This autumn the back garden has been favoured by many Hornets which are now free from nest duty in the swan song of their lives. Some loiter around the edges of the pond, others are on the hunt for prey and they're struggling as their main prey of choice, the Honey Bee, is presently scarce. Hornets always seem to favour our garden in late summer and autumn; I think its a mixture of sun, shelter from the wind and plenty of foliage to hunt within. The daily numbers peak in early afternoon, but by 4 o'clock they've gone elsewhere. They're never far away though. At night, with just the outside house light on, it takes just a few minutes to a lure them into view. If the garden moth trap is switched on, we will have many dozens of Hornets angrily hitting the mercury vapour lamp, unable to draw themselves away.
I have photographed them in previous years performing their nuptial flights together and it would be great to see this strange sight again.