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Wishing you all a WILD St. Patrick’s Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day

St. Patrick’s Day is, naturally, a special day here in Ireland… and is celebrated by Irish people and people of Irish descent all over the world. And while St. Patrick is perhaps best known for reducing Ireland’s biodiversity (thanks to him we have no snakes in Ireland, after all), let’s….

Sharks are back!

Basking Shark by AndrewPower

Great news for wildlife enthusiasts — sharks are back off the Irish coast. Basking sharks, the world’s second largest shark species, return to Irish shores every year around the same times as swallows.  Early sightings of these less well known but much larger harbingers of spring trickled in at the end of March from….

And they’re back! First swallows arrive at IWHQ

First swallow of 2016

Yesterday was a special day. A lone, almost insignificant silhouette transformed the usually hum-drum task of dropping the car in to the garage into a wholly noteworthy enterprise. Elegant, streamlined, forked tail streamers fluttering in the breeze… the profile perched on the telephone wire was unmistakable: my first swallow of 2016. Seeing your first swallow of spring….

Unexpected wildlife hotspot: the washing line!

Washing Line Wildlife -- you never know what you might see!

  Hanging out washing is an occupational hazards of working from a home office. Working from home invariably means I’m around when the washing machine finishes its spin cycle. And in most Irish households if the weather is dry there’s always one overriding  imperative: to get the washing hung out….

Unseasonal shenanigans

This column was first published in the Weekend Magazine of the Irish Independent on Saturday 04 February 2012. One of the things I like most about living in Ireland is the changing seasons. The tropics are over rated. Don’t get me wrong, a bit of predictable sunshine now and again….

Frogspawn in early January

Spring, it seems, has come early to Ireland this year. On Saturday the 07 of January I spotted a clump of frogspawn in a roadside ditch beside a small lake not far from the house. Frogspawn, in West Cork, laid the first week of January. That’s just nuts! Common Frogs….