Dave Dawson’s natural history notes for 25th March 2017:-
Many resident bird species were in song: Blackbird, Chaffinch, Dunnock, Goldfinch, Great Tit, Greenfinch, House Sparrow, Mistle Thrush, Robin, Song Thrush, Woodpigeon, Wren and Stock Dove. Stock Doves have increased greatly in the park since their return as a breeding species in 2004. They are rather inconspicuous unless one knows their rather monotonous song, which can be heard in the two woods and also along the eastern edge of the park. They breed in hollows of old trees. Blackcaps and Chiffchaffs, newly returned migrants, were singing in Horse Close Wood. Many Canada Geese had left to breed elsewhere but Greylag and Egyptian Geese remained in number and there were still 35 Mute Swans. Plants in full flower included Dog’s Mercury, Lesser Celandine, Dandelions, Green Alkanet and Norway Maple in Horse Close Wood and Lesser Chickweed under the poplars just north of the brook. Spring plants leafing up but without flowers as yet, included Cuckoo Pint, Elder, Hybrid Hawthorn, Cow Parsley & Bluebells. Just a few Oaks were breaking bud. The Sweet Violets on the edge of Horse Close Wood have finished flowering and Blackthorn nearly so. I found a small patch of Wild Garlic in the corner of the park east of the small children’s play area, certainly not here in past years, but not an obvious place for a planting.