Sunshine Blogger Award

I have been, very kindly, nominated to take part in the Sunshine Blogger Award by Kannan Raja, the author of the Zoologyscribbles blog. It is always an amazing feeling to know that people out there are aware of my blog, let alone having it mentioned and included in things such as this.

Following in the spirit of this award, I am going to use the information about it from my nominator which he in turn used from his.

The Sunshine Blogger Award is given from one blogger to other bloggers in recognition of their inspiring, creative and motivational blogs.

Thank you Kannan for the nomination, I really appreciate it. I am pleased that you have enjoyed my blog and felt it worthy of an inclusion in this interesting award. As mentioned, I always find it incredible to know that people are actually aware of my blog, let alone when they involve it in something as fun as this.

Time for me to actually get on with what I am supposed to do. Similar to Kannan, I will be nominating mainly scientific bloggers that I find to be interesting reads. Here are the rules of the Sunshine Blogger Award:

  1. Thank the blogger(s) who have nominated you and link back to their blogs.
  2. Answer the 11 questions asked by your nominator.
  3. Nominate 11 more bloggers and ask them 11 different questions.
  4. List the rules and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your post and/or your on your blog.

Right, time for me to answer the questions posed by Kannan Raja.

1. How did you start blogging?

I was on a family holiday in the South of France a few years back after just finishing my first year at university. It was two week holiday in a beautiful villa that was located away from people, in the middle of huge fields. I was therefore surrounded by fantastic wildlife, which I enjoyed catching, identifying and photographing. I had always wanted to start a blog and due to amount of time on my hands and the wildlife at my disposal, I thought it was the perfect time. My Dad helped me come up with name and design my wordpress layout, and I then spent the week photographing the animals and writing about their biology/ecology. The style of my blog posts have changed since then, but that is where it all begun.

2. What is the most difficult thing as a science blogger?

For me, since I started trying to write more scientific posts about specific behaviours and organisms based around scientific journals, finding the time to do the research is the hardest thing. I really enjoy writing and reading this style of post but it takes significantly more time to put together than writing about where I have been and what I have seen.

3. What is your favourite quote?

I am a huge fan of quotes and therefore I have a lot that I like, so I am going to bend the rules a little bit and post two.

“It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence” – William Kingdon Clifford

A mind needs books like a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge. That is why I read so much”. – Tyrion Lannister

4. What is one thing that you did or learned in 2018?

I completely my undergraduate masters of Zoology at Bangor University and through completing my masters project discovered that I want to focus more on Molecular biology. And am going on to do an MSc in Molecular Biology.

5. Explain your line work in a couple of sentences.

I am still a student so my work is studying and completing assignments, but I am also completing lab work that involves extracting DNA from rice grains.

6. If you were on The Graham Norton Show, what would be your red chair story?

From a young age I have had a real interest in insects and entomology and somehow managed to convince my parents to let me buy some Madagascan Hissing Cockroaches as pets. I thought that I had bought two females as neither of them had any horn like protrusions, however a few days after buying them I heard a lot of hissing during the night.  A few days later, I lifted up the cork bark in the enclosure to find 51 baby cockroaches! Turns out, one of them was a male and just wasn’t old enough to have developed the horns. It wasn’t long after this that we started finding these baby roaches around the house, turns out that they’re rather spectacular escape artists. I promptly returned them to the store, who sold me two and got them back with an interest of 51 babies.

7. I am proud #Dinonerd. What is your favourite dinosaur?

I know it is a pterosaur, not a dinosaur, but I just love the Dimorphodon. But if I have to pick a dinosaur, then probably the Dracoraptor.

8. What is the story behind your blog title?

No particularly interesting story behind the title ZoologyNotes, just something my Dad and I came up with, which we thought would accurately represent the blog and the content.

9. What weird combination of food do you really enjoy?

Cheese and chocolate! Don’t knock it until you try it, a slice of cheddar on top of a chocolate penguin biscuit is amazing.

10. What is the last photo you took?

This picture of a little egret hunting as the tide goes out during an early morning walk along the beach.

Little egret


11. Which character from a book would you love to be?

I’d want to be Death from the Terry Pratchett Discworld books. Not because he is the grim reaper, purely because he is really sarcastic, doesn’t understand human socialising and loves cats.


There we go, questions answered, that was a lot of fun. Now to nominate 11 bloggers to carry this award on.

  1. The Skeptical Chemist
  2. Wiseflies
  3. Ray Cannon’s nature notes
  4. Philip’s blogPhilip’s blog
  5. Carl Bovis Nature Photogrpahy
  6. Ben’s birding blog
  7. Birds and Beer
  8. Dom Greves Digital/Blog
  9. Will’s Butterflies
  10. The Babbling Birder
  11. Douglas Boyes


And here are my 11 questions for these bloggers:

  1. What made you start blogging?
  2. What is one of your favourite science/nature facts?
  3. What is an animal that you love that you think doesn’t receive enough appreciation?
  4. What is your claim to fame?
  5. If you could recommend one book, what would it be?
  6. What is your dream job?
  7. If you could wake up inside a TV show, which would it be?
  8. Briefly explain your line of work? (I like this question so thought I’d steal it).
  9. Which is your favourite place you have visited, and why?
  10. If you could travel to one place right now, where would it be?
  11. What is your favourite thing about blogging?


I have really enjoyed answering the questions put forward by Kannan Raja, I hope all enjoying answering the above questions. I am looking forward to reading your answers. This award has been brilliant in showing me the other blogs that are out there, and it is great to recognise everyone who puts time into creating content for others.

Thank you to everyone who reads my blog, you can also find my on twitter: Matthew Woodard @ZoologyNotes


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