Dick Warner

Otters feel safe in the sunshine

RECENTLY I spent some time in and around the village of Corofin in Co Clare, writes Dick Warner

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Hens at risk from feral cats

Last winter, my small flock of hens was killed by a feral tom cat, says Dick Warner

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Swooping swallows take a sip

BECAUSE I like boating and fishing I spend many summer days around water. 

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Medieval ‘science’ behind naming of weeds and their dubious medicinal purposes

Long daylight hours, plenty of showers, warm soil, and the weeds in my garden have put on a spurt of growth. I have to mount an offensive, by hand and by hoe, to control them.

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Unusual arrival of dace

I AM researching a project about Irish freshwater fish species. The other day I set off in search of dace. The dace has an interesting story in this country which is quoted in all the scientific papers and popular articles about them.

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Trialling times for cockchafer

I got an urgent summons: “There’s a monstrous insect on the couch in the dining room, some kind of beetle, will you do something about it?” 

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Otter numbers rising

Recently I spent some time in and around the village of Corofin in Co Clare. The headwaters of the River Fergus flow through this area and form a maze of small and medium-sized lakes connected by river channels. 

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Fishing for rudd is pure bliss

For the first time in a while I went fishing for rudd. On a sunny day in late spring I went to a small lake that had once been a gravel pit. Everything about the place and the day was so pleasant that I couldn’t understand why it was so long since I’d done this.

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Slugging it out in garden

Slugs are not popular animals, writes Dick Warner

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The notion that magpies steal shiny objects is ancient and widespread

On a sunny evening recently my son and his housemates decided to have a barbecue in their back garden. 

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Swans are bluffers and can't actually hurt you

I’M NOT afraid of swans. I know they’re consummate bluffers and that although they put on a great show of aggression they can’t actually hurt you.

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Spirits lifted by cuckoo

ON a cold day at the end of April, I was out in my garden feeling mildly depressed, writes Dick Warner

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It's much cheaper and more satisfying to build your own insect hotel

ECOLOGY is a relatively modern science, writes Dick Warner

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Dandelion days are here again

‘April brings the sweet spring showers, On and on, for hours and hours.’ Lines written by Michael Flanders in ‘A Song of the Weather’ in 1956, writes Dick Warner

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Siskins, my kinda birds

This winter there were a couple of absentees from my bird feeders. One species that I missed was the siskin.

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Life is tough for a pygmy shrew in Ireland

There was a corpse on the path in front of me. A very small corpse. 

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Nature primed to entice this spring

EASTER is the spring festival, writes Dick Warner

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On watch for swallows set to return for spring

I’M on watch. Some time in the next two to three weeks, the swallows will return and start hawking for spring midges over the 10-acre field beside the house, writes Dick Warner.

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Seeds bursting to life

At this time of year I spend a lot of time in my greenhouse sowing seeds and, if and when they germinate, looking after the seedlings.

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Shamrock is a great diet boost for birds

THE pasture field outside my study window has become a parade ground for birds. 

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The march of the parakeet

My son is just back from a trip to Istanbul, a city I’ve never visited myself. When he came round to tell us about the trip and show off his photos I was intrigued by his account of seeing wild parrots in one of the city parks, writes Dick Warner.

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Listen up if you hear the drumming of a woodpecker

Most people with an interest in birds are aware of the exciting news that about a decade ago great spotted woodpeckers arrived in Ireland and that since then they have been breeding and spreading. 

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