The cat hasn’t been killing pigeons, this bird has, what is it? Readers’ nature queries
Ethna Viney on slow worms, one of Ireland’s heaviest spiders, and lawyer’s wigs
A sparrowhawk, having caught a pigeon
I came across this gorgeous spider wrapping up a wasp in his web. His abdomen was huge, easily the size of a large blueberry.
Patrick O’Donnell, Ashford, Co Wicklow
It’s the four-spot orb weaver, a garden spider regarded as one of the heaviest spiders we have.
I think this is a maartent toadstool. They appear at this time of year on Roscahill Forest.
Tamar Scott, Moycullen, Co Galway
It’s called the shaggy inkcap or lawyer’s wig in this country, and is quite common at this time of year.
I saw this washed up near a rock pool on Youghal front strand and wondered what it might be.
Triona O’Gorman, Quin, Co Clare
It’s a king rag worm, or part of. They are prized as bait by fishermen.
This slow worm took up residence under a mat in rough grass beside our tunnel. I checked three times over a week and wondered if it would have young. I love the colour and pattern.
Aine O’Regan, Tubber Co Clare
The slow worm, Anguis fragilis, is a species of legless lizard. It is not native to Ireland and was introduced to the Burren from Britain.
It turns out it wasn’t the neighbour’s cat leaving pigeon feathers in the garden.
Alice Doring, Harcourt Terrace, Dublin 2
A sparrowhawk caught in the act.
Can you identify this caterpillar, which we saw on a visit to Galley Head, Co Cork?
Oliver Nash, Rathmines, Dublin 6
It’s caterpillar of the fox moth, an attractive brown moth that flies in summer.
Wasps converted an old bird box of ours, sealing up the hole and making one of their own.
Tom McCaughren, Dublin
Ethna Viney welcomes observations and photographs at Thallabawn, Louisburgh, Co Mayo, F28 F978, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Include a postal address.