Did this painted lady butterfly survive the winter? Readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on peregrine falcons, sparrowhawks, kestrels and yellowhammers

Painted lady butterflies were spotted by two readers

Painted lady butterflies were spotted by two readers

 

I was very surprised to see this painted lady butterfly on February 23rd in my garden. Irishbutterflies.com says that it’s a migrant from Africa in June and that they have not been known to survive the Irish winter. – Gill Boazman, Rosscarbery, Co Cork

On February 26th I saw a painted lady butterfly here. I wondered if it just arrived or survived the winter. – Tom Dwane, Meadowvale, Limerick 
The painted lady normally arrives from the southern Europe or north Africa in late May or June. There are two possibilities for its appearance in February: that it overwintered, or, that it was carried here on the warm current of air we experienced from the Iberian Peninsula.

The sparrowhawk that visits allotments in Dublin 4
The sparrowhawk that visits allotments in Dublin 4

This sparrowhawk visited my allotment in Ringsend Park recently and has been a regular visitor to the allotments. – Tom Curtis, Fitzwilliam Quay, Dublin 4

The peregrine spotted in Palmerstown
The peregrine spotted in Palmerstown

I watched this peregrine take 30 minutes to kill and pluck a pigeon, which it took under a dense shrub and spent up to two hours feeding on. – Stephen Butler, Palmerstown

The kestrel hovering over Dollymount Strand
The kestrel hovering over Dollymount Strand

I was lucky to see this kestrel hovering over Dollymount Strand recently. – Darlene Everitt, Drogheda, Co Louth

The attacked oystercatcher
The attacked oystercatcher

What attacked this oystercatcher, which I found on grassland behind the dunes at Bunduff Strand? – Heather Wood, Cliffoney, Co Sligo 
It was a peregrine falcon. They and other birds of prey go to the shore in winter to prey on seabirds.

Yellowhammers feeding on seeds in Co Wexford
Yellowhammers feeding on seeds in Co Wexford

These beautiful yellowhammers arrived to feed on the seeds that the fussy blue tits toss from the feeders. I had not seen them for long time. – Ann Doran, Kilmuckridge, Co Wexford

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.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.