Badger deaths total 1,990 to date, heaviest on the Dublin commuter belt in Leinster, and in Co Clare and west Cork. Drawing: Michael Viney

Beyond the darkling hills of the Wild Atlantic Way, the big roads widen, straighten, point sweepingly from A to B. In the nights before Christmas I im(...)

A landscape garden  on a winter morning

If the quintessential summer garden is the frothy, floaty equivalent of a pretty summer dress, then the best kind of winter garden is like a classic w(...)

In May, it emerged 23 common European buzzards  were   poisoned with carbofuran. Photograph:  Frank Miller

“Carbofuran has the unpleasant distinction of being so hazardous to wildlife, that it simply cannot be regulated or managed accordingly without mortal(...)

Even the robust oystercatcher had fallen from 109 pairs to 34 on the Inishkeas.

In the many years of this column, I’ve explored much bad news about Ireland’s birds – species after species shown as “threatened” or “vulnerable” in t(...)

Photograph: Richard Johnston

It was back in 1990 that American-born Marilyn and Ray Farrell, art gallery owners based in Maine, accepted an invitation from their artist friend, Ne(...)

 Great Skua: Illustration Michael Viney

Birds, too, have their bullies, muggers and thieves. Seagulls, some of them, snatch ice-creams and sandwiches from human fingers. I once watched a rav(...)

Choughs. Illustration: Michael Viney

At the far end of Dursey island, Co Cork, the choughs are gathering in new families to probe the ground for grubs, stabbing the wind-shorn grass with (...)

The spotted flycatcher. Illustration: Michael Viney

Last year it was the mistle thrush that grabbed me – my affectionate attention, that is. Each morning as I marched out to measure the rain, he was per(...)

Cuckoo at other bird’s nest: Most cuckoos of both sexes resemble some sort of hawk. Illustration: Michael Viney

Early to my desk, I found the hillside seriously somnolent: the ewes still pillowed, their lambs close and dozing. The ocean gleamed with zig-zags of (...)

The skylark is among the species that has been attracted to Feargal Ó Cuinneagáin’s meadows of richly mixed native herbs and wild flower. Drawing by Michael Viney

On first encounter a generation ago, it seemed such gawky jargon, the coinage of science journals, that I winced at using it here in ordinary, affable(...)

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