Is the frog in my photo about to spawn? Readers’ nature queries

Spawning frogs, wood pigeons, mallards and ducklings, and long-tailed tits

 

I saw the frog in my photograph in some long grass, unable to move. Is it a female about to spawn?

David Fallon

Duncormick, Co Wexford

So it would seem.

The photo I’m sending you shows the result of a wood pigeon crashing into our kitchen window. The oily feathers left a fossil-like impression of the moment of impact. The pigeon survived.

Ciarán Mc Manus

Blackrock, Co Dublin

On January 9th I saw a mallard and nine ducklings at Limerick docks. She must have started laying in mid-December.

Tim Dennehy

Limerick

Normally mallards breed during March, April and May. A severe cold spell could have a bad effect on these ducklings.

Long-tailed tits were feeding at the nut feeders in my garden. I’ve never seen them use feeders before. There was a flock of about 12 flitting around them at the time.

Richard Conlon

Cootehill, Co Cavan

Family groups of long-tailed tits form winter flocks of related adults and their young as a survival strategy. They roost huddled together along a branch, to keep warm, as their smallness makes them vulnerable on cold nights. They roam a fairly wide territory and use feeders when they find them.

With reference to the dead fox without a tail (“Eye on Nature”, February 4th) I have been told that some gun clubs may pay a bounty for fox tails, as evidence of extermination. The National Association of Regional Game Councils has some guidance on predator control and the law at iti.ms/2kZuKBn.

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