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 Please in­clude a postal ad­dress

We have found the re­gur­gi­tated stuff men­tioned in Eye on Na­ture on July 1st. It can range in colour from pink to light pur­ple. We dis­sected it and found a mix­ture of pulp and seeds re­gur­gi­tated by our jack­daws and rooks. The seeds ger­mi­nated and pro­duced lit­tle ivy plants. Ulli Peiler Bal­ly­mote, Co Sligo

■ The pulp of ivy seeds is pur­ple.

For the first time buz­zards have nested in the top of an ash tree in a wood­land in Co Meath. This pho­to­graph taken by a neigh­bour shows the chick al­most fully fledged. Clive R Sy­mons Mace­town, Co Meath

I saw the plant in my pho­to­graph on a stone wall in­side the monas­tic cashel on Inish­mur­ray, off Co Sligo. Ea­mon McPart­land Grange, Co Sligo

■ The plant is navel­wort, which grows on old walls, on cliffs and in rocky places.

Can you iden­tify the in­sect that I found on a lily plant? John Derby Cashel, Co Tip­per­ary ■ It is the red lily leaf bee­tle, from look­ing at your pho­to­graph. My grand­son found the whelk shell in the pho­to­graph I’m send­ing you at Lay­town beach, Co Meath. It is about 12cm long and 1-1.5mm thick. How big can these an­i­mals be?

Eyes on na­ture: one of the buz­zards that Clive Sy­mons’s ■ neigh­bour pho­tographed in Co Meath; Vin­cent Devlin’s pho­to­graph of re­gur­gi­tated pink stuff that Ulli Peiler has re­sponded to this week; and navel­wort on Inish­mur­ray Fred Fitzsi­mons Car­rick­macross, Co Mon­aghan

■ Com­mon whelk shells can nor­mally reach 11cm, so yours is par­tic­u­larly large. Whelks grow their shells around a cen­tral axis, adding new ma­te­rial from the man­tle at the aper­ture. Sci­en­tists have found that the shell thick­ens most when the whelks are sub­ject to preda­tor pres­sure from crabs, lob­sters and starfish.

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