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:

Studying a wild common frog from my bedroom.


One of the most difficult thing in studying nature is being able to get close enough to the animal to look at it closely; wild deer run away, foxes hide and buzzards fly away when you get close.

Two months ago I decided that I wanted to find out more about common frogs (Rana temporaria). At this time of year, the tadpoles have turned into small baby frogs which hop around in long grass and near ponds,  so me and dad went out in to the woods to find some. Dad remembered a pool he had seen in the hollow left by an upturned tree which had been full of tadpoles but it was all dried up when we went there. We did not find any for a week until we went out to the Secret Lake Woods near my village.

An update about the roe deer mum


At the start of June I posted about a roe deer mum which guarded her newborn baby fawn which hidden in bracken, and kept barking at my dad and refused to run away. Dad has been back a few times to see if he could see the baby fawn. In late June he saw the mum, but not the baby. In early July he managed to see the back of the fawn, but nothing more. 

Then today I was supposed to go out with dad in the morning, but I was still sore after an accident yesterday, so he went alone. Near the same spot as before, dad spotted the two kids and the mum, then a bit further on still he came across something very sad.

My harbour porpoise skull


If you were looking carefully when I wrote about my new room you would have noticed that one of the skulls I have put on display is a harbour porpoise ! If you know about skulls, you probably know that they are pretty cool. 

To start with they are technically from the whale family (cetacea). The whale family has two subgroups, one is those with teeth, and the other is Baleen whales which suck in water through stretched tissue. The harbour porpoise and dolphins are from the toothed family, even though this skull doesn't have teeth.

Learning how to handle a Harris Hawk


Monday was the last day of my summer holidays, and I had decided to spend it using up one of my Christmas presents which was a voucher for a falconry lesson at Phoenix Falconry which is a few miles up the road to me, near Gleneagles Hotel and next to one of the woods I do a lot of exploring for bones.

I've seen lots of big raptors (birds of prey) before, either in the wild (like buzzards, kestrels, red kites or ospreys), or at bird centres or trips (like golden eagles, white-tailed sea eagles or red kites) but on Monday I got to handle a new type of bird, an American Harris Hawk !

A first look at a very unusual skeleton


Often mammal skeletons look very similar. They have the skull, a spine made out of vertebrae, arms and front legs that come from shoulder blades, and back legs that are attached to hips. If you've seen a rabbit's pelvis you can probably identify a giraffe pelvis. If you have seen a hippo shoulder-blade you could probably identify a mouse shoulder-blade. But some mammals have adapted to where they live to the point their bones are difficult to identify if don't know about the species. That makes it both cool but also difficult when you look at their skeletons.

In May last year, a man called Ric Morris who reads my blog dropped by my house to drop off some cool stuff that he had found while beachcombing on holiday. There were loads of cool bones, but one of the most unusual was this thing in the next photo:

Zombie badgers and old buried bones


You can probably remember that a few months ago I found a roadkill badger outside my village, and I wrapped it in a wire mesh and left it in a wood near my house which I call The Mortuary wood (the buzzard is there too at the moment as well).

I've been meaning for ages to go back and collect the bones, but I only got round to it at the weekend. But when I went back to check on it I got a surprise !

Looking closely at an Indian elephant skeleton


On Thursday dad and I went to the Hunterian Museum of Zoology which is part of the University of Glasgow. I'm going to write more about it later but for this post I'm going to focus on just one exhibit, their juvenile Indian elephant skeleton (the scientific name is Elephas maximus indicus).

There are two different types of elephant, which are the African and Asian. The Indian elephant is one of the three subspecies of the Asian elephant (the other two are the Sri Lankan elephant and the Sumatran Elephant). The African and Asian elephants look quite similar, but African elephants are larger with much bigger ears and tusks.

I must have seen elephant skeletons before, but the one at the Hunterian Museum of Zoology was nice because you could go right up to it and touch it.

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