Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries

Fruit flies, crayfish, grey squirrel and a catterpillar

A fruit fly just dropped into my glass of wine, normally there would have been many more. Also scarce or absent this year were bluebottles, black flies, wasps. I haven’t seen an Irish honeybee in five years. We’ve really messed things up, haven’t we?

Peter Mcilwaine,
Manor Kilbride, Co Wicklow.

On the Grand Canal we have many crayfish in the Hazelhatch/Sallins area. They live under the boats in the mud or under rocks. They love chicken and sometimes we can see them fighting over a piece.

Déirdre Ní Mhúineachain,
Sallins, Co Dublin.


We encountered a grey squirrel on the summit of Luggala/Fancy Mountain. What on earth would a grey be foraging for at a height of 595m in the Wicklow Mountains?

Garrett Pilkington,
Cabinteely, Dublin 18.


Nearly stood on a three-inch-long larva on Lugnaquilla. It had a pink body with a dark-red band along the back.

Dave Moore,
Naas, Co Kildare.

It was the caterpillar of the goat moth, so-called because it has a goat-like smell. The moth lays eggs in the bark of a tree, and the larvae remain there for three to four years.

Michael Viney welcomes observations at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo. Email: viney@anu.ie. Please include a postal address.

Michael Viney

Michael Viney

The late Michael Viney was an Times contributor, broadcaster, film-maker and natural-history author