Talking With A Farmer
Today I was outside again, and I took the paths through the small forests, around the ponds, and over fields. Close to a farm (not the one in the photo) near a small forest, I watched over the fields and into the sky, because I was looking for bird of prey, and then a farmer greeted me and asked if I would look for birds. The farmer was very old and friendly, and I told him that I was looking for bird of prey, and he replied that this area is perfect if I want to find them, and he told me that he often sees black kites and red kites in the air. I told him that I heard one over me in the forest, but I was not sure if it would be one of both or maybe even a hawk, and to my surprise, the old farmer could imitate the same sound and asked me if this was the bird sound I heard, and I smiled and told him that this was the sound, and he continued that it was most likely the black kite or the red kite then. He explained me that they have their nests in the forest close to us, the forest where I came from, and that they fly over the fields to hunt mice. My plan was now changed, I usually don’t go the same ways back, I prefer to hike a whole round, but now I wanted to go the same way back, and this was a good idea, because I could take a photo of one of these birds, but I will upload them in another post.
Before I went the way back where I came from, the farmer pointed somewhere with his fingers and asked me if I would hear his chickens, and then he explained that he had to build a big cage for them as the birds of prey did regularly snatch one of his chickens. I knew that these birds would not only hunt mice, but also ducks, but I was surprised that they would even attack chickens, and while I looked surprised, the farmer told me that red kites or black kites are predators as well, and that his chicken farm was like a big buffet for them until he basically created a roofing with wire mesh fence. I did take a look, the lawn was small, and he was able to secure a part of the area with the wire mesh fence. I replied that I can imagine the problem and that the predators would be at the top of the food chain if we don’t count us humans in, but then he told me that this would be basically true, but that also birds of prey get into trouble.
I wanted to know more, and he told me that the crows in the area do empty out the nests of the red kites, black kites or hawks, and not only this, they would even attack them at times. He said “There is another thing I’d like to tell you before you go” and he continued “It’s not a long time ago when I found a hawk on the ground between the trees over there at the fields”, and he said that he was curious and went there to take a closer look. I was very interested and asked him why the hawk was on the ground, and he told me that the hawk didn’t want to fly away, not even when the farmer was at close range. He said, when he was close enough, he could see that the hawk had only one eye, the other eye was not there, it was only a big wound. He mentioned that he noticed several times that groups of crows wouldn’t be afraid of those birds, and that they would even try to attack them in the air. He was sure that the hawk on the ground must have been attacked by the crows too, that is what he thinks. He grabbed the wings of the hawk and carried the bird to the small forest, but even there the hawk didn’t want to fly. He told me that the hawk wouldn’t have had a chance to survive in the nature with just one eye, and that he called the forest rangers and that they carried the bird away, and that it’s now probably a hawk in care and living in a cage.
I liked the stories of the old farmer, and I was happy when we continued to talk about the place he lives. I said that I am from Lübeck, and that I pretty much liked the time I did spend in Reinfeld so far. He replied that my hometown would have some beautiful places too. He said that he was in Travemünde for some time in 1970 as he learned welding there, and he and his colleagues did regularly sit at the bay in the evening to take some drinks and to watch the incoming ships. I looked over the fields again, and then to the old farmer and said to him that our federal state Schleswig-Holstein is quite beautiful, and he agreed and replied that it’s definitely the case, and that some people just don’t see it. We said goodbye, and I went back through the forest.