Eye on Nature
Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney
I saw a lizard in Fanore, in the Burren. I think it is a legless lizard, Anguis fragilis. Suzanne Crosbie Kilshanny, Co Clare Yes, it is the introduced slow worm, found only in the Burren. I found two spiders like the one in the photograph I’m sending you in an old nest box. They were about 5cm long, including legs held forward in a bunch. Eileen Cameron Monkstown, Co Dublin
They were the woodlouse spider, Dysdera crocata, a nocturnal hunter that hides during the day under debris. While walking in Marlay Park recently I saw a large hatch of flies. They were about 10-12mm long and slow flying. Paul Grimes Dundrum, Dublin
They are St Mark’s fly, from looking at your photograph, so called because they appear near April 25th; they drift slowly over low vegetation with their legs hanging down. We have a flock of eight curlews grazing among our sheep. Shouldn’t they be nesting now? Sandy Perceval Ballymote, Co Sligo
They are probably young, nonbreeding birds, as curlews do not breed until they are two. I saw a destroyed nest of eggs after the burning of the heather in the Comeraghs. Mary Dorgan Dunmore East, Co Waterford It just shows the harm to wildlife that illegal burning can do.
I have been observing blue tits in a nesting box for many years. A typical clutch of eggs is between five and eight. This year we have a menage-a- trois, with two females fighting to cover a total of 12 eggs. Gary Nolan Dublin
Eyes on nature: a legless lizard, or slow worm, like the one that Suzanne Crosbie saw in the Burren; a woodlouse spider like the ones that Eileen Cameron saw; and St Mark’s flies. PHOTOGRAPHS: ALASDAIR JAMES/GETTY, ISTOCK/GETTY AND HANS LANG/GETTY