Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney
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