Along the Air Line... 2014 - Spring, Part 2
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

April 2nd.  A Beaver (Castor canadensis) mid-trail...

 

 

...but not for long.

 

 

 

 

 

A few Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) are hanging around the marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

April 2nd, afternoon.  The rock cut east of Old Marlborough Road in Colchester, heading towards the Wood Frogs' vernal pool which is just before the Jeremy River Bridge.

 

 

The Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica) chorus.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ripples made as he calls.

 

 

And away he goes!

 

 

April 3rd.  More Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) passing through.

 

 

Here you can see the brown neck ring that the bird is named for.

 

 

And they're off.

 

 

April 4th.  Near Old Colchester Road, Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) were high in the trees looking for nest holes.  Females have a "teardrop" marking around the eye.

 

 

A nearby male Wood Duck.  (There were at least two pairs.)  Sadly, most of DEEP's Wood Duck nest boxes in the marsh have deteriorated or disappeared.  Natural tree cavities are in short supply.  (That seems to be the case too for smaller woodpecker holes used by Tree Swallows - far fewer swallows over the marsh in recent years.)

 

 

April 8th.  Mid-sixites at last and Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) are out!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A huge Freshwater Leech (probably Macrobdella decora) on the shell of the nearest turtle.

 

 

Pond or Bullhead Lily (Nuphar vareigatum) pads are reaching the surface.  Finally some color!

 

 

Ignore the video; listen to the Spring Peepers (Hyla crucifer) in chorus.  A few Wood Frogs too.

 

 

Wood Frogs (Rana sylvatica) and their egg masses are in the trailside ditch near Old Colchester Road.

 

 

 

 

 

Raymond Brook is moving well after last night's heavy rain.

 

 

April 9th.  Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca carolinensis) are infrequent visitors to the marsh.  Just passing through.

 

 

Similar profile as Mallards but significantly smaller.

 

 

The cinnamon and green metallic head define the male from a distance.

 

 

The teal-green wing patch ("speculum") defines this female.

 

 

April 10th.  An afternoon walk east of Route 207, hoping for Mourning Cloaks.  No butterflies, but did see Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) spathes. Each surrounds a fleshy spadix with tiny flowers on its surface.

 

 

 

 

 

April 12th.  Domestic Goose near Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.

 

 

April 13th.  A female Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phonecius).

 

 

Sedge hummocks are showing green shoots.

 

 

Red Maples (Acer rubrum) are in flower.

 

 

 

 

 

I think this is a Palm Warbler (Dendroica palmarum), passing through on its way to Canada.

 

 

 

 

 

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April 16th.  Twentyeight degrees.  Snow after rain last night left a crusty mess.

 

 

American Robins (Turdus migratorius) foraging for whatever might have been caught out as the cold front came through.

 

 

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is leafing out.