Dave Dawson’s natural history notes for 20th July 2017:-
The Canada Goose moulting flock of 110 birds maintains the high numbers of recent years. There was a record July count of 85 Coots. The second highest was 80 in July 2014 in the lead up to the massive growth of Hornwort. Perhaps we’re heading for another flush of weed growth? The other waterweed feeder, the Mute Swan, remains at around 35 birds, slightly below last year’s figure. July usually gives the minimum number of Great Crested Grebes so, after having only a singleton since January, it was good to see an increase to the long-term average number for July: three. There were no House Martins, confirming their decline in this quarter of London, but 10 Swifts, so there’s no evidence that Swifts have decreased locally. There were Great Spotted Woodpeckers and Stock Doves at both Ashen Grove and Horse Close Woods, so these two continue to do well. Songbirds remain quiet. The upper brook has Great Hairy Willowherb and Watermint in flower. The lower brook is dominated by Great Willowherb, Great Lettuce and Hybrid Hedge Bindweed, with a few Yellow Flag Irises. 52 plant species were recorded at the Glade, bringing the total number of species since National Grid works to 93. The abundance of tall herbaceous species and a few woody species means that management by mowing and raking off is now quite urgent.