It's been a bit quiet on the bird front lately so I thought I'd show you what I get up to at work.
This is a tiny copepod (like a water flea) about a millimetre long.
I was getting it ready as a exhibit for last week's open evening at Weymouth College when I noticed it had these tiny "animals" attached to it.
They're not really animals but protozoans, single-celled organisms from a group known as ciliates.
These particular ones are probably one of the Volucella species, but I've put a photo onto iSpot to see if anyone can verify this.
This next video is of even smaller organisms - a dense culture of bacteria.
This is a mixed culture including E.coli, Bacillus and Staphylococcus.
You are looking at live, unstained bacteria filmed at 400x magnification using the hanging drop technique.
This is where a drop of bacterial culture medium is suspended underneath a coverslip.
Preparing them this way is a bit risky if you don't know what you're doing but if you're careful you get to see the bacteria as they really are - fast and active and looking much larger than they would if prepared as a dead, stained slide.
The last video is an egg of a marine worm, Pomatoceros, filmed in the process of fertilisation.
Dozens of sperm cells can be seen surrounding the egg and attempting to penetrate the protective vitelline membrane.
This worm is common on the shores of Portland Harbour where it's white chalky tubes can be found stuck to the underneath of rocks at low tide.