Along the Air Line... 2022 - Spring, Part 20
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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June 7th, continued. At Cranberry Bog young Red-winged Blackbirds (Agelaius phoeniceus) were hunting insects on Bullhead-Lily (Nuphar variegatum) pads. Note the slender stick in the bird's mouth.

 

 

The young birds hop from pad to pad.

 

 

This one still had the stick. Was it simply stuck in the bird's mouth, was it using it as a tool, or what?

 

 

 

 

 

Above me in the parking lot, a male blackbird...

 

 

...was yelling. At me? Maybe, but it seemed more like he was communicating with the several young blackbirds on the lily pads. His offspring? (Their former nest was nearby.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A couple of Painted Turtles (Chrysemys picta) resting on exposed bullhead-lily rhizomes..

 

 

 

 

 

Four adult Canada Geese (Branta canadensis) and 6 maturing goslings.

 

 

 

 

 

Wing pads and fuzz-butt.

 

 

Barest hint of what will be white patches on their heads.

 

 

Adults are molting, so probably none of the geese can fly just now.

 

 

I saw more adult geese across the bog, but no sign of goslings there.

 

 

June 8th. Green Frog (Rana clamitans).

 

 

Hmm, looks like some damage to its left eye.

 

 

June 9th. I found this Stinkpot or Musk Turtle (Sternothaerus odoratus) on the trail, all tucked in as I approached - so I briefly picked her up for a close up view.

 

 

I then waited a good 7 minutes before she began opening up...

 

 

...circled around to her left...

 

 

 

 

 

...and wandered off the trail.

 

 

Pasture or Carolina Roses (Rosa carolina) are in full bloom.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the Route 85 trailhead, the three Poke Milkweed (Asclepias exaltata) plants are doing well, though I fear they will be mowed down by the DEEP summer help. These are the only Poke Milkweed plants I know of on the trail.

 

 

A good sized female Snapping Turtle (Chelydra serpentina) on the grass near Juliano Pools.

 

 

 

 

 

She circled, tearing up the grass...

 

 

...perhaps prior to laying eggs in the soft soil there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 10th. One of two Great Blue Herons (Ardea herodias) at the marsh this morning.

 

 

June 11th. Patterns of Sensitive Fern (Onoclea sensibilis) fronds.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elegant Grass-veneer moth (Microcrambus elegans), roughly 9mm long at most.

 

 

The usual morning Eastern Cottontail (Sylvilagus floridanus) with half eaten greens sticking out of its mouth.

 

 

Spreading Dogbane (Apocynum androsaemifolium) has just started blooming.

 

 

Yarrow (Achillea millifolium).