Anyway, I don't know if I've mentioned it before, but we have what has got to be the oldest and tallest walnut tree in the area in our garden. It's a wonderful tree and I'm very fond of it. It's stunning in the Spring and Summer.
However, since the middle of August we have had a nest of Asian Hornets right at the very top of the tree. Impossible to get at and not very nice, especially when you watch them decimating the bee colonies.
On Saturday after the snowfall we had a lovely surprise. No more hornets. Dead!
The first we knew of it was when we looked up at the nest and it was covered in Great Tits munching away and trying to get into the nest. Slowly, but surely they have pecked away and it is falling to bits. The bottom fell out this morning.
It's the size of a small dinner plate.
If you look very closely at the next photo, you might just be able to see a Great Tit in the bottom left hand corner.
This shows the base of it - see the size of the hole!
The whole nest is about the size of 2 footballs and the shape of a rugby ball!
Unfortunately it seems that the queens might just still be alive waiting for the weather to warm up next Spring so they can zoom off and build a nest elsewhere. Our neighbour has a friend who has a telescopic rifle. He's coming round this week to try to shoot the nest down We shall be standing at the base of the tree armed with hornet killer sprays! That's if the birds don't get to the queens first!
On a nicer note, the last of the cranes have just flown over, heading south to warmer climes.
Now all we've got to do is wait until March to watch them fly back north to Holland.