I rescued this mouse from my cat, what kind is it? Readers’ nature questions

Ethna Viney answers queries on non-native common toads, and pollinators in Dublin

I rescued this little fellow from my cat. What kind of mouse is it? – Margaret Mason, Finglas, Dublin 11
It's the wood mouse, Apodemus sylvaticus, which lives in fields, woodland and gardens. Wood mice are darker than house mice and whitish underneath with a yellow/brown spot on the throat.

We found this creature near Stepaside, Co Dublin beside a granite wall. Is it a toad? – Therese Mooney, Nenagh, Co Tipperary
There have been sightings of common toads, a non-native species, in the Dublin area, and a campaign has been launched to gather information on their location.

I saw this insect on a hebe bush in my garden. It looks more like a fly than a bee. – Mary Fitzgerald, Terenure, Dublin 6W
You're right, it's the pellucid or pale hoverfly, a good pollinator.

Could you identify this spider and what it eats? It has been on this thistle for at least a week, fighting off bees, but I haven't seen it eat anything. – Mark Rooney, Sandymount, Dublin 4
It's the flower spider, which lurks in flowers waiting to pounce on visiting insects.


This photograph was taken by my brother on Inishnee, Roundstone, Co Galway. A mink and her three cubs emerged from a stone wall about three yards from the door of the holiday house, and made their way into a nearby field. – Malachy Daly, Louisburgh, Co Mayo

This family of shelduck were new arrivals on the estuary at the end of June. – Emer O'Shea, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal

Buzzards have nested again on my land, this time in a tree outside my bedroom window. The chick has hatched and is doing well. – Clive Symmons, Macetown, Co Meath

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