As of February 2016, after 416 posts, and over six and a half years of blogging, I'm taking a break.
I've explained why here. There's plenty of past posts to read, though - hope you enjoy them !
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Archived posts: The following articles are from the month or year requested:

The bones I would like to find in 2010


This year has been great for my bone collection. Before, I mainly had just rabbit bones, but now I have all sorts of skulls like red deer, roe deer, sheep, buzzards and fox. I think next year could be the best year ever for bone collecting. Here are some of the bones I would like to find in 2010:

  • An owl skull. Owls look cool, but I haven't seen many out on walks.

  • A complete sheep skull. I have four sheep skulls already, but none of them have all the parts - the skull, the two horns, and the two parts of the lower jaw.

  • A cow skull. This would be the biggest skull I have yet.

  • A red deer skull with more than 8 points. The biggest deer skull I have at the moment is this one which was 4 + 2 points. It would be great to find a skull with bigger antlers, but it is difficult because gamekeepers or poachers take skulls with bigger antlers because they are valuable.

Happy Christmas everyone !


Here's a picture my Daddy took today in the roe deer woods near my house.

Happy Christmas ! I think it's going to be a snowy Christmas here in Scotland.

Some strange ice in the woods

Last weekend me and my dad when up to the Pheasant Woods. We had to be careful because it was icy, and because this is the time of year that the pheasants get shot. We found lots of bones, but they were all from pheasants that had been killed by foxes, so we didn't bring any back. We also saw a red squirrel, a group of five roe deer in the woods, and a big deer by itself that might have been a red hind but was probably just a roe.

The strangest thing we found was this strange ice. All the woods were icy, with frozen raindrops on every branch, but this was different because it didn't look like normal ice, but more like white fur.

Dad thought it might have been some kind of strange furry fungus, but he took a bit and it was just ice. When he melted it in his hand it just turned to water without anything inside that the ice formed around. This ice was strange because it wasn't over all the tree, but just over one bit of one branch.

Strange bones #4 - the broken deer leg

This might be one of the coolest bones I have.

I found it in a private deer wood just a few miles from my village, and there's probably not another bone like it. That's because it's three broken bones that have been healed together. It's from the front left leg of an adult red deer. Here's it next to the front leg bone from Alice, the year-old red deer hind whose skeleton we found a few months back.

The Mallard Duck Skull


This is the mallard duck skull that I found back on a walk here. When we found it it was still rotting away. Normally when we find bones all the flesh has already gone, but this one we put in some water and just left it there for about two weeks, then daddy sprayed it with the hose and then it was just the bone. Here's what it looked like when we found it:

Exploring the Secret Vault


Today, Dad and I went back up to the Secret Vault. It is a secret underground chamber in the middle of a wood that we found by accident ages ago. When we first found it I was on a walk with Mum and Dad and I could see bones at the bottom of it, but we couldn't reach them. I thought one of the bones was human.

Is this deer snot ?


Yesterday me and my dad were walking in a deer wood and we found this on one of the tracks in two different places, both where the track was next to a stream. It looked like jelly and one lot had a leaf inside it. Around it were a deer's tracks, maybe of a young red or a old roe (this wood has both roe and red deer).

Strange bones #3: I need your help !

Help ! I need your help to try and work out what animal this bone might have come from.

Peg found my website and emailed me to ask if I knew. His dog found the bone bits and Peg thought it might be from a white tail deer. I think Peg lives in the US.

Two small jaw bones


I've got two jaw bones from small animals to clean up. The top one I found in a wood while on a walk with mum and dad, and I think it is a squirrel jaw, but I'm not sure.

The other one I think is from a hedgehog. My friend Holly found it on the road which goes up to the castle in the village. One night my dad and I were coming out of a wood late at night and we found a hedgehog. My dad picked it up in his hat so we wouldn't get spiked. It was cool and I wanted to keep it as a pet but daddy said no. If I had a pet fox, I'd call it Guy Fox.

The cleaned up six-point red deer skull


Here's the six point red deer skull that we found back here. At the start, this skull was really really dirty because it was buried under the ground with only one antler sticking out. It took us weeks to clean up, but it was worth it. Dad's put woodstain on the antlers, and it now hangs on my shed, next to two other red stag skulls.

Loads of deer bones from the walk today


Today I went on a bone walk with my friend Alabama, her brother Jackson, her dad and my dad. I was leading the walk because Ali and Jackson hadn't been on this kind of walk before. We went through a part of the wood that I knew very well, and where we'd seen lots of red deer before.

How I clean up animal bones


Important: This blog post from 2009 is now out of date because I have written a much bigger and better post about everything I know about cleaning bones from five years of bone collecting. You can read it by clicking here or by clicking on the "Cleaning bones" tab at the top of every page.

Most of bones I collect are mostly clean already, because all the flesh has been eaten off them already by animals and bugs. But they all need cleaning up a little bit, and this is how I do it. This is how I cleaned up the skeleton of the red deer that I found here.

Starting off

After I brought back the bones, I put them in a bucket to store them. This is about half of them. All together, the bones filled this bucket. There were 157 bone parts in all.

The split roe buck deer skull


The splitroe buck skull has been in the peroxide for a week (together with the young red deer). The peroxide cleans up the bone and makes it white. I was careful to only put it in the peroxide up to its antlers so they didn't go white. Here's what it looked like when in the peroxide.

What I'm working on at the moment

I've been really lucky on walks recently, and have a load of new bones to work on. Here are some of the ones I've found in the last month or so.

Sheep skull

I wrote about finding this here.

I've cleaned up the sheep skull, and it now is on my shelves in my room. I'm going to write more about it later. I never found the other horn or the other part of the jaw, which is a shame, even though Daddy went back to try and find them. It would have been great if we had all the bits. But it's still the best sheep skull I have, and I have four.

Three new deer skulls


This is me and my friend Innes this evening coming out of one of my favourite woods, where there are roe and red deer. We found a roe deer buck skull with six points (I'm holding that), a red deer stag skull with very soft antlers (Innes is holding that), and a red deer stag skull with four points on one antler and two on the other, which you can't see because my daddy was holding it and he was taking the picture. Most of the six-pointer was buried and we had to dig out of the ground and it took my daddy ages.

We have to share the skulls but we haven't decided who is having which ones yet.

A dead fox in my village

Today, we found this dead fox by the side of the main road that goes through my village. We think it must have been hit by a car.

I love foxes. Farmers don't like foxes, and I can see why, because they kill the farmer's animals like chickens and lambs, but I still think they are lovely creatures.

How we found the bones of four young red deer


What you can see in the picture above is a red deer skeleton that we found on a walk last night. (We've called it Alice). We know it's a young female, but we still have to do a proper look at the bones. There are 157 bone pieces altogether, but some of those are from big bones that are broken, and some of those are tops and bottoms of bones that in older deer are joined together.

Two walks and some new bones

This week the weather has been better, so after school I have been on two bone walks again. Two days ago I went a bone walk to Tam Breck wood with daddy. My dad saw a roe buck but it ran away fast do I didn't see it, and further on we saw two roe in the fields. Then we found this rabbit skull.

The first bones I collected were rabbit bones, and I still collect them if they're good enough. I have about ten rabbit skulls, and it's really easy to find lots of them, but not many are in good condition like this with all the teeth, the nose bones, and the brain case. That's because whatever kills them, like a fox, often bites the skull as well.

Putting a partial roe deer skeleton back together

Daddy and I were planning to go on a deer stalking walk today, but it was raining, so Daddy said maybe I could put one of my old deer skeletons together. I was going to do a baby roe deer skeleton, but we couldn't find all the spine bones, so we did this adult roe deer instead (we call it Eddie).

While put the bones back together in the right order, Daddy set up of his cameras to take a picture every few seconds. When we put all the pictures together it looked like this:

You can see how I sorted out the bones. There were 66 bones for this roe deer, which seems like a lot, but it's not a complete skeleton, and most of these were the ribs and vertabrae. When we found the skeleton, most of the front legs were missing, and there are other bones, like the toes, which we brought back but must have put in a different box. I started with the spine first, putting a wire through the bones so they all stayed together in the right order.

Strange bones #2

This is about another bone that confused me for a while until we worked out what it was.

We were walking through a wood about two miles from my house, looking for bones. The wood was narrow and ran alongside a quiet country road. A few months before, in the same wood, we had found the skeleton of a baby roe deer that had been hit by a car.

Putting a fox skeleton back together


Important: Are you looking for a step-by-step guide on how to put a fox skeleton back together ? If so, I wrote this guide in January 2013 which is more help than this page.

I used to think that if I found an animal skeleton all the bones would be in the right order. But in most of the skeletons I've found the bones are all jumbled up, and often bones are missing. That means that if we want to know more about the animal, we have to try to put the pieces back together. Here are bones of a fox that I collected. When I put names to my skeletons, I called this one Harry. I found the skull first of all, then we looked harder, and we found some other bones which were buried beside it.

Here are the bones we found. You can see they were all jumbled up when we brought them home. Different types of bones have different shapes, so then we begin sorting them out. Even though we this was the first fox skeleton we brought back, we could see that a lot of the bones were just the same as a deer or a rabbit. We began by sorting them into different piles.

A new sheep skull !


Six weeks ago I found a dead sheep on a moor while exploring old farmhouses with Daddy. It was already being eaten by foxes when we were there - we scared away one. That was on the 13th July, and we thought it had maybe been there a month. We went back this evening, and it was already rotted down to the bones. The bones were spread over a really wide area - we found one of the legs about ten metres from the rest of the body. We found the skull, but only one of the horns, and only one of the lower mandibles, so it's not perfect, but it's still the best one of the four sheep skulls I have. While we there, there was a storm, so we stopped searching and came back off the moor. I'll clean it up, and write about it here later.

Amazing skulls from the University of Dundee

On Thursday, Daddy and me went to the D'Arcy Thompson Zoology Museum at the University of Dundee. It's normally open to everyone on a Friday afternoon during the summer holidays, but we arranged a special visit because we couldn't make it on a Friday.

The museum was small, but it was good. Here are the top ten things that I liked there.

10. Warthog skull

A warthog is a kind of wild pig that lives in Africa. It has tusks, just like an elephant.

My trip to Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre


(Somehow most of this post got deleted after I wrote it. It used to me much longer ! I have written another post about Auchingarrich here)

This is me today at Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre which is not far from my house. I saw roe deer and red deer and fallow deer and there were supposed to be Chinese water deer, but I couldn't see those. There was also a cow skull and a goat skull. The cow skull was massive. I would really like one of those.

A great walk and an interesting antler


Yesterday, me and my Dad went on a walk to explore a red deer wood near our house. It was a nice day and a really good walk. I'm getting much better at spotting deer, and learning to walk quietly so we can watch the deer without frightening them. We found two red deer skulls,both of which were very old, and one of which was smashed so we didn't bring them back. We also saw six red deer and a fox, but the best bit was finding this antler.

This is a very unusual antler. It is unusual because it seems to have three branches at the bottom. We haven't seen any other antlers shaped like this. Normally, deer antlers have two branches at the bottom. Here's the new antler next to an old, four-point antler in my collection.

My first roe deer skull


This is still one of my favourite skulls, even though I now have lots of other roe deer skulls. I found this roe deer skeleton while out walking with my dad in the Pheasant Woods near my house, and we discovered it after I saw my first ever roe deer for real.

Strange bones #1

Sometimes I find new bones that don't look like anything we've seen before,and we have to look in books and on the internet to try and work out what they are, and sometimes they are really different to what you thought. This skull was like that.

Can you tell what it is ? It took us a while to figure it out. We knew it was a skull, just not which type.

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