Along the Air Line... 2016 - Fall, Part 2
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

September 29th.  Dusky Birch Sawfly (Craesus latitarsus) larvae in their defensive posture.  Sawflies are Hymenoptera (which include bees and wasps), not Diptera (flies).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September 30th.  Just a hint of fall color.

 

 

A juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk (Buteo lineatus).  Thanks Russ Smiley for the ID.

 

 

 

 

 

October 1st.  Light drizzle after a day and night of rain.

 

 

Today a juvenile Merlin (Falco columbarius).  Russ Smiley provided the ID and wrote, "Note the mask on the face, the dense vertical streaking down the breast, very dark tail with disctinct narrow white bands.  Merlins, like cooper's hawks and sharp-shinned hawks, prey on smaller birds, such as juncos, sparrows, and warblers. As the neotropical birds move south from their breeding ground up north, these predators follow them. I think of them as the wolves of the air."  Thanks, Russ!

 

 

 

 

 

Sumac (Rhus sp.).

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Cricket (Oecanthus sp.).

 

 

Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) still hanging around, though tough to see through screening shrubs.

 

 

October 3rd.  Barred Owl (Strix varia).  Good spotting, Sue!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Poison Ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is among the earliest plants to show fall colors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Maples early too.

 

 

 

 

 

Aster and Sensitive Fern.

 

 

A poisonous Amanita sp.

 

 

October 4th.  Same Poison Ivy as yesterday but in warmer light.

 

 

Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) are showing full adult plumage. That's one fancy duck!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 5th.  A short walk west of Bull Hill Road onto the Lyman Viaduct.  While there, I heard two distant Barred Owls calling... and joined in myself, fitting my hoots in between theirs.  A Halictid "Sweat Bee" (Augochloropsis virescens) on a late blooming Goldenrod.

 

 

A Bumble Bee (Family Bombidae) on Goldenrod too.

 

 

A male Northern Paper Wasp (Polistes fuscatus).

 

 

Lots of late Asters blooming too.

 

 

Bumble Bee.

 

 

Beak deep in an aster blossom.  Body dusted with pollen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A large Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus).  The fuzz clothing the leaves my insulate the plant from winter cold and damp and perhaps protect it from insect attacks.  Next year it will send up a bloom stalk and die.

 

 

October 6th.  Forty-two degrees with fog as air temp is lower than water temp in the marshes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe).

 

 

Common Evening-Primrose (Oenothera biennis) still blooming at the Route 207 trailhead.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

October 7th.  Forty-one degrees.

 

 

October 8th.  Another foggy morning at 43 degrees.  First day of duck hunting season.  Hunters immediately adjecent to the trail, plus another to the northeast, closer to the Rt 85 trail head.