Swifts arrive at Wimbledon Park Lake.

Yesterday afternoon I walked the shore of the lake with other members of the Wimbledon Park Friends group. Dave Dawson, who has been recording plants across London for many years, was with us and it was great to be able to learn from him as he sought to differentiate the various sedges and irises that grow on the lake’s margin. It was sad though to come across one of the few remaining enclaves where water lilies survive when a couple of decades ago parts of the lake were covered in them. I just hope and pray that the passion and expertise of the Friends group will prevail and that Merton Council, the Golf Club and the All England Club, will act soon to save this precious habitat.

As we were coming to the end of our walk I glanced up and noticed a swift, and then another, and in no time at all a small flock of 30 or so had gathered above the lake, catching flies at the time of the day they are most abundant. The sight made me momentarily more optimistic about the potential of the swift boxes on the church, and impelled me to rush home and switch on the swift call CD.

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