Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

Masked crab in Wexford, hungry herons in Cork and an arctic redpoll in Kerry

 

This is a photo of one of the sea creatures washed up near Kilmichael, Co Wexford during storm Emma last month.

Paul Murphy, Arklow, Co Wicklow

It is a masked crab, probably a female as the fist pair of legs in the male are twice as long as the carapace. They live buried in the sand on the lower shore and in shallow water, and use their long antenna to allow water to reach their gills.

Up to three herons have been queuing for their breakfast in Dillons Cross, Cork city. The biggest one sports a magnificent beard (scapulars). I call him Bertie as he is a herne and hangs around outside No 10.

Robin Harte, Strawberry Beds, Dublin 20

I saw an arctic redpoll on our feeders. I thought it was a goldfinch with less colouring, but my RSPB bird book gave it as an arctic redpoll. On your suggestion I checked further and now think it was a European female redpoll.

Neal Cahill, Templenoe, Co Kerry 

After storm Emma I noticed that all the bladderwack, kelp and other marine vegetation was stripped from the sloping face of Dún Laoghaire’s East Pier for more or less all its length and below the waterline, leaving it with an unusual bleached appearance. How long will it take the vegetation to re-establish?

Peter Pearson Evans, Ashford, Co Wicklow

Regrowth will depend on spores from the different species of vegetation being carried in on the tides.

On a glorious morning in Howth, the bubbly song of the shimmering starlings was an anthem for the day.

Francy Devine, Howth, Dublin 13

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

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