Along the Air Line... 2011 - Spring, Part 6
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



April 26th.  A male Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) singing on a foggy morning.



Orb-weaving spiders had been spinning overnight.



For such a large web, presumably the adult spider had overwintered.



Lots of Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) just east of Grayville Road.



The flowers only last a few days.









Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia).






Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum).






The mottled leaves are diagnostic.



Bluets or Quaker Ladies (Houstonia caerulea).



A great year for Marsh-marigold (Caltha palustris).  Look for it where you find large patches of Skunk Cabbage or False Hellibore.






I came across a large chorus of American Toads (Bufo americanus).



Listen to them!






April 28th.  Heavy drizzle.  Birds foraging before the afternoon's predicted thunderstorms.






April 29th.  Spring foliage rivals fall's intensity but in pastel hues.









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



And the female.



A male Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia) sings.






The male Red-winged Blackbirds continue to display and call.









Still April 29th.  An afternoon visit to the trail, east of Willimantic.  One Great Blue Heron nest is to the left; three more on a single trunk in the center.  (At least the top two nests in the center are active.)



The water in this marsh is much higher than last year.  Beavers have constructed a massive dam and lodge adjacent to the trail.



A Great Blue Heron perched near the nest at the left.



This nest doesn't look complete.  The bird (a male, presumably) exhibited this posturing behavior.


















Changing of the guard at the middle nest in the center of the marsh. (You can make out the head of a bird in the nest above too.)






























Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia).



A Cinquefoil (Potentilla sp.).



A male Eastern Tailed Blue (Everes comyntas).



Six-spotted Green Tiger Beetle (Cicindela sexguttata).