The small things
I post this shot because it illustrates a little success we booked. Maybe you remember that last year we were able to purchase the land behind our house. Slowly, ever so slowly, (when our budget allows) we return this land to nature. We started with banning fertilizer and hunting and proceeded by planting trees, shrubs (for shelter) and sowing in several hectares with weeds, flowers, cabbage species, sunflowers and all sorts of grain etc. Anything that is seed-bearing and we can leave on the land during winter. Last winter we were visited by many roe deer, hare and even badgers.
Every day we see a little result; The special kestrel box we put up was checked out by a female Kestrel immediately and lots of Greenfinches came to fourage during the summer.
But just last week, we saw a big bird of prey hovering over the meanwhile dry stems. We are used to Hawks and Buzzards but this one was different. I recognized a Harrier but which one!! An email to the one and only bird guru Michel gave the answer: a ringtail (one year old) Hen Harrier female! We were exctatic! A new species in our little Eden!!
Although to many people this might not be very special but we were really over the moon with this new guest. It seems that our efforts are starting to pay off. Well pay off in the sense of satisfaction that is. Certainly not in the financial sense! :-) But to us, it's the small successes that count.