Along the Air Line... 2019 - Spring, Part 1
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) numerous and in full display.  Until now, they've been only half serious.

 

 

I wonder if the females are starting to show up.

 

 

Yellows and oranges of their epaulets are more than my camera's sensor can handle.

 

 

 

 

 

Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) still numerous amid mist rising from the marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 21st.  A pair of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos) near the exit stream of the marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Early afternoon.  Sorry for so many Ring-necked Duck (Aythya collaris) pictures, but I don't expect them to be around for long.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 23rd.  Four inches of snow overnight but melting quickly this afternoon.

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Lots of American Robins (Turdus migratorius) foraging as a group.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Specks in the sky are fast moving Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor).

 

 

I tried lots of closer shots but this was the best of them.  Most photos had no birds at all.

 

 

I saw over 40 Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And they're off!

 

 

 

 

 

March 24th.  A pair of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) catching the early sun...

 

 

...as were this pair of Mallards (Anas platyrhynchos).  The female's head and neck are oddly colored.  Crossbred with something?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) taking a break.

 

 

March 25th.  Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris).

 

 

 

 

 

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).

 

 

First green showing on the marsh hummocks.

 

 

Early afternoon, east of Cook Hill Road in Lebanon.

 

 

 

 

 

Gates and warning signs where the trail passes under power lines.

 

 

But that's where the male Viceroy butterflies set up their territories.

 

 

Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).

 

 

Bark Beetle (Family Curculionidae; sub-family Scolytinae; probably Scolytus sp.).tracks on the inside of bark from a dead tree.

 

 

The female made the wide, deep, horizontal track, carving out small egg niches on each side with an egg deposited in each.

 

 

The eggs hatch and the larvae tunnel away, their tracks growing wider as they grow larger.

 

 

When the larvae mature, they transform to the adult stage and burrow out through the bark.

 

 

Another style of Bark Beetle tunnels.

 

 

Emergence holes made by the adult beetles.

 

 

An Andrenid Bee (Family Andrenidae) landed on the piece of bark I was photographing.

 

 

 

 

 

Under damp bark loose on the ground, I found this dead Weevil (Family Curculionidae) covered in fungus.

 

 

Nifty jewel-like body with golden scales on the elytra.

 

 

Sowbug, Pillbug, Woodlouse... in any case a terrestrial Isopod.

 

 

Bore Isopods:  Woodlice (probably Philoscia muscorum).  Sorry for the motion blur.

 

 

Teeny (4mm) snail, also on the damp bark.

 

 

Back to Raymond Brook Marsh, hoping for Wood Frogs.  More Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).

 

 

One Painted Turtle (Chrysemys picta) out sunning.