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Nature Blog June 2022: Dr. David Dawson on Wimbledon Park, June and May 2022

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Nature Blog: Dr. David Dawson is an environmental scientist who advises Friends of Wimbledon Park on all matters relating to nature within the park. Please see his latest updated blog for May and June 2022.

Extract from the Nature Blog June 2022:

June 2022

I did my monthly bird count on the 16th. There were two Grey herons in a tree on the island, perhaps an incipient herony. It would be great should they begin breeding loclly.

Consulting recent reviews of the science of lake water quality, shows that poor quality can be caused by some common bottom-feeding coarse fish: Carp, Tench and Bream, as well as fish that feed on zooplankton, adding Roach to the list. So, why am I concerned? Well, the lake attracts fish-eating birds: Grey herons, Kingfishers, Great-crested grebes, Egrets, Cormorants and Common terns, all of which are doing well and would do much better, should the All England and LB Merton heed advice on how to provide them with undisturbed breeding places.

Although the anglers complain that their fish are not doing well, those birds seem to disagree, they come to the lake because it provides food – those fish! Lake water quality might be at risk from the wrong kinds of fish. Predatory fish are better, indeed people have tried adding Pike to shallow eutrophic lakes in an attempt to control those other species. There was a Common tern fishing the lake, but no sign of a nest. As in last summer a sole male Pochard remains on the lake after the departure of the rest. It seems to be a pinioned bird, which begs the question of how it arrived here.

Nature Blog June 2022: Wimbledon Park Lake following recent dam safety works
Raw sewage discharged into the brook in Wimbledon Park (this has been reported to the relevant agencies)

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