Friday, May 27, 2005

End of Migration

Yesterday I took a short walk around a little pond at the UConn Health Center. The Canada Geese have some little goslings now. They were feeding in the grass, while a few other adult geese floated around in the pond.

In a tree overhanging the pond I saw a male Orchard Oriole hopping around and singing.

On the way back to my office I stopped by the outflow stream and found a male Wilson's Warbler in a bush. In our parking lot the Warbling Vireos were singing.

I noticed that the Coltsfoot that were flowering last month have gone to seed and have little fuzzballs on the end of long stalks. The Russian Olives are in full flower with tens of thousands of tiny yellow trumpet-like flowers. The smell is very powerful and can be detected a long way from the bushes. It smells a bit spicy.

This afternoon at lunch I took a walk at the MDC Reservoir on Farmington Avenue in West Hartford. The vegetation has fully emerged, save a couple of trees. I watched a six-spotted tiger beetle running on the path in front of me. It flew a few feet when I got too close. A Gray Tree Frog was calling high in a tree near the trail.

At one of the ponds I saw a fine Northern Watersnake slip into the water of the small reservoir when I approached. There was some vegetation in the water which it hid in. I moved the vegetation and the snake, about 2 feet long, swam away underwater.

On the insect front I saw a few skippers (a mulberrywing and a dusky wing of some sort), a ringlet, several pearl crescents and a black swallowtail. I also saw the first dragonflies and damselflies of the summer.

I climbed up onto a small ridge, past some huge dead hemlocks killed by wooly adelgids. On the top of the ridge I watched a Red-eyed vireo feeding in the canopy of a large oak tree.

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