Along the Air Line... 2017 - Fall, Part 2
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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September 27th.  Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa).









September 28th.  Peter Urbanik's photo of an American Kestral (Falco sparverius), taken in the evening at Raymond Brook Marsh.  (Cropped from his original.)



September 30th.  Rain overnight.  Heavy clouds remaining.









American Beaver (Castor canadensis).



Darker clouds and thunder as I returned towards Route 85.



October 1st.  Sunshine!  Backlit Phragmites australis, the invasive Giant Reed Grass.



October 2nd. Thirty-eight degrees.  Fog off the marsh as the sun came up.



Barred Owl (Strix varia) in deep, backlit shade.


















Yet another hawk on the dead tree where I saw a Merlin recently.  ID?









October 3rd.  Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis) caterpillar on Morrow's Honeysuckle. The adult of this sphinx moth is a bumblebee mimic that hovers over flowers to suck nectar.



More pictures of the adult, caterpillar color variations, and distribution map here:



Woolly Alder Aphids (Prociphilus tessellatus), tended by ants (Probably New York Carpenter Ants, Camponotus novaeboracensis).



The aphids, covered by filaments of white wax exuded from pores on their bodies, are protected from predators and parasites by the ants, in return for "honeydew", sugary waste from the aphids' sap feeding.  Think of the aphids as the ants' herd of cows.



October 4th.  Forty degrees at 7:15 A.M.



Ground fog lifting.


















Yesterday's Snowberry Clearwing (Hemaris diffinis) caterpillar has changed color.  Pre-pupal?



An early afternoon stop at Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.  Lots of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis).



Some Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) mixed in too.  Notice anything odd in this photo?



Optical illusion, but very odd.


















Eastern Chipmunk (Tamias striatus).






Domestic Goose at the little barnyard just east of Cranberry Bog.



The last Sweet Pea (Lathyrus odoratus) blossoms of the year.



(This is picture number 17,000 at this "Along the Air Line..." site, not counting those on my special topics and off-trail pages.)









A few late Asters blooming.









Lots of male Meadowhawk dragonflies patrolling.  Several species in New England are virtually identical in coloration but I think this is an Autumn Meadowhawk (Sympetrum vicinum).