[CT Birds] Eagles, Fishkill, Old Lyme: Warning this may be long.

Boletebill boletebill at yahoo.com
Sun Jan 12 18:20:29 EST 2014

 After reading Hank and John's report about a dozen bald Eagles in the Griswold Point/ Great Island area I decided to check out the fish-kill for myself.
Smith Neck Rd., First Year Rough legged Hawk w/thick belly band. Three Bald Eagles.
I drove over to the Black Hall marina on rte 154 and saw three eagles right away kiting over the Backhall river. Also 150 gulls. I looked at the river bank and it was littered with dead Striped Bass. I walked up the river about 100 yards and counted 90++ dead bass, 12 to 25 inches. I met some birders there and they said there were eagles up the river where Mile Creek rd. crosses. I drove up there and found 5 eagles in the area and again the banks were littered with dead bass. This is about 2.5 miles north of Griswold point where Dave first reported the fish-kill. I walked upstream along the bank and about 50 yards from the road the river makes a sharp bend and it seems to be deep there. I counted 700 dead bass in that one area and kept walking north for another 1/4 mile and as far as I could tell the trail of dead fish continued on northward as far as I could see. In short there's 1,000's of dead Striped Bass there, a huge biomass and it will be
 interesting to see how long this resource (I use that word here hesitantly) holds Eagles and who knows what else.
PS: These bass are in good shape due to the weather no doubt, no sign of deterioration, except that many of them have their eye pecked out.

Bill Yule
"For those who hunger after the earthly excrescences called mushrooms."

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