Along the Air Line... 2022 - Spring, Part 2
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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March 21st. East of Route 207, 10 of about 24 Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris). Hard to count as they were often diving.






Lots of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) sunning.









A bright green carpet of moss with erect fertile stalks.



Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus).



Wood Frog (Rana sylvatica) over a bed of algae. The frogs go quiet and dive when they hear or see something nearby.



I waited at least ten minutes without moving before this frog came to the surface.












The ripples spread as it was calling.



Nearby, a clutch of well over 100 eggs.



Peeling loose bark from a decaying log, I found several larvae of the Red Flat Bark Beetle (Cucujus clavipes). Note also the small adult Rove Beetle (Family Staphylinidae) in the lower right corner.



Near the bottom of this photo, note the two elongate Springtails (Class Collembola; probably Family Isotomidae).



I turned back west at the power lines.






March 22nd. Ten Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) at Raymond Brook Marsh. (There were more but didn't fit in the photo.)









An afternoon visit to Cranberry Bog in East Hampton. This pair of Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) were hanging out by the little "island" where geese nest every year. Maybe they'll start a nest soon.



A male Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos) at the teeny pond across Smith Street just west of Cranberry Bog.



Ah, the female too. They're eating Duck Weed (Lemna minor). Each plant consists of a single 3mm floating leaf and dangling root.















Hummocks showing green shoots as this lone Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) grooms far out in the marsh.



March 24th. An adult female Blacklegged Tick (Ixodes scapularis) found walking up my pants leg this afternoon. Learn more about this vector of Lyme Disease here:









Plenty of water flowing at Grayville Falls.





















March 25th. Three of many Ring-necked Ducks (Aythya collaris) at Raymond Brook Marsh.



Does the following duck gain an energy savings by "slip-streaming" in the first duck's wake? Akin to the Vs of geese in flight?






March 26th. Disconcerting to see a Canada Goose (Branta canadensis) with white stripes on its belly. Looks like it's wearing a sweater. Actually, reflections off ripples in the water - they moved while I watched.



While I've heard and sometimes seen Wood Ducks (Aix sponsa) overhead, this male is the first I've seen swimming. (Mallard behind it.)












Hmm, somebody harvested the only two Pussy Willow (Salix discolor) stems at the marsh.



At least some Red Maple (Acer rubrum) flowers are open.



Lots of Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) males active this morning.



I wonder if the females have started to arrive.



March 27th. Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis).



A male Wood Duck (Aix sponsa), a bit hard to see amid last year's Common Reed (Phragmites australis) stalks.



Very hard to see from even moderate distance (And this photo is still cropped a lot from the original.)