Spring Mill

Spring Mill DamIt’s surprising to find so much open space between suburban Ossett , one of its industrial estates and junction 40 of the M1. From Spring Mill Lane, now closed to traffic, there are views across the playing fields and the 9 hole Springmill Municipal Golf Course south across the Calder Valley to Woolley Edge and east to the scrubby scarp slope of Lupset. Most of the wildlife interest here lies in the narrow valley of Spring Mill Beck, landscaped in the 1970s or 1980s as a public open space and now popular with dog walkers.

Spring Mill

moorhensOn the pond – which I guess is what remains of the old mill dam – there were fifty Mallards, mainly drakes with a pair of Moorhens skulking along the bank.

Squirrel's dreyI wouldn’t have guessed that this bundle of twigs was a squirrel’s drey if I hadn’t seen one Grey Squirrel follow another into it. It must be a snug fit for them.

The male – often several males – pursue the female during courtship, which takes place in December and again in May.

long-tailed titIn the plantation beyond the dam Long-tailed Tits made their way through the branches while Blackbirds foraged in the leaf litter below. A flock of Goldfinches flitted about in bushes close to adjacent back gardens, perhaps attracted to bird-feeders there.