Along the Air Line... 2019 - Spring, Part 3
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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April 2nd. This female flower of American Hazelnut (Corylus americana) is now fully open.

 

 

The male catkins have opened too.

 

 

 

 

 

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)...

 

 

...kicking itself in the head.

 

 

 

 

 

Female seems to be thinking, "Oh no, he's doing it again. I can't bear to look"

 

 

Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodius) hunkered down on the frosty morning.

 

 

Still quite a few Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris), though far less than the forty I counted recently.

 

 

 

 

 

April 3rd. Male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa).

 

 

 

 

 

April 5th. Northern River Otter (Lutra canadensis). Never in one spot or above the surface long enough for a decent photo. Far, far away.

 

 

Wood Duck (Aix sponsa) male.

 

 

Female Ring-necked Duck.

 

 

And a male, where finally you can see the maroon ring on its neck that inspires its common name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Canada Geese (Branta canadenisis).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The marsh hummocks are really greening up now.

 

 

Hazy morning just after dawn.

 

 

A pair of Canada Geese using the shallows above an old beaver lodge for a quick "wash and brush up".

 

 

Many years ago, it was a nesting site.

 

 

Unfair race between a Canada Goose and a pair of Ring-necked Ducks.

 

 

The goose won.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos).

 

 

Quick look in the mirror?

 

 

 

 

 

Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe). Learn about it here: https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/Eastern_Phoebe

 

 

 

 

 

An afternoon stop at Cranbery Bog. Can you spot the Canada Goose?

 

 

She's hunkered down on her nest at the right in the photo above..

 

 

 

 

 

Looking across to the distant nest from the parking lot.

 

 

The male was patrolling nearby...

 

 

...ready to chase anything that came close.

 

 

 

 

 

Across Smith Street, Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) leaves are unfurling...

 

 

...and Wild Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are a nice touch of aromatic green.

 

 

A Fire-colored beetle larva (Family Pyrochroidae, Dendroides canadensis) found under loose bark.

 

 

A male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) calling from a Red Maple (Acer rubrum) about to flower.

 

 

Nearby, the Red Maple flowers were open.

 

 

 

 

 

At least one American Beaver has survived the trapper. (The season ended on March 31st, when females were already pregnant.)

 

 

I can't begin to express my dismay at the legal (in fact in this case encouraged by DEEP) slaughter of these beneficial creatures...

 

 

...in Raymond Brook Marsh where they maintain an environment suitable for waterfowl...

 

 

...and encourage water to soak in and replenish the aquifer that we all depend on for our water supply.

 

 

March 9th. Red Maple (Acer rubrum) flowers up close.

 

 

Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoniceus) females have begun nesting in the hummocks.

 

 

Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) hanging out in the shallow water atop the site of a beaver lodge last active 15+ years ago.

 

 

April 10th. A female Hooded Merganser (Lolphodytes cucullatus).

 

 

 

 

 

The first time in memory that I've seen Buffleheads (Bucephala albeola) at Raymond Brook Marsh. Female at left.

 

 

They're a diving duck.

 

 

 

 

 

April 11th. The Bufflehead pair was still around.