A 6m round log (possibly part of an old ship’s mast) washed ashore at Tramore Strand on Christmas Day, was festooned with in excess of 1,000 GooseBarnacles. In bygone days, theses barnacles were thought to be the eggs of black and white geese that were then named after them – the Barnacle Goose and the Brent Goose, Branta bernicla. These were then thought to be the male and female of the same species.
A number of recent reports are in of butterflies flying in houses or seemingly dead on window sills. These are hibernating Small Tortoiseshells confused by strong sunlight and heat from radiators into thinking that the Spring has sprung! These are not dead. Take them gently and put into a dark safe place (behind a wardrobe or under the bed). They will emerge when natural conditions are amenable and will fly away.
Recent road kills include 2 Foxes on the outer ring road at Kilbarry/ Ballindud and near Williamstown Golf Course; a further Fox on John’s Hill (near St, John’s Collage) in Waterford City and a Red Squirrel at Templemichael on the Blackwater just north of Youghal.