Manx Shearwater Skulls

These are some of the Manx Shearwater skulls I found on Skomer Island in Wales. When I got home I had to clean them up by pulling off the feathers that were still left on and then putting them in hot water so I could clean up the skull.

If you look at the photos one of the skulls has thinner sections in it, I think this one is a juvenile bird and the skull hasn’t finished growing.

Skomer Night Boat Trip August 2013

When we were still in Wales we went on a night boat trip to watch the Manx Shearwaters and Puffins come back in to land on Skomer.

It was really fun, I saw loads of puffins some were really close, some had sand eels in their mouths for their young.

When all the Manx Shearwaters come in, they land on the water in groups it is called rafting. They all fly into land when it is dark in big groups, so they don’t get eaten by the gulls.

I loved Wales, there was loads to see, can’t wait to go back.

Skomer August 2013

When me and my family went to Wales we went to Skomer Island by boat, it was really exciting, it took 20 minutes to get there. While we were waiting we saw loads of Moon Jelly Fish.

We stayed on Skomer for a whole day and explored the island, we saw Puffins, Fulmars, Manx Shearwaters, Chough, Peregrine Falcon, Gulls, Grey Seals, rabbits, butterflies, lots of dead birds and Sexton beetles, these are beetles that eat up the dead bodies of animals and birds, they have a lovely red and black pattern on them and they are about 2.5cm long.

The dead birds were Manx Shearwaters that the Great Black Back gulls had killed and eaten, but had left their wings and heads. I bought some of the dead birds home, they didn’t have any flesh on them, just dried skin and feathers.

I had a fantastic time on Skomer, it was really fun. I loved seeing all the different birds, I couldn’t believe how many different ones I saw in one day.

Sheep Skull

I got my sheep skull when we went on a walk. A friend had found a decomposed sheep while she was walking her dog and told us where we could find it. So the next day we went out to look for it; dad removed the skull, there wasn’t any skin or flesh left on it. When we got it home I cleaned it up a little with some bleach to kill any bugs and glued the teeth in the right place with super glue. Then dad cut a short piece of wood to hold the jaw in place. It is now on the shelf in my room, with the rest of my skulls.

Badger Skull

I found the badger skull like this, it was in our stream down the garden, near the tunnel where the stream goes under the road. It looked like it had been there for a long time because it had mud were it’s brain should be, this is called the cranium.
It has a hole in its cranium and it’s cheek bone (zygomatic arch) and there is a hole nearer the orbit. I am not sure but it might have been hit by a car and fell in the stream from the road.
I know it’s an adult because the plates in it’s skull are fused together and the sagittal crest on top of the skull is quite large. If you have a look at my baby badger bones at the skull, you can see it hasn’t got a sagittal crest; and you can still see the lines in the skull where it hasn’t fused together because it was only a baby badger.

Common Shrew

A friend bought this shrew down for me because their cat killed it. I decided to preserve it so you can see the whole shrew.

First I had to put it in a jar with methylated spirits for 6 months, this preserves it but you can’t see much because the liquid is purple, so I changed the liquid to vodka after 6 months.
You can see the wound on its side that the cat made, you can even see the shrews whiskers.

I have preserved a dead bat the same way and I will put pictures on in a while.

Common Shrew
Size body: 5.5-9cm, tail 3-6cm
Young: up to four litters of 6-7, April-August
Diet: worms, woodlice, spiders, beetles and other ground living invertebrates and seeds.

Teal Duck

This is the very first taxidermy bird I got, I saved up my pocket money and bought it myself. It was in an old case with other birds, but the case had been broken so the birds got sold one by one. I bought the male Teal duck because I like the pattern and the bird.

About Teal ducks:
They are the smallest common surface feeding duck, they are very agile and quick when they are flying. They are normally in groups of 20-40 along well vegetated or muddy shores and wet marshes.
Nesting: down lined hollow near water; 8-11 eggs;1 brood; April-June.
Weight: 250-400g
Wingspan: 58-64cm
Lifespan: 10-15 years