Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

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

We are fas­ci­nated with crows nest­ing nearby as the males look like they are sen­tries. Do they mate for life?

Mike Leahy, Sk­ib­bereen, Co Cork

Rooks mate for life, but males don’t al­ways re­main faith­ful and can wan­der.

I watched an aerial bat­tle, like a Bat­tle of Bri­tain dog­fight, be­tween a crow and two hawks. The crow was hold­ing its own and caw­ing loudly when they left my sight. Is this com­mon be­hav­iour for a crow?

Sea­mus Hayes, Kil­con­nell, Co Tip­per­ary

The crow was prob­a­bly de­fend­ing a nest.

I dis­cov­ered this spi­der (left) in my gar­den shed and won­der if it is rare. It was about the size of a soup spoon.

Malachy Daly, Rath­farn­ham, Dublin 14

It is the com­mon or giant house spi­der, Te­ge­naria gi­gan­tea, but mainly seen in out­build­ings.

We came across sev­eral of th­ese red-bummed bees (left) on Inish­bofin over Easter. Are they com­mon in Ire­land?

Jonathan White, Killiney, Co Dublin

It is the red-tailed bum­ble­bee, Bom­bus lap­i­dar­ius, a na­tive and more likely a queen emerged from hi­ber­na­tion. She will start to build a nest by chew­ing wood peel­ings to pulp, then lay eggs to pro­duce work­ers.

This Brent goose (left) was ringed at Laxar­vogur, south­west Ice­land in 2007 and ev­ery year since has trav­elled to the Dublin coast and Strang­ford Lough. I have seen it on two oc­ca­sions at Sk­er­ries, last time on Fe­bru­ary 19th this year.

Liam Kane, Blan­chard­stown, Dublin 15

Our cuckoo re­turned on April 14th.

Mairéad Ní Uig­inn, Drom­a­hair, Co Leitrim

I note that he ar­rived to you on April 17th last year.

This Brent goose, spot­ted by Liam Kane, Blan­chard­stown, Dublin 15, has been a reg­u­lar vis­i­tor to our shores since be­ing ringed at Laxar­vogur, south­west Ice­land in 2007

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