Along the Air Line... 2010 - Summer, Part 6
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



August 19th.Two Cooper's Hawks (Accipiter cooperii) and three crows share a distant dead tree at the marsh.



The hawks were active, seeming to chase each other...






...and the crows.  But none of it seemed very serious.  The crows were neither intimidated nor aggressive.



Thanks to the CT Audubon Society's Kasha Breau for the ID.






August 21st. Hickory Tussock Moth (Lophocampa caryae) on maple.  This common late summer caterpillar becomes a stunning moth.






August 26th.  Primrose Moth (Schinia florida) on Evening Primrose.  Always seen with their heads tucked into primrose blossoms.



August 31st. I watched this Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) alight and parade back and forth, head pointed skyward.












Feathers fluffed for a more imposing body.



The bird I had spotted is at the right.  I hadn't noticed the one at the left.  Its feathers are puffed too, though its neck isn't extended.  This bird soon took off, squawking.



Strutting!  I assume a territorial behavior since it's not mating season.  Can anyone confirm or correct me?






Steeplebush (Spiraea tomentosa) emergent from grassy hummock.



September 1st. A fungal fruiting body is expanding not far from Route 85 Lumber.  Over 3" across today.  Will it be a mushroom cap or a puffball?  We'll see.



September 2nd.  The start of a hot and hazy day.  Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).



Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) - at rest.



Best viewed fullscreen and at 720p (HD).



Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) - take flight.



Best viewed fullscreen and at 720p (HD).



Lots of Tree Swallows!  (Note; September 11th: In the nine days since I posted these photos, there have been no more swallows on the marsh.  Apparently, this day's behavior was their "revving up" for the beginning of migration south.  These short flights remind me of the way Canada Geese begin to call and recruit others to call until in their frenzy, all take off.  In the case of geese, often the call recruiting fizzles out several times before the threshold of excitement for flight is reached.  Perhaps in swallows, the recruitment takes the form of these short "musical chairs" flights - until some threshold of excitement is crossed and flight is sustained and directed south.)



Back to the marsh for sunset.