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:

Massacre on Migration: You need to read this now.


This is important. I first wrote about this a few weeks ago, but over the last week, Chris Packham has been in Malta with a film crew trying to stop the spring hunting season, which is a huge number of protected migrating birds are shot by hunters on the island. Chris's films are incredible. He has met with people who have spent their life trying to stop the hunting, he has talked to hunters and police, he has confronted hunters and has has even been questioned by police. These were brave films to make.

I found this one of the saddest thing that I have ever seen and I am determined to that the spring hunting should stop. These videos really made me think. Please watch them here, and read on to find out what you can do to help.

The three-antlered deer and other cool finds


If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you will know that I've had to be in hospital this week for an emergency appendectomy. (The appendix is a tiny organ whose only purpose in humans is to either do nothing or try to kill you,).  I am out of hospital now and thank you to everyone who left a comment or send me an email.

A week ago, before I went in to hospital, I was out exploring near the pine marten wood. I wanted to see if there were signs of pine martens in the two other woods to the south which are quite isolated. While I didn't find any signs of other pine martens there, I did find a load of other cool bones. Read on to see what I found last week and at other times !

The birds of the pine marten wood (part two)


Last week I began writing about the birds that I have seen near the pine marten wood. There was so much to write that I split the post over two weeks. 

The pine marten wood is on the heather moor high above my village, and it's been fascinating to see how many species survive on what is a very cold and exposed moor with very few forests. It was especially cool to get a glimpse of one VERY RARE BIRD. Read on to find out what that was ! 

The birds of the pine marten wood (part one)


In previous years when I have been bone collecting, I have explored a different wood each week maybe Titus Well to see the red deer, then the Rhynd lakes to watch the migrating geese, then Quoiggs Wood the week after that to track the roe deer and foxes. But this year I've had less time at the weekend for walks, and most of my time has been spent checking the trail camera which is set-up to film the pine marten.

It's been great having so much success with the pine marten (I'm going to write about that in a few weeks), but it also means that instead of exploring lots of woods, I spend all my time in one very small area, maybe one square mile in size. What has been amazing, though, is finding out how many animals - especially birds - live in such a small area. So this week and next I'm going to write about the fifteen amazing and rare birds that thrive in one of the coldest and most exposed places you can imagine.

Help end the "Massacre on Migration"


Here's a very quick post about a campaign you should DEFINITELY support.

Every year in spring, birds migrating between Africa and Europe stop off in Malta, a small island in the Mediterranean. Unfortunately they land there in the middle of the spring hunting season which lasts for three weeks. In theory, only turtle doves and quail can be shot then, but in 2013 at least 24 species of protected birds were illegally shot including cuckoos, marsh and pallid Harriers, kestrels, ospreys, purple and grey herons, bee-eaters and golden orioles. These are some of the most beautiful and rare birds, and if they were killed in Europe (where they are often heading for) there would be an outcry.

The spring hunting season needs to be stopped, because otherwise protected birds are going to be endangered by hunters who cannot be trusted. Here is why:

My cranachan skull


Cranachan skulls and bones are so common and ordinary in Scotland that I haven't written about mine before., but today seemed the perfect day to mention mine. I've a whole box full of cranachan bones, but this is my best preserved skull, which I keep in the "Scottish" part of my display cabinet, next to some other skulls which I'll mention at the end.

Not much was known about wild cranachan until recently, when they were documented  by French naturalist Avril La'Vigne who devoted her life to studying them.  Because of her work studying how they swim in rivers, they are still referred to in France as "Avril's fish", or "Poisson d'Avril".

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