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:

Strange bones #13: the weird skull groove


This is a bit of an unusual post because it's something I can't work out so I need your help !

A couple of weeks ago dad was stalking the red deer in Suicides Graves wood and he found this skull in the valley near what I call Jake's Island. It was an incomplete young adult roe deer buck lying int he grass near the edge of trees, but what was more interesting was this unusual mark on the top of the braincase. What could have caused this ?

A buzzard in tights; and something VERY VERY bad


(There's a REALLY IMPORTANT BIT about buzzards at the very end of this post which I want to everyone to read and do something about.)

Where I live there are lots of buzzards. They are beautiful, medium-sized birds of prey that some people mistake for golden eagles even though they are half the size. Around here they live near woods where pheasants are bred, like the Ardoch Estate and the Gleneagles Wood, and if you walked through the Ardoch Estate you would see almost a dozen nests which have been lived in by buzzards for years and years.

My friend Jack lives in a farm north of the village. One day he mentioned he had found a dead buzzard in his fields and asked if I wanted it for the bones. This is what it looked like when his grandfather brought it round a few days later:

Seven things that Zygoma taught me about blogging


Today is the 200th "Friday Mystery Object" on the Zygoma blog, written by Paolo Viscardi. Paolo works as a natural history curator at the Horniman museum in London,and he began blogging about the same time as I did (he began in April 2009 and I began in July 2009) and every week since then he has been mainly posting about objects from his museum (mostly bones and skulls) and asking people to identify them. He's been posting every week, but after this week he's going to slow down and post less often.

Paolo first helped me when I posted about finding an unusually shaped red deer antler in August 2009, and since then I've been following his blog every week. I think doing 200 Friday Mystery Objects is a big achievement, and because I can't do a surprise party, I'm going to do this post instead about what I've learned from his blog.

Did a horrible crime happen in this wood ?


While I have been a bone collector I have seen lots of death, and I have seen some horrible things, but nothing quite as horrible and sad as this - even though I haven't seen it with my own eyes because ever since the start of March I haven't been able to go out on walks after I broke my leg cross-country running.

At the start of April Dad went out on a walk to stalk the red deer herd that live in the woods at the north of my village. He had tracked a few and was heading back along the edge of this wood, near where he knew the hind herd liked to graze, and he took a shortcut through the corner of the wood and he got a shock.

Is there evidence of big cats living in Scotland ?


A few weeks ago when it was snowy Dad was walking on the moor near my house. He was watching a herd of ten roe deer from a small wood when he saw something moving up the hill. It was much higher than the deer, and it was on a high up part of the mountain where deer, foxes and badgers didn't normally go. 

It was a long way away, about a kilometre, and about 600 feet higher up than he was so he couldn't see it very well. It looked black and was moving slowly and he took lots of photographs of it.

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