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Newmillerdam Lake

Thursday, 15th February 2001, West Yorkshire

great-crested grebes FOR THE FIRST time this year, it's warm enough to eat outdoors at lunchtime. The sunny weather is all the excuse we need to divert from some calls in town to take a stroll around Newmillerdam Country Park Lake, Wakefield. I'm surprised how popular it is, considering it's a weekday afternoon, but if you've got the chance it's a shame not to get out on a day like this at this time of year.

tufted ducks Like many such popular places it's easy to get away from the 'crowds'. Push chairs and dog walkers tend to take the first bridge and causeway across the lake to make the shortest round trip. We go a little further, up to the end of the woods, and we're immediately on quieter paths.

A pair of Great-crested Grebes swim alongside each other preening themselves. Their courtship will soon be extending to ritualised bowing and head-nodding and presenting each other with bouquets of waterweed.

tufted duck with mussel There are a few Tufted Ducks at the war memorial end of the lake. One of them has caught a Freshwater Mussel, which it rotates in its bill, biting at it to get it open. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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