Along the Air Line... 2018 - Spring, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Stan Malcolm Photo



April 7th.  Male Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) at Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.



He was taking a break.



Back on guard duty as his mate incubates eggs.









Chives, one of the first green things of spring.  Crush a few between your fingers and sniff the aroma!



Tiny yellow flowers of Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) attached to the heavy round spadix, inside the maroon sheltering spathe.



April 10th.  Light snow and 33 degrees at 7:30 A.M.






April 11th.  Heavy frost at 24 degrees.






Late morning, a short walk east from Route 207. Three Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) still around.









One male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa).












April 12th.  Very foggy (obviously).















April 13th.  A day away from the trail, taking pictures at Magic Wings butterfly conservatory in South Deerfield, MA. 
See my FlickR gallery of photos here:
Magic Wings' web site:



April 14th.  Renovations seem to be underway for an old beaver lodge.



Some male Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) continue to display, though many seem to be spending time down low in the hummocks or shrubs, prersumably near females and nests.






Nice to see American Robins (Turdus migratorius).



Song sparrows (Melospiza melodia) are back.


















Early afternoon at Cranberry Bog in East Hampton.  Seventy degrees!  Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius).






Several Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) sunning.



Here's another one nearby.



Momma Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) brooding.






April 15th.  An ornamental Daffodil at the Route 85 trail head.



I could have edited out the fly... but, I'm an entomologist.



April 17th.  Very high water at the marsh after 2+ inches of rain yesterday.



A young Beaver (Castor canadensis) out by an old lodge which it seems to be refurbishing.









Lots of foam hung up on the channel side.



Here's an excerpt from a New Foundland and Labrador Government publication that succinctly describes the origins of this foam. 
The full document is here:
Thanks to Patricia Young of the Salmon River Watershed Partnership ( for pointing me towards the link above.




"Our foam" is distinctly of the natural category.






April 20th.  Trying out my new Canon PowerShot SX-60.  (The jury is still out; I've got a lot to learn.) 
Male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus), and Red Maple (Acer rubrum) starting to bloom.






This is a distant Tree Swallow (Pachycineta bicolor).  I've seen several in recent days, plus a Barn Swallow yesterday.



Trail regular Lauren pointed out this female Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) distressingly close to the trail.  It's well withing reach of a dog on even a short leash. 



While well camouflaged from sight, a dog or coyote could easily smell it out.  The bird might escape, but the 8 or so eggs are certainly at great risk.