Along the Air Line... 2020 - Spring, Part 1
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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March 22nd. Breezy and 22 degrees. Brutal out; not very spring like...

 

 

...but better as sunshine touched the marsh.

 

 

 

 

 

The resident Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) hunkered down.

 

 

One pair of Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) seem tro be hanging around.

 

 

 

 

 

Wind ripples on the surface.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I saw at least two pair of Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa). Two males here.

 

 

A flock of American Goldfinches (Carduelis tristis) in the Red Maples (Acer rubrum).

 

 

One male was kind enough to perch where I could get a god view.

 

 

He was in mid-molt to his bright black and yellow breeding plumage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bushy Beard Lichen (Usnea strigosa).

 

 

On my way back, the geese were a bit more active...

 

 

...briefly.

 

 

I caught up with the Wood Ducks that flew off from the far end of the marsh. Here, the pairs were together.

 

 

 

 

 

March 23rd. Some of the Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) at Raymond Brook Marsh.

 

 

First Eastern Phoebe (Sayornis phoebe) I've seen this year.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

East of Route 207, the pair of Bufflehead ducks (Bucephala albeola) is still around.

 

 

March 24th. Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) at Raymond Brook Marsh mid-morning.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was being watched.

 

 

With snow followed by heavy rain yesterday, the marsh is up to the level it was at before the trapper breached the beaver dam two years ago. Since the dam remains breached, the water level will quickly drop by about 18".

 

 

Common Reed (Phragmites australis) reflections.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The male Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis) stood out from far away.

 

 

East of Route 207, the Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) were mostly dozing.

 

 

The male Bufflehead (Bucephala albeola) was busy hunting.

 

 

 

 

 

March 26th. A pair of Mourning Doves (Zenaida macroura)...

 

 

...demonstrating social distancing. (Same birds as in the previous photo but from a different angle.)

 

 

A single Mourning Dove in better light with the sun reaching it a little while later.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia).

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Northern Cardinal (Cardinalis cardinalis). Funny "Red red" Latin name.

 

 

A pair of European Starlings (Sturnus vulgaris) hang out atop Juliano Pools' storage building. I think they may nest in a light fixture.