© SK58 Birders 2019
website est. 1996
North Anston Pit Top (SK5185)
How to get there:
From Junction 31 of the M1, take the A57 towards Worksop. At the first traffic lights turn left (N). NAPT is a large area accessed from the S at Cramfit Bridge-continue N-NE, turn right at the first cross roads. Continue for about a half a mile, over the bridge and park by the houses on the left. Walk back and access via a track by the side of the bridge. To access from the N, go back to the crossroads and turn right and head NE. Pass South Yorkshire Caravans on your left and take the next right. After 200m, turn right on to the Brooklands Industrial Estate. Park in the SE corner and head SE to access via the long embankment, near the sewage works entrance.
An elevated area dominating the surrounding area, that slopes away to the W. A once rich marsh that was infilled by colliery spoil which forms the highest elevation of the area. Remnant marsh attracts many birds, the spoil heap providing a superb panoramic view that stretches to the W of Sheffield-an ideal location for observing visible migration. The now infilled lagoons once attractive to waders. A diverse range of habitats remains that continues to be attractive to birds, including extensive shale, grassland, grazed fields, dikes, ditches and a great little reedy marsh, as well as wild uncultivated fields-designated for industrial use.
Rarities typically occur during periods of passage, although interesting birds can occur in the winter. Since the group's formation the following locally and nationally rare species have occurred. Red Kite, Water Rail, Corncrake, Grey Plover, Sanderling, Ruff, Richard's Pipit, Great Grey Shrike, Twite, Crossbill and Lapland Bunting.
NAPT plays host to many declining species including: Grey and Red-legged Partridge, as well as regionally elusive species like Kingfisher, as well as Tawny Owl, Green Woodpecker, Willow Tit, Bullfinch and Yellowhammer.
NAPT by seasons:
Winter: Can be a quiet time here, although Water Rail, Snipe and Jack Snipe can be found. There are about a dozen Corn Bunting that winter here. Thrushes can pass through in high numbers.
Spring: Perhaps the prime time for this location, with a S and SW aspect, NAPT is an ideal spot to catch up with spring migrants. Early migrants are always recorded, and in good number. Of note are good numbers of Yellow Wagtail that pass through. Although Wheatear, Whinchat and Redstart are recorded frequently. Prior to the infill, waders featured, although with no exposed mud or pools, the area is now unattractive to waders, this has been rectified with the construction of a 100m wader scrape. Osprey have been recorded as well as Short-eared Owl passing through on their way N.
Summer: This area comes alive in the summer, with many species returning to breed. These include Little Ringed Plover, Redshank-although declining, Turtle Dove, Cuckoo, Skylark, Meadow Pipit, Lesser Whitethroat, Sedge Warbler, Reed Warbler and Reed Bunting that breed in varying numbers.
Autumn: Begins with visible migration of Swifts and hirundines, with Lesser Black-backed Gulls, roosting on the expansive spoil as they move S, with fewer Common Gulls mixed in. Followed by good numbers of common migrants that regularly include Short-eared Owl, Wheatear, with high numbers of pipits and Skylark. The area in late autumn provides an excellent vantage-point to observe returning grey geese, as they pass from the NW to the SE. Late autumn and winter also reveals high numbers of wintering continental thrushes that pass through.
SK58 Birders have been closely involved in discussions and planning of the area and include a significant area especially for birds The access points and areas described within this report may have changed or no longer exist. Please contact SK58 Birders for latest access and development news.
A group dedicated to recording the bird life of a single 10km square between Sheffield, Rotherham & Worksop
content & design by Andy Hirst