25 August 2010

Hornets !

I've been trying to get some decent shots of Hornets since one taunted me earlier in the year and all I got was a very blurry shot. I hadn't even come across any more until a few weeks ago when I managed a slightly better picture but he just wouldn't stay still.

Then last weekend at Oversley Wood I came across a number of them at different times and different places. They were particularly abundant where there was Scabious growing.

I spotted this one or rather heard him and at first I thought he was caught up in a spiders web. I could tell he was having a tussle but I wasn't sure if he was the predator or the prey. Then he was off.

I couldn't really tell what was going on in real time but looking at this photo he appears to be standing on the spiders web rather than being "trapped" and he has some kind of "fly" which he may have spotted in the web and decided it was too good an opportunity to miss or just used the web as somewhere to land. When he flew off there was nothing left so he may have flown off with his then inert victim.

Hornet - Vespa crabro. with victim

Hornet Death Grip

Then a bit later in a different location I again heard a wild buzzing which led me to another Hornet this time clearly in the process of stinging some kind of Bee whilst hanging from a Scabious stem.

He was there for just over a minute immobilising his prey and then was off, presumably with the bee. It was quite a savage display and I was pretty close to the action and I wouldn't fancy getting the wrong side of one of these.

Hornet - Vespa crabro. with Bee victim

Hornet - Vespa crabro. with victim

Thirsty Work!

I was then lucky once again to spot another Hornet!  I was standing by a puddle looking at some hoverflies on a plant and this one swung by and decided to have a drink He landed only about a foot away enabling me to get clear shot at last.

1 comment:

  1. Stunning shots! I didn't realise they were quite so vicious and opportunistic. Great post.