Is that a shark I found on the banks of the Suir?

Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Eithne Viney

 

I found this 40cm shark on the Suir river bank at Fiddtown, Kilkenny, in September, possibly thrown aside by a fisherman. My best guess would be a juvenile dogfish. Fons Jasper, Portlaw, Co Waterford.

A: Yes, the tide reaches upriver as far as Fiddtown.

There were six long-tailed tits chattering and seeking food on my cherry tree. I understand that they are common but this is only the second time seeing them in my garden. Gordon Birch, Dun Laoghaire, Co Dublin.
A: They seem to be everywhere except here in south west Mayo.

These jelly-like things have been cropping up on the grassy area at the back of the dunes at Bunduff strand here in Mullaghmore. A wee black spot seems to anchor them. Andrea McElroy, Mullaghmore, Co Sligo.

A: Called star jelly, it is the regurgitation of spawn by a frog predator. See Another Life.

I have noticed that this plant has become very common beside a stream I walk by in Co Kerry. Siobhán O Keeffe, Greenhills, Dublin 12.

A: It is Himalayan balsam, an alien species that poses a problem to biodiversity.

A couple of weeks ago from our house overlooking Omey island in Connemara, we watched a school of about 15-20 dolphins drive a shoal of mackerel or herring in and enjoy a feeding frenzy. For about an hour they entertained us with their leaps out of the water. Ann Higginson, Aughrismore, Co Galway.

Peacock butterflies: Frank Folan, Ballyvaughan, Co Clare and Ken Meyler, Rosslare, Co Wexford. sent photographs of peacock butterflies hibernating in turf and log piles. 

  • Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28F978, or by email at : viney@anu.ie. Include a postal address
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