‘Is it possible a cuckoo pushed eggs out of another bird’s nest?’

Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

Cuckoos lay in dunnock nests.

We found these three blue eggs, one by one and perfectly intact, on the ground near two trees. Next day I heard a cuckoo. Is it possible a cuckoo pushed them out of another bird’s nest?

Eithne Leahy, Co Cavan

The eggs look like those of the dunnock, and cuckoos lay in dunnock nests.

I watched a blackbird with three or four items in its beak. It went to my pond and dipped them into the water, wriggling them around as if washing them.


Brendan O’Donohue, Castledermot, Co Kildare

Blackbirds, crows and some other seed-eating birds are known to wash their food.

I saw what looks like a miniature beehive inside my shed with a wasp going into it.

Dermot Fogarty, Swords, Co Dublin

It’s the queen wasp starting a nest, where she will rear a first brood of workers.

I found this dead rodent on our lane. Its body was about 20cms long and the tail about 15cms.

Vanessa Drew Ballymoney, Co Down

It was a stoat, which is a mustelid, not a rodent.

I found this insect on a potato leaf in my plastic tunnel.

Tom Egan, Glanmire Co Cork

It’s the nursery web spider. The female cocoons lays her eggs and stays with the cocoon until they hatch and disperse.

Oscar (10) and Hugh (13) Morgan in Dublin also found a nursery spider in the garden.

I found bees in my house and buzzing around outside. They look like honeybees but are lethargic and I don’t think they sting.

Catriona Cunniffe, Louisburgh, Co Mayo

It’s the narcissus fly, a hoverfly that mimics bumblebees. The larvae live in the bulbs of various members of the narcissus family and cause severe damage to them.

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