Along the Air Line... 2015 - Spring, Part 9
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

May 23rd. A Tufted Titmouse (Baeolophus bicolor) gleaning from trees not far from the Route 85 trail head (behind Juliano Pools, the former Route 85 Lumber).

 

 

 

 

 

I'm pretty sure the titmouse was feeding on abundant Mayflies (Order Ephemeroptera) resting on leaves.  Why the mayflies were there, a fair distance from the nearest stream, I can't explain.

 

 

The bird may have harvested the occasional caterpillar too.  I'm pretty sure this is a Dowdy Pinion (Lithophane unimoda).

 

 

After never seeing Yellow-throated Vireos (Vireo flavifrons), today I saw a second pair at the opposite end of Raymond Brook Marsh from the nest I found closer to Old Colchester Road.  I didn't see a nest near this pair.

 

 

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia).  Thanks, Roland, for pointing out the nest.

 

 

A pretty tedious time for the female Canada Goose (Branta canadensis).  According to Cornell's "All about Birds" site, the female does all the brooding while the male guards the nest. 
But the male of this pair spends his time quite far from the nest so seems pretty relaxed about his responsibility.

 

 

A brief afternoon stop at Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.  Goslings!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 24th. Male Orchard Oriole (Icterus spurius).

 

 

Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia). 

 

 

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus).

 

 

Blue Flag iris (Iris versicolor).

 

 

Common Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus).

 

 

False Solomon's-seal (Smilacina racemosa).

 

 

 

 

 

Young oak leaves, backlit.

 

 

Forest Tent Caterpillar (Malacosoma disstria).  Note the white "high-heeled footprints" along its back.  These distinguish it from the Eastern Tent Caterpillar which has an unbroken white line.

 

 

Caterpillar of the Banded Hairstreak (Satyrium calanus), on White Oak (Quercus alba).  For adult butterflies, see: http://www.naba.org/chapters/nabambc/construct-species-page.asp?sp=banded-hairstreak

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Sawfly larva.  Not a caterpillar; not a fly; but a kind of wasp.

 

 

A Firefly (Family Lampyridae; probably Pyractomena sp.).

 

 

Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle (Labidomera clivicollis).

 

 

Assasin Bug (Zelus sp., probably Z. luridus).  Female.

 

 

Male.

 

 

Mayflies (Order Ephemeroptera) are still abundant on foliage behind Juliano Pools.

 

 

 

 

 

A Stonefly (Order Plecoptera); another ancient group of insects.

 

 

A Dragonfly, probably a female Lancet Clubtail (Gomphus exilis) or related species.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Another male Orbweaver spider, similar or identical to one photographed a few days ago.

 

 

 

 

 

A male Mosquito (Family Culicidae).  In addition to bushy antennae, males have maxillary palps as long as the other mouthparts.  Male mosquitoes feed on nectar at flowers; they don't take a blood meal.

 

 

May 26th.  A Luna Moth (Actias luna).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

May 27th.  Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).

 

 

Azalea Leaf "Gall" or Ghost Ears (Exobasidium vaccinii), a fungal infection of Azaleas.  Read about it here.

 

 

Advice is to remove the growths and destroy them - away from the plants to prevent spores from spreading.

 

 

Luna moth (Actias luna), reared from a caterpillar found on the Air Line Trail last fall. Released today; it flew off high and fast. Recently published research finds that the fluttering tails serve to misdirect bat attacks.  Read about it, and watch a video.

 

 

May 28th.  Blue Flag iris (Iris versicolor).