Along the Air Line... 2009 - Spring, Part 2
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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April 9th. The pair of Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) seem to be sticking around.



An Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) gave the marsh a once-over and flew on.












April 10th. Lots of Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) behavior to observe as a pair sit above the nest hole they've adopted.












As aggressive as this looks, I had no sense of that as I watched. It seemed more of a greeting and resembled the begging behavior of juveniles.









Most of the time, the pair sat passively together.



April 11th. Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) leaves are unfurling as the flower spathe shrivels.



False Hellebore (Veratrum viride) is also up. It lookes superficially like Skunk Cabbage at this stage but the leaf venation is different and over time will elongate into a stalk while Skunk Cabbage leaves remain as a basal rosette.



Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) damage to a dead tree. The birds would have been searching for beetle larvae.






The size and number of the chips is impressive.



Downy Rattlesnake-plantain (Goodyera pubescens), an orchid, retains its leaves through the winter. Below the plant is last year's bloom stalk from a neighboring plant.



Rattlesnake-plantain leaves have the most remarkable venation.



Red Maples (Acer rubrum) are blooming.






Some kind soul has planted Daffodil bulbs along the trail.



April 14th. The Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) were a little closer this morning.









Several Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) were on the marsh this morning, the first I've seen in 7.5 years walking the trail.



A Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) noisily shifting for one part of the marsh to another.















April 17th. The Blue-winged Teal (Anas discors) are still around. Seems to be one female and three males. Nice subtle metallic coloring on the male's head.



Twentynine degrees and mist rising around the Canada Geese (Branta canadensis).