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website est. 1996
Brampton Common (SK495864)
This will look at the area either side off Common Lane and Long Road
from Brampton en le Morthen village to the crossroads at Todwick Road.
The study area also includes the village of Hardwick (SK485864), Brampton
raceway and the Straight mile fisheries (SK495864).
Access: Several roads including Common Lane, Long Road, Hawk Hill Lane and Hardwick Lane mean the area is easily accessible while a network of footpaths mean the area can easily be explored. In formal lay-bys are present along the roads. I would suggest the best place to leave the car for any period time would be either in Hardwick or in the A57 layby at the start of Hardwick Lane (SK480854).
This large area of mixed arable and pastoral farmland. As well as
the fishing ponds of the Straight mile fisheries there is also a small
woodland, Brampton Common Plantation (SK495868). The main focus of ornithological
interest is the wet field between the Plantation and Hardwick village.
It is possible to park in the gateway here opposite the public footpath.
Over 100 bird species have been recorded since 1974 in this area and
the area is particularly important for its breeding waders.
All year: Mallard are present in the wet fields as well as at the fishery ponds along with Coot and Moorhen. Good numbers of Red-legged Partridge and Pheasant are present, and are supplemented by birds released for shooting. The area is also one of the best locations in the area to find Grey Partridge. Both Kestrel and Sparrowhawk regularly hunt over the area while Buzzard is a recent coloniser with up to 6 present in March 2010. Due to the amount of uncultivated land and damp pasture land this is a stronghold for Lapwing and several pairs breed each. The hundreds of Woodpigeon are present with smaller numbers of the much overlooked Stock Dove. Little Owl is present and several pairs breed while Tawny Owl is also a possibility. This whole area has qualified as a local wildlife site due the presence of good numbers of breeding Skylark. Meadow Pipit also breed in the fields along with Pied Wagtail which take advantage of farm buildings. This is also a good area for the nationally threatened farmland bird including Willow Tit while Tree Sparrow also occur in small numbers. There is also a good population of Linnet and Yelllowhammer. Sadly Corn Bunting hasn't been recorded since 2000.
Canada Geese occur at the fishery ponds looking for suitable
breeding sites. Good numbers of hirundines during this
period attract Hobby. This is about the only area left
in Rotherham where Common Snipe can be seen drumming during
the breeding season. This species along with breeding Redshank
make the site so important locally. Curlew has
also bred in the area which is a rare occurrence nationally with birds
also present during 2010. Cuckoo still occurs in small
numbers but Turtle Dove now seems to be absent. Other
scarce migrant breeders include Yellow Wagtail and
Grasshopper Warbler, while Lesser Whitethroat,
Whitethroat, Chiffchaff and Willow
Warbler are all present. Both Wheatear and occasionally
Whinchat occur on migration.
Winter: Mute Swan occasionally visit the fishery ponds, while the ditches and flooded fields also attract Grey Heron. As the area is so open Pink-footed Geese have been recorded passing over the area as they commute between their Norfolk and Lancashire wintering grounds. The open fields are ideal for Merlin although there has only been the occasional sighting. The area is also important for a wintering of Golden Plover which commute between here and Axle Lane. Up to 2000 bird can be present. Other wintering waders include small numbers of Jack Snipe in wet fields along with Common Snipe. Woodcock are also occasionally flushed. The amount of pasture and hedgerows means this is a good area for owls with Barn Owl and Short-eared Owl present in winter. Any of the fields are also worth checking for wintering Stonechat. Large flocks of Redwing and Fieldfare are also present.
Quail has been recorded in the past and the fields still
look suitable for the occasional singing male. A Red Kite passed
through the area on 6th April 2009. Probably the rarest find was a Golden
Oriole in May 1995.
Produced (with amendments) by kind permission of Rotherham & District Ornithological Society (RDOS).
A group focused on recording the bird life of a single 10km square between Sheffield, Rotherham & Worksop
content & design by Andy Hirst