Along the Air Line... 2008 - Spring, Part 2
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

April 14th. Afternoon. Lots of Palm Warblers (Dendroica palmarum) in the marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) first bloomed today. (I saw no sign of it as recently as yesterday.) The leaves will follow after the blooms have gone to seed.

 

 

 

 

 

A few Pussy Willows (Salix discolor) were in flower. I'm surprised how few of these I've seen along the trail.

 

 

The minute blossoms of Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) are just starting to open.

 

 

Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta). Lots of them out today, along with other species.

 

 

I last saw this Northern Black Racer (Coluber constrictor constrictor) on an unusually warm March 5th when the sun tempted it into activity.

 

 

April 16th. Sunny and 70+ degrees brought out the Mourning Cloak butterflies (Nymphalis antiopa) to defend their territories. This one fluttered around my head repeatedly, apparently trying to scare me away.

 

 

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).

 

 

Lily pads are beginning to unfurl on the surface.

 

 

April 18th. Dandelion (Taraxicum officionalis).

 

 

Whirligig Beetles (Family Gyrinidae).

 

 

 

 

 

For this shot, I used a polarizing filter to cut reflections.

 

 

Female Paper Wasps (Polistes sp.) are setting up housekeeping.

 

 

Forsythia planted at the Route 85 trailhead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 19th. Five or six pairs of geese scattered across the marsh.

 

 

This group began moving towards another pair.

 

 

Massing for a confrontation. Most confrontations are verbal and postural...

 

 

...but one of the other group attacked first.

 

 

Attacks like this are usually brief, and peace resumes. All the birds flew off together a little while later.

 

 

Grackles (Quiscalus quiscula) are nearly as common as blackbirds at the marsh.

 

 

A Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia).

 

 

 

 

 

A Yellow-rumped "Myrtle" Warbler (Dendroica coronata).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This view shows the characteristic yellow rump at the base of the tail.

 

 

 

 

 

My best guess is a Savannah Sparrow (Passerculus sandwichensis).

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebirds (Sialia sialis) never strayed far from the marsh throughout the winter.