Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

Elephant moth, heron, baby stoat and centipedes

 

This is a video of an elephant moth coming out of its cocoon. We nurtured the caterpillar for eight months and caught it as it emerged.

Kirsten Fitzgerald, Inchicore, Dublin 12

I have a pair of nightjars on my land, which I spot at dusk and sometimes at dawn, swooping down from trees and flying up in a curving manner. I’ve seen birds like these, always in pairs, three years and six years ago in the same place. They are large, hawk-like birds with long tapering, pointed wings and silent bat-like flight.

Declan Flanagan, Longford

I saw this heron having his dinner at a pond in the Phoenix Park.

Darlene Everitt, Drogheda, Co Louth

This lovely little fella showed up recently in the house. Is it a butterfly or a moth?

Paddy Demery, Kilcoole, Co Wicklow

It’s the brimstone moth, which flies at night and is attracted to lights.

Our cat brought in this baby stoat.

Marie Cullen, Bantry, Co Cork

This infestation of centipedes appeared on my spindle trees and they have eaten all of the foliage. They are covered with a web of very strong, silk-like thread.

Norah Anne Kavanagh, Barna, Co Galway

They are the caterpillars of the spindle ermine moth.

I recently watched about 15 magpies and 20 hooded crows harassing a buzzard that was raiding a magpie’s nest at the top of a tree in my garden and dislodging twigs and chicks. The buzzard simply hopped out and flew off with magpies and hoodies in pursuit.

Eye on Nature has had reports of cockchafer beetles, also called maybugs, from all over the country. This one was sent in by Diana Kingston, Dalkey, Co Dublin.

Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at viney@anu.ie. Include a postal address.

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