Sunday, 20 December 2015

5 Most Common Garden Birds in UK (2015)

5 - House sparrow - Passer domesticus

When fully grown the bird is around 16 cm long.
Females and young birds are pale brown and grey. Males have brighter black,white and brown markings.The adults mainly eat seeds of grain and weeds,but will eat any thing they can find. Their favorite foods are oats and wheat. Females normally lay around four to five eggs.











4 - Common Starling - Sturnus vulgaris

The common starling is 19-23 cm long with a wing span
of  31-44 cm!! The starling eats a lot of creatures such as
spiders,craneflies, moths, mayflies, dragonflies, grasshopers and manny more. Breeding takes place in spring and summer. The females lay on a daily basis. The young are born blind and naked, they will be able to see nine days after birth.











3 - Common Black Bird - Turdus merula

The common black bird is 23.5 - 29 cm long.
The male black bird defends its breeding territory, chasing away other males. The female lays 3 to 5 bluish green eggs marked with reddish-brown blotches.A common black bird has a life expectancy of  2.4 years! Based on data form bird ringing the oldest record is 21 years and 10 months!      
Amazing, right?????





2 - Blue tit - Paridae sp.

A wonderful mix of blue, yellow, white and green makes the blue tit one of our most attractive and most recognizable garden visitors. In the winter, family flocks join up with other tits and search for food.







1 - Common Wood pigeon -  Columba palumbus

They mainly eat vegetables, taken from fields,gardens and lawns.
Young shoots and seedlings are their favorite food. In the autumn they will eat figs and acorns. They will also eat grubs,flies, ants and even slow worms!! The female will normally lay around two eggs. They will take around 19 days to hatch.
  




Wednesday, 16 December 2015

My Top Five Favourite Reptiles from Bulgaria



5 -  Loggerhead sea turtle - Caretta caretta


They have been recorded twice along the black sea coast!  It is the world's second largest hard- shelled turtle! The turtle is omnivorous, feeding mainly on bottom dwelling invertebrates,
such as: star fish, sea cucumbers, fish, sea worms and many more!
I have never seen this reptile.








4 - European legless lizard - Pseudopus apodus



  This lizard can reach up to 135 cm! Their favourite foods are: snails, slugs and even small mammals which might be the reason they are mainly active when there is wet weather.
They will bite, musk and hiss if thought to be threatened.
I have never found this reptile.









3 - Kotshy's gecko - Cyrtopodion kotschyi






It is a very small lizard growing to a length of 10 cm including its tail!! Females are often a little bit bigger then the males. Its habitats are: cliffs, dry stone areas, tree trunks and stone walls. They are normally nocturnal, but at cooler times of the year they will come out in the day. The female will lay one or two eggs under a rock. When born (after 18 weeks or so) they will be around two cm long!!!!! I have seen this reptile once!

My friend bought into school. He put it in an awful plastic box without any holes. I had a go at him for being so silly and in annoyance, I snatched the box and took out the gecko
I checked if it was alright, it looked fine but I didn't want to give it back to the boy.
So I made a RUN FOR IT!!! LOL and left him there with his box.
When I got home I placed him on a rock near my pond.


2 - Four- lined snake - Elaphe quatuorlineata



Adults usually grow up to 180 cm but in extreme cases can reach 200 cm in length.
There is another name for this snake - the Bulgarian rat snake. Their main diet consists of: rabbit, mice and squirrels, lizards, birds and tortoise eggs!!
The mating season lasts from April to May. The eggs are laid in the summer. Usually, the snakes lay between 6 -18 eggs per clutch. They incubate them for about 40 to 60 days.

I have never seen this reptile!

1 - Dahl's whip snake - Platyceps najadum



Females lay between 3-16 eggs in a clutch!
This snake is threatened by forest fires and intensive agriculture! It has a slim body and in rare cases can be found up to a metre in full length. It lives in desert and rocky landscapes, forests and fields.
I have never seen this reptile, but really want to!







Sunday, 22 November 2015

Monday, 9 November 2015

Me trying the fabulous street food of Turkey


Here's a video I made of the Turkish street food I hope you like it

Like, comment and subscribe!!





My trip to Turkey - Istanbul

My dad and I set off to Turkey on a bus at 10:30 pm. The bus surprisingly was very clean and comfortable and they gave us free snacks. The journey is around 6 to 7 hours,
(Bulgaria - Turkey). Most of the time I was looking out of the bus window thinking how nice it was going to be there. The bus stopped 3 or 4 times  so that everybody could  buy water or food, or go to the toilet.
The bus we were on

We got there around 5:30 in the morning I wasn't tired at all. Dad on the other hand was extremely tired. We headed straight to a cafe and ordered a doner and a Turkish tea. I had never had such a delicious doner, it was incredibly tasty. The chicken was spicy, the bread was super thin and the lettuce was fresh. The tea was also delicious.  It is served in a special glass made especially for Turkish tea. After we had eaten we walked over the Galata bridge which was fun considering there were lots of fishermen and jelly fish to watch whilst crossing. It took as around half an hour to cross it as I would stop at every bucket of fish that the fisherman had caught - it was worth it!

Me and the fishermen

Later that day we went to find a hotel on the Asian side and we had to cross the Bosphorus straight.  This was my first time officially in Asia! We soon became very hungry again, but there was hardly any street food, which was mainly what I went for! ;) Dad explained to me that it was only 06:00  and that the stalls wouldn't open until 10:00. So in the end we settled for a cafe that we found, and ate a horrible pastry, but served with a good Turkish tea. We left the cafe and started to look for the hotel after a very long two hour walk we finely found it. The room was amazing, the beds were comfortable and clean, and the people were very friendly.  Dad laid down on the bed and fell asleep straight away.  I decided to play the computer as I was not tired. Dad was asleep for about two hours, when I finally woke him up with thoughts of food!

Picture of the Bosphorus river, from the boat we got 

 The first street food I bought was a Balik Ekmek, which is a fish sandwich stuffed with salad. It was good, then we had another Turkish tea which was three times better then the others we had before. They served them with baked chick peas and surprisingly they went really well together. Whilst we were walking around I saw a sign saying ISLAK HAMBURGER.  they looked divine, so we tried them.. Here is some advice  - if you are travelling to Istanbul, Turkey, get an Islak hamburger, THEY WERE AMAZING!! It was my FAVOURITE TURKISH FOOD, also one of my favourite foods in the world. We each ate seven. We tried lots of street food and liked most of them there were a few disappointments.

The next morning, we planned a trip to an aquarium called Sea life which is the biggest aquarium in Europe. They had some amazing fish and some huge sting rays and sharks. I recorded loads of footage which will be uploaded onto the blog soon.

Sunday, 1 November 2015

My pet ladybugs

Some people asked us if we could supply them with ladybugs, unfortunately we didn't have any. I decided to make a lady bug farm and see if we can successfully breed ladybugs. I went out searching to find ladybugs, it took some time but all together I found around forty-five ladybugs. They were placed in three separate plastic boxes and I added a load of leaves,sticks and grass into them - they seemed to like it. I attempted to find food for them which was really hard because their main diet is aphids and they are extremely difficult to find at this time of year. I searched and searched, but found near to nothing. Mum recommended that I should look up what ladybugs eat during the winter, which wasn't a bad idea. What came up, I thought, was strange. LADYBUGS EAT HONEY!!? I went straight to the cupboard and took out some honey and placed some on the sticks I put in. They were instantly attracted to it . I watched them suck it up like a hover, it was amazing! Noticing that it was over crowded  and that there wasn't enough space for all the ladybugs, I had a brainwave. My idea was to buy a fish tank and house the ladybugs in it. I found a fish tank for 4 pounds (on ebay) which is amazing and it doesn't have any cracks YET. So in about two days time I am going to have a fish tank full of ladybugs.
Here are some pictures of my ladybugs.


          

     









Monday, 26 October 2015

The Most Dangerous Animals In The World

Hello, I wanted to know what the 10 most dangerous animals in world, here's what I found out.



10 - Stone fish - Synanceia verrucosa
The stone fish is the most Poisonous fish in the world.It lives on reef bottoms camouflaged as a rock. It eats, small fish and shrimps.









9 - Hyena - Hyaenidae sp. 
Hyenas rarely kill humans, only when their really hungry, Hyenas hunt in packs, they can kill and eat a zebra in half an hour, nothing of the animal would be left.   











8 - Puffer fish - Tetraodontidae sp.
They may look cute, but you wouldn't want to get pricked by them. When they feel threatened they will puff out their protruding spines. The venom from their spines can paralyze you, causing you to stop breathing, resulting death.
 .

  











7 - Deathstalker scorpion - Leiurus quinquestriatus
The deathstalker is the most venomous scorpion in the world, if stung it would extremely hurt so whoever did or does get stung and survives are going to wish they had died. Healthy adults will most likely survive if stung but children and elderly are at a much larger risk!
 









6 - Siafu ants - Dorylus gribodoi
These ants come in swarms of up to 50,000,000 and if you step on one of these ants whilst you are playing or going for a walk you will pay the price because all the other 50,000,000 ants will come after you!!!! The ones that manage to get you will be very very hard to get of!!











5 - African buffalo - Syncerus caffer
If threatened these animals will charge at anything and not stop until it is satisfied the predator has gone, if they deiced to chase a man, the buffalo will not stop even if it has been shot in the heart.They have also been known to chase lions.















4 -  Black mamba - Dendroaspis polylepis
The black mamba is one of the most venomous snakes in the world It will chase its food at unbelievable speed, It also strikes very fast.
The average size is around 3 meters (fully grown) but have also been known to grow to 4.5 meters!!!!!!!










3 - Cone snail - Conus sp.
One drop of its venom can kill 20 fully grown men!!! There are over 800 species of cone snails.
There main diets are: Marine worms, Small fish, Mollusks and even other Cone snails. When the smaller cone snails sting they are as painful as a wasp sting. There have been 15 human deaths because of this snail.













2 - Blue ringed octopus - Hapalochlaena sp.
When the octopus is threatened it will glow 50 to 60 light blue circles on its body! They hunt crabs and shrimps, If they manage to catch small fish they will eat them too. First it will inject its venom into the food which will paralyze it and then it will uses it's horny beak to crack open the crabs shell.








1- Box jelly fish - Chironex sp.
Box jelly fish are the most venom's animals on the world !In Australia there have been 60 deaths If you get stung by these animals you are most likely going to die and if not then in terrible pain for a very long time




Sunday, 18 October 2015

Mushroom Hunting In The Balkans

My dad and I went mushroom hunting up in the Balkans, mainly looking for Parasols. We drove up to a point and then started to walk up in to the mountains. On the way we noticed that it was very damp, and that there was a lot of leaf litter, a perfect environment for fire salamanders. We weren't disappointed. All together we saw four fire salamanders. Probably the most exiting find was when we saw a fire salamander climb a dead tree trunk to get into a big hole on the top of the tree trunk. It was going into hibernation. We have it all on video. Here is a tiny piece of the video, I plan to make a full video of the trip and upload it on to this post in a weeks time! For now this is what I will show you


Hope you liked it!

After we saw that fire salamander we found three or four parasol mushrooms, then we found another two fire salamanders together on the middle of the track. It looked like one of them was pregnant (almost 100% sure)   because it was extremely fat and it was very, very scared. It took it ten seconds to disappear, the other one only a minute. In addition, I took some good footage of these two fire salamanders. They will be included in my forthcoming video. The next interesting thing we found was a panther cap mushroom, which is one of the most poisonous mushrooms in Europe, but very attractive. That will also be included in the video.



Sunday, 11 October 2015

Barn owls

Barn owls are my favourite bird!

 Barn owls are found everywhere around the world except polar and desert regions.
 Most barn owls are around 33 to 39 cm. (wing span ranging from 80 to 95 cm).
The face is characteristically heart-shaped and is white in most species.
This owl does not hoot, it utters an eerie, drawn -out shriek.
It is normally nocturnal but in some places such as England and some pacific islands, it also hunts in the day. They mate for life unless one of the pair gets killed, when a new pair may be formed.
Their main diet in Europe is shrews and mice, but occasionally they eat rats,geckos and other animals. Their predators are: Large American opossums, common raccoon, eagles, hawks and even other owls! Captive barn owls will live 8-10  years, as for wild barn owls much shorter 4-5 years.



 

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Blue throat


Here is a video I took of a Blue throat

Blue throats are one of my favourite birds, because of their amazing colouration. They got their name because of the colour on their throats (blue). The blue throat is a similar size to a European robin (13-14 cm).  Females don't have as strong a blue colour on their throats as the males do. Juveniles are freckled and spotted (the blue colour develops the older they get).  Their main diet is insects but they also eat fruit and seeds. The female will only lay 5-6 eggs and it will take 14-15 days for them to hatch. There are no Blue throats in England!!


   

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Bird migration

My uncle and I went to Burgas to see the bird migration here are all the birds we saw today with pictures my uncle took.

Little owl- 1  
Little owl
           

Black storks- 2000!!

Black storks


White Pelicans- 4000+!!

White pelicans


Lesser spotted eagles- 4500!!

Lesser spotted eagles

Marsh harriers- 6  (sorry didn't take a picture of this one)





Short-toed eagles- about 40!


Red-footed falcon- about 120!

Red- footed falcon

Lesser kestrel- 1

Lesser kestrel

Common buzzards- 1500!

Booted eagle- 1

Booted eagle

Honey buzzards- 80! (sorry didn't take any pictures of it)

Flamingos- 4! (sorry didn't take any pictures of it)

That's all the birds we saw today , we think we saw around 14,000 birds today

Hope you enjoyed the blog!

Sunday, 20 September 2015

Facts about pigs



Our pig

  • Pigs are the sixth smartest animals on the world, They are smarter than a 3 year old child!!!!
  • Pigs are very clean ;), they will keep their toilet area away from where they will lie down and eat!
  • A pig called Priscilla, saved a young boy from drowning.
  • Pigs do not "Pig out" or "eat like pigs", they prefer to eat slowly and savor their food
  • There are around 2 billion pigs on the world
  • Pigs dream, much like humans do!
  • Wild pigs eat reptiles and small rodents!!!
  • They can live up to 15 years of age.
  • Pigs have 44 teeth.
  • Pigs have 15,000 taste buds, Humans 9,000! 
  • Pigs live on every continent except Antarctica!
  • In Denmark there twice as many pigs as people  

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Facts about Leopard geckos


  • Leopard geckos are the second most famous lizard pets in the world.
  • Wild leopard geckos spend most of their time underground because of the high heat.
  • They eat all kinds of insects
  • All lizards have ears but, if you shine a light threw a leopard geckos ear you will see the light come out of the other ear!
  • When a leopard gecko sheds its skin it will eat it so a predator cant track in down!
  • In captivity they can live up to 15-20 years!! some have lived up to 30.
  •  Do not have two male leopard geckos  in one tank because they will fight.
  • Males are 20-28 cm, females are 18-20 cm and hatchlings  are 7-10 cm    
  • When they are irritated they will bark!
  • Unlike other geckos, leopard geckos don't have sticky feet, they use claws.
  • If your leopard gecko is climbing your tank it might mean that it doesn't like the environment.
  • Tail shaking- when your leopard geckos tale is shaking slowly it means it's exited
  • When a male is shaking its tale very fast it means that it is telling a female that their is a male in the area and that he is aware of the females being there 
  • Leopard geckos in the wild will have much smaller life span because of predators and diseases
  • If you leopard gecko has a very thin tale it means it is unhealthy   

Sunday, 6 September 2015

15 fun facts about cats


  • Cats cam make 100 sounds. Dogs can only make 10
  • A cat has gone up to space! it's from france.
  • A cats hearing is better than a dogs.
  • Approximately 1/3 cat owners think their cats can read their minds
  • A female cat is called a queen or a molly
  • Some cats have survived falls from 320 meters!
  • Cats cant taste sweetness.
  • Cats sleep for 70% of their lives.
  • Cats can get sick or even die is they eat chocolate!
  • Cats have a longer memory then a Dog!
  • Cats lick them selves to get your scent off!
  • The largest litter of kittens produced 19 kittens!!
  • Cats are one of the most popular pets in the world
  • Cats on average live to 15, 20 years
  • A group of cats are called a clowder 

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Our trip to the oldest oak tree in Europe

The oldest oak in Europe 
My dad, brother and I went to see the oldest oak tree in Europe.  It is near Plovdiv, Bulgaria. The journey was about 2 hours but it was definitely worth it. My first thought when I saw it was, "this tree is gigantic!" It was really weird to see a tree that was 1637 YEARS OLD!!!! The whole time I was looking at it I thought about how it had survived both world wars and how it had made to 1637 years old. Half the tree was dead, no leaves, no bark nothing except just very long branches. As for the other half it was absolutely full of life, it had lots of green leaves and acorns on it (we even took a few to grow them, we also promised that we would keep the seeds and grow them into beautiful big trees and that we keep the tree generation going). There were also lots and lots of doves on the tree, I was watching them fly branch to branch, that was when I realized how big the branches were. Each branch was at least 4 or 5 meters. The tree was 23.4 meters in height!!! I had never seen such a fat trunk before in my life. Here are some of  the pictures we took.

Huge trunk
      
Living side of the tree


Sunday, 23 August 2015

15 Fun Facts About Dogs

My brother and my dog

  • Dogs are capable of understanding 250 words and gestures. The average dog is as smart as a two year old!
  • Some stray Russian dogs have learnt to use the subway system in order to travel to more populated areas, to look for food! 
  • The wetness of a dogs' nose is essential for determining what direction a smell is coming from!
  • Hyenas aren't actually dogs, they are more closely related to cats.
  • The basenji is the only dog that can't bark, but can yodel.
  • Dogs' sense of smell is 10,000 times stronger than humans!!!!!
  • Dogs can be jealous if they see humans displaying affection toward something or someone else.
  • Dogs don't only see in black and white- they can also see blue and yellow!
  • Dogs see a lot better than humans do at night.
  • They can also hear about 4 times the distance of a human
  • There is a dog that can understand 1,022 words!!!
  • The breed lundehune has 6 toes and can close its ears!!
  • U.S have the highest dog population in the world.
  • The average city dog lives 3 years longer than a country dog! 
  • 3 dogs survived the sinking of the titanic!!!
    

White Storks

White storks have red legs and long pointed red beaks. Their wingspan is up to 215 cm long. These birds spend the summer and spring in Europe and will fly  to Africa where it is warm, and wait until the winter is over. The flight from  Africa  to Europe takes about 49 days and when they arrive they will start to build a nest out of twigs and hay. The white stork eats insects, fish, amphibians, reptiles, small mammals and even but very very rarely SMALL BIRDS!!!.  The male storks are bigger than the female storks. Breeding pairs of white storks will gather in groups to hunt, we often see them following the tractors and picking up the grubs and worms.


They  will hunt in the day in short grass marshes. If the stork has caught a small prey it will eat it whole but if it has caught a big prey it will break it down in its mouth. Rubber bands are normally confused for earth worm and they will swallow it whole and will cause a  fatal blockage of their digestive tract. Sometimes the white storks will hear the mating calls of the frogs and go down to eat them. There are about 3 pairs  storks where I live and they come back to the same spot each year.
           

Sunday, 9 August 2015

Week Two in the lab.

This week in the lab, we looked at onion cells, we took bass line measurements from 3 different sized ponds in the garden for a future study and we looked at some small water organisms.

Firstly, we took some of the onion layer that was between the actual fruit and the dry, brown outside skin to see the epithelial cells of an onion.  We stained the material in the same way as the blood slide in order to be able to see the nucleus and other cell parts. Below is a photograph that we took through the microscope . These are several cells grouped together. You can clearly see the nuclei (small dots), cytoplasms (inside the walls) and cell walls.



Photo I took of stained onion cells 
 

  From one of our ponds we took a sample of muddy silt and we examined it and we found a very interesting organism.  It is called a paramecium. A paramecium interests me because it is a one celled organism. It is neither animal or plant yet it still appears to move and eat.This a video of a paramecium.







Sunday, 2 August 2015

How to make a blood slide

Step 1 - Place a drop of blood on the slide



Step 2 - Using another slide, back onto the drop and pull the slide along the glass.



Step 3 - Allow to dry


Step 4 - Cover the slide with a layer of alcohol then allow to dry. This fixes the the blood cells




Step 5 - Cover the slide with haematoxylin for two minutes





Step 6 - Rinse in water for one minute to remove excess haematoxylin. This is called differentiation



Step 7 - Wash in 50% alcohol for one minute


Step 8 - Cover with eosin for 30 secs.


Step 9 - Wash in 50% alcohol again



Step 10 - Leave to dry



Step 11 - Place a drop of mountant on the slide and cover with a coverslip.




Results
 = Nucleic of white blood cells- purple
=  Cytoplasm of white blood cells- pink