Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

Curled octopuses, all-white mink, starlings and otters

Donegal catch: the curled octopus that Ivan Mc Elhinney, a local fisherman,  caught in a lobster pot off Horn Head

Donegal catch: the curled octopus that Ivan Mc Elhinney, a local fisherman, caught in a lobster pot off Horn Head

 

I’m sending you a photograph of a curled octopus caught by a local fisherman, Ivan McElhinney, in a lobster pot off Horn Head, on Sheephaven Bay.
Dearn Mc Clintock
Downings, Co Donegal

I saw an all-white mink making its way up the bank of the Bandon river above Dunmanway. Can Irish mink have an all-white winter coat?
Barry Fitzgerald
Killarney, Co Kerry

It could be an escapee from a mink farm, or the pelt looked shiny when wet.

While digging up our vegetable garden I found an intact blue egg, about the size of a hen egg, four inches or so under the clay. Whose egg did I squander?
Peter Finnegan
Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan

It could have been a starling’s egg. Sometimes one falls out of a nest, and I’ve read that occasionally the hen is in a hurry and lays on the ground.

My son, Gavin, saw a young otter swimming in the Glencree river and a young red squirrel sitting in a pine tree.
Wyn Beere
Kilternan, Dublin

A starling with a white tail has visited our bird feeder recently. Is this unusual?
Maurice Byrne
Derrynane Gardens, Dublin

It is a partially leucistic starling – not very common.

Swallows had arrived close to Lough Derg, at Woodford, Co Galway, on March 25th and at Whitegate , Co Clare, on March 29th, reported by Paddy O’Reilly, and April 3rd at Quin, Co Clare, by Nancy Cantwell.

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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