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

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Stan Malcolm Photo

 

 

April 3rd.  Several inches of snow overnight, coating the trees.  Melting fast.

 

 

American Robin (Turdus migratorius).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A pretty day, despite the gusty winds...

 

 

...then a squall passed overhead.

 

 

 

 

 

The squall soon passed by.

 

 

A Downy Woodpecker was busy exploring Giant Reed (Phragmites australis) stems.

 

 

April 4th.  The start of what may be significant snowfall.

 

 

 

 

 

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis).

 

 

 

 

 

Snow on their backs.

 

 

Dedication.

 

 

April 5th.  Most of yesterday's six inches of snow has melted.

 

 

Just one pair of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) on the marsh this afternoon.

 

 

Still some thin ice from last night's 18 degree temps for the mallards to crash through.

 

 

Stray female Mallard feather caught in some brush.

 

 

Pond Lily (Nuphar variegatum) leaf and bud.

 

 

A Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) on the prowl.  First I've seen in the marsh this year, though several have flown over.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe).  It would dart out in search of an insect and return to the perch or one nearby.

 

 

April 7th.  The Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) was back.

 

 

April 9th.  A few Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) on the marsh.

 

 

Watch this goose exhale fog as it calls in the following video.

 

 

 

 

 

Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) have become part of the background noise of the marsh, but this guy would not be ignored.

 

 

 

 

 

April 11th.  First male Eastern Towhee (Pipilo erythrophthalmus) I've seen this spring - in the same spot I've seen them in previous years.

 

 

 

 

 

Accidental shot.

 

 

April 14th.  Thirty degrees.  An Osprey (Pandion haliaetus) catching some rays, far across the marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

April 17th.  Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens) west of the Brownstone Bridge over River Road.

 

 

Small flowers often hidden under leaves, but a powerful perfume.

 

 

 

 

 

Bumble Bees and other pollenators find it an important early nectar source.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria officinalis), an invasive, is spreading along the trail.

 

 

Small White Violets are starting to bloom.