Along the Air Line... 2011-2012 - Winter, Part 4
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



February 25th.  Male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) are more numerous now, and calling closer to the trail through the marsh.






February 28th.  At maximum telephoto, it was just possible to make out a pair of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa).



The same picture, cropped.  Grainy, but good enough for ID purposes.



In addition to more Wood Ducks, in the foreground you can just make out two Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca carolinensis).



March 2nd.  A male Hooded Merganser (Lophodytes cucullatus) seen briefly and far away.  Very skittish and soon gone.



Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) are more cooperative.



Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) catkins are starting to expand.  (Spring is coming!)






Speckled Alder (Alnus incana subsp. rugosa). catkins are coloring up and will soon expand and shed their pollen.



The large terminal catkins are male; the smaller subapical catkins are female.



March 4th.  A female Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) calling.  Listen, below...






Further along, a pair of Mallards were feeding.






Three Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) in the distance.












Watch them groom and swim.



Everywhere in the marsh, Red-winged Blackbirds were calling.



March 7th.  Lousy picture, but first Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) seen on the marsh this year.



The three Hooded Mergansers (Lophodytes cucullatus) were much closer today.















Still more Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) calling, this one right beside the trail.






March 8th.  Sixtysix degrees this afternoon.  Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) were paddling around the vernal pool just west of the Jeremy River Bridge.  A few males were calling.



A breeze rippled the surface in pleasing patterns.












Just the ripples.






Back to the frogs.















Moss was in its prime in the rock cut west of the vernal pool.



A comfortable campsite at the junction of Judd Brook and the Jeremy River...



...complete with a cairn.



Nice to hear the water riffling by.









Closer to the Jeremy River Bridge, someone has built a lean-to shelter lined with plastic...



...and floored with boughs.



The stone wall as you approach the Judd Brook Bridge.



And the bridge itself.






Stoneflies perched on the bridge railings.






A different species, or just more patterned in the sun?



Not sure what's going on with this one.  Are those eggs or...?