Along the Air Line... 2009-2010 - Winter, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



March 6th.  More Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) are back, and displaying closer to the trail.



I also saw, but was unable to photograph, my first Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) of the year.



March 7th.  One of two White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) spotted on the channel side of Raymond Brook Marsh.






Also seen but not photographed was the first Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) of the year.  Just flying by.



March 8th. Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula).



Male Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) overhead.



March 11th. Male Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus).  (So glad to have my telephoto lens repaired in time for migratory waterfowl!)












Lots of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).






Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura) are paired up.



A irate male Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) lifting off to chase another nearby male.  He then returned to bellow and posture at his mate, as if to say, "Keep your eyes off of him."



March 14th.  Grayville Falls was roaring after a day and night of heavy rain.



First experiments with HD and Standard Video.  I hope to add a new dimension to the site this year.









Raymond Brook Marsh has flooded over long stretches of the trail, in places to a depth of six inches.



Beavers (Castor canadensis) have been flooded out of their lodge.  Luckily, the temperature is fairly warm. Some good news: I heard my first Spring Peeper today.



March 16th.  Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) flower sheaths ("spathes") are expanding.



March 17th. Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) are paired up at Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.



Male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).



At Raymond Brook Marsh, Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) were sunning.  Temps were in the mid-60s.



I could also hear a Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica) chorus nearby.



Whirligig Beetles (Family Gyrinidae) were active on the water surface while Backswimmers (Family Notonectidae) with their long oar-like legs were perched on the underside of the surface film.



A Whirligig resting out of the water.  This one was in the genus Dineutus; others I saw were of the smaller genus Gyrinus.



Oak leaves in a trailside puddle.



March 18th.  Seventyfour degrees in mid-afternoon.  Lots of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) sunning.






Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) were out in a ditch beside the trail.












Water Striders (Family Gerridae) skittered across the water surface, including this mated pair.



Some hummocks were showing green sprouts.



March 19th. Common Grackle (Quiscalus quiscula) is anything but dull black when seen up close.






Getting ready for a territorial call.



Puffed up.



Third eyelid closed gives an odd appearance.



Full cry.



These Mallads seem to have staked out a nest site.



Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) vary greatly in color.



A good match to the oak leaves decaying around it.



Mosquitoes (Family Culicidae) find frogs an early source of a blood meal.






See and hear Wood Frogs calling!



Temps in the mid'70s and Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) were sunning again.