Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

Specled wood butterfly, white plume moth, and a patch-work leaf-cutter bee

The speckled wood butterfly

The speckled wood butterfly

 

I photographed this butterfly in my back garden; is it the common blue?
Michael Barnicle, Ardpatrick Rd, Dublin 7

It is the speckled wood butterfly. The eye-spots are supposed to draw bird attacks away from the head to the wing edges.

A jay
A jay

This bird banged into my window and died. Do you know what it is?
Paul Brady, Kilgobbin Rd, Dublin 18

It’s a jay.

We saw this bird about the size of a pigeon with pink wings and undercarriage in Glenfarriff. Is it unusual?
Noel Lynch, Glengarriff, Co Cork

One pigeon keeper in Bristol dyed the wings of his long-distance fliers hot pink, like the photo, to confuse predators. Some other pigeon owner could have copied the tip.

The white plume moth
The white plume moth

I spotted this lad while watering my lettuce. For some reason the left wing has four arms and the right has two.
Patrick Molloy, Bunratty Co Clare.

The plumes on the right wing of the white plume moth may be rolled together. When at rest it folds the plumes together to form a T.

The patch-work leaf-cutter
The patch-work leaf-cutter

I found this bee buzzing ferociously and trying to move into the drip vent on the exterior of our window frame.
Pauline Cody, Callan, Co Kilkenny

It is the patch-work leaf-cutter, a solitary bee that burrows into holes in walls or banks to make a nest. She collects semi-circular pieces of leaf, as in your photo, to make tubular cells in the burrow, in which she deposits an egg and pollen to feed the emerging larva.

Can you suggest appropriate diet for this visiting fox to our garden and his/her mate?
John Derby, Cashel, Co Tipperary

Any dog food.

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

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