Along the Air Line... 2016-2017 - Winter, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

February 21st. First observed on February 18th, male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) are now back in numbers and calling closer to the trail.

 

 

 

 

 

February 22nd.  Rare sighting of a Bald Eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus) far across Raymond Brook Marsh.

 

 

Way beyond the capacity of my little camera to get a sharp, low-noise image.

 

 

I'm guessing this is a fairly young bird.  It seems to have some dark feathers amid the white of its head - and not a lot of white in its tail.

 

 

February 23rd.  Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata).

 

 

I know, too many Red-winged Blackbird pictures!  But this bird was close, patient, and oh so colorful.

 

 

Oh, and loud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did I mention loud?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice to see Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) on the soft ice and open patches of water.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Steppin' out.

 

 

Footprint paradox?  No, a pair-o'-ducks.

 

 

 

 

 

American Crow (Corvus brachyrhyncos).

 

 

Deer footprint in deep mud.  Two large hooves to the right; two much smaller toes at the left.  The latter are usually held above the ground so not often visible in prints.  With deep mud, they touched.  The deer would have been moving to the right.

 

 

February 24th. Chives!  A welcome green sign that spring is coming.

 

 

A lone Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) calling, far out on the marsh.

 

 

Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata).

 

 

Feeding on Red Maple buds?

 

 

A pair of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) catching the early sun.  Thought I saw a Wood Duck fly by, but too fast to be sure.

 

 

February 25th.  Fifty-two degrees at 7:00 A.M.  First Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) of the year.

 

 

February 26th.  A pair of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) on the marsh...

 

 

 

 

 

...but they soon departed.

 

 

February 28th.  One of two White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) I saw far across the marsh.

 

 

Turns out there were at least five, counting ears and a rump in this lousy photo.

 

 

March 3rd.  Twentyone degrees.  A distant female Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon).

 

 

March 6th.  Red-tailed Hawk (Buteo jamaicensis) puffed against the cold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 9th.  Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) have been around for awhile, but this was my first chance to photograph them.  They were far out in the marsh.

 

 

These were all males, but I saw several females fly up.

 

 

 

 

 

Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) catching the early sun near the beaver dam.  Female.

 

 

Pair.

 

 

Watching me.

 

 

Male.

 

 

 

 

 

March 18th.  First walk since Blizzard Eugene on March 14th.

 

 

Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) ware very loud and numerous.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Not sure whose feather this is.