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Long-tailed Tits

Richard Bell’s Wild West Yorkshire nature diary, Monday, 20th October 2008


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long-tailed tit has hit the patio window. The other birds look down as if perplexed from the trellis then one hops to the ground by the motionless bundle of feathers. After a few minutes with no sign of life they give up and fly away.


After a minute or two, to our astonishment, the stunned bird opens its eyes and stands up, apparently uninjured. It flies off over the hedge and, hopefully, soon finds its companions.

The plumber is here this morning, working on a seeping pipe in the little attic over my studio. Wasp after wasp flies down through the hatch - half a dozen in total - and I keep letting them out through the patio windows. I assume that these are queen wasps hibernating - unless it is the remnant of a small colony surviving well into this mild autumn.

One of the wasps flies off clutching what appears to be a piece of expanded polystyrene insulation that has crumbled from the hot water tanks. Perhaps this is an instinctive reaction to save anything that looks like a wasp grub.

Two or more wasps buzz around over our sunny sheltered patio, a pair of them go into a brief aerial dogfight.