Red kite and other critters

Red kite and other critters

The sky above us

The red kite is one of those birds of prey which was reintroduced not so many years ago in Tuscany, precisely in the Albegna valleys, just below m. Labro.

After years of safeguarding, some specimens have now returned to populate the skies of our area.

When we bought La Guinza, our farmhouse, it seemed strange to us to hear that acronym: S.I.C .... We discovered that we were in a site of community interest (there will be about 2800 in all of Italy), with a particular commitment to the protection of birds of prey. We had to produce a lot of sheets, documenting each of our constructions, with a low point of incidence: non-reflective roofs, with colors as similar as possible to the surrounding environment, regulated heights, no pylons and wind farms absolutely forbidden ...

At the time they seemed absurd requests, then living here, we understood that these areas are really to be kept under control; it is important not to distort the environment, not to modify it, but to respect in every intervention on it, favoring its natural gait, of the fields, of the waterways ... of its thorny bushes, its sandstones and its grayish limestones, meadows scattered with orchids or endemic Etruscan violets ... choosing solutions that do not change recklessly, no aspect of this ecosystem, which with its immutability, still manages to welcome these animals.

It seems that in this "paradise" more than 130 species of birds have been registered, not to forget, other types of animals, including protected species, rare or at risk of extinction, such as hedgehogs, porcupines, hare, all decreasing numerically.

Walking in these pastures of ours can be every day a new discovery, new mosses, new ravines, new encounters with small and large mammals, new sounds such as the whistles of buzzards circling over us, the grazing and swinging flight of the woodpecker, the croaking bee-eater, the unpleasant cry of the roe deer in love, the furtive appearance of a beech marten, the wolf's footprints, the scent of the broom, the blinding whiteness of the hawthorn and the flowers of the wild pear trees, the leaping hare, the "toilet" the badger, the "dead stone" that splits in the cold, the yellow lichens on the fence posts, the tangles of thorns, the porcupine quills stuck in the mud ...