Along the Air Line... 2024 - Spring, Part 9
The Air Line Trail in Eastern Connecticut - Stan Malcolm Photos

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April 14th. A male Red-winged Blackbird (Agelaius phoeniceus) calling.



And now there are females to call to.












Once again I've seen a male Tree Swallow (Tachycineta bicolor) trying to "sell" a Wood Duck house to a female.



Nice metallic reflections on this male Bufflehead's (Bucephalus albeola) head. Only shows at certain angles.



A male Green-winged Teal (Anas crecca carolinensis).



Cherry Plum (Prunus cerasifera). Three years ago I photographed this plant on April 14th, two years ago on April 15th, and on April 14th last year and this year. Remarkably reliable.






It's a shrubby thing; I think regrown from a stump.



Forsythia (Forsythia suspensa) has been blooming for awhile but is about at peak now.



April 15th. This is the same Spotted Turtle (Clemmys guttata) that I photographed on April 9th. Spots on front shell margin are an exact match.






The pair of Tree Swallows (Tachycineta bicolor) considering this Wood Duck house for a nest.



A horse and rider on the trail. Both friendly.






Bluets (Houstonia caerulea) in bloom east of Cook Hill Road, not far from the power lines.









A few Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) still blooming as the hoof-shaped leaves are developing.



I heard several Bitterns in the marsh east of Cook Hill Road, but never saw one.



Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia).



Not much action at the barnyard. Most of the critters were far out in a field further east.



Lots of Bloodroot (Sanuginaria canadensis) just west of Cook Hill Road.









Even more Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) in the same area.















Near Grayville Falls, Trout Lilies (Erythronium americanum) in bloom. The mottled leaves are distinctive. Notice the beetle?



It's a False Blister Beetle (Family Oedemeridae, probably Asclera ruficollis).



There were several of them around.



A typical view of Trout Lily with its distinctive leaves.






A small early Violet (Viola sp.).



Lots of Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) blooming now.






Purple Trillium (Trillium erectum) in bud, just west of Smith Street near Cranberry Bog.






Momma Canadian Goose (Branta canadensis) sitting on lots of down. Correction: most of that "down" is cattail seed fluff.



The first time I've seen her off the eggs - which she covered deep...









...before heading out with her mate for just a couple of minutes feeding.









At the other end of Cranberry Bog, the second female on her nest.