Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - ENVIRONMENT -

I’m send­ing you a photograph I took last Au­gust of a black bee. Steven Falk, au­thor of The Bees of Great Bri­tain and Ire­land, iden­ti­fied it as a bum­ble­bee that has lost all its hair. Tony Mc­ga­ley Knock­lyon, Dublin

Ap­par­ently, late in the sea­son, bum­ble­bees can lose their hair as it gets brushed off by rub­bing on flow­ers.

I saw the bird in my photograph on a plant; it seemed to be feed­ing on the flow­ers. It was about the size and colour of a star­ling, apart from the strik­ing yel­low on its fore­head and chest. Anne Har­ris Bish­op­stown Av­enue, Cork

It was a star­ling, feed­ing on the nec­tar of New Zealand flax flow­ers and col­lect­ing pollen on

its head. John Car­roll from Cour­town, Co Wex­ford, and Jeremy Hutchin­stown from Louis­burgh, Co Mayo, re­ported the same star­ling ac­tiv­ity.

I watched the moth in my photograph emerge from its chrysalis above our front door and fly away. What species is it? Louise Stood­ley Bal­liso­dare, Co Sligo

It was a mag­pie moth. They usu­ally pu­pate on the un­der­side of the leaves of their food plants, which are cur­rant, goose­berry or hawthorn bushes.

Wasps have made a nest in the wall of our house and are busy rush­ing in and out through a small hole. Most of the ex­it­ing wasps are car­ry­ing out in­su­la­tion beads, to make room for the ex­pan­sion of the nest. Gearóid Cahill Ed­mond­stown, Co Louth

Liz Owen Car­ney, from Stil­lor­gan, Co Dublin, sent a photograph of a swal­low­tailed moth, not of­ten seen as it flies at night. Ethna Viney wel­comes ob­ser­va­tions and pho­to­graphs at Thal­labawn, Louis­burgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at Please in­clude a postal ad­dress

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