Happiness is a state of ‘find’

by on Apr.16, 2011, under Birdwatching, Cheviot Valleys, Northumberland

A couple of months after I left my teaching career, I was sent a link to this webpage… and I ended up in a pub at 10:00 on a Tuesday morning, explaining my ideas to an interview panel.

A few weeks after that interview I found myself on an Enterprise Island residential weekend and when we were asked the question “how will you know when your business is a success?”  almost everyone answered that the measure of that would be if their customers were happy.

We had our first Cheviots Safari of the year yesterday.  I collected Sally and Tony from Morpeth and we headed northwest.  On a day that was cold, windy and overcast, the quality of the birdwatching in the Northumberland hills more than made up for the weather; 3 Ring Ouzels perched obligingly in one tree, allowing us a prolonged opportunity to watch them, Curlews were displaying high over the heather moorland, male Red Grouse were as stunning as ever, Chaffinches, Willow Warblers, Chiffchaffs, Blackcaps, Robins, Redpolls, Meadow Pipits, Mistle Thrushes and Wrens were all singing and we had an unexpected bonus in the shape of a White Wagtail.  A real highlight of the day, although it wasn’t a highlight so much as a constant backdrop, was the number of raptors; 14 Common Buzzards (including 7 in the air at the same time), 2 Kestrels chasing each other around and a Sparrowhawk would have been a good haul on a cold day, but as we watched a Peregrine go into a stooping dive we were amazed to see that the object of it’s ire was a Goshawk, beating it’s way steadily across the hillside.  As the falcon repeatedly buzzed the ‘phantom of the forest’, buzzards were hanging in the wind high above it, and a kestrel was hovering against the hilltop.  It was one of those moments that I really can’t do justice to in writing.

And the connection to the anecdote at the start of this post?  My answer to the question was that I would consider NEWT a success if I was happy with what we’re doing.  Of course, me being happy requires happy clients… and the reason we had Sally and Tony out with us yesterday was that Sally had been given a gift voucher by one of our previous clients.  Happiness is infectious 🙂

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