The past week has been brilliant for finding bones, and dad and I found something out which has really helped with watching the roe deer near the village. The picture above is of a young roe buck that we saw out grazing on a walk today. Here are some of the other great things I have discovered in the last seven days.
• The roe buck skeleton
Last Sunday, dad and I went to search two woods where we had seen deer before, looking for roe deer that had been killed by the cold winter, so we knew to collect their bones in a month or so. On the way in we saw a roe buck, but he saw us and ran away. While I was exploring, I remembered seeing a roe skeleton here before, and it was still there and in good condition, so I collected it.
Those bones are in the peroxide tank now, and should be clean in a few days. Dad noticed something really interesting about the bones, and I'll write about that later.
UPDATE: I've called this skeleton George and have written about it here.
• A red deer hind on the main road
Driving back from that wood, dad saw what he thought was a skull by the side of the road. When we got out to look, we found a red deer skull, and maybe half of the skeleton. This is another mystery, because the red deer don't usually come down that close to the village. How did it get there ? How did it die ? Where did the other bones go ?
We took all the bones we found back home to clean up, and I'll write more about them later.
• A roe calf which died during the winter
When we were looking in the woods for the first roe deer skeleton, we met the gamekeeper. He told us that there were around 40 roe deer living in woods on the other side of the estate, in a wood we'd explored last summer.
We found this young roe calf in the woods. It maybe died a month ago, during the cold weather. In another six weeks, it should have rotted down, and the bones will be ready to collect.
• A strange goose skeleton
Near my village, there is a lake where geese come over the winter. Sometimes I see huge flocks of them flying together over my house, and honking. I found this goose skeleton today, in the middle of a field while I was walking to the roe deer wood.
I don't know what kind of goose it is. Usually when find bird bones in woods they have been eaten by foxes, and the bones were broken and spread around. But you could see everything on this skeleton (including the furcula) so this was a good find. We took the skull and lower mandible back home, and after we've cleaned them up, we should be able to work out what kind of goose it was.
UPDATE: We worked out it was a pink-footed goose here.
• An intact roe skeleton
This skeleton was in the woods near the Secret Lake, near the new roe deer wood. I collected this today, and these bones were unusual because even though the bits of the body had been pulled apart by animals, the bones in each leg were still held together by tiny amounts of flesh, so you could see where everything went together. Even the spine had the ribs and thorax still attached. We found everything apart from one shoulder blade. I've brought back this skeleton to clean up as well. UPDATE: We've called this skeleton Julie
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