Dave Dawson’s natural history notes for 18th October 2015:-
The count of 150 Coots on the lake is still an historically high number, but lower than last year when there were 230 in October. Could this be because there isn’t so much submerged waterweed this year? This time last year the great increase in Mute Swans was just beginning and it will be interesting to see if numbers rise even higher this year. There’s 60 on the lake now, including 7 young, some of which have probably flown in from breeding sites elsewhere. Most other wintering waterfowl have yet to show up, but one female Pochard could be an early arrival. There’s large numbers of Feral Pigeons attracted to the grass seeds on the ex-bowling green. Many young Grey Squirrels are active chasing each other off the remaining acorns. There’s few wildflowers to be seen: some flowering Redshank in the brook and the white-flowered Cyclamen is still to be seen by a track junction in the western part of Horse Close Wood. Less impressive, but of vital importance to those invertebrate pollinators that are still about, is the flowering of the Ivy, best seen in the hedgerow between the Golf Course and Public Park north of the Stadium. The poplars at the western end of Horse Close Wood take on Autumn colours early and stand out yellow compared with the other trees there. This also reveals a poplar in the ex-children’s play area at the eastern end of the car park that I had missed earlier.