Along the Air Line... 2017- Spring, Part 9
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



May 23rd.  A male Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) on guard near the nest over the trail.



The female entered the nest at 8:19:17...



...and departed at 8:32:44, 13 minutes and 27 seconds later.  Towards the end of her time inside, I heard her calling, presumably to alert her mate that she was ready to leave.



The male arrived 23 seconds later, at 8:33:07.



This series of photos covers the 12 seconds that the male was at the nest, with a photo taken about once per second, so they give a good sense of how he spent his time, at first looking around away from the nest, then peering inside, finally looking around again before flying off.




































The male left at 8:33:19.  I didn't stay to see when the female returned.



May 24th.  A quick stop at Cranberry Bog.  The male Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) has joined the female at the nest site.  That's different.



Ah, we have goslings!



I walked down to the far end of the pond and was busy taking pictures of wild flowers.  When I looked up, the male Goose was just a few feet from me.



And here's why.  The family had followed and several goslings were on shore.  This one was already retreating to the water.



Back in the water, the family headed a little farther along before continuing to feed.
























Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) is doing very well this year.



Common Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus).









Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) is just starting to bloom.



In this and the next photo, you can see that the "flower" is really a cluster of much smaller flowers, beautiful in their own right.






English Plantain (Plantago lanceolata).



Yarrow (Achillea millifolium) is getting ready to flower.



Buttercup (Ranunculus sp.).



Dandelion (Taraxacum offinale) seed heads.



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






Spring colors on fresh Maple leaves - and no caterpillar damage yet!



Two White-tailed Deer (Odocoileus virginianus) bucks with antlers in velvet.






Eastern Kingbird (Tyrannus tyrannus).



Much more significant Gypsy Moth (Lymantria dispar) caterpillar damage is showing up on Oaks and other hardwoods.



As the caterpillars grow, their markings get more distinct, especially the blue and orange tubercles on their backs...






...and light markings on their sides.



Vaguely, superficially, similar to Gypsy Moth caterpillars are mature Eastern Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma americana).  Look for a white stripe down the back and blue spots on their sides.  Related Forest Tent Caterpillars (Malacosoma disstria) have a broken band of white high-heeled footprints down their back..



Mushrooms on wood chips at the Route 85 trail head ormamental plantings.