Eye on Na­ture

Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - ENVIRONMENT - Ethna Viney wel­comes ob­ser­va­tions and pho­to­graphs at Thal­labawn, Louis­burgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at viney@anu.ie. Please in­clude a postal ad­dress

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.