West Wycombe and Fingest

(This is an edited and expanded version of an entry in my WAB blog – I’m a bit tired tonight!)

Red Kite

A great walk in the Chilterns today, about 14 miles I should think. Very cold (about 3C) when I started but nice and warm by the afternoon, though there was still frost in some shady spots. I started at West Wycombe and headed south, through Lane End to Fingest (which has an amazing Norman church, with a double-gabled tower). I then headed back via Cadmore End, Studley Green, Radnage and Bledlow Ridge.

This walk was basically a combination of parts of two of the ‘exploratory’ walks I did for my Chiltern Chain Walk – I did both those walks to check out possible paths to cross the M40, and ended up selecting a route from each of them. The section from just south of the M40 through Lane End to Fingest was new to me though – I didn’t like part of the route I used last time, mainly because it involved a very dangerous road section. I had to go through a housing estate in Lane End, but the rest of the new section was brilliant, a very clear and well-maintained path through woods and fields with some lovely views.
Red Kite
I hoped I’d get a few Red Kite photos, as I new from previous walks that the area around Fingest was a good place to see them. In fact I saw them on numerous occasions, including about 10 in the skies above Fingest and then 22 or 23 above Studley Green, the biggest group I’ve ever seen. I got a few photos, bu none that were too good – I’ll have another go on my next walk, which will also go through Fingest.

I also saw several buzzards today, on two or three occasions in the air with the Red Kites, a phenomenon I’ve noticed many times before.

Common Buzzard

As I walked through Hanger Wood, Fingest, I saw about 30 Fallow Deer cross the track about 100 yards in front of me – below is the best of the photos I took. I also saw Muntjac deer twice today, but they were off too quick for me to get a photo. Near Radnage I think I saw a weasel, but it was too fleeting a glimpse for me to be really sure.

Fallow Deer

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