A downland walk with a view on the edge of the Chilterns

Bird Watching (UK) - - Go Birding - PAUL TRODD

THIS DOWNLAND WALK on the northern scarp slope of the Chilterns Area of Out­stand­ing Nat­u­ral Beauty com­mands spec­tac­u­lar views across the Vale of Ayles­bury to the north. Pul­pit Hill and ad­ja­cent Grange­lands are man­aged and owned by a com­bi­na­tion of or­gan­i­sa­tions in­clud­ing Buck­ing­hamshire County Coun­cil, the lo­cal Wildlife Trust and the Na­tional Trust. Clas­sic downland habi­tat of scrub and sheep-grazed clear­ings, with steep coombes of Beech woods, park­land and arable farm­land, com­bine to en­sure a rich and var­ied bird­ing walk, while Happy Val­ley har­bours one of the finest stand of na­tive Box trees in the coun­try. View­points along the route are per­fect for ex­pe­ri­enc­ing early morn­ing vis­i­ble mi­gra­tion and birds mov­ing along the Chiltern’s ridge go­ing to roost. While the large num­bers of mi­grants of yes­ter­year have sig­nif­i­cantly re­duced, there should still be op­por­tu­ni­ties to pick out a few redpoll, Siskin or Bram­bling among their com­moner con­geners pass­ing overhead, while rar­i­ties in the shape of Wood Lark and La­p­land Bunt­ing are not un­known. On a pos­i­tive note, Red Kite and Buz­zard are now vir­tu­ally as­sured, but would have been ab­sent only a quar­ter of a cen­tury ago. Look out along the way for deer such as Roe or Mun­t­jac graz­ing along the coombe mar­gin.



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