Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

Christmas Eve bees, bank voles, frogspawn and greater spotted dogfish

 

This bumble bee was busy on Christmas Eve doing last minute shopping and, judging by its legs, quite successfully

Francy Devine, Howth, Dublin 13

I noticed a small rodent in my kitchen at Courtmacsherry at the weekend – bad choice by them. Seven traps caught two field mice (Apodemus) at night and, to my surprise and alarm, three bank voles (Myodes) during the day. Is anyone else catching them in the house?

Dr Paddy Sleeman, University College Cork

On January 1st I saw a big clump of frogspawn in my pond, a full two weeks earlier that last year. It could have been there a few days as I wasn’t watching.

Alison McCoy, Bantry, Co Cork

What was described to me as a large white bird with long legs and neck, “not a seagull”, was seen feeding on a dead pigeon near Jervis Street Luas stop. My informant was too squeamish to take a photo.

Robin Harte, Strawberry Beds, D20

It was extremely unlikely to be anything other than a seagull.

I found this shark’s egg case on the harbour at Parknasilla, Co Kerry. Which species is it?

Milo Wilkinson, Castleknock, Co Dublin

It was the egg case of the greater spotted dogfish, also called nursehound or bull huss.

I can confirm the successful use of snail slime to treat warts, (Another Life, November 11th). It was used on me as a child about 60 years ago. It was surrounded by a mixture of Christian symbolism and piseog involving the sign of the cross and piercing the poor snail on a blackthorn. The belief was that as the snail shrivelled, so would the wart. It worked.

Carmel Cummins, Inishtioge, Co Kilkenny

Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28F978, or by email at : viney@anu.ie. Include a postal address.

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