Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

Peacock butterflies, mosquitoes and buzzards


We spotted this object on a high-up Velux window and thought it might be hibernating butterflies. Liz and Frank Butler, Naas, Co Kildare.

They are probably peacock butterflies which hibernate in a cluster.

During the frosty weather I captured these shots of seals at a small harbour on the north Sligo coast. I described to a fisherman friend the wee seal clambering on to the sand bank and kissing his mate/sibling. He rubbished my version and insisted that the little seal was simply sniffing his onshore buddies. Emer O’Shea, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

I think both you and your fisherman friend are right.

I was awoken on December 16th with the unmistakable sound of a mosquito beside my head. A bite on my hand in the morning made me think I wasn’t dreaming. Is it usual to have mosquitoes in Dublin in December? Sheelagh O’Brien, Sandymoiunt, Dublin 4.

There are a couple of mosquitoes that hibernate in this country. It was probably Culiseta annulata which is more likely to bite you.

Birdwatch Ireland is concerned that a recent report in the Tipperary Star claimed that “giant buzzards” were attacking terriers and “causing major problems in the mid-Tipperary area”. Birdwatch states that buzzards eat carrion, prey on crows, rats and rabbits, and are incapable of killing prey larger than that.

Ethna Viney welcomes observations at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28F978 or by email to viney@anu.ie