Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
Found this monster crawling around on our landing this evening. What is it?
I'm no expert but...
The brown head rather than black makes me vote for hornet.
Hornets have become quite rare, my Readers Digest book says they have
almost disappeared from south-east and central England. Their large
size -32 mm and loud buzzing when flying can make them frightening,
but those I've seen tend to keep to themselves very high in the trees
and not trouble humans.
The book also quotes W.H.Hudson writing in 'Hampshire Days', 1903,
saying these October Hornets are all females, wanderers from ruined
homes, in search if sheltered places, where foodless and homeless each
may live though the winter months.
IMO you should do all you can to help it survive the winter.
I suggest transfering it to an open wooden outside structure from
which it can easily escape when spring comes. As you probably
realise it may become quite lively in your heated home, so perhaps you
may calm it down by cooling it off outside or in the fridge (with a
notice on the door!).