Never mind the Eurovision bloody song contest. Never mind the King Charlie’s royal coronation. Never mind that turfer Drylaw13 had a PPH of 666 today. No, these things pale into insignificance compared to events in Dalkeith, Midlothian. To be honest, I did a double take. I could not believe my eyes. And what is this mighty earth-shattering event? Has first contact been made with visitors from outer space? No. Has another great grey shrike been spotted in Dalkeith Country Park? No. Nothing like that. Well, what is it then? Okay. Are you ready? There’s a new turf zone in Midlothian.
Once upon a time new zones popped up regularly in Midlothian. I recall the joy at launching the turf app and finding one or even two new zones had appeared overnight and not even requested zones. But alas, such occurrences are now few and far between. The new zone is shown above and is called MinersWalked. Not sure why?
Don’t get me wrong this is brilliant news. In fact, as soon as I saw it, I was out there on the Surly Ogre and took it. Now one of my very few FTT zones, that’s First To Take. Magic! This will be an interesting zone to keep an eye on as it’s located in open ground, which I suspect, is destined for new housing. Might need to get this one moved at some point in the near future, after it ends up in someone living room, or more interestingly, their bathroom.
I do wonder about the rules for creating zones and I do wish us poor uninformed turfers had knowledge of the why, where and when of zone creation. I know there are quotas these days, fair enough, but how does Edinburgh get them almost weekly when other no less important areas nearby get none. Yes, Edinburgh has a lot more turfers than Midlothian. Is new zone creation down to turfer numbers and activity? I wish I knew. Have also thought about applying to be a zone maker but I guess not being able to create zones in my own area puts me off. I understand the reasoning behind this rule but it seems a shame local knowledge cannot be put to good us. Oh dear, ranting again. Apologies.
Anyway, popped into Dalkeith Country Park on the way home to visit zone Restoration with the hope of spotting those last few species of bird I need for my unofficial Ornithologist medal. Already have Birder and Twitcher. Managed 46 so far, just need that final 4 species. Sat in the zone for about 30 minutes. Plenty of the usual suspects flying about but all already on the list. However, soon added a song thrush with one singing away across the river. Only three more needed. However, further birds were not to be. You would think a dipper might fly past on the river, or even a kingfisher but no such luck. Back soon.
Birds identified to date: 47
Blackbird, black-headed gull, blue tit, budgerigar, buzzard, Canada goose, canary, carrion crow, chiffchaff, cockatiel, common gull, cormorant, curlew, eider, feral pigeon, goldeneye, goldfinch, goosander, great grey shrike, great tit, grey heron, greylag goose, herring gull, house martin, jackdaw, kestrel, lapwing, magpie, mallard, meadow pipit, moorhen, mute swan, oystercatcher, pied wagtail, pochard, red-breasted merganser, redshank, robin, skylark, starling, swallow, velvet scoter, widgeon, wren, woodpigeon, song thrush and coal tit.
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