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 !
Looking for a brilliant present for a young naturalist ? Buy my book ! Available from Amazon UK,
Amazon US and worldwide but buy from a local bookshop if you can.
Archived posts: The following articles are from the month or year requested:

"I've found a bone...but what is it ?"


I currently get about 750 emails a year and I try to respond to every single one of them. A lot of the emails I get are people asking "I've found a bone, but what is it ?", asking me to identify bones that they have found but they can't work out what they are from. Sometimes the bones are actually quite simple, but you have to look at them in a certain way to work out what they are.

Over the summer I've been photographing common bones that I find on walks, the sort of thing that I don't look at for long any more because I have others at home, or because I find so many of them. I hope this helps others trying to identify bones they have found !

Five cool things I've found on walks


I usually write here about the bones I find, but sometimes I also find other interesting things that I bring back home. I've written before about finding old poison bottles, shell cases, feathers and shells, and recently I've found more cool stuff.

The first one is a bit of a puzzle. I know what it is, what animal it is from, but I can't work out how it got there, so I need your help to figure it out !

Dissecting bird pellets


It can be difficult to bones of even quite big animals like foxes or deer, so you might think it's impossible to find really small bones, like those from voles or mice. In fact it's easy if you can find bird pellets and over the spring and summer I collected loads in the woods. Some of them were from walks that dad did alone when I broke my leg like the one with the trapped roe, and others were ones I found myself, like on my one-hour challenge. A good place to look is in pine forests, or at the base of trees at the edges of fields.

I've written about pellets before and at the time I thought owls were the only birds that left them. In fact loads of birds spit them up, like raptors, herons and crows. What happens is that a bird eats its prey but it cant digest the bones or fur which stay in its stomach. Later on it vomits them up so it spits them out with the fur. Anyway, I has a close look at nine pellets and this is what I found....

Today is a MAJOR milestone for my book !


Tomorrow is a special date for three reasons.  Firstly, it means my book is now officially finished ! It has been written, designed, fact checked, photographed and it is now sent off to be printed ! The Second is that it is now about six five months until the official release date in the shops, which is the 3rd February 2014 in the UK and 4th March 2014 in the USA (a month earlier than I originally thought). Thirdly, it is now almost exactly a year since TickTock first contacted me to ask if I was interested in doing a book.

LOADS has happened since then, and LOADS more work is still to come !

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