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:

The amazing owl fight in photos


The one animal that I love to see in the wild is owls. They are very hard to see because they mostly fly at dusk and dawn, and there are a couple in the village, although I've never seen them. They are five different types of UK owls and they are, short-eared owl, barn owl, long-eared owl, tawny owl and the little owl. I have seen owls in zoos and in falconries many times but I have only seen them in the wild a few times.

Earlier this week dad was driving along a big moor after checking my pine marten trail camera, when he caught sight of something light flying at the edge of the moor on the side of a hill. Dad parked up and took out his binoculars and his camera with the biggest lens he had, and walked across the moor and down the hill to see what was happening. What he saw amazed him !

How I rearticulated my badger skeleton, part two


As promised, here is part two of how I rearticulated my badger skeleton. By the time I'd got to the stage which was the end of last weeks post, the skeleton did not look good, but I knew from before that if everything is in roughly the right place it would all come together.

So in his week's post I will go through the final stages to finish it off and tidy it up so it looks nice. This week I am going to show you how I rearticulated the front legs, back legs, feet, the tail and the carpals, tarsals and phlanges. (If you want a step-by-step guide, see the one I wrote last year about my fox skeleton Vulpy)

"Secrets of Bones" with Ben Garrod begins tonight !


This is VERY important if you're in the UK: tonight is the start of a six-part series about bones on BBC4, presented by Ben Garrod, who I've seemed to know for ages, and who I met when I was in London last summer. He's given me great tips and ideas in the past, from working out the injuries to my golden eagle skull, and the pathology to my mummified fox skeleton.

It's called "Secrets of Bones" and it's on BBC4 at 8.30pm. I won't be watching the first one live, because my school parents' evening is on that evening, but I'll be watching it later in the evening, I think. I've seen some of the clips from the series, so here's what I know:

How I rearticulated my badger skeleton, part one


Right, this was going to be just one post, but it's so big I've split it into two. I did three big posts last year here, here and here about how I rearticulated my fox skeleton Vulpy, so I'm not going to do a step by step guide, but I will write about how I did each step. The big rush for this badger skeleton (called Emily) was that I had to take it up to the filming of BBC Winterwatch, and although I had about three week's notice, it was still a big rush. Rearticulating skeletons properly takes LOADS of time.

The picture at the top is a bit of a cheat. That's how I would really like it to look (it's been retouched). In reality it is VERY difficult to rearticulate a skeleton without any external wires or poles and while I'd love to do it that way, there are LOADS of problems.But I think the post is really good, even if I ended up at it by accident. Anyway, this is how I did it....

The end of a brilliant week


Right, first things first: no badger rearticulation post this week. I've just been too busy and it's a big post to write so I'll get on it this weekend. Instead, I just want to say a BIG THANK YOU to everyone who has bought my book so far since it went on sale on Monday and everyone has said nice things about it. 

It's nice to hear what everyone thinks about it when they see it for the first time, because I was working on it for sixteen months, and it's hard to tell what it's like after that. I thought it would probably be brilliant but it's still nice to hear others saying the same thing. Here are just some of the comments from Twitter:

Today is the day !


Today is one of the biggest days of my life so far, because today is the first day that my book is on sale ! It is a a year and four months to get this far, from the first time they approached me in September 2012, to the day when I finally signed off on the book (I had to sign a copy of every page to say I was happy !) which was almost exactly a year later. And it's ten months since I first revealed there was going to be a book.

It have been very fun working on the book I am really proud of it. It has taken a LOT of work by not just me but also Jo Bourne (my amazing editor), Fabio (the illustrator), Tim Cook (the publisher), Ellie (the art director), Paolo Viscardi (the fact checker) and Karen (the publicist). It has come a lot way from the very first meeting I had when Jo and Tim came up to Edinburgh, and Jo and I had our own scrapbooks of ideas.

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