Are woodpeckers spreading across Ireland? Readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on seals, a common gull, sandstone rock and the common pipistrelle

Great spotted woodpecker.

Great spotted woodpecker.

 

The woodpecker has become a regular visitor to my garden. Are they spreading into all parts of Ireland? – Gerry Burns, Armagh
Great spotted woodpeckers, previously visitors, first settled in the east of the country about 15 years ago. Since then they have spread more widely.

Seals spotted on Dalkey Island, Co Dublin.
Seals spotted on Dalkey Island, Co Dublin.

The damage inflicted by humans on wildlife is evident in these photos of seals at One had a metal ring around its neck with some sort of shroud attached; the other with a rope or twine similarly attached. – Michael Keegan, Mount Merrion, Co Dublin

A young common gull.
A young common gull.

This unusual bird was at the Coal Harbour, Dún Laoghaire. It was beige colour with webbed feet, was the size of a pigeon and had a perfect camouflage with the rock. – Jasper Brett, Donnybrook, Dublin 4
It is a young common gull.

Sandstone rock spotted at Spanish Point, Co Clare.
Sandstone rock spotted at Spanish Point, Co Clare.

This photo of a rock with beautiful markings was taken at Spanish Point, Co Clare. – Deirdre Purtill, Shannon, Co Clare
Siobhán Power of the Geological Survey tells me that the sandstone rock was originally formed from a sand dune. The interesting pattern is due to erosion cutting through the layers of sandstone in the dune.

A vixen and a hedgehog.
A vixen and a hedgehog.

This vixen and hedgehog have been visiting my garden. When they arrive at the same time they are completely indifferent towards each other. – Sonny Jackson, Rochestown, Co Cork

A cat with a dead common pipistrelle.
A cat with a dead common pipistrelle.

I found my cat playing with this dead baby bat in my garden. It’s smaller than a shrew. Can you identify it? – Sheelagh Stewart, Dunfanaghy, Co Donegal
It looks like the common pipistrelle.

Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at viney@anu.ie. Please include a postal address.

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