When I met Tracy at Blashford she mentioned a large wasp nest that had been made at the Tern Hide, so when I went over there on my site check I took a look. I am not sure how I had missed it before.
The nests are made of chewed up wood pulp, essentially paper and the hides are often a favourite source, the sound of scraping wasp jaws is one that summer hide visitors will know well. If the hide were open this nest would be a problem as it is very near the door, but as it is not and I doubt it will be anytime soon, I think I can leave it alone.
Returning to the Centre a visitor then told me of another wasp nest, this time under a sign near the car park.
This one will need to be avoided as it is under the sign and not obvious so easy to inadvertently get very close to. We have put out a sign and I will fix up a temporary fence to keep people at a safe distance.
We have several species of social wasps in the UK, I am pretty sure that both of these nests are the same species though, the common wasp Vespula vulgaris.
I went down to check on the common tern rafts and am pleased to say they are still doing well, with lots of fast growing chicks making good use of the shelters.
It is not a great picture, but you can see the chicks, especially grouped around the left hand shelter. There is a good way to go yet, but this is great progress in a season when I had feared I would get no rafts out for them.