Dave Dawson’s natural history notes for 15th June 2018:-
Notable today was a Nuthatch singing in Horse Close Wood. This species sings on the golf course some years, but this is the first time in the public park. Blackcaps seem to have fledged their first brood, because they were singing again in both woods and alongside the tube line. Other species in full song included the Stock dove, Wren and Dunnock. It’s peak time to hear Stock doves and the nine birds were a record June count, continuing the great increase at the park. I heard two Coal tits singing. This species is difficult to spot except by its distinctive song, and this is the peak time of the year to detect it, perhaps because the Great tit, which has a similar song, was silent. The lake has an abundant growth of Small pondweed. A large amount has been removed by the watersports people, but much remains. The weed hasn’t attracted more Mute Swans as yet: the 17 birds were the lowest June count since the great increase in 2015. Coots, however, are doing well on the weed and the 55 birds were a record June tally. Canada Geese are arriving back in the park to begin their moult around the end of the month. As yet they are outnumbered by the total of Greylags and Egyptian geese. They all feed out on the open grass of the public park and golf course until disturbed, when they retreat to the lake. Also, out on the grass there were 60 Herring gulls: a non-breeding flock. I saw 47 plant species at the Glade, Horse Close Wood, 4 of which were new, making a cumulative species list of 110. There were several Corncockles in flower, dating back to the annual wildflower mix added over two years ago. The Glade will need management this summer, strimming and raking off, but there’s been no response to an approach made to Merton and Idverde to have it included in the parks contract. In the wood, Lime trees were in flower. The ancient woodland indicator, Wood millet was flowering in the golf course part of Ashen Grove Wood, on the path through the locked gate. The hedgerow in the north by the golf course has both the native and Japanese honeysuckles in flower, in time for the Wimbledon queue. The Brook had Hemlock water-dropwort and water cress in flower. There, I also spotted a grass that arrived in London 15 years ago and is spreading in the London area, Water bent.