The plan today was to cycle down to Musselburgh, take a few zones, enjoy the scenery and try to add a few more bird species to the list towards my Planet Gary unofficial medal, the Ornithologist where I need to identify 50 different species of bird from no more than 10 turf zones. I’ve already achieved the Birder and Twitcher medals for 10 and 25 species respectively.
Before heading out I did a quick review of where I was sitting at. Total species identified, and this is more accurate than previously posted, is sitting at 34. Of the 10 zones permitted I’ve actually used up, or visited, 8 of them, rather than the 7 as previously thought. Which just leaves two more zones left. The zones are, Eskmouthebeaks, MusselLagoon, JMWAshLagoons, Prestongrange, SteamCrane, John, MusselLagWay and Lewisvale.
My session today was reasonably productive but not a good as hoped. The weather was rather chilly with a cold wind from the East, miserable drizzly rain and the birds seemed to be hiding in the sheltered areas. However, revisiting the above zones did give me another 5 ticks to the list, including skylark, chiffchaff, wren, great tit and feral pigeon. I’ve also added another zone to the pot, zone RomanBrig. This produced Canada goose, goosander, house martin and swallow.
And there’s another zone I’m going to add to take my total to 10 zones, and that is zone Restoration in Dalkeith Country Park. Turfer Hodge drew my attention is a very rare visitor, the great grey shrike, which I was lucky enough to witness. Just had to add that one to the list. Cheers again, Mike. This takes my list to 44 with all 10 zones used up. But all is not lost as I can keep on re-visiting the same 10 zones and hope to catch the remaining 6 required species. In fact, I suspect that a single turfing trip to zone Restoration down in Dalkeith might just do the trick. There’s a fair chance of spotting woodpigeon, rook, collared dove, dipper, coal tit, tree creeper, song or mistle thrush, jay, long-tailed tit and tawny owl (if I go after dark). Sorted. Wish me luck!
Species identified so far:
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 and wren.
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