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Hornet mimic hoverflies, wasps nest, hoverflies, pond skaters and cinnabars

Date posted: Wednesday 7th August 2019

Hornet mimic hoverflies, wasps nest, hoverflies, pond skaters and cinnabars

Startled to spot what I thought might be the dreaded Asian hornets last week, buzzing animatedly among the flowering oregano – very relieved to discover that they are in fact hornet mimic hoverflies, larger than wasps, slightly smaller than European hornets, moving in that distinctive hoverfly way.

Right next to them we’ve got new residents – a wasps nest in the compost heap behind the toolbox! Apparently Matt said that they’d nested on his plot last year and he got multiple stings, so we’ve taken the precaution of moving the strimmer etc out of the toolbox and into the shed, until our visitors have gone the way of all things towards the end of September when the male wasps die and the nest is vacated.

The ‘real’ hoverflies are foraging on the solidago that’s now powering up in the flower beds.

Our water tank has so far offered up one small frog that was hauled out on some blanket weed and someone spotted a newt in there earlier in the summer. The honeybees seem to have now largely abandoned the blanket weed for moisture but pond skaters have now taken up residence!

There have been so many cinnabar moth caterpillars on the ragwort and groundsel this year – a bumper crop!

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