What is this creature I found in the garden? Readers’ nature queries

Ethna Viney on an invasive alien species, a snake millipede and cormorants

A slipper limpet spotted in Co Antrim.

A slipper limpet spotted in Co Antrim.

 

I found these on the shoreline of Belfast Lough. I’m intrigued by the “shelf” on the inside. – Clodagh Webb, Newtownabbey, Co Antrim
It’s a slipper limpet, an invasive alien species that came in with oysters. They are known to be in Belfast Lough.

A king rag marine worm spotted in Co Dublin.
A king rag marine worm spotted in Co Dublin.

My five year old spotted this near the harbour in Skerries and we’d love to know what it is. It was probably about 60cm long and moved surprisingly quickly through the rocks. – Carla Beattie, Skerries, Co Dublin
That’s a king rag marine worm, very colourful. It lives on the shore and in the shallow water, often burrowing into the sand.

A snake millipede spotted in Co Cork.
A snake millipede spotted in Co Cork.

What is this creature I found in the garden? – Hannah Ní Shúilleabháin, Ballingeary, Co Cork
The snake millipede lives mainly in cultivated ground and is a pest of potatoes.

A cormorant battling a large eel in Bushy Park, Co Dublin.
A cormorant battling a large eel in Bushy Park, Co Dublin.

We recently saw a cormorant battling a large eel in Bushy Park. The cormorant eventually won and swallowed the eel whole. Did the cormorant just get lucky, and is eel part of their regular diet? – Rachel Cox, Templeogue, Dublin 6W
Cormorants eat a variety of fish, but a large eel would certainly put up a strong fight.

An adult heron spotted on West Pier, Dún Laoghaire.
An adult heron spotted on West Pier, Dún Laoghaire.

This scrawny fellow was spotted on West Pier, Dún Laoghaire, casually watching the walkers and joggers. He didn’t mind having his picture taken. Is he a juvenile heron? – Molly Sheehan, Blackrock, Co Dublin
It’s an adult heron because it has got a black crown stripe that forms a loose crest. It has been hanging around there for some time.

A monterary pine spotted in Wicklow.
A monterary pine spotted in Wicklow.

I found this when out walking my dog. My mum thought it might be a Corsican pine. There are four little purple cones on it. – Aaron Fitzsimon (12), Wicklow
Close – it’s a Monterey pine.

I heard the cuckoo for the first time on Sunday, April 11st, in the afternoon. It wasn’t very near, and the second call was more distant. – Una Duffy, Sallins, Co Kildare

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.

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