Eye on Nature

While walking in Tymon Park, in Dublin, I checked on one of the nesting swans that had been sitting for about two weeks. I was very surprised to se(...)

Great lake: mayflies’ sudden emergence from the water and nuptial swarmings have signalled the launch of anglers eager to catch trout with imitation mayflies of their own. Illustration: Michael Viney

The mayflies that dance above the lakes of late spring are of the insect order called Ephemeroptera: they hatch, fly, mate, lay eggs on the water and (...)

Eye on Nature

I saw a cormorant clamber out of the Grand Canal between Clondalkin and Ballyfermot, in west Dublin. A heron almost immediately flew to within two (...)

Pump action: changes in Atlantic circulation could alter the ocean level. Illustration: Michael Viney

Whenever I feel the need to know where the wind is coming from, it helps that our hillside house straddles the compass exactly, so that one corner of (...)

‘Beaming down the bog’: sunrise on Mweelrea, Co Mayo. Illustration: Michael Viney

The first real day of spring is when the mountain moves out of the way of the sun. Freed from Mweelrea’s flank last week, it beamed down the bog to wr(...)

The caddis fly
Eye on Nature

We came across an intriguing insect on St Patrick’s Day on Bunmahon Beach. It was peeping out of a case made of debris and was less than an inch long.(...)

Eye on Nature

On March 10th I saw a hen blackcap feeding on a coconut I set in a flower basket. Brian Devine Newbridge, Co Kildare The hen blackcaps arri(...)

Monster catch: Esox lucius has a lithe and muscular beauty. Illustration: Michael Viney

The pike, Esox lucius, is the one freshwater fish that looks at you with both eyes at once, above jutting, duck-billed jaws and spiny teeth. Even dead(...)

Eye on Nature

I watched a rabbit about five metres away gathering a big mouthful of dried grass and carrying it off along a path into some brambles. I saw it do (...)

French connection: dormice arrived in Ireland with hay imported by racehorse trainers. Illustration: Michael Viney

Any warm day someone out in a garden in Co Kildare will catch a glimpse of a mouse of a different colour – brightly tawny, golden or even chestnut red(...)