[CT Birds] Mill River Menhaden
marymushinsky at att.net
Sun Sep 7 23:06:16 EDT 2014
There have been reports from this section of Mill River of menhadden
fish kills, most likely, according to DEEP, because the fish are driven
into tight areas by bluefish. There they run out of oxygen and
suffocate. So the menhadden ("bunker") attract both birds and predatory
fish. Mary Mushinsky, Wallingford
On 9/5/2014 9:24 AM, Robert Hutton via CTBirds wrote:
> Good morning friends. I was driving on Grand Avenue this morning and was greatly surprised to see a Great Egret landing almost right at the bridge by 259 Grand Avenue across from English Station. I stopped the car and walked back and was astonished to see hundreds of gulls on the water nearer to Lombard Street plus a Cormorant behaving very oddly, bobbing up an down on the top of the water. There were in fact two Great Egrets and a Great Blue Heron plus a second Cormorant flew overhead and on the other side of the water there were a good number of Ospreys and a few mixed gulls between the Chapel Street Bridge and the Grand Avenue Bridge at English Station.
> Initially I didn't see the dead fish, but when I was watching the Ospreys I saw a Menhaden swimming on its side and looking very gray. As it approached the bridge two other Menhaden floated past with the tide. Further examination saw dozens of dead Menhaden and the birds are obviously having a feast. My concern was that the birds would also be affected by the dying fish but David Simpson of the marine Fisheries Department at the DEEP seems to think the birds will be fine, that Menhaden losses like this are not uncommon. There is an oily residue on the water here but Mr. Simpson thinks this is likely from the decaying Menhaden.
> Anyway, this little spot is a new BIRDING LOCATION for me.
> 2 x Great Egrets
> 1 x Great Blue Heron
> 8-10 Ospreys
> 2 Double Crested Cormorants
> Numerous Ring-billed Gulls
> Numerous Herring Gulls
> 2 Laughing Gulls
> Robert Hutton
> New Haven
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