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 [email protected] Please in­clude a postal ad­dress

Could you iden­tify the bird that built this nest? It was found in a field un­der an ev­er­green tree. First Class stu­dents, St Brigid’s NS, Lim­er­ick

■ It’s prob­a­bly one of the tits, ei­ther the long-tailed or the great tit. While feed­ing ducks with my grand­daugh­ter by the lakeshore in En­niskillen, I no­ticed this dif­fer­ent coloured one. It was slightly smaller than the mal­lards, which seemed an­tag­o­nis­tic to it. James Arm­strong, En­niskillen, Co Fer­managh ■ It looks like a cross be­tween a do­mes­tic duck and a wild duck, prob­a­bly a mal­lard. At the end of May I found two of these flow­ers in the sand hills of Bar­l­ey­cove in west Cork. Sean Hunt, York, Eng­land

■ It’s the west­ern marsh orchid, which blooms in May and June and only oc­curs in Ire­land.

Are these mush­rooms that I found on my lawn ed­i­ble? Dar­ragh McAl­lis­ter, En­nis, Co Clare

■ They be­long to the very large Mycena species (bon­net fungi), which are tiny and have no value as an ed­i­ble mush­room. Some of them are poi­sonous. On a visit to San Fran­cisco in Novem­ber, I saw these beau­ti­ful geese on a golf course. What are they called? Phyl­lis O’Meara, Bal­ly­de­hob, Co Cork

■ They are Canada geese, which can be res­i­dent or mi­grat­ing. They are con­sid­ered a nui­sance by many Cal­i­for­nian prop­erty own­ers.

Clockwise from far left: ■ cross be­tween do­mes­tic and wild duck; a tit’s nest; geese in San Fran­cisco; Mycena species of mush­room; and a west­ern marsh orchid

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