 10, 1900, and saw one September 3, 1934.
57. Bairds Sandpiper
Have taken this sandpiper 4 times on the outside beach. I have found it occasionally with flocks of Sanderlings. Have taken a specimen on each of the following dates: September 10, 1900; September12, 1900; October 8, 1904; and September 23, 1905.
58. Least Sandpiper
During my September, 1902, trip I took two specimens. I don't seem to find mention of it since, although, I must have noted it.
59. Red-backed Sandpiper
Found this species to be rather common latter part of September and October on my trips. In spring I have seen it on the outside beach: June 3, 1910, saw two adults; and June 1, 1911, saw one adult.
60. Semipalmated Sandpiper
Common from along in July through the fall migrations; also, at times quite plentiful in spring. June 1, 2, and 3, 1910, I found it common on the outside beach in flocks of 10 to 40. June 1, 2, and 3, 1911, I saw a few. June 10, 1932, I saw 5.
Common during September and October migrations ont he outside beach. Often occurs more or less in November. I shot a single bird on November 17, 1902--my latest date. I have not met with this bird in the spring.
62. Greater Yellow-legs
I have met with the yellow-legs quite frequently in April, May, late July, August, September, October, and as late as November 18, 1902, on which date I saw one. The earliest date on which I have seen it here in spring is April 1, 1912, when I saw one bird.
63. Lesser Yellow-legs
Have not found it very common. I have a few dates and it on others: April 26, 1902; July 27, 1904, saw four; April 27 and May 16, 1932, saw two.
64. Have seen it occasionally. Several dates are: September 1, 1900; May 19, 1905; and May 12, 1933.
April 24, 1902, I shot a pair in full spring plumage along the water’s edge on the outside beach of the Peninsula—my only record for this species. This pair is now in my collection.
66. Upland Plover
I shot one on the Peninsula April 26, 1902, during a high wind. It was with a flock of Bonapartes Gull. Ordinarily this bird would not visit the Peninsula, but would stay in the fields on the mainland. I did not recognize this bird flying with the gulls, so I shot and was lucky enough to pick it off.
67. Spotted Sandpiper
A few pairs scattered about the bay and outside beach of the Peninsula. Breeds. Found a nest and 4 eggs, June 3, 1910.
68. Black-bellied Plover
Regular migrant in fall, occasional in spring. May 19, 1905, I shot a pair in perfect breeding plumage and on May 23, 1934, I saw a pair of adults along the shore of the bay on the Peninsula. I have met with this plover regularly in September and early October.
69. Golden Plover
I think this plover is a little later performing the fall migrations than the Black-bellied, as in September, 1900, the first I saw it was on the 17th. In 1902, I saw it September 27 and shot one. September 13, 1933, I saw 3; October 6, 1904, I shot a couple; and November 18, 1903, I saw 3 flying and calling. All of these were on the outside beach.
70. Killdeer Plover
A common migrant.
71. Semipalmated Plover
Common spring and fall migrant. Have seen it in spring as late as May 20, 1905, and June 3, 1910 (saw 8 or 10). Again in late July it appears. In August and September it is more or less common.
72. Piping Plover
Several pairs are to be found on the outside beach of the east end of the Peninsula throughout the summer. Have found them there as early as May 12. They may arrive much earlier. In the fall I have met with it throughout September. Lays its eggs the last of May. The nest is simply a slight hollow in the sand on the high beach. It is lined with and rimmed with little pebbles. Eggs 4. The nest is hard to find s the bird gets off way ahead. By the time you have seen her she is some ways from the nest.
May 29, 1932, I found three nests, four eggs in each. May 24, 1933, two nests, four eggs each. June 5, 1936, one nest, four eggs. May 15, 1941, found a Piping Plover sitting on 4 eggs. This is very early compared to my other nesting dates.
Not a very common migrant. I have seen several in September. September 3, 1934, along the bay shore of the Peninsula, I saw 4 or 5. About the first of June, on several occasions, I have met with some beautiful adults on the outside beach along the open lake.
June 3, 1910, I saw a flock of 10 fine adults. During June 1, 2, and 3, 1911, I found a flock of 10 and several singles. May 29, 1932, I saw 8 or 10 altogether. June10, 1932, I saw a flock of five. These spring birds seemed rather tame and I could get up easily within 100 to 150 feet to watch them—a very pretty sight.
Several years ago some were liberated on the Peninsula. I saw them about on trips that I made at different times during the next year or two, but for several years now I haven’t seen any—maybe they didn’t stay.
75. Ruffed Grouse
I haven’t noticed it but twice on the Peninsula. During my November, 1902, trip I shot one. October 6, 1904, I shot one.
76. Wild Turkey
Several liberated not long ago. They nested, but I don’t think any are there now. I came upon these several times and I got some very nice photos.
77. Ring-necked Pheasant
Quite a few on the Peninsula. Breeds there.
78. Mourning Dove
Here and there a pair, Have seen it on a number of occasions.
79. Marsh Hawk
Generally see several about the ponds and marshes in spring and summer when I go up for a day. June 2, 1910, back of the Horseshoe Pond, I found a nest with 4 young just hatched and 1 rotten eggs.
80. Sharp-shinned Hawk
Have seen this hawk on different occasions spring and fall. Shot one, April 17, 1903, and one on May 17, 1905. One I saw on April 26, 1934, caught some bird about the size of a Hermit Thrush. This was along the pavement in front of me, as I drove along. It got away with it, so I was not certain of the species of bird it had grabbed.
81. Coopers Hawk
During my September, 1900, trip, I saw one. April 1, 1912, I saw one. May 10, 1935, saw one; and on April 20, 1936, I saw one. May 15, 1941, I saw one at the eastern end of the Peninsula. It left and flew to the mainland.
82. Red-shouldered Hawk
Saw two during my September, 1902, trip. Saw one on April 1, 1912, and one on April 20, 1936.
83. Red-tailed Hawk
On my November, 1902, trip I saw two. May 18, 1905, saw one. April 1, 1912, saw one. March 16, 1933, saw one.
84. Rough-legged Hawk
I have seen but two: one on January 20, 1933, and one on March 1, 1935.
85. Bald Eagle
Always about on my spring, summer, and fall trips. Breeds regularly of recent years. I never saw one after anything but fish.
86. Pigeon Hawk
Shot one September 18, 1900, and saw one on September 13, 1933
87. Sparrow Hawk
Seen regularly spring and summer. I know of one nest there.
Have noted it on different trips in April, May, and September. Several dates are: September, 1900; May 19, 1905; April 27, 1932; May 10, 1935; and April 20, 1936. In 1941 a pair nested on the eastern end of the Peninsula. I watched these birds building. I took photos of the birds at the nest on April 18, and May 15. This is only about the third nesting record for western Pennsylvania in 50 years.
89. Short-eared Owl
I shot one in Niagara Marsh on October 5, 1904. Saw one on the outside beach.
90. Great Horned Owl
March 30, 1933, a female was nesting in an old eagle’s nest. April 9, the nest contained young. This is the only time I ever met this owl on the Peninsula.
91. Yellow-billed Cuckoo
Noted this bird during my September, 1900, trip. Saw one May 24, 1933.
92. Black-billed Cuckoo
Noted the Black-bill also on my 1900 trip. Can’t find any dates since.
A few—have noted it on about all my trips, winter excepted.
94. Hairy Woodpecker
Seen occasionally on my trips.
95. Downy Woodpecker
Seen on about all my trips.
96. Yellow-billed Woodpecker
I have noted it frequently in April and again in October.
97. Red-headed Woodpecker
Summer resident and migrant. I see a pair here and there on my trips during the warmer weather.
Quite common on the migrations. March 7, 1941, saw 3.
Shot one on April 26, 1902. Saw one September 22, 1905.
Have seen it about the bay and the east end of the Peninsula during the May migration.
101. Chimney Swift
Noted during my September, 1900, trip. May 16 to 20, 1905, it was quite common.
Have noted it in late May and early September.
A few resident on the Peninsula nests.
104. Crested Flycatcher
A few pairs are scattered about mostly in the interior. Nests
A few pairs found in suitable places.
106. Olive-sided Flycatcher
I shot a nice specimen September 18, 1900. Only one I ever met on the Peninsula.
107. Wood Pewee
Have noted it here in late May.
108. Yellow-bellied Flycatcher
Noted in 1900 on September 11 and September 19.
109. Acadian Flycatcher
May 9, 1905, I shot one near the foot of the cement walk.
110. Least Flycatcher
Noted during September 19, 1900 trip, also noted May 17-20, 1905.
111. Prairie Horned Lark
Have noted flocks at times in April, also October.
112. Blue Jay
Seen occasionally, don’t seem to be very common.
Common. Nests. Destroys a lot of duck eggs and no doubt Ring-neck Pheasant eggs.
Common sometimes along the shores and outside beach.
Have seen a few in September about Niagara Marsch.
I don’t remember seeing much of the Cowbird here, but I find one date at least on which it was seen: May 28, 1934.
117. Red-winged Blackbird
Common during migrations and in summer. Breeds.
118. Meadow Lark
Not uncommon during the migratons in April and September.
119. Baltimore Oriole
Have seen it occasionally in May. Nests.
120. Rusty Grackle
Have noted it October and November
121. Bronzed Grackle
Have noted it there expecially in late March, April, and September.
122. Crimson Finch
I have noted this finch on several occasions during the migrations, but don’t think it is at all common.
123. White-winged Crossbill
In early November (about 6th or 7th) 1903, while duck hunting on the Peninsula at Erie, I stopped at a hunter’s blind. It was a roofed over affair and occupied by an oldish man named Morgan. He told me that a few days before, during a very hard wind, a small bird, utterly exhausted, had flown into his blind. He picked it up and put it into an empty shotgun shell box in which he cut several holes for air. He tied up the box and took it up home that evening. He described a male White-wing perfectly. It sounded like an off-hand description and not at all like one he had read from a book or paperHe said the bird was at his home in a canary cage, was very tame, sang, and was a great pet of his wifes already.
When I left for home I stopped to see S.E. Bacon in Erie and mentioned the story to him. Bacon was a very good sportsman and natrualist. He had collected many ducks, shore birds, and rarer land birds, but had no record of the White-wing Crossbill. Sam said the story was a hoax, and that Morgan was kidding me. However, I insisted that the story and description sounded like the real thing to me. So Sam paid an unexpected visit to Morgan’s house, and sure enough there was the bird, and just as Morgan had stated.
Common at times.
Abundant sometimes. On the outside beach I always found it in November, and have seen flocks of fully 150 there in late November. Have seen it there as early as October 17 in 1911 (saw 13) and October 30 in 1936.
126. Lapland Longspur
I received a pair from S.E. Bacon taken March 8, 1904.
127. Vesper Sparrow
Have seen a few in October and early May.
128. Savanna Sparrow
Found a few in September, 1900.
129. Nelsons Sparrow\
Not at all rare, but a little hard to find int he long marsh grass. Have seen a few in September, but only once in spring: May 12, 1932, saw one.
130. White-crowned sparrow
Common in migrations.
131. White-throated sparrow
Common. Sometimes abundant during migratoins in May and October.
132. Tree Sparrow
Common during migrations and in winter.
133. Chip Sparrow
134. Field Sparrow
Have seen it there in May and October.
136. English Sparrow
A few seen at times during summer. I don’t think it stays on the Peninsula in winter.
137. Song Sparrow
Quite common. Breeds.
138. Swamp Sparrow
Quite common in May and September.
139. Fox Sparrow
Shot one on November 12, 1903. Seen also on October 5 and October 8, 1904, and on April 9, 1933.
Several pairs about the Peninsula of late years.
142. Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Met it at the Peninsula in September, 1900, and May 19, 1905.
143. Indigo Finch
Noted in September,1900, but I can’t find any recent dates.
144. Scarlet Tanager
Noted several May 16 to 20, 1905.
145. Purple Martin
A few about every year.
146. Cliff Swallow
Quite a few at times
147. Barn Swallow
Common on my warm weather trips.
148. Tree Swallow
Common in May and September. June 22, 1932, I saw 6 or 8 about Niagara Pond.
149. Bank Swallow
Common. Used to be several large colonies that I knew of on the mainland. In former years there was quite a colony nesting on the outside (beach) in some sand banks.
150. Rough-winged Swallow
On my April, 1902, trip I saw a few flying about with other swallows at Misery BAy.
151. Bohemian Waxwing
January 11, 1939, I spent the day on the Peninsula. It was a dark and quite windy day. Visibility was poor. As I drove down the Peninsula two birds flushed from the shrubbery along the pavement to my left, and alighted on a poplar tree.
They flushed very colse and looked strange to me. Something about them caused me to stop at once and take a look, but against the sky I could see no markings. Using my glasses I could see much better. I saw at once that they were large cherry-birds. About that time they came down into the barberries and shrubbery again, and one look was enough. I got out and slipped up close to them. They were not at all shy and I got up within 15 feet of them. The wing markings size and all identification was there. I found myself looking at the first living Bohemian Waxwing I have ever met. After a few minutes a car came along and they flew again, and I lost sight of them. I could not find them again. This happened along Swan Bay just as you get to Waterworks Park.
152. Cedar bird
Have seen it at different times. Once in winter, February 22, 1924, I saw 25 in a flock.
153. Migrant Shrike
Saw it in September, 1900; saw one on April 25, 1902.
154. Red-eyed Vireo
Common. Saw one as late as October 8, 1904.
155. Philadelphia Vireo
Noted twice in September, 1900: on the 7th saw two, and on the 18th saw one.
156. Warbling Vireo
Noted September, 1900, trip.
157. Yellow-throated Vireo
Noted in September, 1900.
158. Solitary Vireo
Seen on several trips. Saw several October 5 to 7, 1904.
159. Black and White Warbler
Common, especially on the May trips.
160. Nashville Warbler
Took 1 on September 27, 1902. On May 2, 1933, I saw two.
161. Orange-crowned Warbler
Shot one on September 15, 1900.
162. Northern Parula Warbler
Noted in September, 1900. Don’t find that I have any other dates.
163. Cape May Warbler
Saw one September 12, 1900. Shot a female, September 27, 1902. May 12, 1933, I saw one.
164. Yellow Warbler
A quite common summer resident. Breeds.
165. Black-throated Blue Warbler
Have quite frequently met with it during migrations: September, 1900; October 5, 1904; May 16, 1905; and May 10, 1935.
166. Myrtle Warbler
Common migrant. On my November 17 to 23 visit, 1902, I saw several. On January 11, 1939, I saw several which must have been spending the winter.
167. Mangolia Warbler
Regular migrant spring and fall.
168. Chestnut-sided Warbler
Regular spring and fall migrant.
169. Bay-breasted Warbler
Spring and fall migrant.
170. Black-poll Warbler
Common migrant both seasons.
171. Blackburnian Warbler
I have seen a few during both spring and fall migrations.
172. Black-throated Green Warbler
A spring and fall migrant
173. Palm Warbler
Have seen but one: October 6, 1904.
Spring and fall migrant.
Have seen several on my spring and fall trips.
176. Mourning Warbler
May 18, 1908, saw a male along the board (cement now) walk.
177. Maryland Yellow-throat
Have seen the Chat on the mainland near the upper end, or head, of the bay.
179. Wilsons Warbler
On the September, 1900, trip I saw several. May 16 - 20, saw several.
180. Canadian Warbler
Have seen several during the migrations in May.
Quite common during the migrations.
Seen on both September trips. Seen September 11, 1900; May 19, 1905; October 17-19, 1911, saw a few; and May 20, 1905, saw 14. All that were seen were on the high outside beach.
184. Brown Thrasher
The only one I have seen here was on the outside beach on September 22, 1905. It probably had just arrived, as it soon left for the nearby bushes.
185. House Wren
A few have come to my notice.
186. Winter Wren
Have only recorded it twice: April 16, 1903, one; and April 27, 1932, one.
187. Short-billed Marsh Wren
May 19, 1905, I shot a male in heavy swale grass near Big Pond. June 10, 1932, I found a spot of about half an acre on which I found upwards of a dozen nests, none containing eggs however. All may have been decoys or may have been early for eggs.
188. Long-billed Marsh Wren
Common. IN early June, 1910, I found many nesting in the cat- tails of Niagara Pond and marsh. A number of nests held eggs.
189. Brown Creeper
Occasionally seen on my trips in April and October.
190. White-breasted Nuthatch
Found regularly on my different trips at all seasons.
191. Tufted Titmouse
In former years, when on hunting trips, I have no records of seeing this bird on the Peninsula at all. Of late years, however, I seem to see it on most of my visits and it must now be a resident.
Common on all trips.
193. Gold-crowned Kinglet
Have seen it several times in October, but don’t find any spring records.
194. Ruby-crowned Kinglet
Have met with this kinglet here during April and May trips, also October trips.
195. Wilsons Thrush
I find by looking over my notes that I have found this thrush in May and September.
196. Gray-cheeked Thrush
September 18, 1900, I shot one and saw 1 or 2 more. There were many thrushes at this time and it was a little hard to pick out the different ones because of the heavy vegetation.
197. Olive-backed Thrush
This species was migrating at the same time in September, 1900, as was the gray-cheeked, and it was hard to tell them apart unless quite close, when a full view of the bird might be had.
198. Hermit Thrush
Met with it quite commonly only during the migrations.
Common, at times abundant.
Not at all scarce. Earliest seen there March, 1, 1933, saw two.
Additions to list of birds seen at Erie:
Additions to list since March 1, 1941:
201. Great Black Backed Gull
March 7, 1941, I spent the day on the Peninsula. The bay was still frozen, but there were several large open places. At the head of the bay just west of Police Headquarters was quilt a large opening. Her I found a flock of 30 swans, also a few American Mergansers, 2 black ducks, and number of Herring Gulls. On looking them over carefully, I saw also a large Black- backed Gull in perfect plumage. I spent at least 2 hours watching this bird. It was seen and recognized at once without glasses, but with the glassess it showed up beautifully. It moved about considerably and at time came up to withing 500 feet, but no chance to get a picture. In the afternoon though, I failed to find it again. This one was and an adult that I saw at Warren years ago during a blizzard are the only 2 I ever saw alive. May have seen this gull in immature plumage and not recognized it of course.
Green Heron (Butorides virescens) is the smallest of the herons found in North America. Roughly the size of a crow, the Green Heron is quite colorful with dark green cap, back, and wings, chestnut neck and chest, and yellow feet.
From the Simpson Journals:
List of different species personally taken at Erie:
1. Horned Grebe
2. Pied-bill Grebe
4. Herring Gull
5. Bonapartes Gull
6. Caspian Tern
7. Common Tern
8. Black Tern
9. Red-breasted Merganser
10. Hooded Merganser
12. Black Duck
14. Green-winged Teal
15. Blue-winged Teal
16. Ring-bill Gull
20. American Scaup
21. Lesser Scaup
26. American Scoter
27. White-winged Scoter
28. American Bittern
29. Least Bittern
30. Green Heron
31. Sora Rail
32. Virginia Rail
34. Wilson’s Snipe
35. Knot Sandpiper
36. Pectoral Sandpiper
37. Bairds Sandpiper
38. Least Sandpiper
39. Red-backed Sandpiper
40. Semipalmated Sandpiper
42. Greater Yellow-legs
43. Lesser Yellow-legs
45. Upland Plover
46. Black-bellied Plover
47. Golden Plover
48. Killdeer Plover
49. Semipalmated Plover
50. Piping Plover
52. Ruffed Grouse
53. Pigeon Hawk
54. Bald Eagle
55. Sharp-shin Hawk
56. Short-eared Owl
57. Yellow-bellied Woodpecker
59. Olive-sided Flycatcher
60. Acadian Flycatcher
61. Least Flycatcher
62. Prairie Horned Lark
64. Nelsons Sparrow
65. Swamp Sparrow
66. Fox Sparrow
67. Tree Swallow
68. Philadelphia Vireo
69. Warbling Vireo
70. Nashville Warbler
71. Orange-crowned Warbler
72. Cape May Warbler
73. Yellow Warbler
74. Magnolia Warbler
75. Black-poll Warbler
76. Maryland Yellow-throat
78. Short-billed Marsh Wren
79. Gray-cheeked Thrush
80. Olive-backed Thrush
81. Wilsons Thrush