A Trip to Selborne (pt.2)

After the reasonable success of our last trip to Selborne, we decided to return a week later to focus on the wildlife of the common -  to try to see what creatures Gilbert White would have seen on his regular patrols of the area.

We began our route in the village, before heading up to the common via the Selborne Hangar; a long, sloping path leading along the side of the common, overlooking the village. Here we almost instantly came across some life. A pair of goldcrests flew over our heads, with one landing on a small stump right in front of us - but not for long enough to get a photograph.

The Selborne Hangar

Once we reached the common, we walked to the northern side of the hill, where the forest opened out into a small patch of farmland. Here there was a buzzard soaring overhead, joined by blackbirds, great tits and the like in bushes around the path. We also came across some more goldcrest, and a possible blackcap.

Re-entering the forested hill, we saw another buzzard soaring above the trees, and began to hear more birdsong. It wasn't long before we came across signs of predators. On the forest floor there were numerous remains of dead birds, possibly the victims of a sparrowhawk or similar.

The birds and wildlife of Selborne Common are harder to find than elsewhere in the countryside. Whether it was the same in White's time I don't know, but due to the dense vegetation, birds are much harder to pick out and identify. What Selborne Common does offer though is a great walk through forest, farmland and clearings, with the chance to see some interesting wildlife along the way. 

The population of goldcrests certainly seems healthy, as they were almost everywhere we walked, especially on the Selborne Hangar. Selborne is definitely worth a visit to explore the history and wildlife it has to offer.


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