Eye on Nature
Your notes and queries
As I jogged along the Lagan in Belfast I saw the blue of a kingfisher as it buzzed up and down the far bank. And then a heron lifted off like a transport plane.
My friend and I were walking on Dollymount Strand when we noticed intricate patterns on the sand. Beside each was a little creature. They appeared to be dead, but then we noticed the legs moving.
Thousands of tiny starfish were dead on Dollymount Strand on February 10th.
They were brittle starfish (Ophiura textura) stranded by huge storm waves.
I was delighted to find a mermaid’s purse on the shore at Aughinish, Co Galway. To what species does it belong? It was about five inches long, with tendrils at both ends, and light brown.
Mullingar, Co Westmeath
It was the egg case of the large spotted dogfish, from which the baby fish had hatched, judging by the photograph you sent.
Michael Viney welcomes observations at Thallabawn, Carrowniskey PO, Westport, Co Mayo, or by email at viney@ anu.ie. Please include a postal address