Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

The Irish Times - Weekend Review - - OUTDOORS -

This lichen or fun­gus was found be­side a hedgerow near Kilped­der, Co Wick­low in early Oc­to­ber. Each lit­tle black stem was about 10mm. Si­mon Rogers, Sandy­mount, Dublin 4

It looks like can­dle snuff fun­gus, which grows on de­cay­ing wood.

Driv­ing through Moate’s Main Street I came on this fe­male spar­rowhawk just af­ter strik­ing down a bird for din­ner in the mid­dle of the road. Enda Mur­phy, Tub­ber, Co West­meath

Can you iden­tify this clam shell washed up on the Bur­row beach in Sut­ton? I’m struck by its un­usual size (1 1cm across, be­low). Peter Kingston, Sut­ton, Dublin 13

It is the shell of the ocean qua­hog, Arc­tica is­landica. One was the old­est known an­i­mal when it died at 507 years in 2006. They grow very slowly to 12.5cm, and this one could have been more than a cen­tury old. An­other was found at Loop Head (Eye, Jan­uary 2016).

I spot­ted three lit­tle birds in my gar­den. They were the size of a small tit with short tails, and the most sig­nif­i­cant bit about them were the two black stripes with a white stripe in the cen­tre on

the head. Ur­sula Hak­man, Dún Laoghaire, Dublin

They sound like black-and-white war­blers blown in from Amer­ica on the hur­ri­cane.

Jake Kin­sella of Stephen’s Lane, Dublin 2, sent in photos of a sea mouse, a prickly cockle shell, an orange sponge, an ot­ter shell and a brit­tle star, all washed up af­ter the storm Ophe­lia on Bull Is­land ( see pic­ture of brit­tle star above).

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

Above: Foxes on the top of Corr Cas­tle, an old keep at­tached to the Howth Cas­tle Demesne. Spot­ted by Maria Heather, Howth, Co Dublin. right: shell of the ocean qua­hog

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