Dave Dawson’s natural history notes for 12th April 2017:-

A few of the Mute Swans are defending territory, an uphill struggle as they are greatly outnumbered by the 35 odd sub-adult birds. Less song was heard as many birds were busy with nesting. The Wild Cherries in Horse Close Wood were in flower. Hawthorns had leafed up and a few flowers opened, whereas Blackthorn flowers were nearly over. The Lesser Celandine, Green Alkanet and native Bluebells in Horse Close Wood were in full flower, if not as tall as usual because of the Spring drought. The first flowers were showing on Cow Parsley and Jack-by-the-hedge. Oak and Ash were both breaking bud and Woodpigeons were eating the tender young leaves. An unusually large brood of 12 Mallard ducklings was seen by the Watersports jetty. The colonisation of the glade in Horse Close Wood is progressing slowly, but the total number of species on the list there is now 61, all but two of which have been recorded since the last National Grid works.