I LET a couple of wasps out of the studio window this afternoon but inevitably the odd one will get trapped indoors and I found this one lying dead on the windowsill in the spare bedroom, giving me a chance to take a closer look at it.
The photograph was taken with my new Fujifilm FinePix S6800 bridge camera. I always like to draw from the photograph before turning to the field guide but comparing photograph and sketch I’m surprised how out of proportion I drew the central part of its face. The little sketch (right) drawn directly from the wasp itself is more confident and proportionate than the one drawn from the computer screen. But the macro photograph brings out details that are barely visible to the naked eye.
As its name suggests the Tree Wasp, Dolichovespula sylvestris, often builds its nest in trees and shrubs but at the weekend we found one nesting on the ground on the grass verge by the path at Walton nature park. It has also been recorded as nesting in barns, empty bee-hives and nestboxes.
In the 3 second film clip below you can see a wasp flying out. I didn’t block the flight path for longer than necessary.