Colonising voles arrive in Connemara from the south

Eye on Nature: Eithne Viney answers your questions, from dreys to unstuck limpets

Bank vole

Bank vole

 

My daughter’s cat brought this vole into her house. I have lived here for many years and have never seen a vole.
Caitlin Nee, Baile-na-hAbhann, Galway
Bank voles are relatively recent arrivals and have been colonising the country from the southwest. From the Biodiversity Data map I see that they have arrived in south Connemara.

I found lots of partly eaten bairneachs (limpets) on the strand. The shells were whole but something was able to remove them from the rock, which is not easy.

Partly eaten limpets

Fin Broderick, Listowel, Co Kerry
They were probably eaten by shore birds, which must have their own techniques for dislodging them.

As we moved logs from our shed we discovered the remains of a nest. It looks rather like a rook’s but was too close to the roof. Could it belong to a grey squirrel?
Robert Myerscough, Dunlavin, Co Wicklow
Yes. Grey squirrels have been known to build dreys inside sheds and lofts.

This bird is always on Dunfanaghy golf course when I’m out playing. Is it an unusual variety or just an albino crow?

A leucistic (partially albino) rook

Barbara Eakin, Marble Hill, Co Donegal.
It is a leucistic (partially albino) rook, where only the feathers lack pigment.

  • Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28F978, or by email at viney@anu.ie. Include a postal address
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