Eye on Nature: ‘We saw a proud mum with her cygnets’

Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

“We saw a proud mum with her cygnets in their nest .”

Chloe Broderick (aged 10), Terenure, Dublin 6

"This bee hawkmoth was feeding on snapdragon in my garden. Its wings are beautiful."

Tommy Hogan, Clarecastle, Co Clare


It’s the narrow-bordered bee hawkmoth. I also had one from Niamh Ní Dhúill in Tralee, Co Kerry.

“This is one of four leverets that turned up at our house. The mother suckles them on the drive. They feed and play in the early morning and have several forms around the place. “

Mary Roantree, Headford, Co Galway

“What is this insect, which I saw on my garden wall?”

Joseph McDonagh, Clontarf, Dublin 3

It’s the native poplar hawkmoth.

“I saw this chap in the garden early in May.”

Catherine Hare, Maynooth, Co Kildare

It’s the spring hawker dragonfly and the earliest hawker on the wing.

“What is this flower, spotted in mid-May in my garden? The colour is extremely vibrant.”

Aodan Bourke, Achill, Co Mayo

It’s western marsh orchid, which, according to Brendan Sayers’s Ireland’s Wild Orchids, has an intense rosy-purple colour.

“I snapped this cuckoo chick in my back garden in mid-May. It was being fed by a thrush.”

David Bastible, Dundalk, Co Louth

It is unusual for a cuckoo to lay her eggs in a thrush’s nest. More usually, in Ireland, she uses a meadow pipit’s or a dunnock’s nest.

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