Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

A squid visits Dollymount, spiny starfish, first frogspawn and two mosquitoes

We discovered this little squid on Dollymount Beach, Co Dublin, and wondered what the species is and if they are common visitors to the east coast. It was 10-15cms in length.

Jessica Olivia Cox-Byrne, Killester, Dublin 5

It’s either Alloteuthis media, called the little squid, or A subulata, called the European common squid, which are very similar and a third the size of the common squid, Loligo vulgaris. All of them are found in the Irish Sea.

On December 22nd this mosquito landed on my pillow.


Mike Egan, Ballivor, Co Meath

In mid-January I was walking in a former pine forest that had been harvested when a mosquito landed on my hand and tried to feed. There was ice on all the standing water nearby.

Bob Strunz, Feakle, Co Clare

I saw these geese on Ballinskelligs Bay recently. Are the Brent geese?

Catherine Conlin, Blackrock, Co Cork

Yes. We don’t often see them in the sea as they spend more time feeding ashore.

I saw these colourful fungi in Donegal recently.

Daniel Deery, Dungloe, Co Donegal

They are scarlet elf cup/cap (depending on the book), one of the few mushrooms fruiting in winter. They grow on dead wood.

This large bird was standing on the wall at the end of the pier in Dún Laoghaire and not bothered by many curious walkers. It seemed different to other herons that keep their distance.

Mark Malin, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin

It’s our ordinary grey heron in hunched position.

The first frogspawn arrived in our pond on January 13th.

Neal Cahill, Templenoe, Co Kerry

They always arrive first in the south.

I saw this starfish on Glassillaun beach. It’s much bigger than the usual ones I see on the beach.

Sibéal Aspell, Renvyle, Co Galway

It’s the spiny starfish, found mainly on the west coast from Galway to Kerry.

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