Eye on Nature Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney
Last month I spotted lots of these alien, cone-like plants growing along the shore in the docks area of Belfast. They were growing through stones.
James Shannon, Belfast
They are the early shoots of horsetail, an ancient plant that is the bane of gardeners when it gets in. It doesn’t have flowers.
I saw this creature in our pond. It was about 25mm long. Mike Egan, Ballivor, Co Meath
It is the larva of a caddis fly that has camouflaged itself with debris including sand , leaves and small shells.
I spotted this unusual insect on my wall. John McCarthy, Corbally, Limerick
It is one of the ichneumon flies which are parasitic on the young stages of other insects. This one is the sabre wasp,
Rhyssa persuassoria, which lays its eggs in the larvae of the horntail or wood wasp that lays its eggs in the trunks of pine trees.
This little bird lives in the bush beside my mother’s TV room. It flew into the house and I took a photo of it. Diana Dunne, Newcastle, Co Wicklow
It is a fledgling goldcrest.
Recently I noticed a lot of bees flying around and at least 50 bees in the cotoneaster in our back yard. I also saw bees flying into holes in the red-brick wall of one of our terrace houses. Maireád Delamere, Inchicore, Dublin 8.
The latter were solitary bees that make nests in holes in walls, and are useful pollinators.
Clockwise from main: James Shannon’s horsetail; John McCarthy’s sabre wasp; Diana Dunne’s fledgling goldcrest; Mike Egan’s caddis-fly larva