Eye on Nature
Your notes and queries
I spotted a stick insect in our garden in July. Are they common?
Milltown, Co Kerry
It was the unarmed stick insect (‘Acanthoxyla inermis’), judging by your photograph. They have become naturalised in west Kerry and in Devon and Cornwall.
We live on the shores of Strangford Lough, and a family of otters feed regularly in the currents off the house. Recently I spotted a dog otter dragging to the surface not a fish but a cormorant, which it finished off. Perhaps the two hunters met underwater, pursuing the same fish in poor visibility.
Killinchy, Co Down
I was surprised to see a pair of foxes, in broad daylight, mating at the end of the garden. I like to think of the patter of tiny, foxy feet around our trees.
Parteen, Co Clare
They usually mate at night.
Goldfinches were joined recently at the feeders by a group of siskins, one of which was totally white.
Kilmacud, Co Dublin
Michael Viney welcomes observations at Thallabawn, Carrowniskey PO, Westport, Co Mayo, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include a postal address