Finding a mermaid’s purse and hibernating snails: Readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on missing crabs in Blackrock and kelp on a golf ball in Kerry

Will I wake these sleeping snails?

Will I wake these sleeping snails?

 

On removing wood in the woodshed I discovered this cluster of snails. I hope exposing them to the light does not wake them prematurely from hibernation.
– Gerry Wheeler, Kilshannye, Co Clare
I don’t think you need worry about them. They also hibernate in the open.

A mermaid’s purse
A mermaid’s purse

My granddaughter found this on the beach. What is it?
– John Suttle, Blackrock, Co Dublin
It’s called a mermaid’s purse and is the egg case of the lesser spotted dogfish.

Swans in Bray harbour
Swans in Bray harbour

Of the 64 swans I recently counted in Bray harbour, 14 were first-year birds and three bad angel wing. The consensus is that this is caused by unbalanced feed. The swans are mainly hand-fed. – Paddy Demery, Bray, Co Wicklow

Kelp on a golf ball
Kelp on a golf ball

On the beach at Fenit I found this golf ball which had been so long in the sea that kelp used it as an anchor. – Norah Blandin, Tralee, Co Kerry
Some brown kelps attach to cobbles and pebbles and so are not firmly anchored.

Is this a kestrel?
Is this a kestrel?

Is this a kestrel that visited my window recently? – A Keogh, Oughterard, Co Galway It is indeed.

Crab hunting in Co Dublin
Crab hunting in Co Dublin

Over the summer we regularly found crabs in the rock pools at Seapoint, Co Dublin. However, recently we couldn’t find them.
– Aoife, Grace, Ferdia and Leah Nic Mhathúna, Blackrock, Co Dublin
Common shore crabs may disappear from rock pools for many reasons. They can move out to sand or mudflats when the tide is in, or be swept out by storms. And females may disappear to lay eggs in a safe place.

Barn owl in Co Wicklow
Barn owl in Co Wicklow

This barn owl was a recent daytime visitor to our garden.
– Rod Tuach, Ashford, Co Wicklow

Wild crocus
Wild crocus

This crocus was growing wild on a roadside at Garfiney on January 5th.
– Nuala Lynch, Dingle, Co 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.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.