Science & Nature

Barnacle Goose

The handsome Barnacle Goose (Gé ghiúrainn, Branta leucopsis) is a winter visitor to Ireland, predominantly occurring along the west coast. They show a particular fondness for offshore islands, which offer undisturbed grazing opportunities, though several flocks also visit mainland sites: perhaps the most reliable place to see them is at Lissadell in Co Sligo.

Noisy as a mouse

  • 29 November 2006
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Éanna Ní Lamhna is kept awake by the scamperings of her furry visitors, but it's needs must for these little fellas

Walks: Edinburgh, Scotland

Scotland's vibrant capital is an ideal city for walkers. Stroll in Princes Street Gardens between Georgian vistas and the old town. The classical National Gallery adds a continental backdrop. Climb to Edinburgh Castle (pictured) and visit museums and historic sites. Enjoy spectacular views northwards.

Getting around

Malachy Browne looks at the latest technology for people on the go – the Segway i2 is the psychic way to travel while the Sony Mylo makes exciting strides in online communications

Roslin, near Edinburgh

Rosslyn Chapel near Roslin village featured in both the book and film versions of The Da Vinci Code. The medieval chapel was reputedly linked to the Knights Templar and the Freemasons. There are remarkable decorative stone carvings and symbolic images in the chapel. Sir William St Clair founded it in 1450. In the Victorian era, his descendants added to the enigmatic building. It is now managed by a trust, boosted by extra tourism income because of worldwide interest in the bestselling novel.

Birds: Great Tit (Meantán mór) Parus major

Numerous and widespread, the Great Tit is the largest Irish member of the titmouse family. The common garden species frequently visits bird tables and peanut feeders and will readily use artificial nestboxes; combined with its tame, inquisitive nature and bright colouration, this has served to make it one of our most popular birds.