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If you were to ask people to name a famous scientist you are likely to hear answers such as Newton or Einstein.  If you were to ask me I would reply Mendeleev.  So why I do I think Mendeleev should be as famous as those other two guys? What did he do that was so important, I hear you cry? Well I will tell you, Mendeleev devised the Periodic Table, the most incredible document in the world of chemistry!

Mendeleev was a chemistry genius, not only did he manage to arrange the 80 or so  known elements of his time into the first ever Periodic Table, he left gaps in his table for elements he knew were yet to be discovered. Even more impressive, he correctly predicted the properties of the still to be discovered elements. If that was not brilliant enough, this was all happening in the days before we knew about atomic structure yet Mendeleev still managed to arrange the elements in order of their atomic number before atomic number even existed…that’s just totally WICKED, some would say INCREDIBLE.

If you look at the Periodic Table below it does not look very much like our modern day version but there are loads of similarities if you know where to look. The pink coloured elements are ones discovered after the death of Mendeleev but he had left the pink gaps to be filled in later. He was a very clever man.

Mendeleev's Early Periodic Table

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Nature at Loreto

Posted: January 16, 2012 by tvineloreto in Animals, Biology
Tags: , , , ,

As you stroll from building to building or sit out on the front lawn on a warm sunny day have you ever taken the time to stop and look around at the school grounds. We are blessed with beautiful grounds which are a haven for wildlife. The well established trees, lawns, flowerbeds and new pond provide a wide range of habitats and hidden within is an amazing array of animals, you just need to know where to look.

You cannot have failed to notice the bin-diving squirrels or heard the noisy cackling of the magpies but what else is there to see if you just take the time to look and listen?  We have a large variety of birds visiting or living in our grounds and during the week of 23rd Jan – 28th Jan, students at Loreto will be taking part in the Big Schools Birdwatch organised by the RSPB, an annual event used to collect wildlife data on a national scale.

If you would like to find out more about the RSPB’s Garden Birdwatch 2012 or take part in your own survey clink on the link       www.rspb.org.uk

Here are just a few of the birds you might see around Loreto College

The Robin

Robin (Erithacus rubecula)

The Robin ( Erithacus rubecula)

Probably the best known British bird, both the male and female have the distinctive red face and breast, white underside and brown plumage. Juveniles are brown. Robins are highly territorial and signal their presence with a beautiful, melodic song.

 They are a gardeners companion, following a gardener to snatch up any worms or insects disturbed whilst they work.  Often spotted in the flowerbeds by the main school entrance

 
 
 

Blackbird

Blackbird (Turdus merula)

A very common sight in parks and gardens. Males are glossy black with a yellow beak and yellow eye-rings,females are brown. They have a rich and beautiful song and sing from high points such as rooftops  and aerials.    A common sight on the school front lawn and by the Mary Ward Block.

 
 
 

Dunnock

Dunnock (Prunella modularis)

 Small, with brown plumage but has a greyish hue on the sides of the head and on the breast.

Often mistaken for a sparrow as it is similar in size and colour but Dunnocks have a much slender beak. Seen  in the flowerbeds by the main entrance and in the fenced off area by the pond.

 

Blue Tit

Blue Tit (Cyanistes caeruleus)

 Small, colourful garden bird and a regular visitor to bird tables. It has a distinctive ultramarine cap, wings and tail and a yellow breast. Face is mainly white with a horizontal black line through the eye. Breast is yellow with a small black vertical stripe

 Another gardeners favourite due to its love of small insects and caterpillars. Its acrobatic antics on bird feeders and fat balls make it an entertaining bird to sit and watch.

 Seen throughout the school grounds especially the magnolia trees in front of the school office.

Great

 
Great Tit (Parus major)

 Not to be confused with a blue tit, it is slightly larger and has a black cap which extends down the side of its head as far as the eye socket. It has white cheeks and a yellow breast with a large black central stripe.

 Seen throughout the school grounds.

Mallard

Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)

 Male has an emerald-green head and blue and white band on wing. Female is predominantly brown but with the same blue and white plumage on the wing.

A spring time visitor to Loreto often seen strolling across the front lawn or taking a nap in the middle of it.

Song Thrush

Song Thrush (Turdus philomelos)

Named after its wonderful song. A medium-sized garden bird with brown plumage and a very characteristic pale breast with v-shaped dark spots on.  Another gardeners friend due to its love of snails. It is common for a thrush to have a preferred “anvil” , a large stone used to smash open the snail shells.

 Seen on the main lawn and in the shrubs along the main school wall.

There are many more species of birds living in our grounds, why not see what you can spot?