The Wilden Marsh Blog


I found a hornet nest this morning, in an old woodpecker’s oak tree hole. Hornets are beneficial insects. The main difference between wasps and hornets is their size. Hornets are larger than wasps, which is one of the main reasons why they scare some people; but hornets are really quite docile, shy creatures. Another difference is the colour. Wasps which are usually yellow and black, hornets are more orangey-red, although this does… Read More

All quiet at the hornets’ nest this morning; Spike was indifferent to it. My camera was ready to shoot, so I couldn’t pass without trying to get  a hornet image. When I tap the tree trunk with my fingernail, a hornet zips from the nest entrance and banks away before flying off down the bank. About ten seconds later the hornet returns to the nest. So I watched the hornet fly down the bank, put the camera… Read More

The hornet saga continues: Spike was sat to attention a good three metres away from the hornets’ nest tree when I arrived there this morning. He was looking up at the nest entrances and making soft woofing noises. There was a lot of activity. Hornets were flying in and out of the nest, and some where climbing down the tree trunk carrying grubs, which they dropped at the base of the tree. Why… Read More

Passing the hornets’ nest this evening, I shone my torch in both entrances; there wasn’t movement in either. I suspected, though, that there might be a few hornets still holed-up somewhere in the nest. I wondered if this might be good opportunity to shoot some decent close-up images. I reasoned the hornets would be groggy, I don’t know why I should think this, and that they might hang about at the entrance after my pretending to be a woodpecker by tapping the tree trunk… Read More

Last year I photographed a hornets’ nest in an old woodpecker hole; well, it was two woodpecker holes really. A green woodpecker punched a decent sized vertical shaft, about 350 mm long, in the trunk of a healthy oak tree on Hoo Wood ridge, with an entrance hole at its top and bottom. I watched the woodpecker excavate the hole, over the summer of 2011 I think. The hornets had done a proper job of papering over both entrances before they died at… Read More