Top row, from left, vibrant speckled wood, green-veined white, meadow brown, small copper. Bottom row: orange tip, Essex skipper, red admiral, and holly blue butterfly

Summertime: walks in the woods, rambles by the river, strolls by the sea. The good weather brings many of us out to make the most of the bright eve(...)

Didemnum vexillum or Japanese sea squirt – also known as marine vomit:  can smother other marine life. Photograph Dr Dan Minchin.

The National Parks and Wildlife Service says it is “aware” of the spread in south Galway Bay of the carpet sea squirt, a highly invasive non-native sp(...)

Bank vole: found in Kerry in 1964, it has reached Mayo. Illustration: Michael Viney

Have all the house mice fled from Connemara? Or the harbour seals from Co Louth? Are otters really so scarce in watery Roscommon, or sika deer (...)

Hoverflies: they come with the gift of bilocation. Illustration: Michael Viney

One of the good days brought a swallow and a hoverfly into the same frame of my delight, the first zooming past the gable just to let me know t(...)

Spring audition: Browning wrote about the song thrush. Illustration: Michael Viney

Back on duty as soon as the rising temperature allowed, a song thrush has been waiting on the same branch, morning after morning, to share with(...)