Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney
Hungry hedgehog in Louth, spider egg sacs in Kerry and pre-roosting rooks in Wicklow
Hedgehog in Louth
This hedgehog was wandering near our front door in mid-January. He lapped up some cooked mince meat and went off under the hedges. Should he not be hibernating at this time?
Ruth Smyth, Termonfeckin, Co Louth
Although hedgehogs hibernate during the winter, they wake up periodically to feed, particularly during mild periods.
I spotted these spider egg sacs in an old hollow tree. I’m keeping an eye on them as they are situated beside my compositer.
Sandra Mac Donnell, Castlegregory, Co Kerry
A few spiders, such as the cave spiders and the false widow, suspend their egg sacs. Keep an eye on them as the mother spider may be close by.
What readers saw:
I have been observing the pre-roosting behaviour of upwards of 600 rooks for some months. They arrive to the same spot each evening and within a few minutes form a cloud of birds, in shape akin to a starling murmuration, then climb very high, almost out of sight. They come down in groups, twisting and diving before landing on ground stretching from the beach, over the railway tracks and on to the wetland behind. After 15-20 minutes they break up into groups and fly off in various directions to roosts inland. Paddy Demery, Kilcoole, Co Wicklow
On holiday in Lanzarote I noticed three little egrets coming daily to the local cafes picking small bits of discarded food, and pecking around on the beach. How long before their Irish cousins learn there are easier ways than fishing for a living? Chris Moran, Phibsborough, Dublin 7
I last mentioned flowering cowslips last September. I saw one in full bloom on January 17th. Susan Flynn, Ballybrack, Dublin 18
Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28F978, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a postal address.