[CT Birds] Stratford/Milford - some sightings and an observation

Mntncougar at aol.com Mntncougar at aol.com
Mon Mar 9 09:47:51 EDT 2015

Birdseye St boat ramp and Knapp's Landing Restaurant:  relatively quiet, 
but the usual assortment of waterfowl; Am. Coots, Gadwall,  Mallard and Black 
Ducks, RB Mergansers, Bufflehead, Scaup sp, C. Goldeneye, Am.  Wigeon, Mute 
Swan, Canada Geese and Brant. there were several rather tame Horned  Grebes 
around the boat launch, affording nice close views. One B Eagle  out in the 
snowy Milford Marsh,apparently eating from bird carcasses, and  one or two N 
Long Beach: very little activity except for big rafts of  Oldsquaw and some 
Stratford Point, Short Beach: similar to Birdseye/Knapps but  rafts of 
Scaup and flocks of Horned Larks and Snow Buntings, mostly along the  water's 
Mondo Pond: Just a sliver of open water left but at least 7  Duck species 
Including 1 Red Head, 1 Wood Duck, a few Hooded Mergansers and  1 Ring-necked 
Caswell Cove, at the end of Caswell St, which is the  continuation of Bic 
Drive. My first visit there, and well worth it. At least 8  Bald Eagles, 
probably quite a few more. All but possibly one were  immature. At one point 
there were 6 sitting on the ice downriver towards the  bridges, all within 10 
feet of each other. Appeared that 1 had something to eat  and the others were 
very interested. 1 PEREGRINE FALCON, circling around the  power plant, and 
appeared to land on the roof somewhere. Red-tailed Hawks  everywhere, going 
up and down the river, sitting in trees and just circling  overhead. At 
least 4 seen at once but I think quite a few more than that. Also,  at least 3 
Great Cormorants, sitting on the ice downriver  and  occasionally passing 
close by us as well. I wonder how many eagles would have  been seen there just 
10 years ago. Perhaps one on a good  day.
One thing I noted at several locations is the number of bird  carcasses. 
The ones I could ID were all Canada Geese, but I think some were  ducks as 
well. Probably half a dozen or more at  Caswell Cove, one on the  shore less 
than 100 feet from the parking area. One right in the middle of the  boat ramp 
at Birdseye, looked like it had washed up with the tide. I assume a  
combination of the extreme cold and starvation is doing them in. The Geese dine  
on plant life, and almost nothing is exposed anywhere for them to graze on.  
Certainly there are minimal aquatic plants yet. 
Don Morgan, Coventry,  Ct
mntncougar at aol.com

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