He began to walk around, shoving the moths out of his way in a very unceremonious and aggressive manner which made me cross, so I decided I would have to get him out before he started killing people. Now, my insect bible says hornets "tend to be less aggressive than other wasps" but they do have a powerful sting, so caution was required.
I got him in the pot without any problems and took outside where I decided to take some photos, which was fine until he started cleaning his antennae and then very shortly afterwards vibrating the lower half of his body which contains the sting. I moved to a different angle and it suddenly became obvious he was watching my movements very carefully. He began to posture towards me, so at that point I decided I'd got enough pictures and backed off sharpish.
They are interesting creatures close up but I am very wary of them in a way I don't feel around bees.
Once I'd shifted the hornet I felt I could relax and enjoy going through the moth box which mercifully had far fewer moths in it than of late thanks largely to the cooler night time temperatures, so it was a Quieter and More Enjoyable experience.
There were a few new species, my favourite of which is this Chocolate Tip, which, from certain angles, I think looks like a furry sea creature. What do you think? (Suzie you will love this one!)
There were four Canary-Shouldered Thorns in the box
Two perfect Blood Veins
Two beautiful Black Arches
A Broad-Bordered Yellow Underwing
A Large Yellow Underwing
And a Lesser Broad-Bordered Yellow Underwing
(when you get all three of these underwings varierties in the box together they suddenly become remarkably easy to tell apart! There were 15 of these lesser versions in the box this morning, shooting up from only very occasional sightings previously so lots must have hatched out in recent days)
My first Straw Underwing.
Very pleased to see this one as I know others in the UK have been getting them in their boxes recently and we haven't, until now.
Early Thorn pretending to be a butterfly
(who flummoxed me momentarily because the usually obvious "eyes" on the wings are pretty much absent, but I can't think who else it could be?)
A Scalloped Oak
A Sallow Kitten
A Ruby Tiger
A Lesser Swallow Prominent
A Silver Y
(a very common day-flying moth you will probably see in your garden)
Silver Y head-on
Another Sallow Kitten sitting on the cord that pulls the blinds. Moths can be Very Inventive in choosing their sleeping places,
A Willow Beauty
A Common Wave
By far the majority of the moths in last's nights box were perfect, which makes me think they must be new. Towards the end of last week we were getting a large number of faded and battered looking moths and I guess these ones now are fresh hatchings- the new generation has arrived!
As a final thought to finish with, I've been scooting through my new flower books and have found my new favourite flower name: Squinancywort. Marvellous!
Have a good day all,