The goose that travels from Iceland to Ireland every year and red-tailed bees

Eye on Nature: Your notes and queries for Ethna Viney

This Brent goose was ringed at Laxarvogur, southwest Iceland in 2007 and has travelled back to Ireland every year since then to Strangford Lough and the Dublin coast.

This Brent goose was ringed at Laxarvogur, southwest Iceland in 2007 and has travelled back to Ireland every year since then to Strangford Lough and the Dublin coast.

 

We are fascinated with crows nesting nearby as the males look like they are sentries. Do they mate for life?

Mike Leahy, Skibbereen, Co Cork

Rooks mate for life, but males don’t always remain faithful and can wander.

I watched an aerial battle, like a Battle of Britain dogfight, between a crow and two hawks. The crow was holding its own and cawing loudly when they left my sight. Is this common behaviour for a crow?

Seamus Hayes, Kilconnell, Co Tipperary

The crow was probably defending a nest.

We came across several of these red-bummed bees on Inishbofin over Easter. Are they common in Ireland?

Jonathan White, Killiney, Co Dublin

It is the red-tailed bumblebee, Bombus lapidarius, a native and more likely a queen just emerged from hibernation. She will start to build a nest by chewing wood peelings to pulp, then lay eggs to produce workers.

I discovered this spider in my garden shed and wonder if it is rare. It was about the size of a soup spoon.

Malachy Daly, Rathfarnham, Dublin 14

It is the common or giant house spider, Tegenaria gigantea, but mainly seen in outbuildings.

This Brent goose was ringed at Laxarvogur, southwest Iceland in 2007 and has travelled back to Ireland every year since then to Strangford Lough and the Dublin coast
This Brent goose was ringed at Laxarvogur, southwest Iceland in 2007 and has travelled back to Ireland every year since then to Strangford Lough and the Dublin coast.

This Brent goose was ringed at Laxarvogur, southwest Iceland in 2007 and has travelled back to Ireland every year since then to Strangford Lough and the Dublin coast. I have seen it on two occasions at Skerries, last time on February 19th this year.

Liam Kane, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15

Our cuckoo returned on April 14th.

Mairéad Ni Uiginn, Dromahair, Co Leitrim

I note that he arrived to you on April 17th last year.

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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