Notice Board: the Honey-buzzard Season in Northumberland 2018 as it happens – Nick Rossiter

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This is the current blog for the 2018 season, updated daily, giving recent activity.

Significant events in the Honey-buzzard season as it unfolds in Northumberland are given here. Seeing Honey-buzzard in their breeding areas is facilitated by reading about their jizz, knowing their calls and digesting the three BB papers updating Honey-buzzard identification (bottom of page). Listen to these wise words from a former prophet: “to try and identify them from plumage I think is a loser to begin with ... you’ve got to identify Honey Buzzards from their shape and structure”. The Honey-buzzard is rapidly increasing as a migrant in Britain with particularly major movements in 2000 and 2008. The analysis cited indicates that a continental origin for the migrants is very unlikely, with various studies on the continent all indicating that the Honey-buzzard is not susceptible to drift while on migration. Focus is now on the significance of orographic lift in the choice of migration routes for birds from more northerly areas where thermals are weaker. The breeding status of the Honey-buzzard in Britain is surely less controversial than it was. Migration totals in the UK have risen in the past decade and attempts to attribute these movements to a Scandinavian origin are in conflict with both 1) the underlying physics of broad-winged raptor migration, and 2) the actual details of the movements. However, migration movements are generally thought to be understated because so many observers struggle with the identification of juvenile Honey-buzzard. The status of Honey-buzzard in the UK has been highly politicised, as in the climate change debate. A close examination of the Honey-buzzard review performed by the Northumberland County Records Committee is in progress: start with part 1 and follow the links through to later pages. A worrying development in early 2015 was the modification of migration data in a Scarce Migrants paper in BB; while the Editor has promised not to repeat the manoeuvre, erroneous data in the literature is extremely difficult to erase. Fear is the path to the dark side; fear of not being able to identify Honey-buzzard leads to anger; anger leads to hate of those that can; hate leads to suffering in the UK birding community (with apologies to Star Wars!). For full details of the 2012 season see the study area Report 2012 with hyperlinked Appendix containing all field observations. Full details for other seasons are contained in the annual blogs, cited above, with an overall summary in Population of the Honey-buzzard in SW Northumberland.

Some recent publications provide strong support for the thesis above. Forsman (2017) provides detailed information on the prevailing Misidentification of Juvenile Honey-buzzard. Maybe unwittingly the last report on Scarce Migrants in Britain by White & Kehoe (2016) admitted that in general migrant Honey-buzzard in Britain are locally born and bred, finally bringing to an end the idea that they were Scandinavian migrants. Therefore Honey-buzzard Migrants are British Born and Bred. Finally from central Scotland an exceptional breeding season for Honey-buzzard was reported by Shaw et al (2017) in 2016, suggesting a continued expansion of numbers in northern Britain (Scotland).

Because of the vast amount of data collected in 2017, not all the data sheets have been processed for that year, There are currently (19/07/18) 0 outstanding -- all Round 1 nest-visits – March Burn 8/7, Wylam 22/6, Kellas 1/7, Staward 3/7, Slaley Forest 11/7, Oakpool 14/7, Towsbank/Featherstone 17/7. After processing, the data will be added to the 2017 blog and this paragraph will be updated.

The pattern of fieldwork will change dramatically in 2018. With a book in prospect, the author wishes to concentrate on habits of Honey-buzzard where clarification is needed rather than cover an enormous study area systematically, where the distribution of the birds is well-established. The intention is that only the Devil's Water (Hexhamshire, 6 sites) and Tyne Valley W (8 sites) will be covered through the season systematically, against a total of 49 sites covered in this way in all areas in 2017 and 2016. However, nest site visits will continue as before, covering 10 sites in 2 rounds of visits and other sites will be visited from time to time. The Study Area is notionally as in 2017 but only part will be covered systematically for occupation. The purpose of the change is to free up more time for creativity in approaching the exciting and largely unknown natural history of the Honey-buzzard.

November 17th/18th: last day in RSA; the trip has gone really well; did have a bit of trepidation as to what I was letting myself in for but it all worked out brilliantly. This morning checked out of room; cleaner woke me up at 07:15 to say goodbye: gave her R50 for her meticulous attention and honesty, which she obviously liked! Spent morning in camp, picking up the occasional raptor in singles: Yellow-billed Kite, African Fish Eagle, African White-backed Vulture, Hooded Vulture, Wahlberg's Eagle. So running provisional total is 273 raptors of 36 types. Had farewell drink and fond au revoir with tggo; have become more and more attracted to her: here's to RRF 2019: xxxx!!!

Connecting bus arrived at 12:00 and took us to Skukuza Airport where 44 passengers boarded the small plane for the 14:50 flight to JNB; it was a short runway so we had to take off with a bit of panache! We were on time into JNB at 15:50 but held up a little while they found a bus that could hold 44 people (RRF must have increased normal numbers!). Checked in on standby for VS602; plane was full he said but my luggage was not marked 'Do not load' so was encouraged by that. At gate, stand-by pass was replaced by a normal boarding pass for seat 63C (steerage class) where sat by 2 people who'd been on the long safari on Friday, going to Miami via LHR! Can't complain about seat: upgrade is a bonus. Indeed if anyone complains about their treatment while on stand-by they're black-listed by VA; there are no rights: it's a perk! Got interviewed at JNB by a research lady, asking me about the trip. I rated it highly; she worked out I'd spent over £3.5k in RSA, a valued visitor but then recommended I go to Kenya next as security is now better there than in RSA; sure that wasn't in her script! Plane was on time and made on UG Northfields, Ealing, where met by big sis. Tried to keep awake, no going to bed to 22:00! We had good catch-up including lunch at NT place Osterley Park, where no raptors but some Egyptian Geese to remind me of Africa!!

Shares continued to perform badly while away, losing £15k (1.4%) over 3 weeks. I'm not topping up until the populists, Trump and Brexiters, get chained down! So now have 198k in precious metals and 147k in cash and only 191k in straight equities. On year still in profit at 81k gross and 54k net, which is much better than the market as a whole but significantly down from peak levels. Seeing family in Richmond later today before catching 12:30 KGX-NCL 2moro. Looking forward to lively return: lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!!

November 16th: great safari; took 482 piccies, cost R2,440. It w as 38C in the end without a cloud in the sky. Tomorrow's forecast is the same but the rains, in the form of thunderstorms are expected to start on Wednesday (21/11), 3 weeks later than usual. At 13:38 had the bird of the trip (for me!), a ruddy juvenile Honey-buzzard. The finding was very instructive; one person said there was a strange bird low-down in the open canopy, on the side of the track being followed by our vehicle. I took some piccies of the few trees involved, without seeing the bird: they showed later a russet-tinged bird, very elongated to look tall like a thin tree-trunk, with a few bars on the tail, which stretched well beyond the wings. The bird was standing very close to the trunk, c1m off the ground, obviously hoping not to have to move. But we stopped the car and after a few seconds the bird did flee, very low-down just above the ground, rather like a game-bird. Here picked it up well visually, with it showing a ruddy tail and back and some prominent sparse barring on the tail. It didn't appear to go far, but disappeared from view. The bird was in the thin bush-veldt scrub, some distance from water, and was presumably feeding on the ground. An earlier incident shows the risks the Honey-buzzard take in this habitat with so many large eagles patrolling the area. We stopped to view a Lizard Buzzard with appropriately a lizard in its talons; the 'buzzard' (now viewed more as a Goshawk by Bill Clark in the Workshop last Monday) was quickly attacked by a Wahlberg's Eagle, having to move quickly to go off with its prey to a scrubby area, difficult for the eagle to penetrate. So large aggressive eagles are all over the place making life difficult for medium-size raptors. Steppe Buzzard seem to be just a little too solid for an eagle to attack happily but Honey-buzzard are slenderer, with weaker bill, and more vulnerable. It is therefore thought that Honey-buzzard juveniles mimic Steppe Buzzard, in a number of field markings, to avoid being attacked so readily. Steppe Buzzard do have a rufous phase so this bird could have been that species but it wasn't taking any chances: resting lower in the canopy than Steppe Buzzard, attempting to sit still through the danger and refusing to get up above the canopy when finally flushed. The legs of the Honey-buzzard are relatively strong, being used for digging out wasp nests, but their use would depend on the bird not being caught unawares. In Germany at Baden-Baden have seen a Honey-buzzard turn sidewise to expose its talons to an approaching Goshawk, which passed by without any trouble. Honey-buzzard can rotate their necks further than most raptors, probably to help them avoid surprise attacks from behind. Honey-buzzard will be grossly under-reported in the veldt with such elusiveness. It's better to call Honey-buzzard here Western Honey-buzzard, rather than European Honey-buzzard, as the range goes into Russia, where this bird may well have been bred. Ferguson-Lees in his mammoth tome was the originator of some of the ideas above.

Raptors today were African White-backed Vulture 22, Bataleur 7, Wahlberg's Eagle 5, African Fish Eagle 5, Yellow-billed Kite 4, Brown Snake Eagle 3, Tawny Eagle 2, Hooded Vulture 2 and single Secretary Bird (soaring), Montagu's Harrier (new species for trip, adult male floating around, another visitor from Eurasia), Martial Eagle, Steppe Eagle, Lizard Buzzard (see above), African Goshawk (new species for trip, flying into trees at Low Sabie, closest to our Sparrowhawk), Western Honey-buzzard (new species for trip, see above). That makes 57 raptors of 15 types. Later at night had a White-faced Scops Owl calling outside the bar, another new species for trip. So running total is 268 raptors of 36 types: cool!! Not all that is appealing has feathers: ggo!!!

We had some good cats as well: 8 Lion (4 male, 3 female, 1 cub) and a Leopard (prowling male) on the safari. Another male Leopard appeared in front of the dining area at Skukuza camp on the far side of the river towards dusk; he moved into some reeds by the river, maybe hoping for an antelope coming down to drink there. There's a large electric fence around the camp, reminds me of Jurassic Park!. Had 3 rhinoceros (2 white) and approaching 200 elephant. The safari drivers are wary of the lone bull elephants; they're irritable and look threatening at times; they don't switch their engines off until they're sure the bull is fairly calm. Small parties of African Buffalo bulls are another worry but mainly for walkers: they can charge and are very powerful.

Still a day behind but did catch on standby plane VS602, which appeared to be full, but no upgrade. So in Ealing now at 09:46 18/11! Return is on course: back soon!! lok2t beauties!!!!

November 15th: final day of conference followed by banquet, which was very entertaining. There were some interesting talks evaluating anthropological effects on raptors in long-term breeding studies, including the Bald Eagle in the Great Lakes where climate change was bringing laying days earlier (phenology) but the population was thriving. More direct effects such as loss of habitat, wind farms, electricity cables, and poison were affecting populations seriously in some cases. There was a rather frosty reception for a speaker from an international charity who said that we need to sacrifice some bird populations in the short-term to achieve our long-term goal of stalling climate change. Many people, including me, think that raptors will adapt to climate change as they have before in the planet's history and that current direct threats are far more serious to their long-term survival. So a serious debate there!! Another Norwegian joke (from our well-supplied table!): what is the thinnest book in the world? The list of Swedish war heroes in WW2. Evidently Swedish neutrality in WW2 was thought to be a sham, their government obeyed orders from the Reich, including assisting in the transport of Jews from Norway to the death camps. Busy day 2moro in the field: up at 04:30 for 05:00 start for a 10-hour safari around Skukuza in great heat. No sign of the rains, nor of a number of Eurasian raptor migrants.SA8866 followed by VS602, which has space according to daughter, is imminent schedule!! Have 2-day buffer in London to see family but action will resume soon: lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!!

November 14th:weather warming up, now 30C, rising to 34C tomorrow and 40C on Friday, not a cloud in the sky, maybe prelude to start of rains as thermals give rise to clouds and then storms as in monsoon in India. Day 2 of conference. Still present – no skiving! We even had a presentation on Honey-buzzard wintering in Africa from Caroline Howes, Uni Witwatersrand (abstract, p.84 proceedings). This studied movements of 34 Honey-buzzard: 32 fitted in Finland, 2 in RSA, within their winter quarters in Africa; of Finnish birds, 6 were adult male, 5 adult female, 21 juvenile. It was a massive statistical effort based on satellite transmitters on the birds and digitised habitat maps with, for instance, no dietary measurements, as no contact with the birds, which were thought to be very elusive. Not sure that statements that Honey-buzzard are declining globally are true (authoritative Meyburg from Germany objected!) with so few serious study areas and their supposed addiction to dense forest is not correct: they like a mosaic of habitats. There was also a poster on Honey-buzzard: Mortality in GPS-tracked European honey buzzards (Pernis apivorus) by Patrik Byholm, Novia University of Applied Sciences in Finland, and Wouter MG Vansteelant. So plenty to think about!

Did add some raptors today. At breakfast over camp had a Yellow-billed Kite, a Bataleur and a Wahlberg's Eagle. Went on evening game drive and had sitting in trees: 1 Steppe Buzzard, 1 Steppe Eagle, plus lots of animals: white rhinoceros (1), giraffe, elephant, wildebeest, African buffalo, bush baby, zebra, spotted hyena (4), impala, waterbuck, waterhog, rabbit, hippopotamus, crocodile. Other birds included 2 migrant Common Sandpiper. So today had 5 raptors of 5 types. Running total is 210 raptors of 32 types. Got return flight SA8866 confirmed from SKU-JNB; return is getting closer but first it's last day of RRF and another full-day safari. Hope Brundibár warm-ups have gone well!! Thinking of the beauties: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

November 13th: day 1 of RRF conference, which attended from 08:00-17:00. Good standard of talk with 2 main threats represented in the session streams: poisoning and a myriad of other threats for vultures plus electrocution of raptors on distribution cables. Latter ironically has increased with renewable power with quality of infrastructure connecting wind/solar farms to the grid being distinctly variable. There's clearly not much will with many electricity operators but a talk from Israel showed how it could all be done with only one utility company, a standard design and enforcement measures, leading to lower costs in the end as electrocution incidents, costing real money, almost stopped. Poster session was good: could ask quite a lot of relevant questions to PhD students from experience at unn; particularly liked one showing Osprey can exploit thermals over the sea in migration, like gulls, if the sea water is warmer than the air and another showing the potential for a split into 6 species of Black-winged Kite. Katherine Gura's poster on Great Gray Owl was well presented and defended. What you learn from chat is important; here's a summary:

Rate of poaching of rhino is unsustainable. Population in Kruger down from 9k to 5k in 8 years. Poaching was 500 last year but as a % of population size (not quoted) may have increased. Money is so big for rhino horn as a traditional medicine that even if population went down to 100, the price would soar and buyers would still be found. The amounts of money are so large that inevitably corruption is found at all levels of the protection service.

Grants for wildlife studies are plummeting everywhere, aggravated by the Trump approach (but Obama started many of the reviews) world-wide, and businesses are very reluctant to give any more than token sums or gifts in kind. Foundations and philanthropists are carrying an increased burden of the costs of conservation. The future for funding is uncertain, but most donors do have a mission and are keen to maintain momentum.

Back into the field tomorrow with sunset drive at 17:00. But will be at conference earlier! My Kenyan friend says security much improved around Malindi so may go there next; it's an idyllic coastal area with forests nearby; can fly with BA to Nairobi on stand-by under reciprocal agreement but rank behind lowest of the low of BA people. Weather continued fine today: can think of many gr8 reasons for returning to UK but weather is not one of them! lok2t beauties!!!!!

November 12th: weather continued fine and settled. Fascinating day at RRF with the workshops. Bill Clark gave one on African Raptor id, using not surprisingly his book hot off the press as reference material. Western Honey-buzzard is rightly among the kites but not sure he emphasised sufficiently the less distinctive plumage of the juveniles. The main thrust on raptors in general was that there are many field features other than plumage, a message lost on the puerile British raptor experts, of which none seem to be present at this prestigious (and testing) event! The afternoon was on drones; think I'll be getting one, so many diverse uses; but insurance and cost of crashes need investigating. It seems you can kit yourself out for 2.5C$ (£1.5k) for a passable amateur effort including camera; don't try and be professional (making money out of it) as regulations and licensing costs pile up quickly. So that was 08:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00 taken care off. Met the Norwegians for lunch, mainly beer, and Samuel, from Kenya, for dinner; it's a very friendly and lively meeting! No fieldwork today, giving it a rest. WiFi is very erratic. 2moro sees start of conference proper with plenary on the disastrous state of Old World Vultures with over 99% lost in 20 years due to poison Diclofenac given out in India (and lesser extent in Africa) by vets to treat old animals for rheumatism; when the animal eventually dies it is thrown on a rubbish tip and eaten by the vultures who quickly die from a liver ailment. Result has been inadequate processing of rubbish, a plague of rabid feral dogs and an estimated $11.5k per lost vulture spent on doing their job. May well attend the following seminar on the same theme. The RSPB deserves credit here with early action on a captive breeding programme, while others watched.

Event is well attended by Americans c50% with many affiliated to foundations and universities. Philanthropy is practised much more in America than Europe, backed by generous tax incentives for the wealthy. Think we lag well behind in UK which is a great pity: it's one way of redistributing wealth in a socially aware manner. So another busy day 2moro with business from 08:00: wonder what dreams will bring: lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!! xxxx!!

November 11th: another hot day, approaching 30C and no sign of any rains. Evidently lack of rains is delaying arrival of Amur Falcon, Lesser Spotted Eagle and Honey-buzzard! Today we drove almost 100km in morning, from 06:00-13:00 between Satara Camp and Skukuza Camp, where conference is to be held. Local raptors are doing well in the dry conditions with 25 birds of 8 types. We recorded Bataleur 6 (1 juvenile eating a road-kill in tree), African White-backed Vulture 5 (1 large youngster in nest), Wahlberg's Eagle 4, Brown Snake Eagle 3, Tawny Eagle 3, Martial Eagle 2, Pearl-Spotted Owlet 1, Secretary Bird 1 (in flight, good soarer, new for trip). Running total is 205 raptors of 32 types. Group total for all bird species on the safari is 248 up to yesterday night with c5 added today, giving 253 types: amazing!! Mammals were great today with Spotted Hyena calling around the camp at dawn, 2 Lion (male, female) close-by the road not long out of Satara Camp and highlight of trip, a prowling male Leopard close to an almost dried out water-hole with some antelope slowly moving towards the Leopard, which kept on twitching its tail tip (anyone who's kept cats knows what this means!). We had it in view for 30 minutes! As a bonus, each of the 12 of us gave to each of the 2 guides roughly $10 a day (or R equivalent) for their excellence in the field, their speedy and apt communication and their attention to the logistics. So that was $1200 well spent! As a group we got on brilliantly with no scheming factions and lots of fun!!

RRF conference venue at Skukuza is very smart and I've got my own hut. Have 2 workshop tomorrow on African raptor id and use of drones for raptor research: back to the desk! Had dinner with a couple from the safari (Daniel/Cristina from Arizona) and Roger, a Zimbabwe raptor specialist. Think if I pinch myself, I would wonder what I'm doing here but sometimes things are best done by instinct and nerve!! Just put on the A/C to keep the room down to 22C. One of the Norwegians Torgeir told me a very good joke: a couple were visiting Bergen, and it rained nearly all the time; they approached a lad and said “is it always raining in Bergen?”. Lad replied “I don't know; I've only lived here 11 years!”. He and another on our safari trip Rob (eBird, USA) are on the RRF Board so they went ahead yesterday for today's formal meeting. So looking forward to the masterclasses: lok2tbeauties!!!!!!

November 10th: hot day, sunny throughout; everything's waiting for the end of the dry season, which is now fairly intense; could happen any day with some downpours with the veld turning from brown to green in a few days. Up at 04:45 for 05:30 start, so in bed by 10:00 last nite; we finished at 18:30 sunset but did have a 2-hour siesta at lunchtime (for wimps!). Took almost 500 piccies today in 3 different drives around Satara Camp, Kruger, plus a walk; disappointed that the walk wasn't on the open veld as could be exciting! Raptors included African White-backed Vulture 45 (23 at loafing area, 2 nests with 3 birds around one), Bataleur 7, Tawny Eagle 7 (including nest with several birds around, presumed fledged juvenile), Brown Snake Eagle 6, Hooded Vulture 6, Wahlberg's Eagle 5, African Hawk-Eagle 4 (including pair of adult with 1 juvenile), African Fish Eagle 2, Yellow-billed Kite 2 (within camp), African White-headed Vulture 2, Lappet-faced Vulture 2 (at loafing area), Pearl-Spotted Owlet 1, African Scops Owl 1, Black-chested Snake Eagle 1. So today's total was 91 raptors of 14 types. Running total is 180 raptors of 31 types: paradise for the group!! Our guide CB thought that Honey-buzzard is found in RSA mainly in Durban, Natal and Jo'Burg, rather than in the Kruger NP; he thought many people could not identify it, with Steppe Buzzard and African Hawk-Eagle being frequent confusion species! Also had a white Lion, colour morph of the species, speciality of Kruger; it was a lone young male looking very large, plus crocodile, giraffe, elephant, zebra, wildebeest, many other deer, Banded Mongoose, Dark Jackal. Star performers of day were 2 troupes of Spotted Hyena, c8 in all, who kept on running at each other, taking it in turns to retreat; we thought it was probably on the boundaries of their territories. Had good convivial dinner at the Camp. 2moro it's early start at 06:00, already packed (doesn't take long!), for roughly 100km to Skukuza camp, also in Kruger, where RRF conference is being held for enrolment in the afternoon. Resisted Vodafone's invitation to go NOCAP, waiting for WiFi at the conference. So it's back to civilization of a sort; love the wildness of the RSA scenery that we've come through so far. Hopefully reconnect 2moro: missing the lovelies, even had vivid dreams: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

November 9th: great day in the field. Up at 05:00 for 6:00 start; getting a little more used to that but such a routine will not persist once back home!! We spent an hour at the Forever camp at Blyde River Canyon in a very bight and settled-looking sunrise. We then drove to Kruger Park making it at 12:30 after drive through some more canyons. Raptors on this stage included Cape Vulture 10 (commonest vulture in this area, with a colony of >400 pairs), Wahlberg's Eagle 3, Rock Kestrel 2, Lanner 2 (that bird again, at 2 more sites), Yellow-billed Kite 2, Brown Snake-Eagle 2, Steppe Buzzard 1, African Goshawk 1, Taita Falcon 1 (one of rarest breeding raptors on planet, restricted to a few African gorges apparently; we waited an hour before we found the male on a distant high rock; his dive into the valley was like a Hobby, fantastic!), Africa Fish Eagle 1; that's 25 birds of 10 types. Very pleased at numbers of raptors seen outside park.

Once inside park we drove slowly to Satara Camp, where we had 29 raptors of 8 types: African White-backed Vulture 15, Wahlberg's Eagle 5, African Hawk-Eagle 3, Brown Snake-Eagle 2, African Fish Eagle 1, African Harrier-Hawk 1, Martial Eagle 1 (one of most powerful eagles, killing small deer), Tawny Eagle 1. Many of these birds were perched on the tops of low trees, with the African White-backed Vulture sitting on 3 nests with 1 young just fledged and 2 more close to this stage. Total for day was 54 raptors of 15 types, 7 new species. Trip total is now 24 types, 89 birds: incredible! Also had Water Buffalo, Gnu, Giraffe, Elephant, Warthog, Zebra, Impala, other deer, but no cats! Bird list for day totalled 130 species, pretty rich, with running total still being calculated. Company is great, switching to the Americans today in their minibus as we moved to open safari vehicles, with just 6 passengers to each one. Satara Camp has many private vehicles in it as that's allowed but without a guide you miss a lot, particularly id of the smaller birds. Have my own comfortable chalet. 2moro it's exploration around Satara in Park. Very exciting trip: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

November 8th: the sun did shine all day with temperature in the mountains up to 20C with virtually no wind. Up at 5 for start of walk at 6 around Mount Sheba in the fine morning. Had some new raptors with an African Goshawk circling overhead, calling softly. Back at the facilities had (with 1 other) a Black Sparrowhawk coming in low following a dive, right over the roof in front of us. A Wahlberg's Eagle glided down onto a rocky ridge. After breakfast at 09:00 we drove out, with people in the 2nd minibus seeing the Black Sparrowhawk. We visited a number of places along RSA's answer to the Grand Canyon, the Blyde River Canyon. Some of the gorges are spectacular with much woodland in them and rocky precipices on the shoulders with boulders all over the plateaus. These are great conditions for chats, which were everywhere. Raptors included 2 pairs of displaying Lanner on cliffs, which was quite a surprise, plus 2 Steppe Buzzard and a Jackal Buzzard with full crop circling us. There was much woodland and kept a close look-out for Honey-buzzard but no sign. Migrant of the day was a Willow Warbler, a very grey individual, probably again from Russia. We also had 4 Hippopotamus on a lake and there are supposed to be leopard in many of the areas we visit, even outside the Kruger Park. Aren't the British wimps for worrying about a few Lynx?

Raptor total reaches 17 types (35 birds) now: Steppe Buzzard 8, Lanner 6, Wahlberg's Eagle 4, Black-shouldered Kite 3, Jackal Buzzard 3, African Harrier-Hawk 2, Pallid Harrier 1, Eurasian Hobby 1, Yellow-billed Kite 1, African Fish Eagle 1, Long-crested Eagle 1, Brown Snake-eagle 1, Steppe Eagle 1, Lizard Buzzard 1, Rock Kestrel 1, Black Sparrowhawk 1, African Goshawk 1. Total for all species for trip is now 143. 2moro we reach Kruger, excitement is mounting!! No WiFi in my well-appointed chalet; hope to post it tomorrow at breakfast time from the Forever centre; didn't work as BT and Forever did not wish to talk to each other; next try is at Satara Camp, where WiFi off after 19:00, Vodafone have a bootstrap problem in that you cannot top-up when your allowance expires! lok2t beauties: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

November 7th: weather was dull at start with intermittent hail storms, 9C, quite harsh. Up at 6 to get out at 7: these are not my normal operating hours! We decided to not go higher as planned but moved down the valley towards Mashishing, where eventually stopped at a site near Stonecutter's Lodge around 9:00. As the rains ceased for a while and the sun came out, it was magical with 4 species of eagle up in next 30 min: a Wahlberg's Eagle glided over a ridge (with narrow long tail, later to become total of 3), a Long-crested Eagle perched on a tree giving tremendous views, a Steppe Eagle (another winter visitor from the Russian Steppe) was up over a rough hill interacting with a Steppe Buzzard, and a Brown Snake-Eagle was perched in a tree, no doubt looking for some prey below. So that was 6 eagles of 4 species in 30 minutes. Also here had total of 3 Steppe Buzzard plus 2 species of cuckoo: Black and Red-breasted. Driving on we had a Lizard Buzzard, sneakily flying away downstream at Spalboon Bridge (where had 12 Eurasian Bee-eater arriving from the N, further Russian emigrants!), 2 Lanner a little further on (bird of the trip for some) looking superb and massive even in this environment, and a Rock Kestrel lifting off from a telegraph post. Other birds on route included further single Black-shouldered Kite and Steppe Buzzard. Stopping near some moorland I picked up a bird, a Buff-streaked Chat, which created much excitement and a walk on the moor to look for it; one of the 3 claimants was the tour leader who was very impressed! We arrived at Pilgrims Rest, Mount Sheba, at 15:00; this is a fantastic mountainous area with much natural woodland on steep-sided hills and is where we're staying overnight. We had 2 Jackal Buzzard here, a new species for me, plus a Steppe Buzzard; Then the thunder returned and we, on a woodland walk, got soaked with torrential soft hail! Evening meal was very sociable and at a high level on wildlife conservation. It's great being surrounded by some of the best brains on the planet for wildlife, particularly raptors.

Raptor total reaches 15 types (27 birds) now: Steppe Buzzard 6, Black-shouldered Kite 3, Wahlberg's Eagle 3, African Harrier-Hawk 2, Jackal Buzzard 2, Lanner 2, Pallid Harrier 1, Eurasian Hobby 1, Yellow-billed Kite 1, African Fish Eagle 1, Long-crested Eagle 1, Brown Snake-eagle 1, Steppe Eagle 1, Lizard Buzzard 1, Rock Kestrel 1. Total for all species for trip is now 128. 2moro weather promises to improve and we're doing some high montane woodland; up at 5 for start at 6. lok to the fancied ones: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

November 6th: collected from AfricaSky at 08:00, after fond farewells, and assembled at the safari company's main base nearby at Lakefield. Met up with the rest of the adventurers, numbering 12 in all, of which 4 from Scandinavia, 6 from USA, 1 from Holland and 1 from UK (me!). Added to the species list while waiting for take-off, getting in all: Egyptian Goose, Dark-capped Bulbul, Red-knobbed Coot, Blacksmith Plover, Mynah, Hadada Ibis, Pied Kingfisher, Ring-necked Dove, Crowned Lapwing, Village Weaver, Laughing Dove, that's 11 types of which 6 new. Not sure how contrived it was but with 2 vehicles, we managed to get the 6 Americans in one and the 6 Europeans in the other. Like Scandies, particularly their rather zany sense of humour! Weather was cloudy but mild at 23C. We made a full visit to the Rietvlei Reserve from 09:20-14:00, close to Jo'burg on NE side towards Pretoria. The reserve has been stocked with 'new' animals from Kruger that would have originally been present so a reintroduction, including Rhinoceros, Cheetah and many deer and zebra and we also saw a Jackal hunting. Not as wild as Kruger but the African government is keen to diversify, which seems a very good idea. Birdlife was very rich and I got about 50 types in a complete list, including 3 types of raptor: an Africa Fish Eagles, sitting in a dead tree on the opposite side of the lake; a Black-shoulder Kite perched in a tree, a Steppe Buzzard (Common Buzzard from Russian part of range) also perched in a tree. There were quite a few Eurasian Bee-eater hunting and we also saw 1 Barn Swallow (ours!), 6 Ostrich including a pair mating (quite passionate!), c50 Red Bishop in the reeds. We didn't see any Cheetah but did see the other animals.

As we left Rietvlei for long drive towards the Escarpment mountains, the rain came on with a vengeance, getting worse the higher we climbed with constant lightning but not so much thunder. There were quite a few coal mines, with RSA getting >90% of its power from that source. The area is the Highveld, the steppes of RSA, c1500m asl, with other mines as well including Lydenburg, a major pt centre, in which very profitably held shares c1970. In a brief respite in the weather before our destination Dullstroom had a pair of Africa Harrier-Hawk up over a conifer plantation at 16:45. Dullstroom is an amazing place, rather like a Lake District holiday area, owned by wealthy outsiders, packed at weekends and deserted midweek. In the monsoon it also looked rather like a Scottish resort (and sounds like one!) with plenty of signs for trout fishing. We're staying in holiday flats and cottages, mostly as singles: very well appointed and cosy! Ours is Rose Cottage complex. We had a communal meal at The Poacher which enjoyed though g was off! Company is very good and results so far are excellent with 7 types of raptor (9 birds) now: Black-shouldered Kite 2, African Harrier-Hawk 2, Pallid Harrier 1, Eurasian Hobby 1, Yellow-billed Kite 1, African Fish Eagle 1, Steppe Buzzard 1. Start 2moro is 07:00, much better than the 05:00 mooted at one time, and on we go! Hope the beauties are keeping fit: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

November 5th: still relaxing at AfricaSky. Beautiful morning at 27C, hot sunshine, light W breeze BUT very stormy afternoon with continuous torrential rain and lightning every 15-30 seconds, much accompanied by thunder but not that much directly overhead. Forecast had been right so was up earlier, sunbathing by the pool from 09:30-13:30. Topped up the local list to 30 types in all, with the highlights being 2 more raptors: an adult male Pallid Harrier (winter visitor, breeds Russian Steppe) up briefly to N at 12:06 and a Yellow-billed Kite (local) grazing a few trees to S at 13:25. So that brings raptor total to 4 birds of 4 types: Pallid Harrier, Yellow-billed Kite, Eurasian Hobby, Black-shouldered Kite. Did a supplementary list today, including the 2 raptors plus Hadada Ibis (1 feeding on lawn, very close), Ring-necked Dove (active display), African Palm Swift (visiting probable nest), African Spoonbill (22 seen), Helmeted Guineafowl (6 calling), Bronze Manikin (2 seen), Grey Heron (1 flying), Cape Wagtail (pair by pool), Red Bishop (male in transitional plumage), Red-breasted Swallow (6 present including a pair); that's 12 types in all. Sent to Devon M draft of music/monad paper for his comments. N didn't like Bond: left at ½ time: vocalists too loud: said it was well supported though! Continued to build strength up: have been looked after very well here; R200 tip was well received! So lok: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

November 4th: well woke up to the song of bulbuls so must be in Africa! Travel went very well: NCL-KGX 08:25-11:39, KGX-LHR 11:55-13:10 by underground, Piccadilly line was very busy as Circle Line closed for weekend but timing only slightly affected; LHR-JNB 16:55 from T3 on VS461, a little tense as flight sold out but at 16:30 given the magic unqualified boarding pass by a smiling attendant with upgrade to premium economy, which is quite classy; was on WhatsApp with daughter at time (in Dubai with VA) who said there can only be 1 seat unclaimed if they're leaving it this late! Praise be to the no-show! Made JNB early at 05:30 (03:30 UK time, so flight is about 10.5 hours) where met at 06:15 by driver from AfricaSky who took me to the hotel and settled me in at 06:30; so door to door NCL-ASky was c20 hours in elapsed time. Had already had one breakfast so swapped that for a lie-in: sweet dreams!! Hotel is in Kempton Park, NW of city, near airport. It's very comfortable with charming staff and reasonable prices. Return flights are evidently less busy: think lots of people go to South Africa at start of November and stay a while to enjoy the climate and the lively atmosphere.

Had a peaceful day catching up with African birds. Last time I was in safari area was in 2011 at Kenya/ Ethiopia/ Tanzania, though have done Cape Verde islands in Africa since. Security is very strong in area, 20km from city centre, with hotel surrounded by razor wire and very bright security lighting; you're only allowed out with recognised driver. So sat down by the pool in the large grounds in sunny weather, 24C, light NW breeze, and picked up some JNB suburbia favourites from 14:50, such as (in no particular order!) Red-faced Mousebird, African Palm Swift, Common Myna, Ring-necked Dove, Cape Wagtail, Dark-capped Bulbul, Fiscal Shrike, Cape Turtle Dove, Cape Robin-chat, Red Bishop, Hadada Ibis, Cape Weaver, Blacksmith Plover, Karoo Thrush, White-throated Swallow, Cattle Egret, Sacred Ibis, Black-headed Heron, Black Swift, House Martin, Feral Pigeon, House Sparrow. After a break for tea (meal 3 of day) went out again at 18:00 looking for twilight-hunting raptors and was successful, getting 2 birds of 2 types. A Black-shouldered Kite was perched on a dead tree, looking intently over some rough ground, before diving off to the ground, probably catching a vole or mouse. Even later at 18:15 had an adult female Eurasian Hobby (ours! Or more likely from Russia!) perched in a tree in the gloom over some woodland, presumably watching small birds such as weavers go to roost. Always interesting to think that this bird might (just!) have bred in the South Tyne this past summer. Total for day was 23 types of bird, already added to BirdTrack global. Meal 4 with some inevitably Cape red wine followed! Missing the beauties!!!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

November 2nd: did make rehearsal and concert at S, entitled English Connections; very impressed with overall standard and gr8 to see Thomas Z back with his partner Ruth K on violin and viola respectively. Particularly liked Britten's Double Concerto (for violin, viola): was a truly ground-breaking piece, written when he was a student: his tutors were lagging far behind! Also liked Vaughan Williams' Greensleaves; AY excelled on flute all evening but she was very exposed in this piece, a worthy successor to JB!! It was MP4m4t with N; he came to concert as well. Afters included VH where do have feet under table in N's absence; effective price of g reduced to 3.33 a pint after ½ bought for me by celebrating gang! Nite concluded in brill style: will really miss her: she's so gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!! It's 08:25 2moro!! xxxx!!

Nationally in UK 1 more Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides since 19/10 (count 7 birds for month of October, 82 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 230 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 271 records).

21/10 20:13 Essex : European Honey Buzzard, Holland Haven CP juvenile flew west late yesterday afternoon; also ringtail Hen Harrier still

October 31st: preparing for major trip for wintering Honey-buzzard: preferred flight LHR-JNB is very busy (single 1k+) so may not get on with my standby ticket (0.15k return): it may be Pitshanger Park rather than Kruger! Have completed the technical thrust of the music/monad paper; planning to send it to Devon M tomorrow for some inspired comments while I'm away; updated draft is on my web site under same url (draft). It's taken ages to get the draft this far but it would be criminal to waste all the effort I put in over the summer at the 3 conferences in Vichy, Baden-Baden and Rowlands Castle. Funds have stabilised, down a mere 2k in the 1st 3 days of the week. Have reduced funds at significant risk to 254k over last few weeks with aim in future to achieve further reduction and replace some (not all!) stocks of high β (high relative volatility, chancers!) within this reduced total by more stable items. Cash is elevated at 125k and precious metals stand at 175k. Gain on year is 93k gross, 67k net. Have kept up social meetings with yesterday R&C4mu4s (with A) and G4g4s, followed today by T4c4c (with M) and G4g4t. 2moro it's N4c4l and G4g4s!! Fais de beaux rêves: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 29th: bags under my eyes tell the story!! Did make N4c4l and R @ HA4m4s, with talk by Lord Stevens at latter, former Commissioner of Met Police. He gave us some stirring anecdotes and a few insights into more worrying areas. Skipped G as dry evening appealed! Getting to grips with a further adjointness between the functorial component of one monad instance and the functorial component of another comonad instance; the comonad functor being right adjoint (creative) and the monad functor being left adjoint (enforcing rules). This would be moving between one timeline and another, completing the picture at a level up from that delivered at ANPA in 2018 but with past precedent in ANPA 2016 for conceptual side in database paper. It all fits together very well as it is then the comonad with its apparently forward-looking action that is driving the creativity. Brille toujours ma chérie: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 28th: much colder today, though mainly sunny, ending with frost on windscreen at CAL and sleet at home. Did some strenuous gardening, mowing grass area 5/5; this required first the clearing of 2 very large branches that had been blown off tallest larch tree, through sawing, lopping and pulling away into copse; they were too heavy to lift! So that's progress: next up is beech hedge. Met N at S, where we went along to Samling Academy concert and were entertained by some very smart and tuneful singers. Pleased to see CM there! Whole event was very good both visually and musically; organisation was spot-on with songs following each other very quickly. I'm a Friend so had name (as Brian R) on back of programme; the Academy is based in Hexham at old swimming baths. Made Vermont for a couple of g with N: it's his local so said he should get his feet under the table! G was only £5 a pint and they did serve coffee late; seats were very comfy and bar-lass was charming! We did have an interesting discussion on dog whistle as defined by Wikipedia:

Dog-whistle politics is political messaging employing coded language that appears to mean one thing to the general population but has an additional, different, or more specific resonance for a targeted subgroup. The analogy is to a dog whistle, whose ultrasonic whistling sound is heard by dogs but inaudible to humans.

My interest is with its use in racism and anti-Semitism. I remember commenting recently on an article about attitudes to Jews in WW2 in the UK in The Times (see 23/8 below). A number of comments appeared, some of which were clearly racist and were deleted quickly by the moderator but others were difficult to understand and survived a day before a whole batch was deleted in a second round of moderation; I think they must have put the batch over to someone with experience of dog whistle in this area who quickly spotted the cryptic anti-Semitic vocabulary. Fantastic end to day: it gets better and better: she's a beautiful *: lok2tgrf!!!!! 2moro it's N4c4l, R @ HA4m4s, G4g4s. Next up concert-wise is RNS on Friday. xxxx!!

October 27th: more relaxed day today. Was thinking of buying new suitcase but then remembered how dirty and battered they get on safari so will use old medium-size one. Signed up with NH for all rehearsals open to PP today, next one being on Friday. Sold ticket for Bond to N for £20; glad he's getting less highbrow! Regular hotel in NCL is full but booked into another one, leaving car at airport though going by train to LHR. Made C4c4l where good 2 meet trhwso!! Later made MP4m4t with N where we had usual good chat. The concert by Hallé was very good; the large orchestra benefited well from the acoustics though noted sparse audience in front few rows and packed at the back. Richard Strauss' Don Quixote was very delicately played and we had a 5 minute verbal introduction by ME followed by a display on the screen giving where we were in the story. After half-time we had Elgar 2, which came over as a very subtle piece with many cross-threads and complexity. It's a pity that Elgar is associated with Land of Hope and Glory, like Wagner is with Ride of the Valkyrie, when both composers have a much wider and sophisticated repertory. Of course Elgar's hit is performed with singing which he didn't write and Wagner's hit is performed with the singing he did write left out! So that was round 5/6 in my musical marathon: keeping up well!! Tonite had some advantages over Friday: very stimulating: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!! Terrible happenings in Pittsburgh: strengthens my resolve to support a particular festival. 2moro it's Samling Singers in S2; N now going as well so it's 18:30 at S for cake and tea! xxxx!!

October 26th: busy day: up at 7 to get car into KF for 8:30 who 'phoned me up at 10:00 to say “unfortunately Mr Rossiter your car has failed its MOT”. Well nothing too bad with new brake servo and new rear shockers fitted in the afternoon, in addition to the service. Total cost was £440, reduced to £280 for today as I'd already paid for the MOT and service. Happy with that as nothing devastating found! Got car back at 17:30 and drove to CAL, making TR for the Merry Widow. Not quite the gravitas of Tosca (or the Ring) but enjoyed it; never a dull moment but no great highlights either; gate was good! Made T4c4c for good chat with M on monads, N4s4l and solicitors NP where got a certified copy of my passport, free of charge, for son's solicitors as part of money-laundering checks. Buying his house has really raised his morale: very pleased to be supporting it. Spent a lot of time on monad/music paper at QH as couldn't get home; it's taking final shape with adjointness between monad and comonad as closure. Sorry I missed RNS concert at HA but did see the same lively programme yesterday in Ponteland; M was going. Markets had another terrible week, particularly tech stocks, and own funds were -16k, reducing year gain to 96k gross, 70k net; have now 100k cash and 165k in precious metals; not trading much at all at moment, certainly not selling oil shares at these prices but not adding to positions in equities. Ftse is down 9.7% now on year, EM are off 20%, China is -25%, € stocks are at 2-year lows with Germany -17% in 2018 and even Dow is just flat on year now. Think some of selling is forced, due to margin calls and failed spread-betting, which is causing further panic. Did find a beautiful nite-cap: interesting swap today: she's very sensuous: lok2tgrf!!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l, MP4m4t with N and S4con with Hallé: should be good!! xxxx!!

October 25th: another concert in evening, 3 nites in a row, getting almost Wagnerian, 3 to go! This one was in the packed church at Ponteland with a French theme La Mer, indeed the complete programme was by French composers, Debussy, Ravel, Saint-Saëns, Françaix. I'm a fan of Debussy so was very keen on Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune, in which the flautist AY was superb, and in La Mer itself, in which there were some other very lively, polished performances! Also liked Ravel's Introduction and Allegro which again brought the talented members of RNS to life! I did chat with a few members of the audience and they thought it was lovely to have such professional musicians close at hand: the visits of the RNS to their village were much appreciated. Came home to G4g4s to keep my routine going against the odds, where 4 of us out! 2moro has its complications; aim is KF4mot&service at 08:30, meeting M at T4c4c at 11:30, stay in Hexham until news on car at library and N. I'm due at TR at 18:30 for pre-concert talk, followed by Merry Widow performance at 19:30. But really it's all going to be on a wing and a prayer!! Have been busy on music/monad paper; here's first draft for journal Social Anthropology with significant work still needed at end, followed by close read through for consistency; would like to send it off to Mike in a few days for his comments. Tu étais brillant mon cher: xxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 24th: strong cool NW wind continued but remained dry. Had hair trim at JG, next one in 7 weeks; found Jd comes from Haltwhistle where lived for 7 years when first in NE; no wonder we get on well!! Cleaner S knows her: said she is a little wild! JG closed in Pilgrim St NCL: not enough business apparently. Had good chat with N at MP4m4t; he's a lot brighter after resting back; quite a lot on deteriorating markets with Dow -2.41% late-on today. We made S4con on Child Prodigies in Small is Beautiful series. Liked the harmonies in Mendelssohn SQ 1, starring TG and SR. We next had Janáček's Mládí, starring TH on flute, who seemed to be so full of confidence; it was a very youthful performance with many strangers; SH was substituted! After the interval we had Vítězslava Kaprálová's SQ; the composer died in 1940 aged 25 in France; a tragic tale; IB/JN were the stars. Final piece was Bruch's Septet, written when he was 11. SR led on this; thought she looked a little apprehensive at times but she kept it all together and played the exposed bits very well, ably assisted by ATT and GW, latter looking very relaxed! So good concert! Went for drink with N. Coda was fantastic: rearrangement at ½ time: frequency better: she's very s.xy: lok2tgrf!!!!! 2moro it's N4c4l and concert by RNS at Ponteland in evening. xxxx!!

October 23rd: very strong cool NW wind continued but almost completely dry; such conditions are likely to encourage remaining juvenile Honey-buzzard to move on. Of course in forthcoming trip hope to see a Honey-buzzard or two: nothing like following them into their winter quarters! Any seen will be from Russia/eastern Europe not from western Europe, which winter mainly in west Africa. Made N4c4l where met fellow R BB for good chat. Much later into NCL for ON's new production of Puccini's Tosca, where had seen Act I in insight on 11/9. Very impressive performance with Susannah Glanville making her debut in this production in the title role (GA rested), Rafael Rojas as Cavaradossi and Robert Hayward as Scarpia. Thought the end of Act I was the ultimate in grand opera with a packed stage and the omens for the rest of the story played in such menacing tones. The orchestra was brilliant, c50 in size, conducted by Jonathan Santagada, also making his debut in this production (AH resting!). The plot is of course very dark with many scheming characters, all dying in the end in true opera fashion, with Tosca throwing herself off the battlements after knifing the repugnant Scarpia. Tosca and Cavaradossi sung some very romantic pieces: quite a turn on!! Had a few red wine at receptions, both before the action at Northern Counties Club and in the two intervals in the Olivier Suite. Now have my name in the programme, having upgraded my level of Associate of ON. Romance continued: very fitting end to nite: quite a finale: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!! 2moro it's hair trim at JG in morning, N4c4el, MP4m4t with N, concert at S2. Markets looking really worrying now and have been buying Au (holding now 73 oz) and Pt (holding now 135 oz) in ETF (no physical delivery!). The 3 main global problems are Trump's irrationality and trade war with China, Brexit and the budget prepared by the new Italian government; it's noteworthy that populism is behind all 3 threats but the rich, through not sharing their spoils during the recovery from the crash, may be as much the problem as anything else. Own funds -8k due to weakness in oil shares; not sold any but have sold sizeable holdings in bonds with significant dealing costs, which feel may fall if situation continues to deteriorate. Cash has declined to 98k, due to precious metal purchases (96k) so getting more defensive by the day. xxxx!!

October 22nd: after yesterday's sunshine following earlier rain, cloudier today with strong NW wind, down to 10C max, remaining dry. R @ B4m4l was good, with informative talk by the Stroke Association, if you like that sort of thing! Later made G4g4s where 4 of us out for good chat! Should be there again on Thursday. Having trouble with composing monads: how much to include seeing the audience: think will keep it short and simple from the CT point of view as that's OK from the applied point of view. Paid my b&b at the Africa Sky JNB for 3 nites via Caxton, total R3.4k for base camp on way out! There are 13 of us on 6-day Safari, organised by Lawson, in 2 vehicles, all bird of prey fans as ending up at RRF conference but sure we'll be looking out for leopards and the like. 2moro it's N4c4l, TR4op via CAL-NCL preceded at 18:30 by reception for associates/patrons! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 21st: continued 'gardening' effort, doing area 4/5 including mowing of front grass and attention to verge where cut down masses of brambles and nettles to give the daffodils a chance next spring; took about 90 min, good for keeping fit! Area 5/5 has 2 enormous branches on it, which fell off my tallest larch tree (20m) suffering some crown rot; will need to do some sawing before final tidy-up but will leave it to rot outside for the benefit of the wildlife; rest of the tree looks healthy enough. Spent another 2 hours on music/monad paper, this time reading more about composition of monads, checking last year's ANPA paper. All looks fine so will work that up in a more chatty style for the Social Anthropology journal paper and add more maths for the ANPA one at a later stage. Social event was G4g4s where 6 of us out on dommies table for gr8 crack: good to have Jn on, ought to adopt her as my hairdresser but think Jd would miss me on Wednesday morning! Looking at calendar, music events are extended to next Sunday with Samling Singers, so that's 6 nites in a row. 2moro it's R @ B4m4l preceded by team meeting of Community Service, N4c4ll and G4g4s!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 20th: added details of yesterday's visit for Honey-buzzard below and details of sightings on BirdGuides for the month of October so far. Did some 'gardening' mowing 3rd area of grass for final time in season, making total 3/5; then it's hedge trimming time! Completed research on musician's brains, finding and reading the two original scientific accounts on the enlarged corpus callosum in musicians who practised hard at an early age by Steele et al (Steele CJ, Bailey JA, Zatorre RJ, Penhune VB (2013) Early musical training and white-matter plasticity in the corpus callosum: evidence for a sensitive period. J Neurosci 33(3):1282–1290) and Schlaug et al (Hyde KL, Lerch J, Norton A, Forgeard M, Winner E, Evans AC, Schlaug G (2009) Musical training shapes structural brain development. J Neurosci 29(10):3019–3025) with the popular article Greg Miller, Music Builds Bridges in the Brain, Science: Brain & Behavior, Apr. 16, 2008, \url{}, and the popular paperback as original secondary source by Daniel Levitin (Daniel J. Levitin, This Is Your Brain on Music: The Science of a Human Obsession, Plume/Penguin 306pp (2007)). The bridges in the brain (fibred networks) are monads in category theory, handling the adjointness between intonation in the right hemisphere (opposite to left hand on violin) and articulation in the left hemisphere (opposite to right hand on violin). Will write monad composition tomorrow to complete central section of paper. Gulls thrashed Winchester Town 4-1 this afternoon to make FA Cup round 1 proper: we're improving! Did make C4c4l where trhwso looked very good!! 2moro it's C4c4ll with further catch-up on records and writing the music/monad paper as above followed by G4g4s!! En vous souhaitant de beaux rêves: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

Nationally in UK 6 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides since 30/9 (count 6 birds for month of October, 81 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 229 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 270 records).

05/10 15:07 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Felixstowe adult flew south over Peewit Hill

09/10 14:20 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, Portland at Church Ope Quarry (14:02)

10/10 17:32 Northamptonshire : European Honey Buzzard, Kingsthorpe one reported on the golf course at 13:00 and again at 15:15 when it flew southwest (15:15)

15/10 15:26 Cleveland : European Honey Buzzard, Long Drag one flew over towards Greenabella

18/10 14:20 London : European Honey Buzzard, Wimbledon Common one reported over the windmill this afternoon (14:00) [R]

19/10 15:32 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, Middlebere one flew east

October 19th: sunny spells, light W breeze, mild; made Stocksfield Mount from 15:10-16:15, getting some decent raptors with 2 Honey-buzzard juvenile, 2 Red Kite (adult, 1w up at 15:18 and 15:35 over Bywell Cottagebank), 2 Common Buzzard (up over Bywell Cottagebank at 15:35), plus a Woodlark migrant moving W by the Mount at 15:53 and 20 Goldfinch (1 W), in total of 16 bird species. The Honey-buzzard comprised 2 juvenile (1 dark phase, 1 ruddy phase) up over Eltringham from 15:22-15:27, doing some mutual circling at moderate altitude; they did a bit of diving at each other, taking it in turns, which convinced me they weren't going anywhere as not in energy-saving mode adopted for real migration; the ruddy bird peeled off to land in Eltringham area to feed and the dark bird stayed up a little longer before drifting slowly back to Short Wood; at 15:36 the ruddy bird was seen back at Cottagebank so it must have sneaked back N across the Tyne Valley. 5 wasp were on flowering ivy with another 3 seen drifting around. Reduced turnout at W with just 3 of us; N is in bad way, not out tonite or to last nite's concert, complained to D&C about ambitious walking timetable! Dv of D&D is in Cramlington Hospital overnight with chest infection. Still the 3 of us had good chat. Was relating how strange I though the hotel in Danby was: no female staff with even a chamberlad; my room didn't have a plain-glass window nor a working WiFi signal; N's for same price had views over the moors and good WiFi so I let him pay the tip of £20! MOT + service for the crate is next Friday at KF with deadline for passing on 29/10; mileage is now 79k with age of 8 years. Earlier made N4c4l where was chatting with H about when they might start a line in cannabis! Funds -4k to +113k on year gross and +86k net. No confidence around at the moment but news-flow is still +ve around my stocks. Cash remains significant at 145k, waiting for direction; have not put it straight back into short-term bonds as feel equities offer opportunities after correction. 2moro it's C4c4l and catch-up. To the gorgeous ones: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 18th: lovely day with plenty of sunshine but glued to the desk with catch-up on various matters, including final accounts from Danby on Honey-buzzard yesterday. Met M at T4c4ll, time being put back as M was earlier on tour at Egger. LAF meeting at Eastburn, HEX, went better than expected with interesting presentation on A1 dualling in afternoon and plenty of lively discussion in evening session; next full meeting is 24/1 but arranging, as chair, meeting of WG1 for 28/11 in NCL. The endless series of cuts on the National Park continue; austerity needs to end now, hoping the government or at least TM get derailed by the Brexit issue! Made G4g4s where 2 mates out for good chat. Day ended brilliantly: lots of passion: she's gorgeous: lok2tmbo!!!!! 2moro it's familiar routine of N4c4l and W4g4s and continued catch-up!! xxxx!!

October 17th: lovely dry morning with lots of sunshine on light NW breeze and temperature 12C. What a fantastic last morning it proved to be with 3 Honey-buzzard migrants seen in Danby town area, 2 going off SE and the 3rd lingering but looking restless. Also over road to Danby Beacon had a Red Kite 1w at 10:45, another Common Buzzard (making 2 here) and a Kestrel 1w. Was taken aback by Honey-buzzard no.1; it appeared low-down in front of me (to E) as walked from Danby town to Moors Centre at 10:14, mobbed by Jackdaw, Rook and some small birds; this dark chestnut coloured bird climbed rapidly when out of sight behind a sycamore tree and moved W climbing steadily, where it was met by bird no.2, a pale-phase bird, at 10:20; this pale bird had been seen earlier climbing into the sky at 10:18; they did some mutual circling; they rejected the turn S down Danby Dale onto the open moors and chose decisively the SE direction down Eskdale, disappearing from view at 10:23 in glide-mode with wind behind. Honey-buzzard no. 3 was a dark-phase juvenile up from 12:06-12:10 to the SE of Crag Farm to SE of Danby. This bird was restless, climbing to some height mobbed by Jackdaw, before coming back to feed on the edge of the moors in woodland. Today confirms as hoped that Eskdale, running from WNW to ESE, is a significant route for Honey-buzzard juvenile taking them through much suitable habitat from Teesside/Cleveland towards Scarborough and Filey Brigg, where they can continue their journey inland parallel to the coast. The birds here are likely to have passed through Bywell in the Tyne Valley on their way S from Scotland. Wasps were everywhere today so plenty of food still. In Danby town had a Great Spotted Woodpecker and 25 Redwing (2 W). At the Moors Centre had 25 Brambling and 10 Siskin. We didn't get far as N quite fragile but that was good for my Honey-buzzard studies as could spend much time scanning the area. Train was on time and straight into G4g4t where met B, who used to work in a bank in Danby! Back home to get things organised, or something like that! 2moro it's T4c4c with M, quick trip out, LAF in HEX, G4g4s and maybe E!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 16th: dry today on light S/SW breeze, mild at 15C with some hazy sunshine and mist on the tops. We went to Castleton, moving S down Danby Dale to the church before returning via Ainthorpe again, all from 10:05-15:00. No Honey-buzzard today but did have some good raptors, starting at Low Danby Moor SW at 10:37 with a Red Kite 1w hunting over the moorland edge, followed at 11:29 by 5 Common Buzzard up as a family party mobbed by a cock Merlin at high altitude. Moving onto moors on W side of Danby Dale we had 2 Kestrel (1w, female), with another Kestrel 1w in Ainthorpe. Also had a House Martin SE, 5 Meadow Pipit (1 SW), 1 Chaffinch (S), 4 Fieldfare (4 SW), 146 Redwing (139 S, 2 W), 4 Goldcrest, 3 Song Thrush, 15 Woodpigeon (2 high from NE), Raven 1, Green Woodpecker 2. Bird types for today total 36, very rich area with migration in full swing. Raptor total for day is 10 birds of 4 types: Common Buzzard 5, Kestrel 3, Merlin 1, Red Kite 1. Total for trip rises to 37 birds of 6 types, and this in what is supposed to be a disaster area for raptors with heavy persecution; you can only judge after seeing for yourself! Many wasps around still with total c100 on 3 clumps of flowering ivy. Had lamb chops tonite in recognition of the many sheep in the area. Tomorrow it's ex-DAN at 13:50 for HEX direct, escorted by N, who's done his back in so he may need some help. Thursday sees JLAF in afternoon and evening, which not that keen on as meetings are so boring but will see how it goes. Next week have a musical event every night from Tuesday-Saturday (2 opera, 2 small is beautiful, 1 orchestral), with trips to Sx2, TRx2, Px1. Isn't that exciting!! Will have to improvise over next few days! Funds -2k over start of this week as some continuation of selling from last week but some stability returning tonight on Wall Street and in PoO. Looking forward to return: no more trips before RSA: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 15th: still way S; another walk around Danby town from 10:00-14:05 going S a little as far as Danby Castle. Weather was gloomy at start with intermittent drizzle, but cloud level was rising well midday and visibility became excellent; highlights were Common Buzzard 4 (adult and juvenile, 2 separate adult), Kestrel 1 (adult male hovering), Raven 8, Meadow Pipit 4 (1 S), Red Grouse 2, Redwing 12, in high total of 30 species; also had 10 wasp on flowering ivy at Danby Castle. Did have some views to SE towards Crag Farm with superb woodland in area on steep wooded sides with moorland above, very similar to Towsbank in upper South Tyne. In this area had a funnel of 6 Common Buzzard, escorted by a male Sparrowhawk, a Red Kite, 8 Raven up together, 50 Redwing SE, and the star a juvenile dark-phase Honey-buzzard, up from 12:01-12:06 surrounded by Jackdaw as came up out of the wood behind Crag Farm, rising very slowly shaking nearly all of them off as went high with weather starting to clear; the youngster then moved very slowly SE disappearing out of sight. The juvenile had almost certainly not been bred locally - it's too late to still be on site - but this wood probably held a breeding pair earlier. We were very energetic having decent walk to Danby Beacon (300m asl) in afternoon from 14:05-16:15 seeing a grouse moor in all its glories; here we had, in total of 13 species, Red Grouse 35, Jay 2, Woodpigeon 1 (migrant, very high from NE), Common Buzzard 1 cross adult, Golden Plover 3, a flock of 11 geese (10 Pink-footed, 1 Greylag). Two Common Buzzard were up to NE over Black Dike Moor. Total for raptors today was 17 of 5 types: Common Buzzard 13, Kestrel 1, Red Kite 1, Sparrowhawk 1, Honey-buzzard 1, to add to the single Common Buzzard and Kestrel seen yesterday. Had plenty of coffee at National Park centre and another enormous meal in evening at DoW. Quite an indulgent visit and bird life is rewarding; we've timed it well as another route for Honey-buzzard migrants from Scotland yields results; birds here are likely to have passed through Bywell in the Tyne Valley. This is not a long visit: back for more pleasure soon with the lovelies: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Need to catch up with recent migrants on Bird Guides but this one today, or its accomplices, could be over us tomorrow:

15/10 15:26 Cleveland : European Honey Buzzard, Long Drag one flew over towards Greenabella

October 14th: missed a day, too much excitement!! Added April and May 2017 bird-lists from spreadsheet to BirdTrack; next up is last quarter of 2017. Copy has arrived via Amazon of paperback This is Your Brain on Music: Understanding a Human Obsession, by Daniel Levitin, Penguin (2006). I've cited it already but thought would be good to read all of its 306pp. Yesterday did make C4c4l where good to meet trhwso and tbld, not forgetting free cup of coffee in recognition of refit of Hexham store! Today is Sunday so must be in Danby on North Yorkshire Moors with N: we came by train to Duke of Wellington Inn, from Tyne Valley with no changes but took a while! We're near the east coast: many migrants dropping out of the sky from Scandinavia, or in significant mobile flocks, such as Redwing (26), Lesser Redpoll (24), Siskin (1), Song Thrush (4), Blackbird (2), Chaffinch, Brambling (1), always a great sight as they complete their dash across the North Sea. Local bird of prey comprised a Common Buzzard and an adult male Kestrel. Total was 23 bird species for Danby town from 14:40-18:00. Earlier at Ordley, realised movement was on as at 10:45 had a group of 8 Redwing pass high overhead from E before spiralling downwards into my field, to feed on haws; obviously discerning birds. Weather was damp with light rain up to 17:00 but visibility was good throughout, meaning migrants would not land on the coast but a few km inland where plenty of berries. Migrating birds do not benefit from rest unless they're feeding as well to replenish fat (fuel) reserves. Wish u were here: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

October 12th: another concert, this time at a packed Level-1 S, with inspiring solo piano performance by John Lill, playing works by Beethoven Moonlight Sonata, Prokofiev Sonata 6, Schumann Kinderszenen and Chopin: Polonaise F sharp minor, Nocturne in C minor, Ballade 4. Liked it all but favourites were the Prokofiev and the Chopin Polonaise. Went with N; we had meal at MP earlier. Pretty wet day in NCL, particularly in evening. Did a lot in L&P on music/monad paper, concluding with having a look at basics of monad composition in CT. Had a flu jab on Thursday morning at Boots: no reaction so far. Day started and finished in style: hormone levels peak on waking: gr8 to keep in touch with the gorgeous one: lok2tgrf!!!!!

A pretty traumatic fortnight in the world markets with the ftse -7%; plenty of reasons cited but they all seem to boil down to Trump with his over-heating of the US economy through tax cuts at the wrong stage of the economic cycle leading to interest rate rises and his trade wars, particularly with China, leading to increased costs for US suppliers through the tariffs on imported goods and to lower confidence generally; unilateral sanctions on Iran leading to oil price rises are another feather in his cap. Own funds had a week to compare to that in February at -18k reducing gain on year to 117k gross, 91k net. Looking at the last 2 weeks together, the ftse has dropped 7% while own funds are down 12k, a little over 1%, with cash up to 148k. Performing as the market over the year with ftse -9% would have cost me roughly 200k; EM so popular with many UK investors are down c20% now on the year. Increased holdings of oilies on Friday after shake-out, so now have this year's winnings on the sector (a tactic not unknown to punters everywhere!); can we please have US sanctions on Saudi oil supplies? Worrying times but opportunities can occur when everyone's selling!

October 11th: completed adding remaining casual records to BirdTrack from 2017 from a spreadsheet, all 289 of them. It was a bit fraught because of the strange way some of locations in the BirdTrack database had been augmented with the grid reference as part of the name, giving matching problems. So if I have Ordley in my spreadsheet for the locality, the entry in BirdTrack was Ordley (NY95P) with the same grid reference also being held elsewhere in the BirdTrack database as NY95P. Have to say the genius at BirdTrack who designed this would not have passed my database exams: unnecessary duplication of data, lack of clarity in attribute design, potential problems in updates giving inconsistent data, difficulties in transactions in matching data held. My solution was to manually edit the locations held in BirdTrack one at a time, removing the grid reference from the locality name, which took some time. If they add them again, I'll get the gun out! Next step is to add complete lists for April and May. Why are there so many f.....g amateur database designers around!!

Made concert in evening at Wylam Brewery, not in Wylam but in Exhibition Park, NCL. It's a very good set-up there with a big bar and dining area and an intimate auditorium. Love minimal music, having heard some of course at Brundibár! Favourites were John Adams' Shaker Loops (beautiful rhythms, expertly played) and Michael Nyman's Concerto for Harpsichord and Strings, with Mahan Esfahani as brilliant soloist. Page turner, keeping up with the frantic pace, was Maia, daughter of Petia Sice, who met afterwards; she comes from Sofia and is a Reader in my old school at unn; we had a good reunion| N cried off, his gardener leaving late?? Stayed overnight, algorithm of using external booker producing dividends. Still in NCL as can get some work done at L&P before another concert tonight so usual routine of CT4s4l and MP4m4t with N. Very satisfying visit: she's got a gr8 sense of rhythm and looks brill: absolutely fab: lok2tgrf!!!!!!

October 10th: warm today at 18C on light S breeze, dry with bright sunshine. Made Stocksfield Mount from 15:20-16:40 but did not see any Honey-buzzard, suggesting a swift exit this year for the juveniles in the fair conditions. Had a Red Kite at Farnley at 15:15, being mobbed by a Crow, and a Common Buzzard juvenile soaring over the Mount. Migrants comprised 2 Linnet SW and a Chaffinch W. Late butterflies comprised 2 Comma and a Speckled Wood, and a male Vapourer moth and a Southern Hawker dragonfly were also spotted. Will give a review!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 9th: fresh SW breeze, dry, sunny spells, mild. Went on walk with Hexham Rotary Club, 13 of us doing 10km in 3 hours from Allendale Town to Oakpool to Catton to Allendale Town, finishing with meal for 16 at the Golden Lion. Total was 18 bird species, plus 2 November Moth. Birds of prey comprised a Common Buzzard and 2 Kestrel (adult male, 1w) at Oakpool, a female 1w Sparrowhawk dashing across road and over hedge at E end of Yarridge on way out and, best of all, at 14:55 a brown juvenile Honey-buzzard out over the rough pasture with plenty of juncus on W edge of Yarridge on way back, moving slowly against the fresh SW breeze keeping close to the ground. It eventually moved out of sight, still moving towards the open moor. It appears to be a migrant moving SW. Making great strides with 2017 records, completing butterfly records for Wiltshire in spring and about to add all remaining casual bird records in one go to BirdTrack.

October 8th: sorting out records from the visit to Wiltshire last spring, completed addition of bird records to BirdTrack and still adding Lepidoptera records to my spreadsheet. Added adjointness diagram to music/monad paper.

October 7th: weather was dry but very windy with fresh W breeze, 11C. Did a lot of 'gardening' in morning, mowing a 2nd large area out the back including 2 frontier zones and another where some small branches had accumulated: all good exercise, love a large garden! Did photograph some more leaf mines from part of garden closer to house. Made C4c4ll where pleased to again meet tbld!! Going through 2017 lepidoptera records in detail, adding those not yet on the spreadsheet; requires quite a lot of analysis but will be worth it to maintain the long-term series! Final appointment of day was G4g4s where J was on!! Met P and the dommies gang with plenty of gr8 crack!! 2moro it's N4c4l, R @ B4m4s with prior committee meeting at 17:45, G4g4s. To bed at 00:40, could do with some fulfilling company!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 6th: made Dipton Wood near N tip from 14:55-16:15. Weather was great with almost continuous sunshine on light NW breeze, completely dry, 11C maximum. No Honey-buzzard today; suspect many have left now, even Scottish birds, as a number of fine days with NW breeze have been had, ideal for emigration for the juveniles, who can cover 250km in a day. Did have 2 Common Buzzard up, an adult and a 1w at 15:00. Highlight was 7 Whooper Swan (2 adult, 5 1w, good-sized family party) W, over Tyne Valley at 15:40 and a Lesser Redpoll S. Total for birds was just 8 types. Leaf mines on birch were a major focus at Dipton Wood, finding at least 5 types, with others on beech, rowan and bramble; also had 2 Silver Y feeding on late blue flowers in a boggy patch An adult male Kestrel has been at Ordley the last 2 days and a Barn Owl was flushed off a fence near Letah Wood last Thursday night. Earlier made C4c4l where trhwso looked very sensuous!! FT was relaxed about recent falls in markets as a whole though quite a number of worries about high level of Wall Street (US) in particular. Later made Z4m4s with P/A; impressed, we had 2 courses, Kingfisher beer, all with good service for £24 a head. Finished off at Cnt4g4s!! Hexham was very busy. The Gulls had another stirring win in FA Cup qualifying round 4, seeing off Brightlingsea Regent, in Essex 3-0. 2moro it's some 'gardening', C4c4ll, walk-out and G4g4s!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 5th: day was dominated by concert Rachlin Double at S, going to rehearsal and performance. First back to old haunts at CT4s4l, which hasn't changed a bit! Thought magic numbers might be 8↓11←!! Rehearsal was not well attended by pp; think some were waiting for a reminder. It was certainly thorough with the strings detained until 18:00 by which time I was down at p&p, after signing off the revised bank form for my principal flute sponsorship at 2k/year. The first half was brilliant with Beethoven's Egmont and Schubert 8; indeed I thought that was better than the 2nd half, where the violin and viola soloists excelled but didn't really fancy Ponderecki's Concerto Doppio, which found rather eclectic; in the rehearsal we had 4 chiefs (AJ, JR, SM, BC) for this piece with clarinettist and trumpeter also chipping in so much animated discussion, which enjoyed! The concluding Sinfonia Concertante by Mozart was exquisite, with Julian Rachlin on violin and partner Sarah McElravy on viola, getting enormous applause. The actual performance was considerably better than the rehearsal with JR and the RNS pulling everything together. Made bar @ S 4 final drink: had good chat with SR who's at the Brewery next week! Day finished so beautifully: rose to the occasion: she's very fanciable: lok2tgrf!!!!! Funds had a wild week, after making record highs on Tuesday, lost just over half the gains by Friday, finishing at +6k. Markets world-wide slumped on Thursday and Friday with ftse 2.55% down as both £ and bond yields rose. Did some selling myself, taking profits and finishing with 72k cash. PoO is still over $84 a barrel. It's late now: 02:55 but it is the weekend. 2moro it's out in Hexham in evening with P/A at Zyka at 19:00: not sure what we're celebrating! Earlier will make C4c4l!! xxxx!!

October 4th: sunny morning giving way to drizzle in afternoon with bright interlude early evening before very wetting rain took over. Started autumn final maintenance in garden in the interlude, cutting some long grass out the back: good exercise!! Got up earlier at 08:30 and sorted out some descriptions early-on before making N4c4l at 12:30. Did make G4g4s where gr8 to have A on again: we get on well!! There were 6 of us out for good crack!! Made a lot of progress on music/monad paper, completing middle section on the musical brain in CT; it was easy to write as there's a natural fit! Might finish first draft in a week, ahead of what I'd anticipated. Markets firmly down at moment after wobbly Wednesday and traumatic Thursday but still well afloat this week: there are too many chancers in the market at the moment!! 2moro it's CT4c4l, S4reh, p&p4t, S4con: looking forward to it all!! It's 00:35 now, so keeping to revised schedule!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

October 3rd: cloudy, mild and dry in morning at 13C on moderate W breeze; sun came out at 15:00 as I neared Stocksfield Mount, which visited from 15:05-16:45. At 15:16 again had a double emigration (see 28/9) as from the Tyne area near Bywell Bridge an adult Red Kite and a juvenile Honey-buzzard both came up quickly and they went away gliding at speed to SE at moderate altitude with the breeze behind. The Honey-buzzard was pale ruddy with extensive white on the inside of the secondaries, broad dark tip to wings and some darker markings on the upper-side, giving it a pale mottled appearance; it was not one of the 3 birds seen here last Thursday. The Red Kite is of course another great observation, supporting the idea that our population is at least partly migratory, so not on site in late autumn, winter and early spring, which is one reason the FoRKers have found so few! Other raptors were a Common Buzzard and a juvenile Red Kite floating some distance apart over Eltringham at 15:53. Had 2 Chaffinch SW in total of 13 species. Also found lots of leaf mines: it's now or never for this study, before the leaves drop off. The mines are visible over the next 2 weeks as the larvae approach maturity. Had good chat with M at T4c4c and with B at G4g4t, where good to meet J off-duty!! 2moro it's N4c4l and G4g4s and maybe some more fieldwork. Next summer it looks like Edinburgh and Oxford for conferences with 2 international meetings lined up on theoretical and applied sides respectively; will also make ANPA in Hampshire as usual. Trying to get to bed earlier as cannot go on safari with my current habits: 00:30 tonite: will surely be sweet dreams: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

October 2nd: sunny today but very breezy with gusts up to 60kph from the W. No fieldwork today. Have caught up on a few records and started on the brain/monad section for the music paper; latter's going well using the ANPA talk as the basis. Really quite a laid-back day, after dawn raid on stocks, making a leisurely N4c4l and an almost empty R&C4m4s with A! Had 4 Badger on the road (all fit!) plus a big hatch of November Moth and a few Green-brindled Crescent. Donated £23 to Sage in response to an appeal from RNS Rocks concert, initiated by Maxïmo Park. Gr8 end to day: can't keep away: she's irresistible: lok2tmbo!!!!! 2moro it's T4c4c with M, trip out, G4g4t to hear all about Dubrovnik from B!! xxxx!!

Not a bad start for funds to week at +15k, taking gross gain on year to an all-time record 144k and net gain also to a record 117k. PoO is now up to $85 a barrel so top up your tanks! China's playing a very clever game: USA thought it would covertly buy the blockaded Iranian oil but China's announced proudly it's not breaking sanctions and is going to satisfy its requirements through the open market, thus putting extra strain on prices and on USA consumers, just before the mid-terms! Trade wars, including manoeuvres such as Brexit, create a complete mess! All natural resource stocks are rallying now from their low points of a month ago on EM/trade worries. Have again built up a significant position in North Sea oil stocks, including ENQ, which is in the middle of a rights issue (cash raise from new equity offer to existing shareholders to improve liquidity; my share's 11k). Although they're UK stocks, they sell in $ with some costs in £ so are relatively safe in a £ crisis. Recent transfers from bonds to stocks have reached 275k but planning to ease off now, maybe cap at 300k for now. Total funds exceed 106+105 for 1st time.

October 1st: very cool for time of year with maximum 11C in the 'Shire on moderate NW breeze with rain arriving in late afternoon. Lit solid-fuel fire for 3rd time this autumn: very cosy, should make more use of the shag-pile carpet!! Explored garden and field for leaf mines; may have found 14 sorts, needs more analysis; very satisfactory as they're very sensitive to herbicides and pesticides; some parts of field not accessible as vegetation is like the jungle! Finished write-up of section on topos for music, now for introducing the monad on to the mysterious minds of musicians! Have 2 events lined up next week, with minimalists at Wylam Brewery and Piano Greats (with N) at Sage; may sleep-over for former!! Had good meal at R @ B4m4l; much later made G4g4s where 5 of us out, putting the world right! 2moro it's N4c4l and R&C4m4s, latter with A. Expect rapid catch-up with records in the next few weeks as well as completion of draft of topos/music paper. Faites de beaux rêves à la beauté: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 30th: end of fledging period for Honey-buzzard fixed at 26/9 with 5 juvenile migrants recorded since; no gangs reported yet this season. Have brought home page up to date with the latest totals. At least 36 juveniles were found at 24 sites, indicating yet another year of high productivity. Weather was cool 11C, moderate W breeze, sunny, dry. Out to lane near Eastwood Common from 15:40-17:25, with the only raptor being a Sparrowhawk juvenile female up twice hunting over area. In total of 13 bird species also had 3 Swallow S, 34 Carrion Crow, 3 Jay, 1 Yellowhammer. No Honey-buzzard, Red Kite or butterflies but did find plenty of the larvae of leaf-mining micro moths: Ectoedemia occultella (birch), Phyllonorycter maestingella (beech), Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella (birch), Stigmella aurella (bramble), Stigmella hemargyrella (beech), Stigmella hybnerella (hawthorn), Stigmella magdalenae (rowan), Stigmella oxyacanthella (hawthorn). Earlier had a juvenile Kestrel at Ordley at 11:30 and 30 Lapwing at Dilston. After W4shop did make C4c4ll where very pleased to meet tbld!! Had another massive sauce cook, converting 2 x mince, red onion, carrot, mushroom, 2 x tinned tomato, garlic, parsley, marjoram, thyme, paprika, into 9 meals, 8 for the freezer and one to eat with spaghetti today; had finished last lot this past week in clear-out! Final trip was to G4g4s where lots of good crack!! Even met A again, who's given up her evening slot! This week sees S4con on Friday, including rehearsal; N's absent, at his country residence in S. Looks like G on Monday and R&C on Tuesday. Samedi soir c'est bien mais vendredi soir c'est mieux!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Nationally in UK 4 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides since 26/9 (count 46 birds for month, 75 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 223 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 264 records).

30/09 16:20 Bedfordshire : European Honey Buzzard, Dunstable dark morph juvenile flew over late afternoon

30/09 11:39 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Thorpeness one flew in off sea then inland before heading southwest (10:30)

30/09 07:18 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Linby one flew south over Linby Trail yesterday (29/09 12:45)

[ 28/09 11:19 Aberdeenshire : Rough-legged Buzzard, Cruden Bay one in off the sea at Slains Castle then flew west over bay ]

27/09 11:59 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Hildenborough flew southwest over clubhouse at Nizels Golf Course

September 29th: Red Kite continue to be everywhere: a family group of 4 birds was at Rudchester near A69 on drive to CAL at 16:30; 2 adults and a juvenile were circling low over the ground and another juvenile was ½ km to the W. Earlier completed prototype of topos diagram for musical performance, quite a landmark, and made C4c4l where trhwso looked gr8!! Made MP4m4t with N where it was far busier than recently: good atmosphere and meal!! Then onto S4con where BBC Scottish Symphony were playing a programme of Scandinavian music. Maestro Thomas Dausgaard has a wicked touch, inviting the audience to sing along in parts of Finlandia with the provided sheet music. Well we did our best but Finnish is obviously not a strong point of Tynesiders! Sibelius' Violin Concerto will have been the highlight for many with Viktoria Mullova again giving a stirring performance; I love the final movement, a real blend of the composer's orchestral moments and virtuoso violin. N was sitting a few rows back, next to one of her fans who whistled and cheered in the applause and was later seen walking up the stairs with her! The symphony was Nielsen 2, which is upbeat and ff: very exhilarating! Recognised the talented principal flautist CA who played with the RNS several times after JB left! So a very good evening and retired to the pub4g4s; N went home: too noisy in the toon for him. Was extra wary tonight as the football results are making people angry: never seen such depressed supporters getting on at HAY after the match; they're normally inscrutable. The Gulls after winning 7-0 last week in the FA Cup QR2 (1st FA cup match won in 10 years!), managed to draw 2-2 with the league leaders Woking, scoring twice in the last 10 minutes. Nite ended perfectly: so s.xy: like the ending: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l followed by trip out and G4g4s!! xxxx!!

September 28th: cold overnight down to 3C but a beautiful sunny day followed, up to 13C on light NW breeze. At last got some direct evidence for some of our Red Kite being migratory! Made Dipton Wood N end from 15:00-16:35. At 15:30 had an adult Red Kite over Linnels Bridge area, being mobbed by a Crow at moderate altitude; the kite quickly came back to the ground. At Dipton Wood E had a juvenile Red Kite up at 15:25, mobbed by a Crow, over fields further E; another juvenile Red Kite was up at 15:38 over the woodland on E side of wood. Then some amazing action began. Two Honey-buzzard juvenile, pale brown and dark, came out of the woods on E side of Dipton Wood and from 15:44-15:46 effortlessly climbed into the sky with no circling to a great height, accompanied by an adult Red Kite; they then proceeded to drift S now almost out of visibility from the ground. From 15:47-15:48 they were followed by another juvenile Honey-buzzard (ruddy) and another adult Red Kite, which again went very high before drifting S. The birds were all keeping their distance from one another but were acting in some kind of unison. Also had a juvenile Kestrel. So that's 9 raptors of 3 types: 5 Red Kite (3 adult, 2 juvenile), 3 Honey-buzzard (all juvenile), 1 Kestrel (juvenile). I didn't think the Honey-buzzard were a gang: they looked more like long-distance migrants from Scotland. It's perhaps worth mentioning that Honey-buzzard are genetically closer to kites than buzzards, their name being a misnomer. It does appear that the migratory Red Kite have adopted habits not that dissimilar to Honey-buzzard, which arrive on site in May and depart in September. Where do the kites go? That's not clear but it's worth noting that Scandinavian and German Red Kite are migratory, moving SW in autumn, and large numbers have been seen in spring in SW England. Total of 17 species included 3 Jay, 2 calling Chiffchaff, 1 Greater Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Common Crossbill, 11 mobile Siskin. Driving through Dipton Wood in evening had a Barn Owl (at 22:00, flushed from side of road as entering village from N), 2 Badger, a Rabbit and a Hedgehog. Made N4c4l and W4g4s with 6 of us out at latter for good chat. Have had discussions with NH over sponsorship of the RNS flautists, upgrading to principal flute from Monday at a cost of £500 per quarter, up from £375. Also paid £60 to HASS for their November production of Evita in QH, Hexham, which unfortunately cannot attend. Funds bounced all over the place this week: +1k on Monday up to +4k on Tuesday before declining to -6k on Friday morning (Italy crisis) and recovering to +1k by close of play. So end result is a new peak at +129k before disbursements bringing net gain to 102k. PoO is soaring, up to $83 a barrel for Brent with many analysts expecting $100 in the next few months; expect petrol prices to go higher as £ is also weak against the $. 240K now moved out of bonds, which don't look good in a Brexit foul-up. Son's maisonette purchase has been given the all-clear by the Halifax; he was having a partial survey done yesterday; very pleased with that!! 2moro it's C4c4l, CAL-NCL (train strike), MP4m4t with N, S4con with MV again. Cherche l'amour: le sentiment est réciproque: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 27th: end of fledging part of season is around now; juveniles in lowland areas at this time are likely to be migrants from further N but a few in upland areas, like on 26/9, will be locally bred. Today morning was very warm at 19C, again with steady breeze, this time moderate from W; cloud increased from 13:30. Went to Bywell on top road above Bywell Home Farm from 11:45-13:30 and had another successful day. First up at 11:59 was a juvenile Red Kite followed at 12:46 by an adult, both over the stubble field to the N, which also held 2 juvenile Kestrel, hunting almost throughout the visit. Over Mowden Hall had another juvenile Red Kite at 13:15 and a Common Buzzard soaring at 13:06. Had 3 Honey-buzzard. A dark-phase bird was up at 12:08 flying over the stubble field to N where after hanging for a while it landed; slightly further away at 12:08 was a dark ruddy Honey-buzzard juvenile which disappeared to W low-down; at 12:43 the dark-phase bird was over the copse in the middle of the stubble field before leaving low-down to W to feed on another field. At 12:55 a pale-phase Honey-buzzard came out of the Cottagebank area, hanging for a while over the field to W before drifting towards Broomley, where it again stalled for a while before going down over pasture. These 3 birds never interacted as siblings usually do so presume they're unrelated and have assigned them as migrants from Scotland. No other Honey-buzzard were seen so no signs of a gang; the appearance of gangs is very unpredictable as they're short-lived and may depend on subtle factors not fully understood yet. Provisional total was 9 raptors of 4 types: 3 Red Kite, 3 Honey-buzzard, 2 Kestrel, 1 Common Buzzard. Also had on the stubble field a Woodlark, 3 Skylark, 5 Linnet. 3 Swallow flew S and a Chaffinch SW, in total of 20 species. Yet another good day for kites! Butterflies comprised 7 Small White and a Peacock. Made N4c4ll and W4shop b4 getting home for catch-up. Much later made G4g4s where 6 of us out for good chat! Think algorithm gives 'favourable' treatment if you book directly so … 2moro it's N4c4l and trip out later maybe to Dipton Wood to look at another area where gangs have occurred, completing final topos diagram and finishing with W4g4s!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 26th: warm today at 19C in a sunny afternoon but a constant fresh W breeze made it feel a bit cooler. After good chat with M at T4c4c and gr8 sighting in Hexham of tmeo made Slaley Forest Rawgreen from 15:15-16:40, one of the sites where I find the nest. From 15:24-15:25 had an adult and juvenile Red Kite up together near Viewley, diving at each other so yet another site for the kite; their population has increased since 2016 when 30 pairs but may not show up in this year's raw figures because coverage is down; there seem to be more broods of 2 now than in the early years of colonisation, a sign they're becoming better established. At 15:42 and 15:55 a 2nd duller Red Kite juvenile was up on its own in the Honey-buzzard nesting area. A dark ruddy-brown juvenile Honey-buzzard flew out of the nesting area to N at 15:36, reappearing from N at 15:40 and proceeding to hang over the nesting area until 15:45; this behaviour is common to all Honey-buzzard before emigration; suspect they're imprinting their natal area on their mind so that they can recognise it when, from being a juvenile, they return home in 20 months time from Africa as a 3cy bird in May 2020. This juvenile drifted off to NW at low altitude, maybe to leave tomorrow or to join briefly a concentration of juveniles prior to emigration: a gang! Its elder sibling may have left already. Fledged young have now been seen at all 6 sites in the 'Shire. There were signs of autumn immigration from Scandinavia: 10 Goldcrest, 1 Song Thrush, 1 Chiffchaff; 11 Mistle Thrush was also noteworthy. Butterflies were conspicuous in sheltered areas: 8 Speckled Wood, 7 Small White, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, plus a male Vapourer moth. Single Red Admiral were also at Ordley and Hexham S. So a successful trip out! Made G4g4t to meet the lads! Back home for yet another meal from freezer: emptying it after the power-cut last week though it didn't defrost significantly. 2moro it's out looking for a gang at Bywell b4 N4c4ll; not sure about evening, might have to be impromptu!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Nationally in UK 3 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (4 birds) since 20/9 (count 42 birds for month, 71 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 219 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 260 records).

26/09 13:23 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Sandwich Bay two flew south this morning [someone can identify juveniles with presumably 3 at the one locality!]

26/09 11:09 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Sandwich Bay one flew over (10:45)

[ 26/09 09:01 Hertfordshire : Woodlark, Heartwood Forest one flew south ]

[ 25/09 16:52 Devon : Woodlark, Dawlish Warren NNR one in winter barley field by car park at 11:45 then flew towards field with turbine ]

25/09 16:42 London : European Honey Buzzard, Chessington one flew low and west over Hook late afternoon

September 25th: another gr8 day with BBC first up with R, getting bus from Swan, Heddon, at 09:15 and having 2 hour tour, ably escorted by D/S; we were shown the studios and the back-up organisation and met Alison Freeman who's on early-news duty this week while Colin Briggs is on holiday; we also saw Fiona Trott editing a news story before dashing off. It was very interesting from both technical and creative viewpoints! We made Sw4m4l (another 3-courser) which was very convivial, after which I made Throckley N for a walk from 15:00-16:40 seeing 2 Honey-buzzard juvenile, a Red Kite juvenile (up at 15:10 over rough pastures to E), a Kestrel juvenile, a Sparrowhawk male juvenile; so all young birds up in the moderate W breeze with veiled sunshine. The first Honey-buzzard was a dark-phase bird up at 15:22, hanging over the rough pastures to E of the site, where the Red Kite had been seen earlier. The second bird was up over the large larch plantation to N at 15:27; this bird was also dark-phase but was a heavier bird with a fuller tail; the other bird was last seen drifting S in the opposite direction to the larch plantation. Total was 20 species of birds, including 14 House Martin E, 3 Swallow feeding, 6 Herring Gull, 6 Linnet. One butterfly was recorded: a Comma, and some cones were found on hawthorn. A Southern Hawker dragonfly was hunting over a hedgerow. Then CAL-NCL where met N at MP4m4t, the 4th 3-course meal since Sunday evening, b4 making S4con to see Stradavarius In Rio with * violinist Viktoria Mullova, accompanied by guitar, cello, percussion. That was marvellous with many Brazilian rhythms and tunes played superbly!! Have to say her forte is Bach and she didn't let herself go expression-wise, maybe valuing intonation over articulation! We see VM again on Saturday. We went to pub for a quickie. Finale was most impressive: she's gorgeous: so intense: lok2tgrf!!!!! Funds are +4k as PoO continues to climb to almost $82; there are some headwinds with the £ rallying again and may get some profit-taking soon, by others. 2moro it's T4c4c with M, G4g4t and trip out around lunchtime. xxxx!!

September 24th: train back was on time; car was cold, obviously close to a frost last night but it was sunny and cool for rest of day on a light NW breeze; processed some more of the results from Wylam E on 22/9 and updated home page. Trip to Bellingham Heritage Centre with R was fun; it was such a thriving place in the early 19th century with coal and iron industries but rapidly declined c1850 paradoxically as the railway reached it, but also reached many other places opening up competition. The loss of so much moorland to forestry was also highlighted in the 20th century as Kielder Forest was planted. We had dinner in a railway carriage at the Centre; I managed 3 enormous courses which tasted good but were served rather slowly meaning we were 50 min late leaving at 22:20. Plenty of good humour and interest in the visit! No time to rest: full day coming up: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 23rd: great day out!! Had good chat with N at MP, mainly on how can a governing party tear itself apart and be totally unfit to run the country: bring on JC maybe or maybe not!! Made Gala Concert, which was a bit of a marathon from 18:30-22:30, not just for the music but also for the wine, which was in free supply to pp on Level 3. Liked the layout for the Venetian Sky, particularly in the detail!! Difficult to pick out highlights in the concert but personal favourites were Prokofiev's Classical Symphony, Poulenc's Concert Champêtre with Iranian Mahan Esfahani on the harpsichord, and Brahms' Haydn Variations. Favourite colour was turquoise!! It was a very fine celebration of the 60th anniversary of the (R)NS. Hotel was OK but need to investigate the booking algorithm. Nuit très satisfaisante: elle est fabuleuse: une vraie tentatrice: lok2tgrf!!!!! This evening it's Bellingham with R for adventure out including meal, followed by G4g4s. 2moro it's trip to BBC in NCL with R in morning, lunch at Swan in Heddon, out in the field at Throckley N, CAL-NCL, MP4m4t with N, S4con – Stradavarius In Rio, busy times!! xxxx!!

September 22nd: morning was grey and cool with improvement seen in afternoon so it was C4c4l followed by trip out, not to Mount, but to Wylam E from 14:50-16:55 where thought there were more unanswered questions. Weather did improve becoming very sunny on cool, moderate NW breeze. Had good time with raptors but still analysing piccies so will put up details shortly. FT was interesting read; most columnists had obviously written their columns before Friday's sharp rally; cash in £ is not a good option if we're going to crash out of Europe. 2moro with N it's MP, S4con&party with13:53 ex RDM, returning 10:55 ex NCL. xxxxxxxxx!!!!!

The North of England Annual Raptor Forum to be held in York has as lead talk: Honey Buzzards – no longer a Scottish enigma, Brian Etheridge [from RSPB, Inverness]. Here's the programme for the day on 17/11. I will not be there as on my way back from safari and the world's leading congress on birds of prey: the Raptor Research Foundation conference in Kruger Park, RSA. A lot seems to be going wrong for my detractors: falsifying situations has a nasty way of catching up with you in natural affairs!! There's other developments of a significant nature which I will keep in reserve.

The paragraph below has gone on my Red Kite page Population of the Red Kite in SW Northumberland as summary of recent correspondence in the Hexham Courant:

Following an article on 16 August 2018 in Hexham Courant (p.14) Rescued Red Kite Returned to Wild on their web pages as Red kite rescued by staff at Tynedale bird of prey centre returns to wild, there were letters from NR Kites Established and the FoRKers Figure is Snapshot in Hexham Courant 30 August p.21. Here's scans of part 1 and part 2 of the letters with NR's also available as html. The letters put into the public domain NR's data showing at least 30 pairs of Red Kite breeding in south Northumberland in 2016 and the FoRKer's admission that their roost counts are an underestimate of the Red Kite population in the NE.

Nationally in UK 5 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides since 11/9 (count 38 birds for month, 67 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 215 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 257 records). There is normally a pause in emigration in mid-September after the bulk of the adults have left; then the juveniles start departing in numbers, most to be misidentified as Common Buzzard! Not sure they care but it's not exactly a recommendation for UK birder expertise in raptor id! See Misidentification of Juvenile Honey-buzzard.

20/09 08:54 Bedfordshire : European Honey Buzzard, The Lodge, Sandy dark morph juvenile flew north (08:45)

17/09 17:00 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Seasalter circling over levels then appeared to land

17/09 16:32 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Black Down NT probable flew south on Saturday [?]

17/09 13:41 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head flew out to see over old trapping area mid-afternoon (13:33)

14/09 16:05 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Higham pale morph flew west (15:30)

[ 14/09 11:14 Durham : Western Osprey, Whitburn Coastal Park one flew south close inshore (11:12) ]

[ 11/09 20:17 Durham : Western Osprey, Greenside one flew west low over fields just north of Rockwood Hill (15:15) ]

September 21st: weather not too kind for migrating Honey-buzzard with moderate NW breeze but it was sunny and a few might be tempted; 2moro looks better and will be out at the Mount before or after C4c4l. Made N4c4l for good atmosphere and S4con. Drifted down to p&p for a glass of wine, where could see the trendy Quaysiders! Concert was not your usual one, featuring groups on the front of the stage with the orchestra behind; did have a good view from Level 2 where we sit for rehearsals. Concert was leisurely paced with lengthy intervals and drink sales must have been well up on the more traditional concert, with the younger audience. The groups comprised Martha Hill, Field Music, Maxïmo Park, all based in the NE, which thought was a great touch. The overall sound effect was very pleasing; must have taken some blending with the different styles. Thought AY/SH looked the happiest with the format but everyone rose to the occasion with a packed Hall 1. AP commented on exit: we attracted a different audience. Made W4g4s off last train where met the gang! Day ended in ultra stimulating mode: absence makes the heart grow fonder: she's gorgeous: very motivating: lok2t grf!!!!!!!

Funds had a stellar week with strong rally in mining stocks, gaining 21k of which only 3k a direct result from weakness of £. Think mining/oil stocks still look very cheap after recent falls and the troubles with the £ on Brexit chaos only increases their appeal so holding firm. Have taken 175k over last 3 weeks out of bonds into top-line mining/oil stocks, with a drip-feed starting into more junior (speculative!) ones. Gain on year to a record high is 127k with net gain after disbursements of 101k, 8k short of record on 9/8 this year. ftse is 2.6% down on year and many people have lost money with EM so weak. Disbursements are reducing until Xmas with recent 1.5k to granddaughters, not yet filtered through, and 1k to Brundibár on 1/12 still to come. Safari should not cost much more; negotiating over stay from 4/11-6/11 in JNB area which looks like AfricaSky on their recommendation. xxxx!!

September 20th: saga of power-cut is below! Might be entitled to £70 compensation but there are a few corollaries! Enjoyed N4c4l and G4g4s, with 5 of us out at latter for good chat! Completed processing 17/9 records at Lewknor and elsewhere on M40, submitting them to BirdTrack; will do a final check on the piccies 2moro. Weather was drier in morning and wind dropped but rain was incredibly heavy later on light NE breeze. Honey-buzzard juvenile migrants will be getting frustrated, waiting for a break; Saturday looks more promising; adults will have left by now, save for those at the high altitude sites. Should make N4c4l 2moro and C4c4l on Saturday. A busy weekend beckons for RNS (and me!) where going to RNS Rocks 2moro evening via RDM 17:06, returning on last train to W4g4s with the gang! Sunday sees 60th anniversary of RNS; going with N to MP at 16:00 and concert; 3+ complimentary drinks in intervals in bar 3 -- stopping over!! So looking forward to it all: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 19th: wild day with some strong gusts and some small debris blowing all over the place. Power-cut started at 13:15 (19/9) and is still ongoing at 12:20 (20/09); think may be going into the record books for Ordley! Fortunately had 'phone and laptop fully charged and their batteries last a lot longer than they used to. So did a lot of work on the topos paper this evening in the gloom; getting near the final topos diagram, which I find satisfying! Earlier made T4c4c with M and G4g4t, where an exciting sighting: looks gr8!! So all a bit chaotic, waiting for freezer to defrost and intruder alarm battery to expire! Writing this at N at 12:20 (20/9) after recharging 'phone and laptop in library. Getting ready to light solid-fuel stove. May well make G4g4s later. Good news is that natural resource stocks are on a roll: so far best week for a while! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! PS power restored at 14:30 (20/9) so cut lasted 25 hours 15 minutes!

September 18th: journey back went well, comfortable and on time! Once back in HEX made W4shop. Weather was warm and sunny on moderate and gusty SW breeze. House was in good order after clean by S last Friday; very pleased to be home again!! We did make HoN4st4s where chat was a bit more varied than usual. After dropping A at S drifted E a little: brilliant reception: very natural: gr8 understanding: she's so s.xy: lok2tmbo!!!!!!! 2moro it's catch-up with normal socials at T4c4c with M and G4g4t minus B!! As expected funds perked up, even with further rise in £, gaining 3k on 1st 2 days of week. Expect this trend to continue as mining/oil stocks look very cheap after recent falls, even with the ongoing US/China trade spat. Have taken 145k out of bonds into top-line mining/oil stocks over last 3 weeks. xxxx!!

September 17th: out to the Chilterns in grand style with sis to grab another new site for Honey-buzzard in the western part that's in South Oxfordshire. Went to Lewknor on the W edge of the escarpment where a big cutting has been made for the M40 motorway in highly controversial work right through a nature reserve. There was considerable background noise from the motorway out in the open but the woods were effective screens. The M40 is of course the Red Kite capital in the UK (and probably in the world!) and there were plenty of these around having 10 from J2-J5 with a Common Buzzard at J1A; a further 6 Red Kite were over Watlington. The weather was incredibly warm for the time of year, reaching 24C on a light to moderate SW breeze. We parked the car in Lewknor at 12:00, returning at 15:40 after a climb up to top of Beacon Hill (260m asl) and stroll around Astor Rowant NNR, famous for its tiny Yellow Meadow Ants; we didn't see any of these, think you have to sit on a mound for a while and wait for the sensation!! In the distance was Bledlow, further along the escarpment to NE, and a proven Honey-buzzard and Hobby site (by me!).

Conditions were perfect for raptors and they obliged. Just out of Lewknor we had 2 raptors up in the air: a Common Buzzard juvenile and a youngish grey-brown Honey-buzzard juvenile; at 12:07 the latter had drifted over from Beacon Hill and it climbed to some height before gliding back slowly towards the hill again. Red Kite were around all the time and had an estimated 15 in the area by the end. The spectacle of raptors climaxed at 14:10 from the viewpoint at Beacon Hill when we had up in the air above the hill hanging in the breeze another Honey-buzzard juvenile, with warmer brown colouration, attended by 3 Hobby (adult male, juvenile male, juvenile female) in quite a display. In the same area were a family party of 3 Kestrel (female, 2 juvenile). One warm reddish-brown body Honey-buzzard feather on way down Beacon Hill; also a Woodpigeon kill, culprit not known. Back towards the village of Lewknor we had 3 more Common Buzzard (2 juvenile, 1 adult), including a very pale bird high-up. So total for trip was Red Kite 31, Common Buzzard 5, Hobby 3, Kestrel 3, Honey-buzzard 2; that's 44 raptors of 5 types. Total for all birds was 22 types, including 3 Swallow S. Butterflies were good with 7 types: Speckled Wood 8, Brimstone 1, Small Heath 8, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Small White 5, Large White 6, Green-veined White 2; for moths had a Silver Y, 1 blister on hazel of Phyllonorycter coryli and c100 mines on horse chestnut of Cameraria ohridella. Another bonus was a Hornet! So great trip out and another good trip to SE comes to an end. 2moro it's back to HEX; very much looking forward to that for a longer spell; looks like HoN4st4s with M/A and trip out!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

September 16th: was a grand day with birthday party going well at London Zoo with the highlights animal-wise of Asian Lion, Gorilla, tropical Butterfly House, Penguin Beach, not to mention the snakes!! We had good lunch and a special session later for birthday cake which meant we were running late. So we got a taxi to SB! Can see why Aurora have got what is almost a cult following, including my son who sat in row A; sis and I sat a little further back. Before ½ time we had Schubert's Wanderer and Gruber's Frankenstein!! the latter being zany and superficially childish but undoubtedly containing darker stories: it was influenced by Kurt Weill! After ½ time the full orchestra played Beethoven 5 without scores: amazingly dynamic and bright, with the Karajan touch in some respects; Herbert von K may be out of favour in some circles (e.g. Rattle) but IMHO his Beethoven symphonies are unsurpassed. The performance deserved its standing ovation and there were some truly brilliant individual contributions: a fitting climax to the summer tour!! Glad I went to appreciate it all!! We went for meal in SB at Strada to round off the day. Might be out in the Chilterns 2moro!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

September 15th: from 11:30-13:30 had walk around Pitshanger Park with sis followed by coffee in the shopping area and purchase of books for grandchildren at a local book shop. Weather: weak sunshine on cool W breeze. The wild-flower beds in the Park are looking good: a succession of flowers, many of which would be called weeds by some. Had 3 types of butterfly: Small White 5, Speckled Wood 1, Green-veined White 1, plus a Hornet. Bird types totalled 11, including Ring-necked Parakeet (15). Later caught 65 bus to Ham Parade followed by walk to daughter's house in Kingston, adjacent to Richmond Park, where son had just arrived. We gave out all the presents. I've upped the granddaughter's birthday money to 1k from this occasion so B got this with 0.5k to S as catch-up from February. We had meal there and then returned on 65 bus to Ealing. 2moro it's London Zoo at 11:00, meal there at 13:00, SB4con at 16:00 and SB4m4s with sis and myself joining son for concert and meal afterwards!! Sera une journée fantastique: les critiques sont géniales: bonne chance à la star: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 14th: good trip down, all on time and pleased to see big sis again!! Had a Sparrowhawk juvenile female up over Hexham N, making 7 types of raptor in 2 days. Sparrowhawk are easier to find in suburbs than the countryside. Had an adult male Honey-buzzard over Ryton Willows at 11:00, gliding smoothly down over the nesting area into nearby trees; looks like late nesting here. 2moro sees local walk around Pitshanger and shopping for presents; in evening going round to Kingston for close-family reunion (no children at Froxfield do!). Sunday fun is as before!! Markets had a better second half to week though £ continues to rise. Own funds were -2k after 5k write-down of BRL (previously MIO) investment to reflect recent falls in junior miners generally. Gain on year is 107k before withdrawals of 26.6k. Have significant amounts in front-line miners now: we're ½ way through the month of peril without a major incident: don't hold your breath! Quatorze est le nombre: ce sera génial: bonne chance: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 13th: out to the upper South Tyne in the late afternoon after close study of weather forecast for Alston; this indicated VG visibility and a sunny interlude in the prevailing damp weather. Made Williamston from 16:00-18:30 where the sun was coming out on arrival; it stayed sunny for 80 minutes before low cloud returned and driving rain resumed. So spot on weather forecast! A break such as this around normal peak raptor activity times (11:00-13:00, 15:30-17:00) gives optimal conditions as the birds have pent-up energy and are hungry!! So it proved this afternoon with 9 Common Buzzard (perhaps 3 family parties), 2 Kestrel juveniles and a Red Kite juvenile (at 16:16) all up over the heather of the grouse moor on the ridge at the same time, 16:10-16:30. Making brief appearances were a juvenile female Goshawk, patrolling over the S end of the ridge at 16:23, and a juvenile female Hobby, mobbing a high-flying Common Buzzard at 16:46. There were of course Honey-buzzed in such a rich environment: a female was glimpsed briefly at 16:04, 16:26 and 16:30 but she was shy, sheltering behind tree cover, given half a chance; a ruddy juvenile was up at 16:30, again briefly and keeping out of view as far as possible; further S on my walk, 2km from base, the female was flushed at close range at 17:03 from a small pasture, flying through the nest-wood before gaining height and watching me closely; at 17:04 a dark-phase juvenile was seen low-down below the female and at 17:22 when the rain started this bird was out on the fell, landing in a copse. Honey-buzzard aren't too fazed by rain, with their equatorial forest background, and this juvenile came out of the copse after a few minutes to resume foraging on the open moor in the wet. Juvenile Kestrel on the road, so to speak, comprised singles at Willyshaw Rigg (15:45), Barhaugh Crags (18:40), Stublick Chimney (19:00). A lot of timber has been felled at Willyshaw on the Northumberland-Cumbria border, as elsewhere this year. There were no habitat changes at Williamston.

Total for raptors for trip was 20 birds of 6 types: Common Buzzard 9, Kestrel 5, Honey-buzzard 3, Red Kite 1, Goshawk 1, Hobby 1. Not bad! It's good to see the Red Kite established on the grouse moors. The Goshawk just about hang on with records such as these. The Hobby was the most satisfying record as think they're struggling in the County; will look at some further moorland sites over the next 2 weeks before the young leave for Africa; they're struggling in the lowlands because Swallows have had a bad year there; in the uplands Swallow have done better and Meadow Pipit are a good fall-back. The Honey-buzzard are so successful in Northumberland: they love nesting near heather-lands; total of sites found occupied in 2018 reaches 31 but it's all more leisurely this year, giving me time to study their habits and their congeners. For people who prefer more static objects, there's a 'new' Roman fort, dating from 18-19 centuries ago, open nearby in the upper South Tyne at Epiacum, Whitley Castle. Evidently enthusiasts scan the mole-hills regularly for remains of Roman pottery! Had evening at home, compiling results above. So following in the steps of the good: another train journey beckons: Saturday afternoon/evening sees family reunion at Kingston; Sunday plans unchanged!! Aime la touche française; semble ambitieux; beaucoup de bisous !!!! Restricting travel soon until safari except for a few days in North Yorkshire mid-October with N. xxxx!!

September 12th: made visit from 13:55-16:00 to N tip of Dipton Wood, walking up through clearings to the top meadow. Weather was sunny intervals on moderate NW breeze, fairly cool. Had 6 raptors of 4 types: 2 Kestrel juvenile up hovering frequently, 2 Common Buzzard (adult, juvenile) calling from copse to W, 1 Red Kite: adult up strongly in moderate breeze at 15:24 at Dipton Wood E, Honey-buzzard: a purplish juvenile came up to the SE at 14:49, hanged in the breeze briefly and then came down on a field on lower ground. In total of 15 species finches included 10 Siskin, 2 Common Crossbill and 2 Bullfinch. 9 Swallow were seen, with 7 W, 1 S, 1 rest. There was just one butterfly, Small Tortoiseshell, and 2 Silver Y moths. The Honey-buzzard seen confirms breeding was successful for the Swallowship site, so only 1 site left in 'Shire at which to find fledged young. Afterwards made G4g4t where good to see B before he goes off to Dubrovnik. Had good chat with H 2 days ago: she gave up the job at G as she's moved to Consett where her mate is a gamekeeper! Have completed the simple topos part of paper: nothing like a train journey for generating more space to resolve an issue. Pense qu'elle pourrait faire le double: très impressionnant: la nuit dernière était super et au bon moment !!: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro going looking for Hobby, Honey-buzzard and Red Kite in the upper South Tyne: not sure about later. xxxx!!

Some notes from yesterday:

Leeds has a Mathematics and Music BSc degree run by the two Schools. Music has a lot in common with mathematics -- lhs of brain for logic, articulation [rhs for intonation]. Musicology -- she (KB) wasn't so impressed by this. I asked her about the 53 note scale and she laughed but did say a research project at Leeds involved equipping a harp with microtones, such as this. Maths topics available in the joint course and relevant for music include Graph Algorithms and Complexity Theory, Graph Theory, Topology, Transformation Geometry [but no CT!].

When people listen to opera on CD without any experience of the plot they tend to have a positive feeling for the music, finding it uplifting. If they listen the same way but do know the plot, their feelings are more mixed, more melancholy where appropriate, as they realise the dark undertones in the piece (nearly all operas end tragically and nice characters are few and far between!). If they watch a performance live the audience's emotions are very stark both on the upside and on the downside: fully appreciating the tensions and drama in the piece. [In other words, you cannot beat a live performance!]

Opera is in three dimensions: music, libretto, actions; this gives it tremendous power to explore emotions [3 levels gives closure in category theory]. Delays in anticipation are important mechanisms for influencing the emotions of listeners. [in our CT paper!].

Tosca: opening 3 chords provide the menace which dominates the opera, reappearing later in subtle guises as demonstrated. [Impressed by this, rather more subtle than Wagner's leitmotifs]. Rising triplets indicate embrace in Tosca.

We saw most of Act 3 in rehearsal of new production on stage of the theatre. Gisele Allen was Tosca: she's very impressive, as noted before. Panel afterwards involved Conductor (Antony Hermus), Assistant Director, Stage Director, who were all active on stage in the critical reviews after each section. Antony Hermus thought opera was 90% psychology (in the mind!).

Had good chat with a guy Howard [Moss?] who's a Wagner fan!! He said opera is even cheaper in Ukraine than Hungary. ROH is the most expensive place he knows in the world [but money isn't everything!]

September 11th: trip to LDS went very well: travel mostly on time and Tosca Insight event from 15:00-18:15 was truly inspirational with a very relevant talk for our research from Prof Karen Burland on psychology in music, with Tosca as illustration. She's head of School of Music and Professor of Applied Music Psychology at University of Leeds. We saw most of Act 3 of Tosca in rehearsal of new production on the stage of the Grand Theatre. The Panel afterwards involved Conductor (Antony Hermus), Assistant Director, Stage Director, who were all active on stage in the critical reviews after each section. Event was for Patrons and Associates of Opera North; I'm a higher-level associate paying £62.50 a month. Did take some notes, which will post tomorrow. Certainly whetted my appetite for Tosca in TR at NCL on 23/10, where will meet the ON hospitality team again. Tosca has all the ingredients of Grand Opera, brilliantly interwoven by Puccini. Took laptop and finally nailed Dolittle semantics after modelling many different scenarios: removes a roadblock! Highlight of day came later: so pleased to see her: in the mood after the opera: she's so gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! Funds -1k as mining stocks continued to slide; am still trickle buying as prices of the stocks are very low for this stage of the cycle. 2moro it's N4c4l and G4g4t!! xxxx!!

Nationally in UK 1 more Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 33 birds for month, 62 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 210 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 252 records):

[ 11/09 20:17 Durham : Western Osprey, Greenside one flew west low over fields just north of Rockwood Hill (15:15) ]

11/09 17:15 Cheshire : European Honey Buzzard, Pickerings Pasture one flew high and SSW mid-afternoon (14:40)

September 10th: weather was again disappointing with dull weather all day, turning into heavy rain in evening. It's a good thing I'm not trying for complete coverage of Honey-buzzard sites this year! Made W4shop, N4c4l and R @ B4m4s; last was poorly attended for our 1st shot at 2 evening meetings a month but talk was interesting on our earthquake relief effort in Nepal where $35k was enough to provide a complete water system for much of a town. Final effort was to G4g4s where 3 of us out for chat; bar-lass personified e was on doing a great job of running the place and being friendly; T&S was closed and 15 refugees came over from some club, blocking the front entrance; can see why T&S is closed: most bought a ½ to last them for their entire attendance! London Zoo visit has been re-arranged for Sunday morning now for B's party but we've been given leave later to make the concert!! Iman, Toktam's husband, is tied up on Saturday afternoon at his Persian Nights restaurant on Uxbridge Road, Acton. Son and I are going round to Kingston on Saturday evening for supper b4 returning to Ealing for the nite. So gr8 weekend looming!! 2moro it's Tosca insight event at ON in LDS in afternoon!! Va regarder: pourrait être un tonique: beaucoup de câlins: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Nationally in UK 1 more Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 32 birds for month, 61 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 209 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 251 records):

[ 10/09 11:07 Northumberland : Western Osprey, Derwent Reservoir one still late morning ]

10/09 12:12 Durham : European Honey Buzzard, Boldon Flats NR juvenile flew southwest late morning (11:55) [good to see a juvenile identified and on the move in the NE!]

[ 10/09 13:44 Northumberland : Western Osprey, Holy Island one by causeway ]

September 9th: rain again in morning, clearing up in afternoon when did masses of gardening, restoring patio area to something approaching respectability. Rabbit numbers are increasing rapidly; they're eating my grass well and so far I don't think they've managed to get into Colditz next door! Still some butterflies around but reducing with Painted Lady 2, Small Tortoiseshell 2, Peacock 1, Small White 2, Speckled Wood 3, Green-veined White 1. Have caught up with Honey-buzzard records, bringing totals on home page to 7/9 for the year; that involved work on many images from Beltingham and Beldon Burn. Gather I'm going to have to provide some info for money-laundering purposes re: son's property purchase. Doubt that oligarchs are asked any questions!! I'm offering to pay for a partial survey: just because it's relatively new doesn't mean too much! Made G4g4s for good crack: gr8 to have j on: seem to attract hairdressers: she's Trans!! P absent for some time: ARL.!! s & m: ça s'est bien passé: ça devrait être parfait maintenant: l'anticipation est grande: beaucoup de bisous : xxxxxxxxxx!!!! 2moro it's R @ B4m4ls, walk out, G4g4s!! xxxx!!

Nationally in UK 4 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 31 birds for month, 60 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 208 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 250 records):

09/09 10:27 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Pegwell Bay one flew south (10:20)

[ 09/09 14:01 Northumberland : Western Osprey, Holy Island on Pilgrim's Way post mid-afternoon ]

09/09 17:18 Northamptonshire : European Honey Buzzard, Cogenhoe one flew west (13:30)

09/09 18:35 London : European Honey Buzzard, Rainham one flew west over allotments on Bloors Lane

09/09 21:54 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, Botallack one flew south over Levant Mine (15:00) [yet another Cornish record, not expected with winds firmly in W unless from Ireland]

September 8th: no fieldwork today as wet and dull midday but did clear up late afternoon and did a lot of work on front garden, giving it a make-over; have decided to mow one path rather than use herbicide on it; that should be encouraged for wildlife. Completed analysis of Beltingham piccies so all clear now to update totals to 7/9 tomorrow morning. Modified a topos diagram (Figure 4) and changed some text; hope to complete topos section tomorrow. Made C4c4l, which was very stimulating with trhwso and tbld showing well!! Might go there tomorrow again, do some shopping at W, more gardening plus a walk, finishing with G4g4s!! Had extra close read of FT; 2 factors are a puzzle. How much will the £ rise on a Brexit deal? Are these US tariffs on China really going to matter in substance (as opposed to sentiment where effect already vast)? I doubt the £ will soar as any deal is likely to be a fudge, causing further uncertainty for the future. As long as the tariff war stays between US and China, feeling is current actions will not be devastating as there will be leakage of products around the walls. A higher £ does depress the value of my overseas assets in £ but you could argue that doesn't matter as international purchasing power is maintained. So think I'll be patriotic and take any rise in £ on the chin: I cannot base my entire investment strategy on such a politically unpredictable issue! The China issue needs careful watching: it's a more substantial issue. Bonne chance: vous serez brillant : xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Should add that son is buying a used home (1-bedroom maisonette) outside the government's Help to Buy scheme; my money is being used to pay the expenses and increase the deposit so that the LTV is reduced to c80% on a 193k buy, subject to survey, valuation and contract. I'm keener on that sort of help!! Help to Buy is a boon for house-builders with its emphasis on new-builds and is likely to trap many buyers in negative equity, with the sale prices inflated by the builders to take advantage of the scheme. I don't think in general that it's a particularly good time to buy but prices in Hatfield are cheap for SE England. There's also the psychological dimension, capitalising on his recent internal promotions at work (Business Analyst with databases: what I used to do!), his increased savings and his determined escape from ARLD, which is going to plan while encouraging more frequent contact! All praise, for a year ago, to the QEII Hospital in Welwyn Garden City, where the Outpatients made an immediate diagnosis on a swollen leg, initiated resolution of stress problems at work, and prescribed treatment and monitored results, in a fully supportive still-ongoing environment. No plaudits to the GPs who said 3 weeks was the earliest they could do for an appointment. Indeed when after some time the hospital suggested he return to the GPs, he resisted as he felt stigmatised there; the hospital happily continued in command. ARLD is the 2nd biggest killer in the UK of young men, after suicide. Too often this occurs because the patient lacks support both from the medical profession and the community, and even the family ARLD%20final%20report.pdf. Anyway he's been teetotal for a year now but has put on weight because he's switched to cake! His finances have been transformed! As for myself I never drink at home on my own, which is why I'm happy with 2 nights at home a week; 2 pints of Guinness (2.3 units a pint) is now my standard consumption in a pub, making 4.6 units a night for 4 nights. I do have an extra drink on nights out in NCL so consumption is around 25 units or 11 drinks a week, which I class as moderate drinking! See

Nationally in UK 1 more Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 27 birds for month, 56 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 204 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 246 records):

08/09 15:28 Northamptonshire : European Honey Buzzard, Pitsford Reservoir one flew south over Scaldwell Bay (12:00)

September 7th: much cooler, 11C, light NW breeze, dry. Did make Stocksfield Mount from 15:05-17:15. Not really enough breeze or warmth for raptors but had some sightings, particularly on wooded hill S of Mickley. Here from 16:10-16:15 had a family party of 4 Honey-buzzard including a very pale male, a dark female, and a brown and a dark juvenile; they were up low-down over the edge of a field, where they were presumably feeding. Keeping them company was a juvenile Red Kite, with another juvenile Red Kite seen 1km to N at 15:48. indicating a brood of 2 in the area. On the N side of the valley it was quiet but did have a juvenile Red Kite up briefly at 15:23 and a brown juvenile Honey-buzzard up at 16:25. So well worth the visit with 5 Honey-buzzard and 3 Red Kite, latter confirming breeding at the 2 sites in the area. Did walk down GB: all quiet!! Didn't have any replies to last week's letter in Hexham Courant: the FoRKers after their admission of under-counting may well be acquiescing!! Did a little research on Russian proverbs; the BBC provide a web page russian-proverbs-to-get-you-through-the-world-cup and helpfully provide an explanation for each: I love no.5 “In a quiet lagoon, devils dwell” but they don't give the Russian, maybe: В тихой лагуне обитают дьяволы. Made W4g4s where 5 of us out for good chat. Need to book train tickets for trip to Opera North in Leeds next Tuesday (12:25 ex NCL; 18:39 ex LDS) and London the following weekend, Friday (11:29 ex NCL) to Tuesday (12:30 ex KGX). Vous manque mais l'occasion est merveilleuse: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's C4cl and maybe a bit of gardening with catch-up in evening. xxxx!!

Bloodbath in markets this week, particularly in London where ftse down 4.0% in 2 weeks and 5.3% on year; some of the secondary stocks have been hammered and this morning's fall had the whiff of forced sales, maybe to cover margin calls. Perhaps fitting that London is behaving more like a distressed emerging market, in current weakness, than a developed market: that's Brexit for you! Own funds were down 4k, 2k of which £ appreciation, so satisfactory defensive performance. Gain on year is 109k, reduced to 83k after withdrawals of 26.6k. Yes, I've transferred money to son: it's quick to realise cleared funds from the market (3 days). Have moved this week another 23k from bonds to front-line mining stocks; this might be a buying opportunity! And might not …

Nationally in UK 4 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 26 birds for month, 55 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 203 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 245 records):

07/09 13:33 Isle of Wight : European Honey Buzzard, St. Catherine's Point one today (13:22) [taking us up to 200 birds for year]

07/09 17:54 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Bookham Common one flew southwest (15:45)

07/09 16:19 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Pegwell Bay one flew over yesterday; also juvenile Curlew Sandpiper

07/09 17:16 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Chanctonbury Ring pale morph over western slope then flew towards Cissbury Ring

September 6th: took a while to sort out records from yesterday but did get there; also wrote down what thought about the lovely film! Made N4c4l but otherwise day was scholarly, spending ages on the music/monad paper describing the LCCC in more detail; think the Baden-Baden paper is very compressed, not easy to understand unless you know CT; here with more space, aiming to double length to 10-12 pages, can explain things more expansively. Did not go out in evening; like to have 2 nites at home a week as can get a lot more done study-wise! Watched debate at UN on latest developments in the Novichok saga; amused at Russian delegate's tactic; he really obfuscated the whole issue by bringing in Russian proverbs; no-one in the west understands these: masterclass!! Peut-être jouer lien bientôt : plein de bisous!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l and W4g4s. Hope to sort out Beltingham from last week as can then bring totals for Honey-buzzard up to date. If get out will make Stocksfield Mount. Following receipt of Samling newsletter, booked up 2 of their concerts at S on 28/10 and 1/12. Also received a Diamond membership card from RNS: 15% discount on pre-performance drinks but doubt it's cumulative with PP! Claimed against LNER on late arrival of train in KGX last week (delay repay, £24) and also asked Argos for credit note for £19.99 as they've failed to collect my used mattress! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Nationally in UK 2 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 22 birds for month, 51 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 199 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 241 records):

06/09 13:37 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Hythe one flew west (12:28)

06/09 16:02 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB one flew west over Denge Marsh

September 5th: a beautiful autumn day with almost unbroken warm sunshine at 16C, light SW breeze. Made Towsbank on upper South Tyne from 13:10-16:20. Butterflies were best I've known in the upper South Tyne area with Small White 9, Small Tortoiseshell 13, Peacock 3, Painted Lady 2, Red Admiral 5, Green-veined White 3, Large White 2, Comma 1, Speckled Wood 1. That's 39 insects of 9 types. Towsbank is being tidied up by Euroforest; it's a bit of a scrubby wood and the wood is not that good but the thinning should improve the quality, enabling bigger trees to grow with more clearings and space between the trees. Was a little concerned about the thinning taking place when Honey-buzzard and Hobby might still be breeding but the timber operations had not reached their nesting areas. Action started just after arrival at 13:22 with a male Honey-buzzard migrating S, doing a soar over the moors to the S after a glide from the N had brought him down into view from the ground at Eals; this soar-glide routine goes on for the entire trip to their wintering grounds in west Africa, saving c90% of the energy that they'd use in level flapping flight! Indeed the energy needs for the level flight are so high that migration would not be practicable, particularly further S when food becomes scarce over the Sahara Desert. He was soon lost to sight. At 13:49 a pale brown juvenile Honey-buzzard flew low-down over the edge of the wood, right past the nest site and landed in a tree on the edge of the wood, overlooking some rough pasture. It perched there for at least 5 minutes. Juvenile Honey-buzzard do regularly perch in the open unlike older birds; my view here is that they are relatively safe in the UK perched in the open but in Africa they learn fear with all the eagles around and keep well hidden. At 13:58 a darker brown juvenile soared briefly fairly high up over the wood, accompanied by an adult male Sparrowhawk. The final sightings were from 15:41-15:46 when an adult female climbed up over the S end of the wood and drew the darker brown (stronger flying) juvenile up into the air where they displayed with some chasing at close quarters. I was a little worried about the Hobby having been affected by the timber operations so was relieved to see a juvenile female glide menacingly across the South Tyne at 14:32 from Towsbank towards Softley. A juvenile male Hobby flew circled briefly over its nest site to the N of the main timber works at 14:57. At 15:50 a juvenile Red Kite was up over the pastures to S. Two Kestrel juveniles were up over the timber operations, no doubt looking for displaced voles! Total for Common Buzzard was 6, including 4 over Towsbank and 2 at Snope Burn, with juveniles at each site.

Summary for raptors is 16 birds of 6 types: Common Buzzard 6, Honey-buzzard 4 (male migrant S, female, 2 juvenile), Hobby 2 (2 juvenile), Red Kite 1 (juvenile), Sparrowhawk 1 (adult male 1), Kestrel 2 (both juvenile). On way back at 16:40 had a dark Honey-buzzard juvenile, being chased by a Corvid, towards the Allerwash site and at 16:45 had a brown juvenile Honey-buzzard, circling slowly, moving NW from Hexham High Wood, c500m away from wood. Had a Red Kite reported 2 weeks ago from field near Travellers Rest, Slaley (Roger C).

Had good chat with M at T4c4c and with B/S at G4g4t; went home as out since 11 b4 making TC for Cold War; really enjoyed this film, made in Poland with a post-war setting; this was a romantic film, full of tension, with the 2 main characters of Wiktor (Tomasz Kot) playing a relatively sophisticated (male) music composer and Zula (Joanna Kulig) a younger, fairly wild (female) singer and dancer; Zula was on probation as she'd knifed her father, wounding him, when he confused her for her mother (her words!). Zula was recruited to a post-war ensemble for performing traditional country dances and songs and Wiktor was one of the creative overseers. The communists soon changed the repertoire to include songs lauding communism and Stalin! They had an on-off romance, never being able to get away from each other nor really tying the knot. Through their music they visited Berlin and Paris, with the music transformed to jazz and blues at the latter. After a bad spell when Wiktor was imprisoned in Poland for illegally crossing the border, the film does eventually end happily with them finally taking their vows to themselves in a ruined castle in Poland but it was a tremendous struggle!! Paweł Pawlikowski was the inspired Director. Good for history, music and love!! Gate was good for a late night showing. B's birthday is now on the Saturday at the zoo so we've booked 3 tickets for the Aurora concert on the Sunday. Day finished on a high: plenty of action: she's very huggable: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro should make N4c4l, trip out, G4g4s!! xxxx!!

Nationally in UK 5 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 20 birds for month, 49 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 197 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 239 records):

05/09 10:02 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, Lamorna Cove one flew east over Boleigh Farm (09:51)

05/09 12:07 Derbyshire : European Honey Buzzard, Ogston Reservoir one drifted south 11:38-48 (11:48)

05/09 13:52 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, Mousehole one flew over (10:20)

05/09 13:52 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, Sancreed one circling southeast of village then flew NNE (11:00)

05/09 15:39 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, Skewjack one flew over Trevescan (11:57) [ amazing sequence of records over W extreme of Cornwall; moving E are these Irish birds? ]

September 4th: intruder alarm guy arrived early as usual: service all sorted by 09:30; he said spiders are main cause of false alarms; I've got 2 monsters in the house at the moment! Made N4c4l where met a few mates in the sunshine. Butterflies at home on buddleia remained high at 25 insects of 5 types: Small Tortoiseshell 8, Painted Lady 5, Peacock 5, Small White 5, Red Admiral 2. Spent some time on monad/music paper, writing the expanded text for the new Figure 1; next 3 figures should be quicker as have the text in summary form already. Did get up to R&C4g4s where met A for good crack. Funds -1k after another torrid day for global mining stocks; sold more than enough bonds to raise the 12k for son; that will knock 1.1% off total value on Friday but it's all in a good cause!! Had detour from R&C: very inspired: she's so beautiful: lok2tmbo!!!!!!! 2moro it's T4c4c with M, trip out W, G4g4t with B, TC4film via CAL -- back to more normal genre, at 21:00!! xxxx!!!

Nationally in UK 3 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 15 birds for month, 44 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 192 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 234 records):

04/09 20:01 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Lower Test Marshes HWT one flew south and then back north again early evening (18:12)

04/09 17:25 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Hollingbury one flew west over Waterhall Golf Course this afternoon (15:10)

[ 04/09 16:51 Northumberland : Western Osprey, Wark one flew over late afternoon ]

04/09 13:08 London : European Honey Buzzard, Putney one reported flying southeast over West Putney (12:10) [R]

Interesting entry for Red Kite in July Bulletin of N&TBC:

A family party of two adults and two fledged young were seen at Dipton on 5th (AJ et al.) [1 of at least 3 broods in area]. A pale tawny immature [presume juvenile] was noted at Fern Hill (Oakwood) [just N of Hexham] on 1st (ALT). A bird was perched on the wall at the west end of Grindon Lough on 4th before being chased off SE by two Lesser Black-backed Gulls Larus fuscus (SJH) and single birds were also seen at Derwent Reservoir on 21st and 26th (IFo).

September 3rd: had final chat with big sis over breakfast before catching 11:29 EAL-KGX and 12:30 KGX-NCL, which was only 5 minutes late. Had a brown Honey-buzzard juvenile over a field a little N of York, at Beningborough E, doing flap-flap-glide over a stubble field; Yorkshire as a whole seems very good for Honey-buzzard; must have quite a high breeding population. Did a moderate amount of work on train, upping diagrams from 1 to 4 on the topos, following approach in ANPA presentation; just need to provide some text as glue! La réception a été très appréciée: plus à venir bientôt: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! Made G4g4s but there were only 2 of us; still had good chat with R and good to have d on!! Son is making rapid progress with maisonette purchase in Hatfield, having had an offer of 193k accepted with broker support; so where's your 12k dad? Will sell some bonds 2moro for FPO of proceeds on Friday: it's quite speedy these days! 2moro it's intruder alarm service at 09:00, N4c4l, further work on text for music/monad paper and maybe later including the E: R&C4murphy4s with A!! Could be TC the next day b4 the perfume takes over!! xxxx!!

Nationally in UK 2 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 12 birds for month, 41 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 189 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 231 records):

03/09 13:26 Isle of Wight : European Honey Buzzard, Luccombe one over Luccombe Down this morning; also Pied Flycatcher (09:57) [scores again!]

03/09 13:56 Somerset & Bristol : European Honey Buzzard, Kingsdon one flew low west over Lytes Cary this morning (11:00)

September 2nd: Weather was warm and sunny throughout. Great gathering of the Nicholls clan in Froxfield, Wiltshire, with about 35 attendees for Aunty Ann's 90th birthday (Lena Ann Tapper, younger sister of my mother Betty, one of 3 daughters of William Hudson Nicholls, farmer near Dawlish, and Mabel Lena Nicholls, née Holbrook); she's actually 90.67 now. Her children, my 1st cousins, came from far and wide for the occasion with David from Australia, Alexandra (Sasa) from South Africa, Stephen from Froxfield, Timothy from Shepherds Bush. Hadn't seen the first two for ages so great to see them again. David and Sasa's husband Kris both worked in IT. My mother's elder sister Jean married James Short, farmer near Exminster; they had 4 daughters, one of whom Jane sadly died of cystic fibrosis; the older one Ann married a banker with Barclays DCO and couldn't make it today; the younger 2, Frances and Nicola, obviously also my 1st cousins, were both there today and good to see them as well; they live at Cullompton and Newton Abbot in Devon; Janes's surviving husband Toni is a Torquay United (Gulls) supporter actually being at Plainmoor to see them beat the mighty Hemel Hampstead 2-0 yesterday; he also lives in Newton Abbot, pronounced Newt Nabbot for the uninitiated. My younger sister came up from Sidmouth with her husband so the R's attended in strength with my elder sister looking after me (as usual!). All in all a brilliant day with very good company, food and wine!! I was the only one there living N of Froxfield and got a special cheer in the credits for attending from the wild North!! Had 8 Red Kite and 1 Common Buzzard on drive from Ealing-Froxfield and back.

My elder sister did manage a chat with a group about our maternal genealogy. Last time this was raised with them I distributed my preliminary findings going back to Sarah Jane Dashper. This caused quite a shock not only with the suicide of Annie Elizabeth Holbrook (my maternal great-grandmother) but also my suggestion that we didn't go back in Cornwall for a thousand years but came fairly recently from the East (mtDNA, names, early photographs). They actually volunteered that our early female line has an olive tinge and want to receive an update. Can do! Stephen has a lot more early photographs which he's going to digitise and send. 2moro it's quick return on 12:30 from KGX; train coming down yesterday was 40 minutes late; back in 2 weeks for younger granddaughter's birthday. Hâte de revenir: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Nationally in UK 3 more Honey-buzzard records for 4 birds on BirdGuides (count 10 birds for month, 39 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 187 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 229 records):

02/09 19:45 Northumberland : European Honey Buzzard, Holy Island one flew north over centre at 17:12 (17:12) [didn't know they existed up here!!]

02/09 13:56 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB one flew over Denge Marsh this afternoon (13:35)

02/09 13:44 Isle of Wight : European Honey Buzzard, St. Boniface Down two on the east side early morning [good place to be!]

September 1st: converted monad paper to LaTeX format for journal, from MS Word; took ages but now ready to make additions from ANPA talk, involving tighter definition of limits, colimits, LCCC, Dolittle, as a start. Had a Nightjar at Swallowship last night; think they must have bred there or at the N extreme of Dipton Wood. Findings on yesterday's objectives are yes, yes, yes! The Honey-buzzard comprised 3 birds at 2 sites: a pair of adult were up over Middle Plantation looking anxious suggesting the young were in the trees at the top of the wood; the Scots Pine in the lower wood here have been clear-felled so if the nest had been there, there would have been some problems; the adult male was up first at 13:50, joined by an adult Red Kite which quickly drifted away; the female then came out of the top wood and they moved higher, eventually indulging in some display with diving. At 14:15 the adult male Honey-buzzard was back alone, watching the top wood very closely, suggesting fledged young were within. An adult male came off the group of very high trees at Riddlehamhope at 15:06 and went off hunting on the moors to the SW. No juvenile Honey-buzzard were seen and the behaviour of the adults at Middle Plantation, indicating fledging is imminent, was similar to that around 10/8 in the lowlands. Riddlehamhope at 400m asl is even more behind, perhaps similar to 3/8 in the lowlands. Difficult to summarise on a sample of 2 sites but 3-4 weeks behind for the upper Derwent sites is the situation on the ground. The Hobby was a male looking very much in territory over the top of the high wood at Riddlehamhope at 14:30, rising a little over the wood and then sinking back into the canopy. Maintenant à Londres: service normal la semaine prochaine: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro's buzzword is 90!!

Nationally in UK 2 more Honey-buzzard records for 6 birds on BirdGuides (count 6 birds for month, 35 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 183 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 226 records):

01/09 13:17 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Beverley one flew north (12:52)

01/09 13:30 Isle of Wight : European Honey Buzzard, Luccombe three flew over Luccombe Down at 09:45 then 2 seen at 10:20 (10:20) [there's been multiple sightings here in the past; it's due S of Northumberland so our birds are likely to go this way]

August 31st: had leisurely 12km walk up and down the Beldon Burn, on Durham-Northumberland boundary from Newbiggin to Riddlehamhope, from 12:00-17:00. Weather was perfect: sunny intervals, 17C, light SW breeze, dry. Raptors were fantastic with provisional total of 39 birds of 7 types, including Red Kite 21, Common Buzzard 6, Kestrel 5, Honey-buzzard 4, Hobby 1, Osprey 1, Sparrowhawk 1. Much of the walk is on the grouse moors but it starts in the Newbiggin wooded estate. There's much active felling of the shelter-belts as timber prices are high, which may cause a little realignment of raptor territories. Objectives of visit were to 1) test whether Honey-buzzard breeding is genuinely late up here, rather than an artefact of my visits being relatively late in season; 2) see whether the Red Kite is continuing to thrive in the upper Derwent; 3) check whether Hobby are continuing to nest on the high moors as they appear to be in decline in lowland areas due to lack of small birds (for food). Red Kite at Blanchland included an adult soaring very high at 12:35 and a family group of 4 birds up to NE of village at 17:05 on way out. Much more to follow … Terrible week for markets with ftse losing 1.9% on week, 3% on month and 3.3% on year as £ revives a little and worries about everything abound! Own funds were down 5k, mainly due to the £ rising and dealing expenses, after bright start on Tuesday, reducing gain on year to 114k before deductions of 14.6k; have moved 70k from bonds to front-line mining stocks; the equities yield almost as much as the bonds after their heavy falls. Se sentir raide: doit être un remède : xxxxxxxxxxxx!!

Nationally in UK 2 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 29 birds for month, 29 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 177 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 224 records):

31/08 17:51 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Long Nab, Burniston one flew north then out to sea (16:45)

31/08 11:15 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Cawston Heath probable over mid-morning (09:30) [?]

August 30th: another great day for butterflies at home with 39 insects of 8 types: Peacock 11, Small Tortoiseshell 5, Small White 12, Painted Lady 3, Red Admiral 3, Wall 2, Speckled Wood 2, Comma 1. The Comma brings number of species over last week to 10. They were again mainly around buddleia flowers. Weather was sunny but cool at 15C on light SW breeze. Met M at T4c4c where we had good chat. Have been catching up on bird and insect records, compiling those for Hexham High Wood on 27/8 and for Marlborough on 30/04/17; have now entered 749/2963 records into BirdTrack for 2017. C'était merveilleux: les rêves les plus doux: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro it really is the Beldon Burn followed by W4g4s!!

Have had letter published in Hexham Courant: Kites Established 31/08/2018 p.21; the letter (below) also looks at possible lessons for the Lynx UK project. The FoRKers in another letter on same page, admitting their figures are an underestimate, seem to have conceded. Are they going to seek my collaboration? Will get a url from the Courant for the letter shortly [not sure they give url for letters]. Here's a reference for the document on my web site. I wonder whether some of the FoRKers have been paid by the RSPB or Natural England for their survey work. Anyway I'm perfectly happy to give details of my results to the FoRKers; the records are already on BirdTrack.

The Editor

Hexham Courant


Dear Sir/Madam

It was very good to read of the rescue of a Red Kite at Rye Hill, Slaley, and of the subsequent care given to the bird by Falconry Days, resulting in its release back into the wild. Kites have been present around the Devil's Water, close to Rye Hill, all spring and summer so it is possible that it was a local bird.

The Red Kite appears to have established itself well as a Northumberland-breeding bird, particularly from 2016 when the population reached around 30 pairs from my work in the field. Many of these are on farmland adjacent to that used for the Gateshead re-introduction scheme, extending northwards to Bywell, but they have also been happy to colonise the grouse moors upstream from Derwent Reservoir, around Whitfield Moor and in the East Allen. Some of the birds on the moors may come from another re-introduction scheme at Grizedale, in Cumbria.

Since my study is restricted to south Northumberland bounded on the north side by the Tyne and South Tyne valleys, the figure of 30 pairs is a minimum: it is likely that some birds are breeding further north still.

Red Kite started to occupy Northumberland in 2006. Early success in 2008 was a false dawn as the species struggled to gain a foothold with some poisoning incidents receiving prominent attention in the press. It took a decade from 2006-2016 for the colonisation to be secure.

There may be a lesson here for Lynx UK.

While the ecological benefits of the re-introduction are very clear, such a scheme is fraught with difficulties in the early stages because of the inexperience of the animals in their new habitat and of the landowners in understanding their habits. Some further time for consultation, and acceptance on the ground, may be the difference between the success of the Lynx in Kielder and its failure.

Yours faithfully

Nick Rossiter


Nationally in UK 3 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 27 birds for month, 27 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 175 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 222 records):

30/08 15:06 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Wiveton dark morph flew east over Wiveton Down (14:55)

[30/08 14:40 Durham : Western Osprey, Derwent Reservoir two yesterday] interesting!

30/08 07:11 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Newstead & Annesley CP one flew south over Annesley Pit Top mid-morning yesterday

26/08 07:13 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, St. Leonards adult male flew over A31 yesterday

August 29th: did make appointment with jd at JG for hair-cut, cost 17.50 +5 tip! She did a good job; wondered how she'd gone from brunette to a variegated light brown colour and she explained the mysteries of colouration; not for me I think! She thinks that 2-monthly appointments would keep me smarter so have next appointment on 24/10! Made N4c4l as recuperation. Collected new mobile device from Vodafone in Northumberland Street; took ages as copying from old device was so slow; paid them £20 to completely set-up the new one and it's all working brilliantly with old number retained; G was very helpful; she said copying from Android to Android is more difficult than iPhone to iPhone as does not usually go over in 1 synchronization. Met N at CB4m4t where we had tasty food, somewhat in the French style. We went to the film I, Daniel Blake (made in the NE) at TC which was far removed from my normal genre (of which enough said!): it was very worrying how the poor are ground down by bureaucracy, often controlled through the Internet, at which they have limited experience. The sobering end saw the young woman moving to prostitution and the older man dying of a heart attack through the stress of it all. Should be compulsory viewing for all MPs. We skipped the discussion and made Br4rw4s for good chat b4 N's trip to Nice next week. It was a gr8 reunion: release of plenty of pent-up feelings: she's so gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro meeting M at T4c4c and doing plenty of study on next CT paper.

August 28th: made B's place for 2 hours for a close look at his piano playing; he's got a good grasp of the theory and played me Chopin's Valse as an example of a piece with different rhythms for left and right hand; Chopin of course also made use of rubato in which maximising expression requires you to vary the pace temporarily from that written. Another instructive piece was Over the Rainbow where the usual tonal version was adapted by Shearing to a more jazzy version with much chromaticism (using notes out of current scale) and less tonal closure. All in all very informative: should add acknowledgements to him and Michael Brockway who helps me with the pure maths. B practices the organ on his digital piano, which has an organ mode; the main difference is there's no sustainability of a note on the organ, once you take your finger off the key. He thinks Rachmaninov's piano music is the most difficult to play, because of its contorted interplay between the left and right hand, which is interesting from a CT perspective. The simple allocation of left-hand to harmony and right-hand to melody soon breaks down once you get past grade 4. Nearby Beltingham is a Honey-buzzard hot-spot so went there next from 15:30-16:35; weather was warmer 17C on light SW breeze with sun poking through a thin layer of cloud. Honey-buzzard were indeed fantastic with a family party of 4 birds up over Ridley Hall (Morralee site) from 15:34-15:36; the 2 juveniles (dark and brown) kept close to the canopy with the female a little above them and the male higher still encouraging them to stay up by dropping occasionally to almost touch them; 2 juveniles (ruddy, dark) were up over Beltingham itself, near Willimontswick, from 15:58-16:02 floating around and reluctant to leave a dense copse to S of bridge across South Tyne, both these are new sites for year, in Allen and lower South Tyne. At Beltingham 2 Common Buzzard (adult, juvenile) were also seen briefly at 16:02. Final event of day was R&C4m4s where met A and his daughter A: very good crack! Funds are +3k and have moved into action on commodity resurgence with 29k of bonds switched into mining equity today! China's weak patch is supposed to be bottoming out and the US is booming so expect natural resource prices to recover, from their rapid summer-time slide, during the autumn: well that's the theory! Hedge funds are very short on commodities so recovery could be fast, once the tide is seen to be turning. 2moro it's hair-cut at JG with jd in morning (hope she'll be pleased to see me!), N4c4l, CB4m4t with N, TC4film, plus collecting new 'phone at 16:00; could be CAL-NCL as usual!! Sommes-nous plus chaud? xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!:

August 27th: not the sort of morning that I'd envisaged: grey and cool (12C), no sunshine and moderate NW breeze. So abandoned idea of going up Beldon Burn where bright sunshine is essential and took on last remaining site in Tyne Valley W where no activity for Honey-buzzard recorded this year – Hexham High Wood – from 15:20-17:35. Taking on these conditions means that you're very unlikely to see the birds high-up and you have to inspect closely around the nest area as well as areas used in past years for feeding. Well took on the challenge, walking down the lane and keeping a very close eye on all directions; by 16:30 decided would have to walk further down the lane so that could have a direct view of the nest area. At 16:42 picked up a dark brown Honey-buzzard juvenile in the top of the canopy c200m W of nest site moving 10m from one larch tree to another, keeping well hidden; a Crow had spotted it and gave an alarm call; so that's 5 seconds sighting. Walked back up lane and in a group of small pastures noted a commotion, the likes of which had been seen on way down; this time though a dark-phase Honey-buzzard came up with a number of Corvids and dived immediately, perhaps 3 seconds in view. Overview is that some juveniles wander a fair way from the nest, in this case 1km, to feed, often in small-field or intimate pastures, where presumably they fell that they're not that conspicuous. Such small fields may also not be intensively farmed so rich in invertebrates. Some juveniles retreat to the nest site where they hope perhaps to be fed by a parent, maybe just a top-up to that they've found themselves. 8 seconds of sightings for 2:15 fieldwork might seem a bit on the slow side! No other raptors were seen or heard. But it's an important find, bringing Tyne Valley W to 8 sites occupied, same as last year, and revealing a little more of the habits of the newly-fledged juveniles. Had 4 Purple Hairstreak butterflies ½ way up an oak tree when the sun came out for 10 minutes; also had 2 Small White. Back home, had an active session of grass cutting: notable that 2nd regrowth from dry spell is weak, in contrast to the 1st regrowth which was strong; can see problems for farm pastures here. Made G4g4s where good crack!! Sorted out Opera N, going to dress rehearsal of Tosca in Leeds on 11/9 and booking tickets at TR for Puccini's Tosca on 23/10 (with drinks reception) and Lehar's Merry Widow on 26/10 (with talk on creativity in the production). Small is Beautiful is in between! J'espère que ça s'est bien passé: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's out to B's for lesson on the organ, from a CT viewpoint! Maybe also check for Honey-buzzard in Beltingham area. Later making R&C4m4s to meet A: we'll be booted out early!

August 26th: cold 13C and very wet: not good for end-August but supposed to be better tomorrow when going for walk up the Beldon Burn to the moors. Masses of records compiled today, completing trip to Hampshire from 13-17 August, yesterday's good trip and some records from the North Wessex Downs in May 2017. Also booked up RNS Rocks, RNS birthday party stop-over and ordered new mobile 'phone, a Samsung J3, from Vodafone on PAYG to collect next Wednesday afternoon from Northumberland Street; current mobile is 2.3 years old; it's still going but has burnt out one charging cable and is sluggish, crashing with increasing frequency, so time to upgrade. N's booked up the evening's entertainment at CB and TC! Have bought train tickets for next weekend HEX-EAL return but it's a brief trip. Last month's credit card bills on my 2 cards totalled 2.7k, which paid in full; this month's are smaller at 1.9k; Kruger payments of 2.5k were done directly out of current account. Today is start of the next month: happy days!! Did make N4c4t where good to meet S/H!! Much later made G4g4s where very pleased to have N back!! Eh bien en secret j'aime ces ajouts: bonne chance une fois de plus !! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

August 25th: just a bit warmer at 15C but completely different feel with warm sunshine, in long sunny intervals, on light W breeze. Day was memorable for 1st migrating Honey-buzzard of the autumn in the study area with a male from 14:45-14:50 climbing higher and higher over Warden Hill, until in the base of the clouds, hanging for a significant time and then gliding off S (Africa here I come!). They often hang before getting on with it: some hesitancy perhaps, saying goodbye to the family or taking final image of home habitat for next year's return: probably all 3! Two juveniles were seen, one brown and one dark; the brown one was older, seen briefly over the rough meadows to SW of Warden Hill at 15:40; the darker one was a weak flyer, seen briefly around W extreme of Warden Hill wood at 15:15. The female came up briefly at 15:28 over the top of the hill, clearly checking where the juveniles were hiding! The nest site is down in the valley in an oak copse, so they've brought the young c1km up to the top of the hill, where flying practice is easier in the stronger updraught; this is usual tactic. Walk was from 14:30-16:20. A very welcome sight was a total of 3 Red Kite hunting over the rough meadows on SW side of the hill; these comprised an adult and 2 juvenile. Red Kite are doing fantastically well in the Hexham area. Also had a family party of 4 Common Buzzard and a juvenile Kestrel. So that's 12 raptors of 4 types: Honey-buzzard 4, Common Buzzard 4, Red Kite 3, Kestrel 1. The day was also remarkable for what I think is the highest ever butterfly count on my 2-acre garden/field at Ordley: 40 insects of 9 types: Peacock 17, Small Tortoiseshell 8, Small White 6, Painted Lady 3, Red Admiral 2, Wall 1, Large White 1, Speckled Wood 1, Green-veined White 1. Most were on buddleia but it's the rough vegetation on my plot that makes life possible for their caterpillars. Did a lot of grass cutting after walk; generally feeling fitter now!! Started picking apples: 2 a day for next 2 months: have 5 different varieties to space out the season: plenty as well for the birds and wasps. Did make C4c4l but no FT left and reduction in fanciable ladies! Alors, est-ce que j'observe bien? Eh bien, j'ai remarqué quelque chose! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! Made overview of additions needed for music/monad paper; will download LaTeX formatting template tomorrow and start work. 2moro will make W4shop, N4c4t and G4g4s!!

Nationally in UK 3 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 24 birds for month, 24 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 172 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 219 records):

25/08 15:09 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Cantley one flew north (14:00)

25/08 11:44 West Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Fairburn Ings RSPB one reported [R]

26/08 07:13 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, St. Leonards adult male flew over A31 yesterday

August 24th: cold today at 12C with heavy rain showers, almost merging into one long wet spell up in the 'Shire. So no fieldwork today. Catching-up on fieldwork from last week in the deep south and transferring spreadsheet records for the North Wessex Downs in the trip with N in early May last year to BirdTrack. Will start on extending music/monad paper this weekend. Funds had sharp turnaround today from -2k on Tuesday to +3k by close of play today. A good rally was had in commodities and Irish stock LON:ORM boomed. Still wary with tactic of taking any profits quickly and moving ½ of proceeds into short-term bonds with the other ½ going back into speculative resource equities. But if the tide really turns with front-line resource equities, will move smartly back into the second-line ones by switching say 100k from bonds, which now total over 600k in value in a very defensive position. Gain on year is now 119k before withdrawal of 14.6k, just 4k below the record for net gain on 9/8. Now 10 recommendations on my comment yesterday; the thoughtful article generally has attracted a lot of interest. Next week on Wednesday it's Côte Brasserie with N 4m4t followed by film @ TC. Today made N4c4t and W4g4s where all 6 of us out for good chat! 2moro forecast is better and will get out for a walk; will though definitely make C4c4l!! J'attends avec impatience le mois de septembre!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Nationally in UK 2 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 21 birds for month, 21 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 169 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 216 records):

24/08 10:28 West Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wintersett Reservoir adult flew southwest (10:25)

24/08 09:26 Warwickshire : European Honey Buzzard, Mancetter one flew low southwest over Purley Park (09:22)

[ 24/08 20:09 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest two still from raptor viewpoint this morning; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park (54.2860, -0.5637) ]

August 23rd: rained most of day so took opportunity to catch-up on records, compiling a good number of bird and insect lists for this month. Did make N4c4ll and G4g4s where 4 of mates out for good chat; feeling a bit lethargic at moment, still shaking off cold. 2moro it's N4c4l and W4g4s: keeping up the social side!! xxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Nationally in UK 2 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 19 birds for month, 19 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 167 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 213 records):

23/08 07:32 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Arnold one flew over Redhill (07:26)

23/08 07:09 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, Bude adult female flew low southwest yesterday (22/08 06:15)

[ 22/08 15:13 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest two still from raptor viewpoint today; from the A170 at Wykeham take the minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to the T-junction then left for 500m to the car park at c.SE936887 ]

Very revealing article in The Times today: How antisemitism in Britain is rooted in the Second World War. Archive papers released to The Times [under FOI] show that Churchill’s bastion of propaganda and censorship allowed prejudice towards Jews to grow relentlessly. Dominic Kennedy reports at

An example of the difficulties in Britain was the liberation of the Bergen-Belsen camp. The UK authorities throughout the war had accused the Jews of exaggeration and Richard Dimbleby's report on the horrors of Belsen was held up for 4 days until he threatened to resign from the BBC. The camp was liberated on the afternoon of April 15, 1945.[10]:253 The first two to reach the camp were a British Special Air Service officer, Lieutenant John Randall, and his jeep driver, who were on a reconnaissance mission and discovered the camp by chance.[17] A picture was taken of this amazing event, showing the SAS soldier (with stripes and gun) and his jeep driver (with camera) being watched by an incredulous but hopeful group of Jewish women. When British and Canadian troops finally entered [later that day] they found over 13,000 unburied bodies and (including the satellite camps) around 60,000 inmates, most acutely sick and starving [some additions from Wikipedia]. I did make a public comment:

The Vichy Republic in France in WW2 did not save the Jews; rather some 80,000 French Jews perished in the concentration camps. With the attitudes in Britain well documented in this article, I would not have expected a puppet government in the UK to have behaved any better. (Had 4 recommendations by close of play).

Unfortunately Jeremy Corbyn's evasion finds many echoes in the statements by the UK authorities in WW2. This is very sad for the Labour Party.

August 22nd: did get some fieldwork in, from 16:10-16:55 in West Dipton, where no birds seen yesterday. It rained midday but by teatime the weather improved, being showery with sunny spells. Found 2 juvenile Honey-buzzard today, both dark and only just started flying. The first was seen on arrival at 16:10, flying into the beech trees on the S side of the valley, not far from Letah Wood. The second was up very briefly at 16:40, rising above a clump of spruce briefly with weak flap-flap-glide action before collapsing down again; this one was caught on video; the primary and tail feathers are still growing. Also had a family party of c4 Common Buzzard calling from Letah Wood at 16:40 and a surprise: yet another Red Kite juvenile escorted by an adult over Swallowship at 16:45; the adult kite took the young bird to moderate height for some diving and close interaction; that's 3 successful Red Kite territories around Dipton Wood (to date!). Earlier made C4c4l and later made G4g4t where met B as usual; we often talk about music: he can play well being church organist for Beltingham Parish (near Bardon Mill) and he plays the piano as well. So next Tuesday afternoon he's going to show me how the organ works: might be difficult putting that into CT: I'm just curious! He was playing the music for a christening last Sunday to a packed church! Must get out more from Schipol to the cultural delights of AMS: un lieu très prestigieux pour les talentueux: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's more fieldwork, N4c4l and G4g4s!!

August 21st: day of the Honey-buzzard! In 'Shire had 8 birds up -- 4 at Ordley, 2 at Dipton Wood S, 2 at Dotland – in walk along spine road (Slaley-Dotland Road) from 13:40-15:50. Weather was very misty early-on changing abruptly to sunny, humid conditions with excellent visibility; wind was light S/SE and temperature was 20C. At Ordley had early action with a pale juvenile up on E side of site briefly at 13:45 and a dark juvenile moving steadily N at moderate height at 13:58. presumably going out to feed. On return to home at Ordley from 15:25-15:35 the birds of prey were maniac with a family party of 4 Common Buzzard up, a Red Kite juvenile floating over the valley and a family party of 4 Honey-buzzard up, the latter including a strident male coming quite close, who was escorting the dark juvenile which climbed quite high before again disappearing to N; the other (pale) juvenile was a much weaker flyer still in the 'not daring to move' mode and was escorted by the female. This juvenile collapsed back into the trees after a short soar. The Red Kite is interesting as the sick bird, reported in last week's Hexham Courant Red kite rescued by staff at Tynedale bird of prey centre returns to wild, was found at Rye Hill, Slaley, c1km from the Devil's Water site; so they did manage to breed here. At Dotland around 14:41 a dark juvenile was up weakly over the N side of the site, floating around low-down; also here the male Honey-buzzard went out hunting to the SW at 14:45. At Dipton Wood S had early action at 13:47 with a female Honey-buzzard soaring to the S of the site, mobbed by 6 Jackdaw. At Dipton Wood S on return at 15:01, had a dark juvenile Honey-buzzard soaring hesitantly over the site reaching moderate height before rapidly coming back to ground; also here was a juvenile Red Kite floating low down at 14:58 so the kites have finally conquered the 'Shire. Total for walk was 14 raptors of 3 species: 8 Honey-buzzard, 4 Common Buzzard, 2 Red Kite. Have brought home page for Honey-buzzard up to date.

Met M at T4c4c where we had useful debate about how close you need to get to an implementation in CT; M said to running code (which I feel is development computer science) and I said to viable type system (applied mathematics research). Later met M&A at R&C4m4s where 5 of us out for good crack. Resisted strongly siesta in last 2 days: cold is disappearing quickly. Devon M wants me to join him at another conference at Birmingham University on Compositionality from 20-21 September. I'm going to decline as it's really another 4 days away from home, just before the RNS and just after the Bella celebrations! Have received clearance from Sociology and Anthropology for submission in a month: that should be my major focus. Son is getting keen on buying a home, about to put another offer in of 190k for a 200k flat. Evidently Bella's party is at the zoo this year; think animals and children are better in morning, perhaps enabling us to make the concert at 16:00: not sure that feeling will prevail!! Se demander si elle est là pour un rapide: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! 2moro should be N4c4l and G4g4t; weather probably not so good for fieldwork but will keep looking up at the sky! Funds -2k on adverse currency movements (£ rallies!). Evidently USA is selling Au as everything's wonderful there (no worries!) and Europe and Asia are buying Au as there's plenty of worries!

Nationally in UK 2 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 17 birds for month, 17 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 165 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 210 records):

21/08 12:45 Derbyshire : European Honey Buzzard, Ogston Reservoir adult female flew south 11:50-12:10 (2 Western Ospreys yesterday) (12:10)

21/08 11:37 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Headon one flew high over (11:30)

[ 21/08 15:15 Lancashire : European Honey Buzzard, Middleton bird reported south over Middleton NR was an escaped black Gyr Falcon [X]

21/08 12:42 Lancashire : European Honey Buzzard, Middleton one flew south over Middleton NR mid-morning; also Western Osprey flew south ] [(some) misidentification admitted!]

August 20th: great day today for Northumberland's wildlife with 2 Honey-buzzard juvenile up in the air, accompanied by a pair of adult; this was on the hill overlooking Farnley in a very mild, muggy atmosphere from 15:20-15:25. All 4 birds kept close together with the male showing some restraint, keeping low-down, in contrast to some who like to show off! The juveniles were reasonably strong flyers, generally keeping close to the trees but occasionally getting higher. The female was at the centre of the action, keeping close to the 2 juveniles throughout. The male came down to the trees near the end, appearing to want to keep the action going. All in all a celebration of breeding success!! Went on to Stocksfield Mount from 15:30-16:35 where weather deteriorating at end. At Mowden Hall had some further Honey-buzzard display around 15:40 with the adult pair, from Cottagebank, engaged in a determined effort to get the young up into the air. The female kept flying over the wood low-down in flap-flap-glide action and the male got up high, repeatedly diving at moderate height, but no young emerged; can imagine the female telling them: you'll never get to Africa, you bloody lot! Getting the young to fly is an urgent process with the Honey-buzzard as, as a summer visitor, time is not on their side! There could have been a predator in the copse as an alternative explanation. Also had a Common Buzzard adult up from the Mount itself and a Red Kite adult in flap-flap-glide action over its usual territory, to NE of Short Wood, plus a male Kestrel on wires at Dilston on way home. So that's 6 Honey-buzzard and single Common Buzzard, Red Kite and Kestrel, making 10 raptors of 4 types, in poor conditions. Made R @ B4m4l where speaker was Victoria Halford 'The Elusive Leopard'; really enjoyed the talk by the student at Nottingham University on attempts to prove the existence of Leopard on a new game reserve at Dinokeng, where they want to claim the big 5 for certification (and marketing!). They did show it was present but very elusive in the more timbered part! She said to me after the talk that the Lynx reintroduction in Kielder was a great idea but locals needed careful handling, as they could sabotage the plans; have taken that on board. Much later made G4g4s where 4 of us out!! N's delighted I'm coming to the RNS party!! Attendez-vous à ce que ce soit génial: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's T4c4c with M and R&C4m4s with A!!

August 19th: Honey-buzzard position is quiet nationally; males typically start leaving 1 week after the young are flying so fledging appears to be a little later than first thought. Here migration typically starts around 23/8. So waiting for some facts! Today was misty; hope to get out tomorrow afternoon. After clear-out of daughter's room last week-end did a major trip to recycling centre at Hexham, with electricals, batteries, light bulbs, glass bottles and jars, moulded plastic, scrap metal, followed by another trip to W4shop for staple items. Pleased to meet at W trhwso, who is more thoughtful about the process than I am!! Had another siesta: mustn't become a habit! Again cooked, having fresh spicy sausages from W + baked potato and beans, really classy, followed by 3 lots of fruit! Later made G4g4s where 5 of the dommies gang out: very chatty; also met G to talk about the footie at the weekend. Am going to write to HC about the Red Kite success story, following up the story of the one restored to health in the 'Shire. This is one request for a paper on the music/monad idea:

Dear Dr. Nick Rossiter, Sociology and Anthropology (Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Young Shik Kim) is an international, open access, peer reviewed journal. Till now, 6 volumes including 55 issues have been published. This journal has been indexed by some bibliographic databases (e.g. ProQuest, Ulrich, EBSCO A-to-Z etc). We read the abstract of your article entitled Musical Performance: a Composition of Monads and are very interested in your article presented in 2018 The 6th World Congress and School on Universal Logic. If the full text was not published, please send us an extended version for publication in Sociology and Anthropology (ISSN: 2331-6187) via email at You are also invited to submit other original research papers to the journal.

I'm going to offer an extension of the Baden-Baden paper, which can easily extend to 12 pages, in a month, developing the monad idea from a social interaction perspective; topos can be left as it is. Will see what happens! Bonne chance avec B5: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's R @ B4m4l with talk on leopards, trip out, G4g4s!!

August 18th: a rest day at last; had good lie-in and usual breakfast (shreddies, cranberry juice, ½ a grapefruit, lemon tea); made C4c4l where tbld looked very inviting!! Studied closely FT for catch-up on economic affairs; the world's a troubled place but Au is not performing; everyone loves the $ but the US is running massive budget and trade deficits, so patience maybe! Had siesta mid-afternoon waking up in time for Final Score with 2 ladies and 1 man running the show; really caustic comments about this in the DT but thought Eilidh Barbour was entertaining and knowledgeable! Pleased at Bournemouth's progress: they're the leading team in the SW by a long way! The Gulls in their new life in lowly NLS drew 0-0 at Slough giving them 8 points from 5 games, having in all matches scored 3 goals and let 1 in (entertaining!). Have decided to do more cooking so great vat prepared of 1kg of lean mince meat (partially pre-cooked in olive oil), red onions, carrots, mushrooms, 2 tins large tomatoes, garlic cloves, paprika, marjoram, thyme. It was boiled and simmered, giving 8 portions of food, 7 of which are in freezer and the other's inside me with spaghetti! Have received from AP an invitation to RNS Birthday Gala Reception, which seems to involve 3 rounds of drinks and a party (with some music in between); have accepted, may have to stop-over! Hope Majorca goes well!! 2moro will try and get out in afternoon for a walk near a Honey-buzzard site and much later it will be G4g4s!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Family news with [comments]:

(from one of her 3 sons and daughter, in Wiltshire) Dear Relatives of Nonagenarian Lena Ann Tapper: on January 2nd 1928 a certain little lady popped into this world and the universe has been a better place ever since. To commemorate this joyous occasion 90 and a half years on, a grand coming together of the Nicholls/Tapper/Short/Rossiter clans has been organised for Sunday 2nd September 2018; to which you are cordially invited. [My mother's younger sister, of course will be there! ]

(from my son) There is some Beethoven (the 5th) on the afternoon [16/9] of the Sunday of Bella's birthday weekend...which I'm going to - played from memory by the Aurora orchestra. We could maybe fit that in, depending on what Catherine has planned for the birthday. They are my favourite orchestra to watch at the moment. [well, looks explosive!]

Nationally in UK 5 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 15 birds for month, 15 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 163 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 208 records):

[17/08 13:02 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest two still from the raptor viewpoint this morning; from the A170 at Wykeham take the minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to the T-junction then left for 500m to the car park at c.SE936887 (10:45)

15/08 14:36 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest three from the raptor viewpoint by mid-afternoon; from A170 at Wykeham take the minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to the T-junction then left for 500m to the car park at c.SE936887 (14:24) [maybe including a juvenile and the pair of adults, pity not aged]

15/08 14:02 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest two still from the raptor viewpoint this afternoon; from A170 at Wykeham take the minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to the T-junction then left for 500m to the car park at c.SE936887 (13:40) ]

15/08 13:39 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Puttenham one flew over heading southwest at 13:15 (13:15)

15/08 10:11 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Epsom Downs one flew low and south this morning (10:00)

Summary of raptors in trip S from 13/8-17/8. Total for Honey-buzzard 6: Havant Thicket 4 (pair, 2 juvenile), Larkhill 1 (female in Wiltshire), Sutton Scotney 1 (male in Hampshire). Total for Red Kite 7: Avebury 2 (1 juvenile), Stonehenge 1, Larkhill 2, Figheldean 1, Kintbury 1. Total for Common Buzzard 5: Havant Thicket 4 (pair, 2 juvenile), Droxford 1. Grand total: 18 raptors of 3 types, not bad for a working week! See 13/7 for raptors seen on way down: 2 Honey-buzzard, 2 Red Kite.

August 17th: left Rowlands Castle at 10:46 and got into Hexham at 17:35 so almost 7 hours travel; may fly next year as Rowlands Castle readily accessible from Southampton Airport. But everything was on time today, though failure of air-con in coach D made it pretty stifling from KGX-NCL. Had a juvenile Common Buzzard over Rowlands Castle as left. Feeling demob happy with no further presentations planned but will have to get down to start communication with editors and writing papers. Forgot to mention yesterday that we had conference dinner in evening and a few of us who'd given papers that day had a celebration drink; bar-lasses at RH S/K were great fun and 2 of us went with them after work to a nearby pub where karaoke was on!! Made sure I looked keen but also that I didn't actually appear on the schedule: I'm good at that but cannot sing anyway. That went onto 01:00: it was a good finish to the conference!! Got a lovely hug from S as departed today!! Later made SC4f&c+mp and G4g4s where 5 of us out: had rather surprising divisions over Mike Ashley who they thought was a bravado-type hero while I think he's a complete c.nt!! Pre-pack administrations which leave unsecured creditors and pensioners out in the cold should be banned. Keep your money well clear of him. Funds had a poor week in common with markets everywhere, particularly commodities, coming down 6k after a further 1.2k withdrawal for my mobile life-style, the new bed and some Ag. A number of emerging markets are collapsing but have very little exposure to them. On year, funds are +116k before 14.6k withdrawal; have reduced risk-assets further. Cold has got worse if anything, really going to rest now! 2moro it's C4c4l and catch-up at home!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

August 16th: talk went superbly, plenty of congratulations; 54 slides took 56 minutes; voice not perfect but relaxed and confident about content with plenty of jokes to ease a potentially heavy atmosphere. Cold came back in evening: think rush of adrenalin can counter such threats for a while! Editor has already agreed for the paper to be submitted this November, making 3 potential publications of the work in the next 3 months (including the 2 journal invitations). Can now relax: looks set for acceptance of ideas; thanks to everyone for support: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Here's reference for the presentation:

Nick Rossiter & Michael Heather, The Universe as Intension: an Expressive Dynamic Information and Communication system as Extension, ANPA 39 – 2018, Rowlands Castle, UK, 13-17 August 2018. pdf

August 15th: overcast in morning with a little drizzle but fairing up in afternoon; wind was light W at 22C. Good day trip out from 08:30 to 18:30 to Avebury (where went with Nick last year) and Stonehenge (which have never properly visited before). Very historical of course owing a lot to the Neoliths and their works c5000 years ago. Avebury has an amazing collection of standing stones all close to the village; Stonehenge is literally monumental in importance with the stones looking massive close-up, all thought to be put in place by a civil army of 1,000+ workers. Had a good day with raptors with 2 Red Kite at Avebury (adult and juvenile circling around a small group of trees to S), 1 at Figheldean at 14:10, 3 at Stonehenge (adult floating near monument on S side, 2 adult looking in territory to NE at Larkhill) and 1 on the road before Avebury at Kintbury at 10:05, total 7. Honey-buzzard totalled 2: 1 to NW of Stonehenge (at Larkhill W, Wiltshire, an adult female briefly forced up in air at 16:22, mobbed by a number of Rook) and a male to the S of Newbury in Hampshire (at 17:30 an adult male appearing majestically up over hill holding A303/A34 roundabout, at low altitude, near Sutton Scotney, pale phase). At Avebury Honey-buzzard habitat was very marginal with trees very sparse to S over grain fields but there were a few more woods on N side; wasps were very plentiful at the cafe. At Stonehenge Honey-buzzard habitat was in distance in an arc from NW to E, with NW looking better as less populated; there were some good-sized shelter-belts here with downland to N, such as Knighton Down Long Barrow. The Sutton Scotney area is very rich for raptors, including Honey-buzzard found in an earlier trip. A Common Buzzard was up over Droxford at 18:20 on way back. Have developed laryngitis so on Nurofen and various throat sweets; somewhat better by evening and getting over infection but think might have to talk tomorrow a little quieter than usual: not good! So early to bed: could do with some company: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

August 14th: busy day at conference, attending 7 talks getting ready for my hour-long talk on Thursday at 11:30; putting in formal limits and colimits into presentation is improving rigour and making it easier to follow (hopefully!). Will need to prepare a slide showing changes from last year's presentation; some cheeky people are presenting the same slides from conference to conference and this is now being actively discouraged by some organisers. Did get out at lunchtime from 12:20-14:00 to Havant Thicket where had 1st (two) flying Honey-buzzard juvenile of the year plus the pair of adults. The older juvenile Honey-buzzard had maybe been fledged a week, slightly ahead of Northumberland birds (9/8). At 12:46 the 1st juvenile seen was still growing feathers and was hesitant in the air: it was accompanied closely by the male as they retreated from the meadow where I started the walk to the large wood in the distance to NW; the juvenile did manage to fly about 1km in level flight so that was a significant achievement. Later at 13:14 the female Honey-buzzard was up over the Thicket with a juvenile struggling to get up in the air below; this juvenile quickly collapsed back into the canopy so the rule that the male accompanies the older juvenile and the female the younger one held well! Also had a family party of Common Buzzard (2 adult, 2 juvenile). Weather was sunny intervals, 22C, light W breeze, humid but dry. 2moro it's trip to Stonehenge as our 'works' outing; takes 2 hours to get there but should be fun! Funds -2k so far this week on negative sentiment through strong $. If we don't see any rally in August may take a few more chips off the table! Pensant à vous: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Nationally in UK 3 more Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 13 birds for month, 13 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 161 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 203 records):

14/08 11:37 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Peene Quarry CP flew south over nearby Newington (10:45)

14/08 08:00 Cambridgeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Huntingdon flew south over racecourse (07:35)

13/08 22:45 Leicestershire and Rutland : European Honey Buzzard, Stoughton one flew south over Sunny Leys (16:55)

August 13th: busy day travelling, leaving Hexham at 08:57 and making Rowlands Castle via KGX and VIC at 16:22, 1 hour late because of signalling problems in Alnmouth area; sure that's very interesting. Straight up to conference after check-in at RH; there was a potentially interesting talk by Mark Johnson, Liverpool University, on Communicative Musicality and Information but it was more on psychology than anything else and didn't raise any of the performance issues. Still enjoying stay, meeting many close friends in the publishing world! Did get 1st half of talk more or less complete during slow travel down; 2moro's a full day 10:00-21:30 but sleep beckons now: plenty of sweet dreams: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Did have a good number of raptors during the journey down: Shilford at 09:10 had a female dark-phase Honey-buzzard doing familiar fly-back at low altitude into the nest site from the Tyne over the railway line; at Bawtry NW had a male Honey-buzzard doing flap-flap-glide over a field flying towards a wood over stubble; at Retford at 11:30 had a Red Kite over NW of town; before Peterborough at 12:00 had a Red Kite up over a wood.

August 12th: we stayed at home in morning before seeing them off. Doing so many catching-jumps with the juniors: couldn't have done that last weekend. After highly erratic sleeping behaviour over their stay, they slept the whole way to NCL and plane had space so no stand-by problems; they book you on as normal passenger if there's bound to be space; it's only if it's tight that you're asked to check-in provisionally. R event was actually fun: plenty of drink and good chat: new President is making his mark! Later made G4g4s where pleased to have J on!! So 2moro back on trail but not for long; have had a couple of journal invitations following Vichy music talk: manque la beauté: lok2tmbo: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

August 11th: we made Travellers Rest, Slaley, for lunch; it has a decent playground so ideal for the little ones (aged 3.5 and 1.9 now). Here's a couple of clips of the action 1  2 plus some stills 1  2  3  4. Younger one is fascinated by butterflies (and dogs, which daughter is resisting!). Everyone was pretty shattered after 2.5 hours there but it was very enjoyable. There is a Honey-buzzard site nearby, at Dipton Wood S, but didn't see any raptors at all. Continued much cooler at 18C but it was sunny in the morning, becoming cloudy by tea-time and now raining heavily. 2moro they're on stand-by for BA flight at 15:40; BA and VA have reciprocal arrangements for their staff. There's an R BBQ in afternoon, which might scrape into near end. Later should make G4g4s with return to normal for 15 hours! Am restricting travel after this next one until RSA as want to settle back in: xxxxxxxxx!!!!

Things are moving at last in Lynx reintroduction: ‘Near certainty’ lynx will be released into wild in Britain as landowners agree to plan Wild lynx could return to Britain for the first time in 1,300 years after landowners agreed to let them roam on 270 square miles of forest in Northumberland. The Lynx UK Trust has applied to Natural England for permission to release six Eurasian lynx into Kielder Forest and a licensing decision is expected shortly. But the rewilding group said that consent for the project was now a ‘near certainty’ after the owners of 20 adjoining plots in the forest agreed the animals could be let loose on their land. If the release is successful it could lead to the widespread reintroduction of the cats into the Scottish Highlands and other parts of Britain.

But last ditch opposition still there. Northumberland sheep farmers 'threaten lynx scheme' The chief executive of the National Sheep Association, Phil Stocker, said: "The influential arguments we have put forward against the release are based on experiences from farmers in other European countries." Supporters of the plan say the animals would help control over-populated deer numbers, reducing forest damage and improving habitat for smaller animals. The benefit to tourism could be worth tens of millions of pounds, they claim. The trust said lynx posed no threat to humans and a very limited threat to sheep. It has arranged insurance for every sheep in the UK against lynx attacks. Richard Bryant, who heads the specialist division of Lloyds of London providing it, said: "Having assessed all the science and research on lynx predation we're very confident that sheep attacks will be rare."

Nationally in UK 3 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 10 birds for month, 10 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 158 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 200 records):

11/08 10:08 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Scarborough female flew west over Morrisons supermarket Seamer at 09:58 (09:58)

[11/08 10:54 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest one still from raptor viewpoint this morning; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at SE936887] not counted for my totals as reported frequently; does update BirdGuides total

[11/08 12:12 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest three from raptor viewpoint late morning; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at SE936887]

August 10th: mainly sunny, cool at 15C, dry, moderate W breeze. Pretty active day, de-cluttering daughter's room of an inefficient book-case and a chipboard desk and sorting out the objects on the surfaces; it's the latter that takes up the time; did find a few Ag necklaces and a Ag bracelet! We've got more to do on that tomorrow with demolition of a free-standing wardrobe and movement of a bathroom cabinet. Back is better: 0 ip today! Food continued on a simple vein with f&c+mp from sc in evening. They went swimming at lunchtime at Wentworth and I went for a short walk looking for raptors. Timing at Tyne Bridge was very fortuitous at 12:16, seeing 2 Honey-buzzard circling very low-down over woods N of Hermitage; both were just above the trees with the female up higher and quickly drifting off to the E, presumably to forage while he quickly landed in the trees again. The young must have fledged here as the nest is to the S at Hermitage and the adults have moved the young to a ridge, where there's more chance for practice flights. Think they must also have fledged at Ordley yesterday so fledging date for study area is fixed at 9/8, c6 days earlier than 'traditionally'. The fine weather this summer may have helped: could be a bumper crop! The only site in Tyne Valley W where no birds found to date is Hexham High Wood. A Red Kite adult was drifting E high above the male Honey-buzzard at 12:16. Earlier at 11:55 a juvenile Common Buzzard was up at Loughbrow. An interesting report was on BBC local news at 22:30 of a Red Kite juvenile found almost dead on the roadside in Northumberland but tended with great care back to health and released today back into the wild where it had been found. They did not say where it was but my guess from the clip of the release was Eastwood Common, near Healey, with the Tyne Valley visible some way to the N. Another blow for the eco-left! Daughter booked my flights for November today with 2-week gap between departure and return; have created a buffer of 2 days between arrival in JBN and start of safari. Cost was £150.40 return against normal charge of £1300. Older granddaughter was charming today but younger one had not such a good day, having 2 major break-downs! Older one is credited by her Iranian relations with Iranian traits; younger one is muttered about a bit more! Personally think older one looks like her maternal grandmother at the same age (which find disconcerting) and the younger one is very determined and not easily distracted (not sure who in the family is like that!). Funds finished +3k at new record, +121k on year before 13.4k of withdrawals; peak was Thursday when 0.5k higher; weak £ is helping matters. World markets are very unstable with the mad Trump's actions: still very wary and amazed that scared investors prefer the $ to Au. 2moro fun continues at TR4m4l, where shall be playing a major supporting role in the playground!! C'est amusant de faire des bébés!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

August 9th: mainly sunny, 18C, dry, moderate W breeze. Met daughter and granddaughters at NCL, plane about 45 min late but all in good spirits! We went home; I did large shop in W and daughter later cooked big meal of spag bol for all of us. Very good to see them all again; son-in-law couldn't come as he's working hard with Gazprom! Younger one, I, was so excited with the action! Earlier at 12:30 had good action from home in nearby Devil's Water with a Red Kite adult circling over trees low-down as if juvenile lurking. At the same time the pair of Honey-buzzard came out of the same general area, soared to some height and the male did the butterfly display in style; all quite brief but very frantic: story of my life!! Not sure whether the Honey-buzzard juveniles are still in the nesting area or have moved to where the adults were today, 300m to E of site. If they've moved, they've obviously fledged so will keep a sharp eye on the area tomorrow. Had another Honey-buzzard, a male, at Throckley N at 15:00 while waiting for plane to land; he was doing flap-flap-glide display coming into nest site from E; things are livening up! Daughter's planning to de-clutter her room: will happily collaborate!! She likes the new bed but so do the girls. Have been invited for a few rounds of drinks at the opening S party on 23/9; might also go to the rock event with RNS on 21/9 though don't think N will join me! Very relieved that I's birthday party (no.2) is on 16/9, thought it might clash with Sage birthday no.60; that's her proper date but they're going to Antigua a bit before and wondered whether they might put it back a week. Did lots of grass cutting today after 1 ip early on; think rest should be avoided. Neighbours are smiling again: the turf is in fine condition in spite of dry conditions and this year's apple crop looks as if it will be a record. 2moro not sure what programme is: will take things as they come: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

August 8th: mainly sunny, relatively cool at 17C, dry, moderate W breeze. Cleaner S wanted to come early so pushed out of house at 15:30; had walk along S edge of Dipton Wood from 15:40-17:05 with at 15:53 a male Honey-buzzard coming in from moderate height to E, coming down steadily into timber to E of where site is thought to be and presumably concluding flight through glades in wood. This sighting was important as the site is the only one in the 'Shire where not seen a Honey-buzzard yet this season so everyone present now! It's always been a difficult site: think the birds keep to the middle of the dense wood as much as possible. Also here had a calling Common Buzzard juvenile, so they're coming out of the woodwork now. Earlier met M at T4c4c where we had good crack about research. Rushed back from field-trip to G4g4t where met B for good catchup! Have summed up the national Honey-buzzard picture, from BirdGuides records, below on 1/8 and the position is carried forward below, with 15/6-31/7 being defined as summer, or more precisely the non-migratory period. There's a trickle of birds leaving now. Didn't feel too good this morning but that might have been the port! Took 1 ip early-on and feeling generally stronger from afternoon onwards so that was it; don't like taking pills as bound to have some side-effects and not on any prescriptions. Deep hot bath was again a good idea: serait bien de prendre un bain ensemble: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! 2moro daughter and family arrive at 14:35 on LHR-NCL; will be great for them to see the country again!!

Nationally in UK 2 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 9 birds for month, 9 birds for autumn, 42 birds for summer, 106 birds for spring, total 157 birds; gross sightings on BirdGuides for year total 197 records):

08/08 22:48 Gloucestershire : European Honey Buzzard, Coleford probable flew south over Lord's Hill at 17:00 (17:00) [?]

08/08 16:32 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, St. Margaret's at Cliffe one flew over mid-afternoon (14:20)

August 7th: sunny, 21C, very comfortable on light SW breeze. Completed site visits, doing 10/10 from 12:00-15:35 to Swallowship by the Devil's Water. Everything was in order with nest found and presumed male Honey-buzzard, as female out foraging, giving one weak anxiety call close to nest at 13:40. The female was seen over open ground at the extreme N edge of Dipton Wood at 15:35 as doing a 5-point turn in the car while finishing the trip; she was flapping from one vantage point to another, giving good views but no time to get the camera on her. Signs were many below the nest and on the edge of the field on S side of nest where concentration due to Wood Ant keeping mainly to the wood itself. The nest was in a very large Scots Pine (185cm girth) in an unusual position straddling a long branch, extending right over the Devil's Water. So it was not in a fork on the main trunk. I've seen this type of nest once before at the Wylam site, also in Scots Pine. Had a noisy family party of Common Buzzard (2 adult, 2 juvenile) on N extreme of Dipton Wood, clearly locally bred. So that's very good end to season of nest visits. The young are presumably 7-10 days from fledging, 2 weeks later than in the Black Forest. Had wondered whether was going to complete the survey in time as have had increasing lower-back trouble since the long and rather stressful return, taking 15 hours, from Baden-Baden on Friday, aggravated by the luggage retraction jamming, meaning had to lift the heavy bag (with laptop and papers) much more than expected. Decided to take some ibuprofen and go for it this morning; took it easy and completed all the tasks at slightly slower speed. Best aid for recovery was an hour-long deep, really hot bath after walk which finally seemed to loosen everything up! Had meal with P at BB at 19:00 which went off well (salmon, Chilean red wine, Eton mess) and we had a couple of port at his house to wind the evening up in style. Funds reached record today by £4.27 (four pounds and twenty-seven pence!), 1k up on week; gain on year is 120k before 13.4k withdrawal. Pleased to finally move to higher ground after the summer relapse. Binned old suitcase yesterday and bought new small (blue) one for £40 from Robbs; also need to replace the medium-sized one as it's a bit creaky. Think a massage would be the ultimate solution: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! 2moro it's T4c4c with M and G4g4t!!

August 6th: made R @ B4m4l where it was a business event; bemused by a rival bespoke web site developed by another member; older people seem obsessed with developing their own applications at enormous expense of time; younger people (and me) just use apps and put up with the odd warp! Made N4c4ll to keep up appearances in old haunts and much later was in G4g4s where 6 of us out for good chat! Funds closed ½ the gap with previous record but still not quite there; have £96.58 daily accrued interest on bonds which will just about close the gap by Saturday! However, sentiment is still largely negative, particularly for metals, so no guarantees! Put off Honey-buzzard site visit as rain forecast but it never arrived; postponed until tomorrow, followed by BB4m4t with P and HoN with the IT gang – busy schedule!! Hope to get a summary for the Auvergne on Honey-buzzard home page tomorrow; think it will be just 1 bird at Aulnat, near airport, but overall raptor totals were better than expected. Sent Wagner Days booking to son and re-affirmed support for house purchase; his first choice has gone to a buy-to-let cash buyer (shows some taste!) but his salary goes up in September, giving him increased purchasing power. xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

August 5th: did sleep very well and had good breakfast; cemented pair-bond; will miss her greatly!!!! Had easy drive back to HEX where made W4shop and had siesta (after looking at bags below my eyes – bad life-style, my mother always used to say!) before finishing the bed assembly and putting-on the new mattress; here it is; it's very comfy!! Claimed 19.97 from Argos for refund on charge for removal of old mattress. Daughter approves: “Well done Dad, looks great. Nice style. Good job we didn’t meet up in NCL! Glad the conference was a success. I’ll send you flight info on Tuesday x”. Made G4g4s where P and dommies players were out in force; agreed with P to go for aperitif and meal in Corbridge (BB) on Tuesday nite!! 2moro it's R @ B4m4l for business meeting, maybe Honey-buzzard site visit 10/10 and G4g4s (again!). xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 1 Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 7 for month, 7 for autumn):

05/08 11:54 South Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Midhope Moor Watchpoint one flew over Ewden Heights and Agden, side heading south at 11:35 (11:35)

August 4th: so interesting a day!! Made C4c4l where trhwso and tbld were looking very fit!! Reading FT confirmed my view that Central Banks everywhere are over-estimating inflation and over-increasing interest rates. As said yesterday commodities are going nowhere; wage rises also seem muted. So might lengthen bond maturities a little and keep putting small amounts into bombed-out natural resources. Next move was into NCL via CAL, where warned about update to computer management system for Metro overnight; all bets off for this evening and tomorrow! Went to Vct4m4t and then got back to CAL, making church at Ponteland via car for Nordic Summer Nights 2. Whole evening was managed very well with JP of FRNS playing an active role and church was packed; JP said gate at Hexham Abbey had been 185, which is very pleasing. There must have been a little panic as TH was unavailable and the Grieg string quartet was replaced by a Mozart oboe quartet. SR took over as violin leader and did very well: never seen her in this role before! Had a good seat in the church, as had got mixed up with the churchwardens by mistake. The Nielsen Serenata in Vano went down very well – nice and lyrical. Suspect Lindberg's Arabesques was a little too modern for the audience but I liked his 'concrete music'! The Berwald Grand Sept was a substantial piece: very well played by all! Overall it was obviously a very good evening musically for the audience. At my stopover I'd been upgraded as appreciation for a regular customer!! Nice view of my crate outside after quick drive-in from Ponteland (10 minutes); could offer a tour!! Where there's a will, there's a way: a few technical details were overcome in style: she's so gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! Gr8 sleep and leisurely breakfast beckon. xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 1 Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 6 for month, 6 for autumn):

04/08 11:21 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Flamborough Head one flew west over South Landing (11:15)

August 3rd: so not-so-good travel tale is below but at least back in time for a couple of g in the Welly with the full complement of the gang! Was concerned that last flight of day would be booked solid but there were a few spare seats: mine was 25F, right at the back in the corner, 1 removed from the toilet! Delay did have a silver lining: masses of work on presentation for ANPA. Funds had a better week on fall in £ and some cheap buying of commodity stocks. It's unbelievable how cheap many commodities are, seeing we're in the 10th year of recovery from the crash. This is not how booms usually end; the low commodity prices will ultimately feed into lower inflation going forward, making bonds more attractive. Funds were +4k on week, +105k on year, and just 1.2k below all-time peak! Could be from CAL at 4, 2moro: looking forward to it: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 3 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 5 for month, 5 for autumn):

03/08 15:15 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, North Chailey flew over early afternoon

03/08 12:48 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest at least 2 still from the raptor viewpoint this morning [this site not counted again with its repeated observations]

August 2nd: wall to wall sunshine today and 30C in strong sunshine and no breeze. Walked up to Ebersteinburg at 390m, and back through Staufen area, where had birds in last visit. Had superb sight of a pair of adult Honey-buzzard up in the air over Staufen for 10 minutes, the male getting up first and going very high with the female following. Other observers make a great fuss of this display, calling it the repelling of invaders but it seems to me that it is simply the pair of adults celebrating the fledging of their young, which may now be out on the branches, cementing their pair bond before their separate departures for the winter, and showing off to the young what is to be expected of them. Also had a single male Honey-buzzard up over the site to SW, a Hobby calling at the viewpoint at the top and a female Goshawk carrying food to S. It's been a great few days for research and think that Honey-buzzard have Baden-Baden surrounded with 4 pairs spaced at 2.0 km apart. Butterflies were tremendous today at c17 types with amazing numbers of Silver-washed Fritillary. Came back into town through the back entrance, which contained a large hostel, possibly for migrants. When at Italian style restaurant in evening, on extreme E of town, noticed significant numbers of Syrian-type families. I think Germany's gain will be Syria's loss much as with the US/UK gain from the Iranian exodus in the early 1980s. Many of the Syrians are already highly educated and the Germans will facilitate their assimilation into employment, education and training. Do have some empathy with the Syrians who have been through hell! The Italian proprietor was very accommodating to them. Another trip over, so very much looking forward to return; will do some work on presentation on way back; maybe W4g4s in evening; next concert is on Saturday in Ponteland with leisurely return!!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!! By coincidence there's a debate on the Syrian migrants now on a morning 3/8 magazine programme on TV; AfD of course are very much against the migrants but the agencies are more sanguine about the integration now under way! Pleasing some people is their willingness to do all sorts of work, particularly in the construction industry, and their sound behaviour. Target is 14:10 STR-AMS! Well made STR in ease with 3 trains spot-on time. Had an adult male Kestrel near STR. But KLM flight 1 was late (fault on incoming plane), so missed rather tight connection. In AMS by 16:30 CET and re-booked automatically, with notification on What's App, text and email, on 22:10 AMS-NCL later tonite! Not good but at least will get back home today. Thank goodness didn't book the concert for this evening and will be refreshed by tomorrow afternoon!!! xxxx Nationally in UK 1 Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 2 for month, 2 for autumn):

02/08 18:43 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Troutsdale one flew over (11:45)

August 1st: well off it went from 10:10-11:10, with 2nd attempt at the Music and Logic prize! Some rolling of the eyes and resignation from quite a few but just a few converts make it all worthwhile and so it proved. I had introduced the lhs/rhs of the brain on the last slide more as a pointer than anything else but that attracted a lot of interest. Indeed questions took 15 minutes, which was very rewarding. I was even more startled when, in the talk after lunch, Walter Schempp (Professor, University of Siegen, Germany) started by expanding on the co-ordination between the hemispheres of the brain with direct reference to music and standing next to me; he's a leading expert in patterns in the brain so quite a tribute. Over coffee later we did discuss why so many people find category theory so difficult: Walter looked surprised at my query but his reply was illuminating: you reason with equational logic as in standard science (lhs) but also very much with diagrams (spatial logic) and this is rhs; so you have the same stress on the brain as in your music. The brains of older people do not have enough plasticity to adapt to such stresses. I learnt CT in my 40s and found it exhausting in its effect on the brain; that's because you are literally building increased pathways between the lhs and rhs. The brain studies don't prove the monad/comonad idea but they are consistent with an intensive system based on adjointness between lhs and rhs, coordinated by monads/comonads.. Anyway I have a new mate in Walter – he's a very genial colleague! I'm happy enough with the Baden-Baden paper (6pp) but still not satisfied with the 2nd half of the presentation (now c50pp): should be 10pp shorter, will work on that for ANPA. The seminar organiser more or less confirmed Walter's views when he later said to me in an exasperated tone: all these diagrams, are they really necessary? (They're my logic!). Weather was again hot today (31C) but cloudier and in the evening it all broke with incredible thunderstorms and torrential rain: think the Honey-buzzard can cope with this as it's a regular weather pattern. It was so wet that even 10m in the open would leave you soaked: we stayed in the pub with the drinks bill almost overtaking the food one! Got an e-ticket through Deutsch Bahn for return in a couple of days to make life simpler. Going away is always good for innovative thinking!! 2moro it's back to the Honey-buzzard at Staufen but might also go to the Fabergé Museum. xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 1 Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 1 for month, 1 for autumn):

01/08 22:13 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Flamborough Head flew south over Beacon Hill (19:06)

BirdGuides total for period 15/6-31/7 (summer) was 42 birds, widely distributed, with only the maximum counts used for Wykeham Forest (3), Swanton Novers (2), Minsmere (1), where repeat sightings were regular. The record at Hickling, Norfolk, repeated mine in mid-May:

18:19 17/06 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Stubb Mill, Hickling 17:00 one over between here and Hickling at 17:00

So spring total nationally in UK was 106 up to 14/6, summer total 15/6-31/7 was 42, giving running total of 148 birds.

July 31st: busy day attending conference from 09:00-18:00; plenty of interest but note maths is fragmentary, not providing an holistic approach; well 2moro got my turn at 10:00 CET to suggest a way forward with presentation pdf; think the atmosphere is a little cosy from the regular contributors' point of view! Made Rathaus for reception by council for the town; very hospitable: the Germans are very good at this if they see you're valuable! Hot today at 33C with plenty of sunshine and remaining dry. Not out in the field today! Cost for mupa tickets I estimate at £280 for 2 upper circle seats for 4 operas; you could easily be into 2-4 times that in London. Son's delighted we've got in, in time. He's lost his first housing target, really waiting until September when his salary goes up. Very heartened after recent email dialogue: gives a bit of a glow!! So getting ready for combat tomorrow: a very good development is that have 45+ minutes for talk so no need to reduce, which is so difficult; morning session has been extended from 10-12 to 9-12 to give the invited speakers more time!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 30th: bit of a lie-in until 9:00 then breakfast and walk from 11:35-16:00 up to Alte Schloss (High Castle) at 430m asl and back with some circularity; this was a substantial climb in beautiful weather with not a cloud in the sky on light variable winds and hot at 32C. Much of the walk was through the woods so not too torrid and at the top found a cafe where drank 1 litre of sparkling water and a cappuccino! The Germans are so thoughtful in their placement of cafes: fancy carrying that load up the hill. I do enjoy the hot more than the cold. Had 4 separate sightings of Honey-buzzard, all clearly with young in the canopy below. It's a very exciting time for the birds as the young get ready to fly for the first time. Bought a map of the local area and will attempt to mark the territories, thus revealing the distance between them, which in this ideal habitat (probably, best in the world, in the Black Forest (Schwarzwald)) may be less than in the UK. Incidentally no wind farms around here: their presence has been exaggerated. Had gateau and tea at end of walk: a local speciality. No conference today but by chance in early evening did meet Daniel Dubois (Belgium), leader of our seminar, and 2 other researchers (Netherlands, France), and we went for a meal, which finished at 23:30. Some of the chat was in French – can make some of it out: je m'appelle Nicholas et j'habite en Teignmouth (school at Teignmouth Grammar). Booked up season ticket with son for June 2019 at mupa, Budapest, for their 2nd presentation of Wagner's Ring Cycle, over 4 days: not for the faint-hearted! So next 2 days are dedicated to the seminar; I'm talking on Wednesday morning. We have a reception in the town hall tomorrow evening. So (good German word) xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 29th: travel went well, up at 06:00, left house at 07:00, drove to NCL where caught 09:30 KLM NCL-AMS; that was a little early at AMS so a tight connection of 40 minutes for AMS-STR became a doddle. Was then stretched a little with the German railway ticket machines but managed to get a 1-zone ticket into main STR Bahnhof for €2.50 (think should have been 2-3 zones) and some sort of ticket to Baden-Württemberg state for €24. Anyway no-one checked my tickets! Finally got to Hotel Beek at 17:40 after getting a taxi for €25 from the Baden-Baden Bahnhof. So long day and very hot at 29C but pleased to be here. Later had a few dunkel beers to rehydrate! Flight over the North Sea was very turbulent: they had to stop serving the snack for a while. This is archetypal Honey-buzzard territory and had a female skirting the tops of the trees over a wood to SE of Baden-Baden Bahnhof at 17:30, suggesting recently fledged young below; they breed 1-2 weeks earlier here than in Northumberland. 2moro making start of conference in afternoon after a walk in the morning. Will be making the slides more concise for my talk as cannot get through 47 slides in 30 minutes; talks are always great for crystallising your thoughts! A gr8 pity my consultant is not here. xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 28th: usual panic when action is required! Act as if every outstanding task has to be finalised before setting off. Did make C4c4l where tbld was in action!! Then cut masses of long grass, which could run away now some rain has arrived, and made good progress on the bed, having just half the slats to fix now: bed of a thousand screws is an apt description!! Prepared Devon M's abstract (below) for our web page and published it; the last sentence is very relevant to the music and logic work. We're giving a paper a week for the next week. I'm not going to Budweis (after which Budweiser beer named) in Czech as that much time away would be a little excessive and might miss my mates!! Take-off 09:30. So lots of kisses, hugs and cuddles to the beautiful ones: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Conference 5th European Summer School in Process Thought in Budweis, 2018

Tuesday 7th August 2018 14:00-14:40

Michael Heather & Nick Rossiter (University of Northumbria, UK) - The Logic of Æsthetics

The first love of Alfred North Whitehead (1861-1947) was Symbolic Logic1 which he and his collaborator Bertrand Russell believed to be at the foundations of mathematics and that occupied the first half of his life explicitly and the second half implicitly. Yet although his writings were mostly technical and scientific nevertheless ‘æsthetics’ is a word that creeps in his writings everywhere but on closer examination is not as incongruous as it might seem on first sight for Whitehead treats mathematical ordering as a fundamental beauty of the Universe and yet allied with concepts like ethics, theology and even music. For when towards the end of his long life in 1944 Whitehead is asked the questionAre not Æsthetics a form of Ethics?’ his reply somewhat surprises his listeners until he elaborates. Earlier in 1937 Whitehead suggests that in the distant future the subject of Symbolic Logic would expand to examine patterns beyond space, number and quality and by the use of real variables ‘will become the foundation of æsthetics’. The phrase ‘real variables’ is perhaps an example of his belief that knowledge passes with each generation while ‘the words are retained, but with different meaning’.2 Real variables can now express formally the relationship between logic and æsthetics by adjunction in Category Theory. The Universe is the Cartesian Closed Category of a Topos initially modelled in Category Theory at first order as a sheaf over a set by Grothendieck but æsthetics in metaphysics is of higher order and requires the full Topos concept of Aristotle in impredicative mathematics first mooted by Russell (as ‘non-predicative’) but never successfully developed. Whitehead recognised the need for a robust type theory but it seems made no serious attempt to join Russell in his endeavour to achieve it.

In the natural version of Category Theory of postmodern mathematics, dialectic and aesthetics are adjoint metaphysical processes within logic: Dialectic <=> Æsthetics with the right adjoint Æsthetics as the co-unit of adjunction. In Plato’s world the highest form of pure beauty is the expression of divine eroticism whereby the human soul has sought after God from the origins of the Universe. In metaphysics God is the left exact limit and human souls are individuated (along with the other entities of creation) as right exact co-limits alienated from God: Chaos <=> Cosmos; Logic and the Erotic emerge with Logic the left-exact to creation and the Erotic as right-exact to creation: Logos <=>. Erôs. Erôs is the urge to return to God in death. These relationships can be better understood within the formal Dolittle Diagrams of Aristotelian Category Theory.

July 27th: still very hot at 25C with plenty of sunshine and dry through the day with moderately heavy rain arriving at 20:30 just as the lunar eclipse was about to start; the thunderstorms though remained to the E over Wylam and Newcastle. Made N4c4ll where very pleased 2 c tbld and tmfso!! Did a lot more gardening, cutting back Bird Cherry so that the moth trap light reaches the field directly. Also unpacked the double bed and started assembly: so far so good! Made W4g4s where 5 of us out for good chat; N said weather was too bad in NCL for him to attend. Funds finished +1k on week, +102k on year and 5k short of all-time record, after final payment made on Kruger trip, giving withdrawal of 1.4k on week, 13.4k on year. Commodity stocks are starting to look attractive again, particularly those in oil, where commodity price is holding up well in the face of a strong $. Kruger trip has cost £2.2k for all the basics, including the safari, internal flights, conference fee, accommodation, meals, workshops, bank charges; just really the flight from LHR-JNB return to pay, an extra £100, and drinks! 2moro it's C4c4l and final preparations: va manquer les beautés: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 26th: hot today at 26C with strong sunshine magnifying the effect; light rain shower later at NCL, CAL and in the 'Shire. but drying out very quickly again. Met M at T4c4c where he was despondent about the rejection of a couple of his computing papers. Did battle with the shoe market at Clarks, buying a pair of brown moccasin for 21, reduced from 70, and having smart old black shoes re-soled at DSB for 29! Did a lot of gardening in the afternoon, hacking back much vegetation on road-side and near shed, to make it more open at the back and visible from the roadside. Drove to CAL and at last (always thought it would happen sooner or later) a Honey-buzzard male was seen c2km W of the Throckley N site, doing some hunting over a roadside to N. That takes number of sites to 24, c ½ of last year's total. Have had long think about value of Round 2 nest-visits and decided to axe them, at least for this year. The value is far less than for Round 1 visits, which confirm presence of birds, their nest site, remains below the nest and initial success. So this will release time from mid- to end-August for general visits to sites to check on breeding success for Honey-buzzard as well as for other raptors. It will also release time for capitalising on Baden-Baden and Hampshire conferences by starting detailed write-up of the full paper, including analysis of problems. With N had leisurely tea at MP, followed in S2 by Samling Academy Opera doing Venus and Adonis (John Blow) and Come, ye Sons of Art (Henry Purcell). The band was the Dunedin Consort playing on period instruments. The performers were music students, giving them a great opportunity for experience in the world of performing arts. Met CM, General Manager of Samling, before and in interval; she gave me a gr8 hug!! She was bar-lass at G for a while!! I am a Friend of the Academy. It all went off well: very smooth and enthusiastic. N loves Baroque music so he was in his element! We went to Br4g4s for chat. Much later had gr8 end to day: very thrilling: tender farewell: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! Metro was packed late-on as Little Mix's concert in Gateshead Stadium came to a close; evidently 2 of their members were born in South Shields! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 25th: quieter day on the web site but traffic still higher than normal. Warm today at 22C on strong sunshine and light SE breeze. Did make site visit 9/10 to Shilford from 13:30-16:30. Walk-in was interesting with both big metal gates open, no pheasants at the release pen and no sign of anyone around; think they're doing some fencing around the narrow field where sheep graze and the contractors were being given easy access. The Honey-buzzard nest was easy to find, being in same Scots Pine as last year and with masses of Scots Pine sprays around the rim. There were plenty of signs below the nest, including small white down and heavy splash. The birds were keeping a low profile but did hear the occasional quiet anxiety call (from presumed female) and the Crows were excited at times, with a Jay on the W side. On way out at 16:15, getting close to the car a male Honey-buzzard came up smartly over the conifer wood to W, some 2km from the nest site. He looked as if he might be going to soar but instead dived rapidly back towards the ground. He was out on a foraging trip; think he'd seen me once up in the air and decided to disappear quickly, a frequent Honey-buzzard tactic when 'cornered'. So that was the pair found! Butterflies were fantastic: 10 types. Am going to do a butterfly count in my field and garden tomorrow. Site 10/10 will have to wait. Booked up my rail travel to Hampshire for mid-August, switching the agent from LNER to TrainLine as LNER seem unable to book reservations; also booked hotel there, my usual (Robin Hood). Sorted parking at NCL Airport for next week and confirmed stay-over a day later. Made G4g4t where pleased to see l back! Did some active rehydration there, with lively crack! 2moro it's T4c4c with M, new smart shoes, MP4m4t from CAL with N at 17:00, Samling Singers at S2. Hâte d'y être: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 24th: traffic on Honey-buzzard web pages switched to home page, with 240 visitors today, well above normal; a lot of the visitors are from SW England! Published this evening Honey-buzzard in Cornwall at and updated Devon page at with information from 2017. Started getting daughter's room straight by demolishing old bed and taking it out into the back garden; also removed an old billiard table stored under the bed, no longer fit for purpose – quite a weight; that's also outside now. Had leisurely N4c4c and good chat with my computing mates at HoN4st4s; think Tuesday will be new nite but still will miss a few! On way back to S met flashing blue lights before Linnels Bridge; a stolen van had crashed into the top of the bank on the other side and the thief had done a runner; we were encouraged to go through and wait while the recovery team got to work but looked a long job and did a 5-point turn on the bank on Slaley side of bridge to go back and suggest to PC that we switched to the Lamb Shield interchange; he readily agreed! Funds unchanged; detect a slight upbeat in sentiment, which may lead to a rally in August. 2moro it's site visit 9/10 so energetic again, followed by G4g4s, where will fit in well with the builders after a hard day-out!! After T4c4c with M and S4con with N on Thursday, there are heavy thunderstorms threatened for Friday so think site visit 10/10 will have to wait a little. Expecting to get back to Music&CT on Friday as need to shorten Vichy talk for Baden-Baden. Beaucoup de bisous à la magnifique: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 23rd: concentrated on Cornish records from 25/5-31/5 for 2017 today, adding them all to BirdTrack from a spreadsheet and producing raptor and butterfly summaries. Tomorrow will publish a new page Honey-buzzard in Cornwall, accessible from the home page. Do like Cornwall: watch Poldark every Sunday; think he's more suited to country ways than London ones! Next target is the Irish records. The W part of the British Isles was assumed by many to be a graveyard for Honey-buzzard, all drowning in the Atlantic after following the SW peninsula of England straight out into the ocean. This does not appear to be the case with breeding populations well-established in Devon, Cornwall and Ireland. So what is going on? My guess is that there is increased mortality of juvenile birds but birds who make it to adulthood master the tricky route (and remember it) to establish a successful colonisation. Earlier made R @ B4m4l where address by District Governor (our chief!). He did congratulate us on the web site being up to date! Establishing a better relation with new President who replied to my strong interest in the new programme of events for 2018-19 with “Thanks Nick, that's great. I look forward to seeing more of you on a social basis. Best wishes”. Did make return to N4c4ll where spied tmfso!! Much later made G4g4s but rather late as had got absorbed in the Cornish records. Had good chats with G on prospects for Scottish/Devon football clubs in the new season and with A on how Gateshead is sneaking up on Newcastle in the fame stakes. Having the cabinet at the Sage today was quite a coup: hope they charged the forkers appropriately!! 2moro it's N4c4l and out with IT crowd (A/M) later in new routine; will see how it goes!! Son's put in an offer on a house in Hatfield area for 195k: what a transformation: will support, 12k+ promised!! Keen to encourage the spread of home ownership: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Think might have a stop-over after Ponteland on 4/8: fits into the category of relaxation after Germany and might be timely on a tour basis!!

July 22nd: a further 80 visits to page Honey-buzzard in Devon today. Regional updates are perhaps a good idea so will push Cornwall 2017 and Ireland, to date, forward to publishing as a priority. Did site visit 8/10 today to Oakpool on East Allen from 14:20-18:05 in perfect weather – sunny 23C, light to moderate SW breeze, dry. Had a pair of Honey-buzzard at Staward S site, the female coming in purposefully at 14:48 with a dive from up on high and the male popping out at 14:55, with a brief soar followed by a glide; thermals were very strong in the sunshine. The former's another strategy for approaching the nest inconspicuously, an alternative to gliding through glades. This looks like a classical co-operative pair: the male was guarding the nest, the female comes in with food which she gives to the young, the male departs to forage, the female takes over the brood duty. In all raptors there is strong collaboration between the pair throughout the egg laying, rearing and fledging stage, but in some the female will not let the male near the nest, intercepting him to obtain the food. With the Honey-buzzard the male does bring food right into the nest and will perform brood duties. So they're good role models!! For the nest visit was hoping they were still using the same nest in an Oak tree as the area to the N which they've used before is almost impenetrable temperate jungle. Was worried on approach as nest looked smaller than last year but then found extensive remains below the tree and realised the frontage of the nest had been turned round with the front visible from the track much reduced and the rear barely visible from anywhere built up substantially with oak sprays. No birds were seen for a while but eventually had a cross-sounding call followed by the male flying over going SW. As walked up the steep hill out, the female came out of the wood, soaring powerfully before also going SW (towards the moors). Pheasant release pen was unoccupied so no gamekeeper activity (and no vehicle tracks on the steep lane within the wood!). Had 8 types of butterfly in the sunshine. Had another brush with the assiduous local squire, who's been trying to catch me off-piste for a while. I was on Oakpool Bridge, looking for Purple Hairstreak (not found) and then went to the corner of the crossing for a comfort break. This leads onto a private track. The owner thought 'got him at last' as he suddenly appeared on the bridge but I just re-emerged and started to walk out up the road. It's an energetic trip with quite a drop from the top to the valley bottom but you do get marvellous views over all the Allens and can see the Staward S site, which was a definite plus today. The squire had been lagging behind events as sometimes I park closer to his mansion on the W side of the valley. Much later made G4g4s where had good chat with G, even being introduced to S! Hope to get 1 more nest visit in before the break. Am going with N to MP/S2 for Samling on Thursday evening. So action is promised: tempting to make another visit: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! 2moro it's R @ B4m4l, G4g4s and catch-up on records.

July 21st: Nordic Summer Nights continued in great vein!! The concert headed Sibelius 2 went off very well at St George's Church, Cullercoats. The 18 performers played pieces by Nielsen, Sibelius and Svendsen before the interval, followed by Sibelius 2, arranged Iain Farrington, for the smaller orchestra. Tristan Gurney did an expert job as Director/Violinist and the Sibelius was absolutely stunning; speaking to AY afterwards, she confirmed that it had been a great experience!! Earlier made C4c4l where tbld in good form!! FT obviously concerned about trade wars; reaffirmed that if the war stays where it is, effects will be small but the problem is these matters tend to escalate. Had 2 Nightjar late yesterday, one on way to pub at Swallowship, the other on way back at Lamb Shield. Today had a female Honey-buzzard out foraging low-down near Close House turn-off at 17:30 and a juvenile Kestrel on wires at Throckley shortly after. Enjoyed longer trip on the Metro from CAL. Nite finished on a very high note: scintillating coda: very good feeling: she's so wonderful: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! Masses of interest in my page Honey-buzzard in Devon at, not sure what's going on; hit rate was 1 per minute mid-afternoon with total of 260 hits for this one page during day! 2moro it's another site visit and much later G4g4s. xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 20th: some light rain this afternoon so made N4c4ll for relaxation. Rain appeared to ease off at 16:00 so got ready to do site visit no.7 but just as set-off, it started again. Still carried on and visited March Burn site from 17:45-20:40; it became drier towards end of visit. No Clegs but main feature of this site is the ubiquity of the Wood Ant: they are everywhere, crawling on the bark of trees, in big nests on the floor and getting into everything you put down for 5 minutes! They also clean up Honey-buzzard remains at a great pace. Nest is a re-use of last year's in same Hemlock Spruce, high up in the bottom of the canopy and stretching ½ way round the trunk. There were quite a few remains close to the nest-tree, including 7 small white down (eggs have hatched), 1 large white down, 2 chewed wax comb, 1 heavy splash, 1 medium splash. No sign of the adults. Left site and drifted down to the N, where had plenty of fruit and water; coffee cup was placed by mistake on the edge of an ant nest and was soon a seething mass, which had trouble removing! Walked across field back to road and looked back at the nest for 20 minutes; at 19:45 the male Honey-buzzard was seen moving N towards the nesting area flying through the tops of the trees; when he came opposite the nest, he dipped down below the canopy moving W and was clearly following a glade right into the nesting area. Also here had a Woodlark flying over edge of common to E, 50 Linnet, 9 Swallow, a Green Woodpecker yaffling and a Great Spotted Woodpecker. Roe Deer were barking in the wood; can worry some people as they sound like dogs on the loose! So that's good progress for the survey; next site visit (8/10) is on Sunday. Made W4g4s with 4 of us out; numbers still diminished with DP having a chest infection. Discovered (as no cash taken from bank account) that booking for Sage for next season had gone astray; quickly sorted by NH; total cost is £1064.30 with £174.30 paid today on debit card. Paid today substantial deposit on Kruger trip via Caxton, giving total withdrawal on week of 1.4k, making 12.0k for year. Funds, under pressure all week from commodity crash, were resilient as many denominated in the strengthening $, finished 3k down, including the withdrawal; on year it's +101k after withdrawals. Here's a clip showing S (almost 3 ½) riding bike without stabilisers at home and a picccie of the 2 girls S & I (about 1 ¾). I's given up her sleep in the afternoon, just becoming grizzly instead! They're coming up a few days later in August now so can make the Ponteland concert. 2moro it's C4c4l followed by CC for Sibelius 2; will go from CAL, doing a clockwise manoeuvre around the area!! Fait de beaux rêves ma jolie: xxxxxxxxxx!!

July 19th: did complete documenting 17/7/2017 at Towsbank (7124) and Featherstone (7124a); next stage is producing report for Honey-buzzard in Northumberland for 2017: getting there! Think I'll sort out some recent records first. Met M at T4c4c where we had good crack. May be moving IT nite from Thursday to Tuesday as I'm often doing other things on Thursday. Made MP4m4t via CAL with N where we had leisurely meal from 17:30-19:30. Agreed in principle to support New York Met at TC. Nordic Summer Nights were superb!! Particularly liked the Nielsen SQ 1; wonder why such works lie neglected; the andante amoroso was so beautiful and the last 2 movements formed such a lively contrast. The players were obviously inspired and got a tremendous reception, which was completely deserved; strong hams: very moving throughout!! Nitecap was brilliant: highly sensuous: appeals to the dark side: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! Scott's home early!! 2moro it's N4c4l, maybe not site visit no.7 as rain forecast so catch-up! xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Clearing up at t-time so now going out on site visit: mustn't be a wimp. Really pleased we still got a result last nite!!!

July 18th: almost completed documenting 17/7/2017 at Towsbank (7124) and Featherstone (7124a). Have finished processing and indexing the piccies and records; just a little house-keeping to do. Argos finally arrived at 16:30 (window was 07:00-18:00), not too happy at an extended tour of the 'Shire through someone giving them 'misleading' instructions! So bed's here; just needs assembling; help and you can sleep in it!! The bed and mattress are for my daughter's room. Talking of whom, meeting them at NCL Airport on 3/8 as they arrive from LHR and I arrive from STT via AMS; we must be the jet set!! Not sure I'll be able to get away to make the 4/8 concert at Ponteland but will be there in spirit (and won't ask for my money back!). So booked up as well the concert at Cullercoats this Saturday to add to tomorrow's! Back to Argos, they wouldn't collect the old mattress as they didn't have a bag to put it in; so I've left it outside on the front grass waiting for them to come back! Started a subscription to Bloomberg's digital news service with $10 a month for 3 months followed by normal rate of $35 a month. Bloomberg is a major sponsor of New York Met and see they're doing some Wagner this year; should resume going to their operas at TC on Saturday night now late-night travel improved; will raise it with Nick 2moro! Made G4g4t where pleased to meet B again, who's been in Limoges area of France for 2 weeks. 2moro it's T4c4c with M, some grass cutting, completion of 2017 bird records, CAL-NCL, MP4m4t, S2-4con; looking forward to it: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 17th: what a day in the upper South Tyne, having a long session at the site near Eals from 15:25-19:00 in overcast conditions but quite warm and it stayed dry. Raptors were incredible with 16 birds of 6 types: Common Buzzard 5 (Towsbank 4, Snope Burn 1), Red Kite 3 (2 juvenile, 1 adult), Hobby 1 (adult male), Goshawk 2 (adult male, juvenile male), Kestrel 3 (adult female, 2 juvenile), Honey-buzzard 2 (pair). This was nest visit 6/10 so making good progress; it's not a long walk but spend quite a lot of time perched on the steep side of a soft bank on which you slide gently down if you don't have walking poles for support. The nest in oak is a proper one this year in a fork with the outside covered in oak leaves and sprays and at a higher position than last year. The pair were at home and captured some alarm and curse calls on the camera. Total amount of material obtained was very large! Many other birds have had a great breeding season. Home page is now up to date with Northumberland running totals for 2018; even with scaled-back effort have found birds at 22 sites (20 male, 15 female) and have done 60% of nest visits. All the evidence points to complete occupation of last year's sites and, as intended, have collected more information with a more measured approach. Last year for instance I would have checked today 2 more sites for occupation, spending less time in vicinity of one pair. Should add that I'm still very careful about over-staying my welcome: time spent near nest is strictly limited! Only 1 Cleg seen: duly squashed! lok2tmbo!!!! Next site visit will be Friday; 2moro waiting for delivery; breaking out on Thursday, meeting N for MP and S24con; looking forward to that!! Should be gorgeous: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Funds -2k as strong $ drives down commodity prices, particularly PoO, but effect is muted as have reduced exposure; still picking up the odd 'bargain'!

July 16th: broke new ground today in Bucks by visiting a fairly typical area of the lower Chilterns, looking for Honey-buzzard from 13:00-15:00. Area selected was near the M40 J2 where the enormous flock of Red Kite seen on 14/7. Weather was hot at 30C, with a little breeze but basically dry and stifling. Mission was highly successful: much more to follow. Have prepared spreadsheet with up-to-date totals for the Honey-buzzard survey in Northumberland in 2018, which will publish tomorrow. Also made progress on last bird records for 2017 (upper South Tyne, 17/7, 7124), which should publish on Wednesday. Did catch late train 19:30 KGX-NCL (18:15 from EAL) and it was on time all the way. Thunderstorm at Northallerton confirmed change in weather in the NE as in the forecasts. When arrived it was 13C (25C in London, dry, as left) with heavy rain; had no pullover, let alone a coat, wrong shoes (slippery in the wet) so SH, making HEX on last train at 23:35. Trip as a whole was marvellous: thanks to everyone who contributed: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! 2moro it's nest visit 6/10. Argos are threatening another delivery (attempt) on Wednesday; order will be cancelled if they don't turn up.

July 15th: weather again hot at 29C with almost no breeze. Well thought party at Kingston Vale would be a kiddies one but not really right: it was clearly an opportunity for adults to have a good time! There were 35 of us there: 27 adult, 8 children, but 23 of the adult were Iranian! I had a great time, plenty of red wine, and learnt how to do Iranian dancing, with plenty of stimulation: why are Iranian women so attractive!! Did have a male Honey-buzzard up high to E, when focused on more critical matters, hanging for a few seconds before diving over Wimbledon Common, an SSSI, a new site for me, perhaps adjacent to one in Richmond Park. But basically absorbed by the party! We bought Rayan a Lego present of Jurassic World for £60, went down well. Back to Ealing late evening for recuperation! Big sis is a little disapproving but to her credit she did the driving. 2moro we'll be out for a walk!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 14th: made Burnham Beeches, near J2 of M40, in early afternoon in hot sunshine at 29C; it stayed completely dry today. Had 6 Red Kite and 2 Common Buzzard before an amazing show at 15:00 of Red Kite over Bower Wood, near J2, totalling c60 up in the air at once, including both adult and juvenile. We also found a Tawny Owl feather. Butterflies were again good. In evening we took E10/65 buses to Richmond where met son and daughter for meal at Zizzi, an Italian Restaurant, where had Calzone and some red wine; sis paid. We had great chat! Daughter says she'll come out to JNB with me for few days before safari starts. Son is keen to go to Wagner's Ring at Budapest next June (my shout!!), performed in 4 straight nights. He's going to Mahler 8 (Symphony of a Thousand) next Saturday at Proms to claim seat won in a lottery as so over-subscribed. 2moro it's big family party at Kingston with 35 invites out: should be great occasion!! Tard lundi soir voit les choses en levant: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

More on the brain and music. Popular psychology has intonation on lhs and expressiveness on rhs of brain but this does not match the hands on the violin, where left hand (intonation) maps onto the opposite rhs of the brain and right hand (articulation) maps onto the opposite lhs of the brain. Further, rhythm is assigned popularly to the lhs but this must be an oversimplification as it involves the co-ordination of both hands. Looking to a better understanding:

Linear reasoning functions of language such as grammar and word production are often lateralized to the left hemisphere of the brain. In contrast, holistic reasoning functions of language such as intonation and emphasis are often lateralized to the right hemisphere of the brain. [Dehaene S, Spelke E, Pinel P, Stanescu R, Tsivkin S (1999). "Sources of mathematical thinking: behavioral and brain-imaging evidence". Science. 284 (5416): 970–4. doi:10.1126/science.284.5416.970. PMID 10320379]

With word production, as articulation, on lhs and intonation on rhs, this matches the handling of a violin. In CT articulation will be a category A and intonation a category I with adjoint functors F: I → A and G: A → I giving the relationship F --| G as a 4-tuple <F, G, η, ε>. η the unit of adjunction measures the creativity of the free functor F, ε the counit of adjunction measures the enforcing of the rules by the underlying functor G.

Further the same reference says:

Other integrative functions such as intuitive or heuristic arithmetic, binaural sound localization, etc. seem to be more bilaterally controlled.

Rhythm should be replaced by the process of delivery or performance, which is higher-order involving both intonation and articulation in the context of a time series. Such a higher-order performance will be a monad T (with comonad S) operating on the adjointness GF (and FG). This monad (comonad) operates across both the lhs and rhs, creating an intensive effort in the brain in communication through the Corpus Callosum, which connects the two hemispheres. So intensive is this effort in musicians that:

The front portion of the human corpus callosum has been reported to be significantly larger in musicians than non-musicians [Levitin, Daniel J. "This is Your Brain on Music"]

Musical training has been shown to increase plasticity of the corpus callosum during a sensitive period of time in development. The implications are an increased coordination of hands, differences in white matter structure, and amplification of plasticity in motor and auditory scaffolding which would serve to aid in future musical training. The study found children who had begun musical training before the age of six (minimum 15 months of training) had an increased volume of their corpus callosum and adults who had begun musical training before the age of 11 also had increased bimanual coordination.[Steele, C. J.; Bailey, J. A.; Zatorre, R. J.; Penhune, V. B. (2013). "Early Musical Training and White-Matter Plasticity in the Corpus Callosum: Evidence for a Sensitive Period". Journal of Neuroscience. 33 (3): 1282–90. doi:10.1523/JNEUROSCI.3578-12.2013. PMID 23325263.]

So the monad (dually, comonad) has a lot to answer for! This is great support for the Vichy/Baden-Baden approach but may leave its presentation to ANPA. Feel that performing at international conferences or in legal courts is similar to the music performance with intensive co-ordination of articulation (rhetoric) on lhs and intonation (dialectic) on rhs. The intensive performance will be energy sapping! Politicians just do rhetoric! Thanks to consultant for triggering these thoughts!!

July 13th: train was full by York but managed to get a decent seat at NCL by nipping on quickly! Had a female Honey-buzzard patrolling a marsh, 10 minutes before Darlington where I've seen them before. Honey-buzzard like marshes as they're insect and amphibian rich. Did do some CT on way down, mainly for ANPA, looking at psychology articles on distribution of activities within the two hemispheres of the brain. Must say not at all convinced by the popular psychology, with logic on lhs and expressiveness/emotion on rhs, used by some to stereotype male and female brains and even the role of intuition. Pleased to say there's not much real scientific evidence to support such ideas. It does seem though that the hemisphere opposite a physical activity does the basic coordination of that activity (left-hand for instance is 'controlled' by rhs of brain). But many higher-level activities are done through co-ordination of both sides of the brain. Surprise, surprise, CT handles all of this very well and will give the example of playing an instrument tomorrow. All on time by EAL, just 4 hours 7 minutes door to door,via Piccadilly/District lines! We went for walk in Pitshanger Park, which was so dry; the wild flowers planted by the Council were in fine fettle and had 7 types of butterfly; it was 29C but amazingly the drought was broken in the early evening with a heavy shower of rain. Sis is worried about a planning application for 3 houses on her N boundary. She's not been notified of the application by the builder, which is serious as the newbuild comes within 0.5m of her (party) wall. The applicants say the property meets the 6m rule on excavations (correct) but there's another 3m rule which is clearly broken and they've ignored it. So suggested she employed a surveyor to challenge the plans. Basically there's only really room for 2 houses on the plot, so it needs knocking back to that level. Hope Yorkshire went well!! Daughter has finally settled her trip up here for 3/8 (pm)-6/8; don't think she could believe how much I was away! Funds unchanged on week; think might see a wee revival in August, often a good month for markets. Slept very well: rejuvenated by time left; it's amazing how some activities de-stress and refresh: fait de beaux rêves ma jolie: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro might be meal out but no venue yet!

July 12th: completed report on Wylam for last year's visit (22/6, 7101); only one to do now for Towsbank. Need to do a final trawl after that through various notes and image files and then can complete records for the year. Butterflies yesterday at Wylam were fantastic with 9 types, including White-letter Hairstreak and Purple Hairstreak. For November 2018, booked up 5-day Kruger RRF conference, including a 6-day safari before on the Escarpment and the Kruger, plus stay at the camp, tutorials, talks, meals, internal air flights, 1 short safari at conference itself, all for a bargain R38k. Just need to book flights now from LHR-JNB; daughter says there will be 3 flights a day in each direction with VA by then; that's good for stand-by, for which you have to pay taxes (c£100 return) but no fares (c£1300 return, which of course include taxes). Would be lovely to have a companion!! Taking it easy on current trip; some desirable catalyst seems to have initiated a break from recent hard work!! Feeling very good: she's so inspirational: absolutely gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro aim is 09:58. xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 11th: had good chat with M about CT; we discussed how the violin makes music theory more complicated, meaning many theorists stick to the piano as at Vichy. CT can handle in pullbacks real numbers as in microtones so we don't have a problem as stated in Baden-Baden paper. Made Wylam for site visit no.5 in very sunny weather c22C; it's gr8 planning these visits without having to worry about the rain. The male Honey-buzzard was at home, using the same (small) nest as last year in a Scots Pine. Ongoing timber operations have felled the adjacent plantation but the birds didn't seem too bothered; there was no sign of any preliminary work to fell the area in which the Honey-buzzard are nesting. It looks as if the young have just hatched with a few pieces of small white down around. As I entered the copse the male did a very low pass over the wood, coming right over the nest, presumably telling the young to keep quiet. He then circled over the wood with the female moving higher and that was the last I saw of him. Suspect he thought it didn't look as if I was going to climb the tree (correct!) so no need to panic. There was plenty of splash around. On way back had a male Honey-buzzard over fields near A69 at Whittle Dene, another new site for year, plus 40 Swift hawking over a nearby field. Made G4g4t where H on!! Football fans were gathering steadily but I left before the game started! 2moro if Argos turn-up will be on my way as planned: se réveiller en ville est toujours super: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Argos no show by 14:28, keeping to plans anyway!

July 10th: spent much time bashing away at the visit to Wylam last year on 22/6 (7101). Got the material sorted and labelled; just need to index it now on the 2017 NB page and add records to database. Finalisation of 2017 records is getting closer! Did meet N at AF where we had great catch-up: bought a 1724 rat-tail spoon in fair condition for £60, labelled at £75, routine deduction; dealer said they were getting scarcer (as marketed items), my impression from Ebay. Persuaded N to come to S2 concert on 19/7 with MP b4; I'm not going to Corbridge one (same as S2) nor Hexham one (away) but did book today for the Ponteland one on 4/8, as very convenient!! Made N4c4ll where had bonus c! Started planning the Kruger itinerary; could be away 17 days with a safari trip before the 5-day conference and some buffer time at start as fly stand-by LHR-JNB, courtesy of daughter's employment with VA! Eventual destination is SZK but may only need that flight on way back as the safari tour, integrated with the conference, delivers us there the day before it starts. Must register tomorrow for R4160 as then get access to lots of booking facilities such as for accommodation and meals. Area will contain wintering Honey-buzzard from Russia: what a temptation for anyone!! 2moro it's M at T4c4c, nest visit 5/10, G4g4t. Argos have rescheduled their missed delivery for Thursday 10:00-14:00: let's pray! Really looking forward to next trip: seize est l'heure: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Have registered for Rayan's 6th birthday party, to be also attended by his cousins, my granddaughters: expecting a quiet afternoon!! Funds +1k so far this week: not too much ventured at present!

July 9th: made site visit 4/10 from 16:40-19:20 to local site, another one with fine riverine views by the Devil's Water. Weather was much cooler, overcast c16C, dry, light NE breeze. Walk is short but involves crossing the burn and climbing an almost vertical bank, to get onto what appears to be an island but it isn't really; habitat is very rough underfoot with many fallen branches and high bracken. Birds are pretty shocked when you crawl up the bank and suddenly appear in the immediate area of their nest, giving instant reaction. Today's visit was very successful, with the nest another re-use of the Hemlock Spruce tree; indeed during the whole study they've only used 2 nests at this site. There was plenty of heavy/medium splash in the nest area plus a few small white down, indicating that the young have hatched. As for the birds, they were vociferous at the start with both male and female up in the air over the nest, giving excited anger calls. As the visit went on they were replaced by a pair of Common Buzzard, who had a nest c60m away from the Honey-buzzard in another Hemlock Spruce tree; this nest was plastered with down and splash, like normal raptor nests (but not the pristine Honey-buzzard!). When the Common Buzzard came too close to the Honey-buzzard, there was a furious reaction with screaming calls. The Common Buzzard might have fledged already, certainly no juvenile cries from that area. Took aftermath of visit more carefully with stretching of leg muscles, rehydration, long hot bath and eating bananas; on Saturday had a spell of hamstring cramp, after the Staward visit, which was really painful! Rubbing the area affected did help on Saturday: just like in the World Cup but your neighbours may not understand!! Anyway was fine tonite!! Made R @ B4m4l where good talk on bees by NW, N4c4ll and G4g4s. 2moro it's Shack in Wentworth 4c4c and AF with N; might look at the Ag, very little on Ebay at the moment. Should make N4c4ll. Coming weekend looks to be hectic, including birthday party of cousin to granddaughters: should be fun! Maybe exciting time b4: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! About to start booking for Raptor Research Foundation conference in Kruger Park, RSA, in mid-November; room for 2!!

July 8th: another sunny day at 23C but with more cloud in morning. Did a lot of work on records, catching up with those from June, in particular from Hungary. Also had massive moth catch last night of 30+ species so that took some time to analyse. Did make G4g4s where met P and the dommies players for good crack. Back home put on Barenboim's Tannhäuser III for a nite-cap: absolutely brilliant!! 2moro sees R @ B4m4l, N4c4ll, another site visit (4/10) and G4g4s!! Think the ultra-dark T&I is more relevant than Tannhäuser: fait de beaux rêves ma jolie: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Red Kite in Northumberland page is very popular at the moment, showing the success of the reintroduction. The incompetent and eco-leftish Northumbria Ringing Group (NRG), who have failed to record its success, are a disgrace to NE England. Bird species grossly under-recorded inland, through (a) their lack of survey activity, (b) inability to identify species correctly when they do get out, (c) prejudices, and (d) dominance on the County Records Committee, include not only Red Kite, but also Honey-buzzard, Hobby and Woodlark. Quite an achievement!! Their Red Kite folly has serious implications as national bodies (RSPB, Natural England) do expect authoritative local monitoring to take place to provide information on the success or otherwise of their expensive re-introduction schemes. Put bluntly the NRG wanted the Red Kite re-introduction in Gateshead to fail so they could hammer the landowners and have done everything possible to portray it as a failure. What hubris!!

Not forgotten Vichy. Special friends made/retained: Thomas Noll, Escola Superior de Music de Catalunya, Barcelona (keynote speaker in Music and Logic Workshop on tones and chords: intuitionistic approach); Ingolf Max, University of Leipzig (Chair of Music and Logic Workshop, speaker on logic and harmony); Guilia Lorenzi, Department of Philosophy, University of Milan (speaker in Music and Logic Workshop on Listening and Reading); David McGoveran, Alternative Technologies, Deerfield Beach, USA (keynote speaker on foundational issues in Workshop Logic for Dynamic Real-World Information; ANPA West stalwart); Tamar Lando, Department of Philosophy, Columbia University, New York (speaker on topology in Workshop Modal Logic, in collaboration with Tel Aviv University).

Some totals compiled for Budapest trip and now sorting out the butterflies. Total for raptors for trip was: Common Kestrel 10 (including 2 at Schipol), Black Kite 4, Red-footed Falcon 3, Hobby 3, Honey-buzzard 2, Saker Falcon 2, Common Buzzard 1. That's 25 birds of 7 types. Total for all bird species was 35 types. Home page for Honey-buzzard reads: Budapest, Hungary (9/16-16/6): on N side of city, 1 male cross to Margit Island from NW side 9/6; 1 male in territory on middle hill on NW side 15/6; total likely to be 2 sites, 2 birds (2 male).

July 7th: completed compilation of results for Staward N from last year (3/7). Well Argos delivered mattress on time at 10:00 but other delivery of bed-frame + removal of old mattress, scheduled for 13:00-15:00, was postponed at 14:30; wonder if it was that match! So made C4c4ll at 15:15 where caught up with FT: still cautious on emerging markets particularly China but thinks recent US/German figures a little more encouraging. Pleased to meet trhwso: gr8 to keep up with Hexham's financial sector!! Weather again good at 22C with hot sunshine and very little breeze. Did site visit no.3 to Staward N from 16:35-20:10, walking down from old station to the Allen, looking around and walking back out and up. It's moderately arduous and good for keeping fit! River was really low. The Honey-buzzard have moved their site c50m to the N while keeping their fine riverine views; the male was very helpful, giving an alarm call as passed the new nest, placed high up in a Norway Spruce tree with remains scattered around below of Woodpigeon egg shells, Woodpigeon kills, heavy splash, small white down (young hatched), chewed wax comb. Unlike on 5/7 that was the only sign I got from the birds themselves but good of him to get in the spirit of the survey! Last year's site was devoid of remains. Also had Sparrowhawk, Common Buzzard and Kestrel. Butterflies were good: c6 types, including a Small Skipper, new for area, and 2 Painted Lady (1 of these at home as well). There were also some grass moths, including 3 Straw Dot. Petty war continued with the Clegs (alias Horse-fly, Gadfly), winning 3-0 but used a repellent Buzz Off (Superdrug) to reduce combat, which seemed to work well with further application after 2-hours as the sweat washes it off. So good haul: much more to follow. Just got back in time for f&c+mp from Sea Chef and last 15 minutes of normal time of Russia vs Croatia (it went on!). Big sis is pleased to welcome me as below, returning in the evening and securing leisurely start!! Looking forward to that: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 6th: another day with paper-work completed, for Kellas 1/7/17 (7103), leaving just 3 to go for 2017 of which Staward (7105, 3/7/17) is almost done, so that's next target; may finish it tomorrow. Last 2 are a fair way from completion as not even compiled walk-ins yet. Had some breaks today, to N4c4ll where good to have H/S on and G4g4s where gr8 to have N back with usual good company; W friends are all away! London trip will have to be soon as daughter's in Delhi around 20/7 with VA, so thinking about 13/7-16/7 for actual journeys and maybe leisurely outward part!! Have S2 on 19/7 and 26/7. Will have to check with big sis!! Funds progressed steadily at +4k, taking gain on year to 104k after 10.6k withdrawals. As my mum would have said: better than a kick up the b.m!! Bond holdings continue to rise but am benefiting from slight recovery in bombed-out mining stocks! Completely out of oil/gas equity now as sentiment seems to be poor but still got substantial bond holdings in N Sea oil. 2moro it's furniture delivery, C4c4ll and trip out, nest visit 3/10. Peut-il être aussi bon!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 5th: another fine day at 22C, light NE breeze, dry. Really enjoy this sort of weather, now hay fever season (for me) is passing! Clegs are a serious problem this summer; on today's walk was stalked by them most of the time but final result was 10-0 to me (10 swatted, 0 bites). It's only the females that are the problem; the males are creatures of virtue! She gives nasty bites, which readily fester. If you know she's after you, hold your hand up invitingly, wait for her to land and settle for 2 seconds, then swat just as she's getting ready to extract blood: she's not so wary as the meal looms! Don't wear shorts: she's bound to get you then!! Repellent is not that effective; vigilance is best. Presence of ticks in the bracken, with possibility of Lyme Disease, is another reason to avoid shorts (here both males and females bite). On plus side, dry weather has drastically reduced midge numbers (only females bite). Anyone for a trip to an insect-rich Honey-buzzard site? Today's trip was to Kellas N from 15:30-18:50, of which only a part was close to the nest. Some very beautiful insects were there, including 9 types of butterfly and many moths. The Honey-buzzard have been slovenly, re-using last year's nest in Scots Pine, but they were both at home with some splash right below the nest. I was escorted off the premises with the male watching me as he circled behind the canopy, almost out of sight. Plenty more to report here but giving last year's visit to Kellas priority, which will complete tomorrow. Want to wrap up 2017.

Had email chat with NH over MoF and my rehearsal choices for the next season: 2/10 Rachlin's Double, 30/11 Vogt's Brahms 1, 1/2 Creswick's Aviary. The S is hoping to build up the opera-side: “This is an area of Sage Gateshead programming that we are looking to expand and we are talking to a range of existing opera enthusiasts to gauge their views on this and how we might achieve it, and Jo is keen to hear your thoughts.” Well certainly will help; off the top of my head opera enthusiasts have money and will travel to quality festivals with a theme; there's scope for less-pretentious festivals which still have high-quality productions, such as the Wagner one we visited in Budapest in contrast to Bayreuth. The RNS showed in MoF that it was well up to the job!! Opera has a strange effect on me: the 3 dimensions of music, libretto and actions, must make it natural in CT: really it's very liberating!!! Had night in: moth trapping at home: taken over by insects; to bed at 02:55 as sky to NE starts to lighten. Big sis has ordered me down to London over next 2-3 weeks: still working out logistics but think there is time for a 4-day trip as fine weather makes timely completion of Honey-buzzard survey more certain. Ordered new double bed and mattress for daughter's room from Argos with delivery Saturday morning and total cost £392; it's not extravagant, present one is past fixing. Pendant ce temps, nous sommes des créatures de la nuit!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 4th: completed processing Slaley Forest from last year (11/7, 7113) with full results in NB 2017. Very pleased at that, one more visit struck off above, 4 to go! 2moro might strike off another as Kellas visit documentation from 1/7 (2017) is advanced with much material on the web already from a year ago. Got programme for Intersymp and we're on in Baden-Baden at 10:00 on 1/8; this conference is more eclectic than UNILOG! Met M at T4c4c; good crack but think he's more on the D side of R&D where dotting all the i and crossing all the t is more important than creativity. He looked very dark on my idea that music is a great example of a dynamic and expressive information and communication system: so he's neither an author nor acknowledged!! If you don't have enthusiasm you're on the outside. In evening made S4t where enjoyed the new menu choosing Salade Niçoise avec Thon et un grand verre de vin rouge! That was £12.15 after pp discount, not bad!. Action started at 19:00 for Marriage of Figaro, Mozart's renowned opera, this production by Nevill Holt Opera (sponsored by Carphone's pioneer!) having already played at Market Harborough and London. This was the 7th performance, so everything was polished but also appeared fresh. Indeed couldn't find any faults: all the mainly youthful singers were good at the singing and the acting and the band played very well (very crisp and sharp, perfect for Mozart!). Think it's a great idea to bring such a production to the Sage with tickets at £30-50 rather than the £150-250 of more select venues and programmes still at £3. Level 1 and most of level 2 were sold out so that's good for everyone's finances. Did look at the pits in the interval; never knew the Sage had such a facility; there was a smell of fresh softwood. Final performance in this run is on Friday at S. Performance finished c10:40. Lingered a bit at end as thought might be good to meet a few players; chatted with AY and JR who obviously had enjoyed the experience: c'était plus de vin rouge! Also chatted to a Glyndebourne fan who is used to £200 a ticket (but he'd really enjoyed the action!). Had come in from CAL but decided that social action was more important than getting last Metro, eventually getting taxi for £20, including £3 tip. Two drivers actually fought over my fare: CAL is close to the Airport giving them a chance for a round trip of £40! So perfect end to the day: pleased she waited up: she's fantastic: quel bien rapports: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro it's another nest visit, catch-up and possibly out with A later.

July 3rd: well back into Honey-buzzard project with a vengeance, visiting the Slaley Forest site, same one for which I'm rapidly compiling results for last year! Weather was brilliant – not a cloud in the sky, 21C, light E breeze, pollen count (from point of view of my allergens) declining rapidly. Visit was from 17:00-19:40. Had much early action but everyone had gone to sleep by 19:00! At the Honey-buzzard site, had an adult female making some scowling noises and seen flying away to E, a male up very high overhead and an ample nest in Scots Pine, about ½ way up a tree, built on a bough and extending ½ the circumference, which was 141cm at head height near the base. Also had a very angry Common Buzzard adult to S, indicating that the Honey-buzzard were not breeding there and a Sparrowhawk tail feather. Two Woodlark were over a clearing, close to the Honey-buzzard nest; a new site, could be 20 pairs in the Slaley Forest/Dipton Wood/ Healey/Kellas area (or more!). Much more to follow ... Looking forward to opera (MoF) 2moro at S: finishes late so may park at DSt to guarantee getting home!! N's away and B's in France so am a lone agent: might make S4t. Anticiper le rendez-vous!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Had long chat with R President today at N4c4c: moderately constructive and he is putting a lot of energy in so has my support! Upward momentum in funds continues with +2k; some bombed-out mining shares are attracting buyers; they're priced for a recession, which is not that close! Have 80k in Au/Pt metal now, through ETF. lok2tmbo!!!!!!!

July 2nd: here's final paper as pdf for Baden-Baden to be published in printed form in InterSymp'2018. Preliminary citation is:

Nick Rossiter & Michael Heather, Anticipation in Communication: The Example of the Cartesian Monad in Music, 30th International Conference on Systems Research, Informatics and Cybernetics, Symposium: Anticipative Models in Physics, Relativistic Quantum Mechanics, Biology and Informatics, Baden-Baden 30 July-3 August, 6pp (2018).

Editor Daniel Dubois seemed very pleased with submission but he's Belgian (French-speaker, from Liège) and maybe liked the football turnaround! It was hard work today, getting it all consistent but worth it as not nearly so much work to do on the presentation for Baden-Baden as for that in Vichy. ANPA in mid-August is critical as hope to produce a substantial paper on the topic (40pp) after this. Think might need to seek some more advice soon from my consultant!!

R was more dynamic and having meeting with new President at N4c4c tomorrow as think they're panicking with no-one else able to take on the web site management; I've agreed to carry on but think they consider I'm not subservient enough!! Much later made G4g4s where 6 of us out for good crack! Started processing Honey-buzzard nest site visit from last year (7113, 11/7) to Slaley Forest. Made quite a lot of progress and should finish it tomorrow before starting Round 1 of ten nest visits in late afternoon for the current year. Really looking forward to getting out in the field again! Plein de bisous!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

July 1st: completed writing 6pp paper for Baden-Baden but need final thorough check before submitting it tomorrow; will publish final version here tomorrow evening! Have modified the UNILOG music presentation where better explanations found. Made C4c4ll and G4g4s as good breaks with all the gang in the latter plus gr8 service from bar-lass J! Grass pollen counts are very high, worst for at least 10 years; trying to avoid inhaling too much. Worst attacks I've had in the past are in NCL midday where vehicle pollution mixes with the pollen to give a toxic brew. When I go out anywhere now, I smell the heavy scent and nose starts twitching within seconds. So all doors and windows kept sealed at home. It's better in the evening and at night, so a little on the dark side! Won't take any drugs for it because of side effects. Anyway my allergic rhinitis season is short (caused by sturdy grasses such as Cocksfoot and Heath Bedstraw) and planning Honey-buzzard nest visit 1 for Tuesday after catching up on records tomorrow from visit to the same site for 11/7 last year! 2moro it's R @ B4m4l, N4c4ll and G4g4s!! Beaucoup de belles câlins!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

June 30th: continued catch-up from Vichy; many records still to process but did make C4c4l where met P for good chat! The rhwso looked gr8 in new attire!! FT was a bit more forthright about disappointments in H1 for the year to date. Many pundits wrong with emerging markets generally down 10% on strong $ with China down >20% and flattening of yield curve in US (10-year rates close to 2-year rates) indicating recessionary pressures ahead. No rest for the wicked; given 2 days to get Baden-Baden paper fully submitted; written 5.5/6 pages by midnight (00.00 1/7) but will take up some of tomorrow before close read-through on Monday; fortunately most of it's at the top of my head this soon after Vichy. Praise indeed in email from MH, my collaborator in CT for almost 40 years, on UNILOG:

That’s very encouraging and congratulations of the success of your two papers. The Law paper worked out well because the full paper will move it on further. Fortunately you’ve been able to publish those two tables on the web as I’ve now rationalised them in a version that supersedes them and they probably won’t appear anywhere again in that form. I’ll let you have the final draft of that paper for Romania soon. You will see there’s nothing really new but some new ways of looking at our old stuff.

Your music paper is the start of what I see as a long series of important CT application. You’ve set the scene with the literature survey and presented music in terms of our work to date but it seems music can act as a driver to give deeper understanding of CT for example the connectivity of co-limits and the involution of how a co-limit becomes a limit in the formation of the monad or in the composition of monads.

2moro it's C4c4l followed much later by G4g4s. Fait de beaux rêves ma jolie!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

June 29th: another sunny and settled day at 21C; no fieldwork as pollen count is very high but that may be good as season will be short and sweet. Did make N4c4ll where met SB for good chat! Good to c SS back to full efficiency!! Concentrated on UNILOG meeting, sorting info. Here's citations for work done at UNILOG'2018 at University of Vichy, all now on home web page for computing research at Still a little bit of tweaking to do.

Nick Rossiter & Michael Heather, Musical Performance: a Composition of Monads, UNILOG'2018, 6th World Congress on Universal Logic, University of Vichy, France, 21-26 June 2018, in: Handbook of the 6th World Congress and School on Universal Logic, Jean-Yves Beziau, Arthur Buchsbaum & Christophe Rey, with the assistance of Alvaro Altair & Yanis Ayari (edd) Workshop: Logic and Music, pp.212-213 (2018). Abstract pdf presentation pdf

Michael Heather & Nick Rossiter, What is Law?: the perception of Category Theory, UNILOG'2018, 6th World Congress on Universal Logic, University of Vichy, France, 21-26 June 2018, in: Handbook of the 6th World Congress and School on Universal Logic, Jean-Yves Beziau, Arthur Buchsbaum & Christophe Rey, with the assistance of Alvaro Altair & Yanis Ayari (edd) Session: Philosophy of Mathematics pp.561-562 (2018). Abstract pdf presentation pdf

Made travel arrangements with KLM for Baden-Baden today from 29/7-3/8, departing NCL-AMS-STR at 09:30 and STR-AMS-NCL at 14:10. There's a train journey, a little over an hour from Stuttgart to the spa town – this is the year of the spas! Cost was £404, more than expected but it's peak time of year for travel; apparently cheaper quotes via London are not cheaper overall. Booked 5 nights at Hotel Beek in centre of town for €404. The spa town is very good for Honey-buzzard! Funds did well this week at +7k, bringing gain on year to 100k after 10.6k withdrawals. It's the highest close at the end of a week but 7k below all-time daily record on 22/5. Holdings of equity are the lowest for some time: am still wary! Bought another rat-tail spoon on Ebay, while at CDG on Wednesday; this one's a rare provincial example c1700, marked by a Winchester maker. No W4g4s as mates away so, desperate for a few g, made G4g4s for gr8 crack, with K on!! Next S is 4/7, 3 seats away from normal place: should be 'word-perfect' by now but are the orchestra in the pits!! lok2tgrf!!!!

June 28th: slept well, from 01:00-11:00, then good soak in bath; had emptied suitcase into washing machine before going to bed so that's all clean now! Made W4shop to replenish stocks. Always like trying my limited French out on the natives: they do like you for it, particularly voulez vous se coucher avec moi ce soir! Edited presentations on flights back so can put up versions on the web site tomorrow. Can also complete paper for Baden Baden as line now clear. Next 2 conferences are at Baden-Baden and Rowlands Castle from late July to mid-August, both on the music theme; have paid the conference fees for both events but need to book plane/train and hotel for Baden-Baden (NCL-AMS-STR, followed by train). Made TC4flm, seeing Hereditary. Good turn out seeing major football game on; it was full of suspense and very dark!! More to follow … Gr8 reunion: she'd have loved Vichy: very tender in many respects: she's so gorgeous: feeling much better: lok2tgrf!!!!!!!! 2moro another lie-in should be beneficial, then N4c4l and much later W4g4s with the gang!!

June 27th: well back on time, départ Gare de Vichy à 15:59 (vraiment 16:24 comme vingt-cinq minutes retard), Clermont-Ferrand à 17:19 pour Thiers (premier arret Aulnat pour Airport, prends six minutes), marche pour cinq minutes. Trains well air-conditioned which just as well as 31C today with not a cloud in the sky; strikes did not affect my services and cheap at €8.50. Earlier went for a walk along Allier, looking for raptors and having some welcome exercise. Nearly everyone's left but did have farewell chat over breakfast with philosophy-mate Tamar, who goes to Paris tomorrow for flight to New York. Payé Aletti €707 pour mon sept nuits (€101 par nuit); eu un bon départ! Planes with Air France Hop were very punctual, landing early at NCL at 22:44; change of terminal at CDG was again very smooth; do like supporting regional airports as they bring a lot of money into the areas. Got home at 00:05 by car (01:05 Vichy time, CET) after doing some shopping at the Airport shop. Lovely to be back but pretty shattered and straight to bed! 2moro's going to be a quiet day but might just make TC via CAL to see a film about a throwback! Prendre conscience de elle joue loin: c'est la vie!! xxxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

June 26th: well didn't go too badly: bit demob happy and produced just 13 slides (last completed 20 minutes before ko, compare 41 slides for music talk, too many) which took 20 minutes and then made a few controversial remarks, which generated 10 minutes of questions taking me up to the full 30 minutes! DM of ANPA was also a great help, responding to my cues and generating a lot of discussion with a few pithy remarks: you always need friends!! Actually it was a good topic, looking ahead to the topos world of the law but my reservation remains: are the judges in the world of the topos! We used to say at NCL uni that any lecturer worth their salt should always be able to talk for 30 min about anything: well this was exactly so!! Presentation is here. Survived at conference until 16:00 when decided I needed big meal at Aletti for restoration purposes, so had beer, Campari, red wine, Vichy water, cognac, not forgetting ham salad and steak & chips! All for €52 + 6 tip. Weather was again good at 28C on sunshine all day. Funds +3k in spite of biggest 1-day fall in ftse yesterday (2.2%) for over a year; benefited from N Irish Au company GAL managing to connect a Au seam with their tunnelling equipment; halved holding, glad to get out. That's after 1k withdrawal, bringing total withdrawals to 10.6k; spending too much but it's all in a good cause! Cash, after further sales of 'risky' equity, now up to 104k; may move some funds back into bombed-out stocks: this year is not for the faint-hearted; it's for the agile! 2moro back in England but flights are early evening and there's a train strike in France; they have put out a revised timetable, let's hope it's accurate! So it's CFE-CDG-NCL starting at 18:50. Maybe not stay up, maybe better on Thursday: lok2grf!!!!

June 25th: gave talk for 40 minutes from 18:00-18:40 CET to Music and Logic workshop on Musical Performance: A Composition of Monads; had so many questions at end, which took up another 15 minutes. The vice-chair said the monad did look like a major breakthrough in music theory. Well very relieved at all that, had been a bit nervous and had dinner afterwards at restaurant Josephine with the Chair, Vice-chair (both German) and another speaker, a young lady from Italy, who also had a good reception. Atmosphere was very good in the workshop and enjoyed the constructive spirit. Presentation is here, with appropriate acknowledgements: well deserved! Another speaker was dealing with how negative feelings are generated in music and ranked a number of factors. Wagner came 6/6, the most negative, labelled privation, for Tristan und Isolde with its lack of closure and chromaticism: how topical! No rest for the wicked, on again at 11:30 tomorrow in Philosophy of Mathematics session, talking about What is Law?: the Perception of Category Theory. Not sure they'll be much the wiser and not sure why we're in this session. M sent me another update this afternoon, which involves some effort to slot in. Will have to try and sort it by sitting at the back typing away during the earlier talks! lok2tgrf!!!!!

June 24th: a very productive day as rewrote 1st half of talk on music topic to give a consistent, reflective view, which will be reusable at Baden-Baden and Rowlands Castle in August. Think a lot of progress has been made! Did make session in morning and banquet in evening: it's amazing how much food is eaten by logicians in a few minutes; they're very hungry; but did score on the red wine b4 they realised I was the only consumer! All of buffet gone in 15 minutes: hotel was gobsmacked!! Sat next to 2 Greeks who were very chatty! Went for long walk in afternoon for 3 hours on N side of river bank (of Allier) getting 2-3 Booted Eagle, 7 Black Kite and a Common Buzzard. Weather was sunny at 25C with high cloud cover, which was ideal for picking out raptors. Amazing numbers of butterflies and other birds: much more to report! So busy day 2moro with interesting session in morning and own talk at 17:30 CET: wish me well!! lok2tgrf!!!! Hope to get out in NCL on 28/6, maybe after Teesside!!

June 23rd: back to conference in morning from 09:00-13:00 where liked presentations by Michèle Friend (Bristol, father's mother was née Friend) A Formal Representation of Reasoning for Chemistry (Philosophy session), Gaëll Guibert (France) Analogies of meaning across Logic and Categories (Algebra and Category session). Afternoon was free so went for walk along Allier (enormous river flowing through Vichy) looking for some raptors from 13:55-16:15. Amazed to have a pale-phase Booted Eagle E of Vichy up over the Allier; it dived to the ground before could get a piccie; Booted Eagle have been expanding their range in south France. Also had 3 Common Kestrel, 1 to E and 2 up together in excited flight to W, indicating fledging. Total was 22 bird species, including Mallard (brood of 3 young), Little Egret (1), Common Swift (34), House Martin (17), Blackcap (8), Chiffchaff (3), Black Redstart (1), Common Tern (1, flying low over Allier, feeding). Weather was warm at 25C with again unbroken sunshine. Back for UNILOG cocktail party (pretty hectic pace!) where met up with 3 Americans, 1 Canadian, 1 Frenchman, for animated chat on deficiencies in modern IT, manly identified as lack of care in collecting and processing data (impatience, cutting costs) leading to much higher costs and unreliable results later; it's the level above the practitioners that is the problem: lack of understanding of how IT works! Evidently Python is preferred to Haskell for CT programming in USA as Haskell programmers are like gold dust! Had dinner at the Palace with the Canadian: good chat, cost €52 including tip, for 1! So another ½ day tomorrow; getting fired up for the music talk on Monday afternoon with an interesting session in morning led by one of the Americans met tonight (DM) who's an ANPA associate; we're everywhere!! Time is flying and looking forward to return: lok2tgrf!!!!

Venue for conference is Pôle Universitaire de Vichy, a vocationally-oriented University, with emphasis on business. There is of course a cloud over the town and the whole of France from the role of the Vichy Republic in WWII; Macron is encouraging the French people to acknowledge their role in the Vichy Republic and come to terms with the issue, with some success. The Opera House is next to our hotel, Aletti Palace. It was here that the vote was taken in 1940 to form the puppet government; a plaque congratulates the 80 senators who voted against but ignores the 569 who voted for. The term vichyste (hissed appropriately!) is still used in France to brand a traitor! The collaborators with the Nazis contributed to the Holocaust at Auschwitz with the murder of about ¼ of the Jewish population, less than in some other countries such as the Netherlands, but still an horrific 80,000 in total. The town is very green with many parks and the people are very friendly; the historic buildings from its great spa days are well preserved. The burden of history does need to be shared with the rest of France. It's very convenient for all ills to be blamed upon the Vichy town and not upon the French people as a whole: Vichy should be a synecdoche for France!

June 22nd: fresher today at 26C but still wall-to-wall sunshine on moderate N breeze. Hard at it from 09:10-18:00, but found whole day very stimulating, particularly Ingo Blechschmidt's (Leipzig) Exploring the Internal Language of Toposes (Categories and Logic workshop), Eduardo Ochs' (Brazil) Visualising Geometric Morphisms (Algebra and Category session), Maria Manzano's (USA) Intensionality as a unifier: Logic, Language and Philosophy (Universal session). Am brushing up my slides to keep up with advances in the various fields; always good to not be speaking first! Went along to welcome drink at Vichy's Town Hall at 18:30 with the Mayor; very good chat with a Belgian, 2 UK delegates and 3 Germans! So pleased to see category theory becoming mainstream!

As indicated yesterday, much better week for funds with takeover bid for DALR so +10k on week, bringing gain on year to 93k after withdrawal of 9.6k. That's equal to highest amount (ever!) at close of a week so not slipping, in spite of turbulence in markets! Major restructuring of portfolio remains in progress with move from natural resources to short-term bonds and precious metal ETFs but will still look out for special situations: CON/ZNG looks promising, some resemblance to Minco situation with underrated (rich) mineral deposits of Zn/Au in Ireland, low market capitalisations and links to major mining companies. Also like the Manchester BS junk bonds so still trying but opportunities are not so obvious, indicating end of bull market. Have 72k cash at present! 2moro's Saturday so must be London: hectic pace!! We have papers in morning but afternoon off before cocktail party at Aletti in evening! lok2tgrf!!!!

June 21st: hot today, up to 32C with very little breeze and uninterrupted sunny periods, fresher tomorrow. Busy at conference today, making opening ceremony at 11 and a session on non-classical logics from 14:15-18:00; not a lot of advance in this area over last 10 years but vocabulary is enhanced! 2moro morning going to session on category theory and logic; amazing how this is a mainstream topic now while when M and I started our work c1985, it was thought of as totally outrageous! We've got a reception at Vichy Town Hall in the evening; there are so many sponsors: we're obviously regarded as valuable!! Amazing numbers of Common Swift over the town, maybe 200: must be many nesting places under eaves and lots of insects. There was a lot of music in the town this evening with groups of all types everywhere; went out to the local park for a while but stayed mainly in hotel (Aletti Palace) where a duo performed well, the lady based on Amy Winehouse; always thought she was very talented!! Smart bar lass is very swayed by €1 bonuses!! Markets are very shaky but some gr8 news today with an unconditional bid for Dalradian by a Canadian company Orion of C$1.47 a share in cash, payable in Q3. Have 107657 of these, as proceeds from Minco's sale of its royalties on DALR's gold mine site in Northern Ireland. Sitting on very large paper gains from the Minco adventure but problem was how to exit: Buchans Resources, a successor company to Minco registered in Canada, of which hold over 1% of the capital, holds large numbers of DALR so highly profitable closure looking more likely. Amazed at travelling schedule for RNS with the NH saga: it is producing dividends though; looking forward to 4/7 at S!! So wish u were here: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

June 20th: well made it after 2 flight legs NCL-CDG (starting 12:25) and CDG-CFE, landing at CFE about 18:15. Air France were very efficient, even the bag came though straight-away, and very civilised! Not so clear-cut after landing, missing penultimate train (as expected) with people grabbing taxis to complete journey at 90€ to Vichy. Climbed onto railway bridge and spent 50 minutes scanning for raptors, getting a Honey-buzzard after just 20 minutes, 2 juvenile Kestrel and a female Sparrowhawk. The Honey-buzzard male was initially mixed up with a large Rook flock but he soared above it and descended back to ground alone. So that was very good: weather was hot at 31C, dry but with colossal thunder clouds forming. Eventually for 12€ caught 20:09 from Aulnat to Clermont Ferrand from where got 20:26 to Vichy (arriving 20:56), must say change not for the faint-hearted! Had 2 more Kestrel and a female Montagu's Harrier on journey! Once in Vichy walked to Aletti Palace, and rapidly had 3 ½ litres to quench my thirst: encore is a good word!! So that was a gr8 send-off: airport hotels are just for the wimps: no possibility of straying: she's fantastic: lok2tgrf!!!!!!!! Did do some work during the flights: talks are looking more promising!!

June 19th: busy today putting together law presentation for Vichy; M sent me some slides and text from his recent visit to a conference at Romania, which I've put into my house style! Finished adding bird records from Hungary to BirdTrack, total is 37 types, including 7 of raptors; there's quite a lot of analysis to do and some of the butterflies need identifying. Left car at Airport and came into Centre where made VctCmt for supper and a couple of g's; very refreshing and could watch Russia play in fine style!! So much satisfaction in the City: timing's worked out really well: she's gorgeous: quite a T&I moment: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! Funds -2k in continuing very fragile conditions; have taken another 20k in risk assets off the table!

June 18th: spent a lot of time 'gardening' trying to get things tidy for a while; accompanied by an enormous female/juvenile Peahen who seems to have adopted me (or the garden, not sure which!). Neighbours already restless: what are you going to do with your peahen? Well I'm going to b.gger off, bequeathing it to yourselves!! Also arranged car parking at NCL and looked at transport from CFE – Aletti in Vichy; appears to be no SNCF strike on way out; looks to be about an hour at CFE in which to work out the French ticketing system! Did make R @ B4m4l where interesting talk by MM on lack of environment in current government structures. Watched a little football at home and did see winning England goal: most satisfying, better than the Gulls! Later made G4g4s, seeing some very happy football fans; the gang of 6 were out so we had good chat and gr8 to meet J again!! Did take some clips at müpa of the fanfares for Tannhäuser on 14/6: these are played by the brass before each Act, as at Bayreuth, commanding you to take your seats! Here's Act 1, Act 2, Act 3, plus clip of foyer. Submitted today title and abstract for ANPA 39 to be held in Hampshire in mid-August from 13-17; a substantial write-up of 40pp for the proceedings is expected over following months. Submission is:

The Universe as Intension: an Expressive Dynamic Information and Communication system as Extension

Nick Rossiter & Michael Heather, Computer Science and Digital Technologies, Northumbria University, Newcastle NE1 8ST, UK

The intension/extension relationship is explored across a number of recursive levels. The starting point is the Universe as intension, from which a section is identified as an extension, the Universe of Discourse. This section becomes the intension for a more detailed formal exposition of the area of interest. The example of music is used to provide an insight into how the attributes of an information and communication system can be captured in an expressive and dynamic manner, with colimits in a topos under the control of a monad as process.

That's if I survive UNILOG! Not quite fixed 2moro but looking for NCL airport - NCL centre, starting 15:30!! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

June 17th: well back at home, enjoying Hexham for a while. Did some shopping at M&S in Hexham, getting for 69.50 a new leather belt and 2 pairs of pyjamas: current ones are not really presentable, other than Honey-buzzard ones!! Made C4c4ll where very pleased 2 c trhwso, who looked good!! Later made G4g4s where good to meet mates again and pleased to have J doing the honours!! Funds last week were -4k, -2k due to rise in £ (why?) and -2k to further fall in oilies. Took another 30k of chips off the table, which will go into short-dated bonds tomorrow. Am not convinced we're going to see any further rally so portfolio is more defensive by the week; Friday afternoon was very poor (ftse -1.3%), showing the change in sentiment. Oil/gas equities now down to only 13k in total, from 200k not so long ago. Position on year remains healthy, in circumstances, at +83k after withdrawal of 9.6k. 2moro it's R @ B4m4s and G4g4s. Submitting abstract to ANPA 39 tomorrow (held in Hampshire mid-August) on the CT+music theme; this will be the major conference for writing it up as expect a significant 40pp paper to emerge over the winter. Will be gr8 to have 2 days off: well deserved: need to catch up!! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

June 16th: weather again hot and sunny up to 28C; next week it's going to 30-33C with no rain. We checked out of flat and went for walk up to historical Buda Castle area where we had a few hours before going to the Airport. We started with hearty brunch before going to the Hungarian National Academy (Art Gallery), which has so many paintings by Hungarian artists. The modern art was interesting as they tried to get round some of Stalin's laws on artistic merit! The 18-19th centuries work was quite similar to work in Britain though with more emphasis on barons than on landscapes and peasants! We had a good view over the countryside and the area where I've been finding the Honey-buzzard is on the edge of a wooded hilly area called the Obuda Hills. From 11:00-15:00 had casual sightings of a male Common Kestrel, 30 Hooded Crow, 1 Crag Martin, 1 singing Blackcap. Very pleased to see the good reviews of the Marriage of Figaro, with the RNS complimented for its playing! See

Moreover, it's a brilliant showcase for NHO's house band, the redoubtable Royal Northern Sinfonia, who played like angels for the company's artistic director Nicholas Chalmers. Time and again I caught myself looking away from the stage in order to luxuriate in felicitous tempos and joyous ensemble playing.

But the palm for this successful launch has to go to conductor Nicholas Chalmers and the Royal Northern Sinfonia – the latter newly ensconced in the pit – who between them supply an ideal musical underlay, spirited in momentum and refined in texture: though a few more period-style vocal decorations would be welcome.

Also appears to be a sell-out at MH. Have a ticket for 4/7 at S!! Back to Piano Castle Hill Apartments to collect our luggage and take pre-booked taxi to the Franz Liszt Airport. Lady taxi-driver got quickly out of the City but then seemed to get lost as we went round in circles. I think she had my bird list in mind as we had 4 Black Kite (as 1,1,2 over rough fields to S of Ferihegy) and a Common Buzzard (adult, in moult) over the fields in the peaceful countryside. Habitat was marginal for Honey-buzzard with many roughish meadows but no significant forests. Just when another circuit loomed, maybe for Marsh Harrier, she admitted defeat and turned on her satnav! Flight BUD-AMS (17:05 CET) was a few minutes late taking off but AMS-NCL took off early (22:00 CET) and landed early (22:15 BST) so back in good time on c6 hour journey and home by 23:30. Again a Common Kestrel (female) hovering over rough grass near runway. Car started up well: doesn't like being parked for a week so slightly relieved! Have added UK Honey-buzzard records up to 14/6 below; what a brilliant year it is! My moth and butterfly records for 1st 5 months of 2018 now added to Northumberland and National databases; it's a very good spring for moths and butterflies, after the hard winter. Very pleased to be home: had 2 Father's Day cards on time: lok2t beauties!!!!

June 15th: today the music was more refined, the after-dessert coffee and mints perhaps, being given in the smaller Festival Theatre at müpa. Soloists were Camilla Nylund, the Finnish soprano, and Helmut Deutsch, accompanying pianist from Austria. It was part of the Wagner Days, Wagner and his Contemporaries from 19:00-21:30, featuring songs by Sibelius, Mahler, Wagner and Richard Strauss. The Wagner songs were the Wesendonck Liede, giving a strong link with Tristan und Isolde. The songs are not that easy to sing as they are sketches for the subsequent opera, involving experiments with chromaticism, much understatement and lengthy pure-instrumental sections. So Dreams (Träume, sung by Isolde), which is a sketch for the tender love scene in Act II, proved a stumbling point for the duo at the point where the pace accelerates rapidly, representing a passionate embrace. Never mind, we're all human; they restarted at the beginning and it all went off well. Everything else went off perfectly, including the moving Urlicht from Mahler's Des Knaben Wunderhorn, which also appears in Mahler 2 as a dramatic calming point. They had great applause at the end, playing 3 encore, sounding like Schubert (2) and Schumann (1). Camilla is a soloist in Mahler 8 at the Proms, to which son is going. So sad it's over for us but there's Tristan und Isolde on Saturday and Tannhäuser on Sunday to complete the Festival; I bet the closing reception for Tannhäuser will be ecstatic! We are seriously considering returning for the Ring next June!

The day had another significant bonus. Weather was improving from dry dull start to a warm day 25C with sunny intervals. In afternoon took tram 41 up to wooded area opposite N end of Margit Island, the E end of Obuda Hills. Visit on site was from 14:45-16:15. At 14:58 had a a female Red-footed Falcon up over the lower slopes of the wood; she quickly disappeared off to hunt. At 14:50 had a male Hobby flying across the top of the wood to S, nearest houses; at 15:54 a female Hobby was seen doing the same manoeuvre. Had a male Honey-buzzard up for 10 minutes, in high circling mode from 15:54-16:05, declaring this site is occupied, just like they do in Northumberland in mid-June; even the 4 o'clock soar is very appropriate; the site was on the top of the middle hill with the very big mast to W. Think there may be 2 Honey-buzzard sites in this area; this is still to be sorted. Common Kestrel totalled 2, a pair, with separate sightings. Fantastic raptors with 6 birds of 4 types!! Total for trip was 15 species, including Lesser Whitethroat (2), Common Swift (10). Butterflies were good – still to be sorted! Looking forward to return to see the beauties: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

June 14th: performance of Tannhäuser from 16:00-21:15 completed the marvellous run of Wagner's works in this year's festival! The performance was by the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir, the Honvéd Male Choir and Budapest Studio Choir under Ádám Fischer. So the Radio Symphony Orchestra did 2 of the 3 concerts with the National Philharmonic doing Tristan und Isolde and 3 choirs/chorus groups were also involved plus 1 troupe of dancers. Tannhäuser is rarely performed in the UK but is very popular with central European audiences; for instance we saw it at Deutsch Oper in Berlin a number of years ago. Not sure why it's perceived as difficult in the UK but maybe it is very Teutonic in conception with plenty of chorus action, which the Germans (and Hungarians!) in particular seem to like. Tannhäuser moves to the dark side after an encounter with a flimsily-clad Venus and spends the rest of the opera seeking redemption, interrupted by attempts by Venus at further seduction! The Venusberg music is wild and racy and proves very disturbing to Tannhäuser's religious mates, who ostracise him. All the overtures and closing sections are superbly orchestrated with the horns providing the volume and the strings the wild swirling music. The layout of the theatre is conventional, placing the orchestra and conductor in a pit in front of the stage, holding the singers. All the works were fully staged with the orchestra up to 90 members in size, including 10-12 brass players. Tannhäuser was played by the American Stephen Gould, who was absolutely commanding in the role; also liked the French lady Sophie Koch as Venus! The ending is an amazing climax with Tannhäuser's redemption finally secured, to the sound of c140 singers in the 3 choirs plus the 90 orchestral players; it's very moving but has to be contrasted with only 1 (lonely) person alive on the stage at the end of Tristan und Isolde. It's really a contrast between Wagner's earlier works and his later ones. Anyway the audience loved it and gave 3 rounds of appreciation, 1 more than for the other two. Chatted to some other Wagner fans from the UK and USA; they agreed that the Flying Dutchman production here was one of the best ever made; I've bought a DVD of it!! We're thinking of returning for the Ring next year from 13/6-16/6!

It was son's birthday – had remembered the card! To celebrate we went to an Italian Restaurant for lunch for a change from goulash to minestrone! Earlier we went to the Hungarian National Museum, giving the country's history from 1000-1990. Most of the time was spent sandwiched between superpowers such as the Turks and the Austrians so maybe that's how they developed their charm (for survival!). It was a very detailed and clear exhibition with all information in Hungarian and English. WW2 was not well covered; this was a very embarrassing period for the country as it indecisively backed one side and then the other; the failure of the Germans to conquer Russia was a major shock after they had backed the Axis to restore Greater Hungary, including once more Croatia and Transylvania. The closing stages of WW2 in the area saw massive atrocities everywhere, to the Jews and to other minorities caught on the wrong side of borders. The closing room for 1989-1990 happily sees independence restored. Weather was wet today and much cooler at 22C but did have another Red-footed Falcon up over the müpa theatre in light rain, flying out rapidly to N! Stay is coming shortly to an end, have missed the excitement of the rendezvous: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 1 Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 36 for month, 106 for year (spring)).

14/06 15:26 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Kingsdown one flew north over Upper Street (15:15)

June 13th: well Tristan und Isolde went off brilliantly with outstanding solo roles by Peter Seiffert as Tristan and Allison Oakes as Isolde; former is of course well-known as a German tenor; latter, a UK soprano living in Berlin, was last minute substitute. Allison got a tremendous cheer at the end for which she looked so happy; she sung well throughout and mastered the treacherous liebestod (fantasising in love over Tristan's dead body) with absolute confidence; the high ecstatic note at the climax of the liebestod gives harmonic closure for the first time in the whole work; the earlier lack of closure gives a surreal longing feeling throughout. The performance was by the Hungarian National Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra and Choir and the Hungarian National Choir under Ádám Fischer. Still marvel at the plot: the history between Isolde and Tristan is that she nursed him better from a wound before discovering that it was obtained in battle with her fiancé, who Tristan had killed. She raised a knife to kill him but he gazed at her and she relented. She doesn't want to marry King Marke and has a love-hate relationship with Tristan. She asks for a death potion to be given to them both to drink in a toast but her maid substitutes a love potion and passionate love results, particularly in the rendezvous in Act 2, where the music doesn't leave much to the imagination, but crucially they never quite make it! A contemporary critic wrote: “We cannot refrain from making a protest against the worship of animal passion which is so striking a feature in the late works of Wagner.” The eroticism is entirely in the music and the libretto: other than embraces there are no gestures that are in any way sexual and both remain fully clothed throughout. We had 2 long intervals of 60 and 50 minutes so playing time was 4 hours 20 minutes: thought some of the orchestra looked a bit knackered at the end, particularly the strings who provide an almost constant web of music, through which the other instruments and the singers force themselves. So another full house, another ecstatic reception!! Flying Dutchman is the aperitif, Tristan und Isolde is the main course and Tannhäuser (tomorrow) is the dessert! Here's some piccies of müpa (concert hall) 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10.

Weather today was cooler but still warm at 26C on veiled sunshine. We had one loud thunderclap at dawn and a couple of light showers but otherwise dry. Earlier went for a walk up the Danube to Margit Island, where had a female Saker (coming off rough area near Danube on west bank and slowly circling, climbing steady) and a male Kestrel in an area with superb craggy woodland on the west bank, edge of Obuda Hills 1  2. I think the Honey-buzzard was in this general area on 1st day, flying across the Danube to Margit Island, not sure whether going out to feed or returning to nest. On return to City Centre had a female Hobby 1  2 eyeing up the Common Swift, plus 2 more Common Kestrel, a female near our flat giving great piccies 1  2  3  4  5 and another female at Parliament. Now 11 birds of 5 types of raptor: Common Kestrel 6, Saker Falcon 2, Red-footed Falcon 1, Honey-buzzard 1, Hobby 1. Total for day was 18 bird types, including Grey Heron 1 1, Chiffchaff (1), Blackcap (2), Sand Martin (1), Starling (2) 1; running total is 31 types. Butterflies comprised one type: Small White (8) and moths included a Humming-bird Hawk-moth and a Nine-spotted Moth 1  2. We're eating well – goulash soup every day with the likes of schnitzel, pork, spinach with cheese, … as main course. Local red wine is good. Service is of very high standard in restaurants. Local lasses are very smart!! Very much in the mood: lok: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 5 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 31-35 for month, 101-105 for year). 4 of these are surely breeding records; it was so useful finding from the Norfolk trip that they can breed in low-lying fenland. The bird 'at sea' off Pembroke is a late migrant to Ireland.

13/06 18:19 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Burnham Overy one flew east (17:35)

13/06 11:53 Lancashire : European Honey Buzzard, Fazakerley dark morph flew northwest (10:15)

13/06 11:04 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Minsmere RSPB flew over car park

13/06 10:26 Pembrokeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Marloes probable flew over West Hook Farm towards Skomer (10:25)

13/06 10:25 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest one from raptor viewpoint

June 12th: another day off but last one; we're down to action with Tristan und Isolde tomorrow from 16:00-22:10, with 2 intervals. The move is very much to Grand Opera, whatever that is, but with Wagner it might be a move to a bigger orchestra in all departments but particularly in the brass, longer phrasing in the music, a tendency to explore issues at a leisurely pace, the greater use of leitmotifs, particularly for abstract concepts as well as people, and the lack of jokes! The web page for Wagner Days shows our destiny! There's been a late substitution for Isolde, Allison Oakes replacing Anja Kampe but the former has done Isolde once before and it's not the sort of role you can take on if you're feeing a bit off! Tomorrow and the Friday songs are dominated by Wagner's relationship with Mathilde Wesendonck, the poet and very beautiful wife of the mega-rich silk merchant Otto Wesendonck, who was a sponsor of Wagner's music. The popular idea is that they had a passionate relationship but it's not clear: the fact that the passion is in the music might suggest it was unrequited love, the eventual message of Tristan und Isolde, only resolved in the liebestod (love in death) as the closing climax, one of the greatest challenges for any soprano. But who knows, she may well have been his paramour; they did exchange s.xy letters! Certainly Wagner was very influenced by the women in his life, putting to music Mathilde's poetry in the song cycle we're hearing on Friday as the Wesendonck Liede. Wagner eventually (for his second marriage) married Cosima (1837–1930), the illegitimate daughter of the Hungarian pianist and composer Franz Liszt, who with him founded the Bayreuth Festival as a showcase for his stage works, before taking it forward to greater heights after his death. Tristan und Isolde, written from 1857-1859, was revolutionary in its use of chromaticism; as usual Wagner wrote the libretto as well as the music. The story is very Celtic: an Irish princess Isolde is being escorted by boat, under the charge of a Breton knight Tristan, to be married to a Cornish king, Marke. There is history: you can imagine the rest!

Today we explored the communist history of Hungary by taking a bus to Memento Park, which showed enormous statues of old Hungarian party-faithful stalwarts (bit tongue in cheek I thought!). Weather was brilliant with sun all day and 31C again but supposed to soon go into severe thunderstorms. Highlights of the history were the 1956 uprising and the collapse of the Soviet Empire in 1989, enabling Hungary to get back its identity. It was an outside exhibition and the habitat management was superb with short herb-rich meadowland 1  2, holding a host of butterflies. Birds were mainly asleep in the heat but a Nightingale was singing rather feebly from scrub. Highlight of the day bird-wise was seeing 1 Red-footed Falcon over the city: a female to NE of our apartment with also 2 Common Kestrel: a female over our bus stop in the City Centre and another female c1km towards the City centre from Memento Park. Total for day was 10 types of bird including 6 birds of 4 types of raptor: Common Kestrel 3, Red-footed Falcon 1, Honey-buzzard 1, Saker Falcon 1. Total for birds is 28 types. Butterflies totalled 48 insects of 9 types: Small White 18 1, Marbled White 13 1, Meadow Brown 6 1, Common Blue 4 1  2  3  4, Queen of Spain Fritillary 2 1  2, Chestnut Heath 2 1, Large White 1, Brimstone 1, Swallowtail 1. Moths included the day-flying pyralid Synaphe moldovica 6 1  2. Funds unchanged so far this week. Will be thinking of you tomorrow: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 2 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 29-30 for month, 99-100 for year) plus a Hobby in the Highlands. Ton-up for the season – record breaking!

12/06 22:58 Highland : Eurasian Hobby, Glenmore Forest Park one today

12/06 14:02 Somerset & Bristol : European Honey Buzzard, Ham Wall RSPB one flew over (13:45)

12/06 09:59 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Cley next the Sea flew north over church (09:15)

June 11th: day off today but the 'spinning song' goes round and round in my head! Not sure Bayreuth would have approved the production with the dancers and the Norwegian football team. Sunny today and hot at 31C with no breeze. We went to the Jewish Quarter in the morning, visiting the Great Synagogue and the Jewish Museum; we went in this time, hearing a klezmer lunchtime concert, going inside the synagogue 1 and walking round the exhibition. The Jews of Hungary had a terrible time in WWII, making up 1/3 of those murdered in Auschwitz. They survived relatively well while Hungary was a strong supporter of Germany but in March 1944 Hungary tried to make peace with the Allies; an enraged Hitler appointed a puppet Nazi president. Out of 861,000 Jews in Hungary in 1941, only 255,000 survived by 1945 on Russian 'liberation' with a complete wipe-out in many rural areas; this is an estimate as there's no precise figures. The exhibition was well structured, giving a positive view of Jewish family life and customs, though inevitably mentioning the Holocaust from time to time; this note about a postcard was pretty poignant 1. The Garden of Remembrance 1 is built upon the remains of many Jews who perished in the ghetto in 1945 2  3 through callous neglect. We had lunch in town before son went shopping for books and I went up to the City Park for a walk and look for raptors (didn't see any, too hot!). We've mastered the Metro system, buying a weekly ticket for Metro, tram and bus, for getting round the place. The Metro is well organised, fast, easy to use and clean. We had dinner back in town at a stylish restaurant near the Danube before walking around Parliament, crossing Margit Bridge and getting back to our flat. Birds totalled 18 types, including Chaffinch, Greenfinch, Jay, Caspian Gull (1 1s 1  2); running total is 24 types including 3 of raptors: Common Kestrel 1, Honey-buzzard 1, Saker Falcon 1. Butterflies comprised 6 Small White, 2 Large White, 1 Common Blue. So all going well: may come back for the Ring next year! Events like this are very good for the imagination: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 2 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 27-28 for month, 97-98 for year).

11/06 09:54 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Samphire Hoe CP flew east along cliffs (09:15)

12/06 14:40 Derbyshire : European Honey Buzzard, Ogston Reservoir male flew over Carr Wood yesterday morning (11/06 11:45)

June 10th: what a wonderful performance of Wagner's Flying Dutchman opera by the Hungarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Choir and Hungarian National Choir under Ádám Fischer, at the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall; last but not least the No Comment dancers were very fanciable! There was a tremendous reception at the end with 2 full cycles of applause; large modern concert hall was completely full; they have a moderate deliberate pace for the handclap here to show appreciation in the 2nd round. Did think of the RNS being here 3 months ago; must have been quite an experience! Of the soloists thought Elisabet Strid (Swedish) as Senta, leading female (soprano) role, was perfect, with great acting and fantastic control on the highest notes; she did her closing crescendo spot-on. The performance was dynamic with masses of action in the background and romantic with so much tension built up between the Dutchman (John Lundgren, also from Sweden) and Senta. This is Wagner's shortest opera at 2 hours 30 minutes; there are no breaks as it's so short! The Flying Dutchman is transitional, between Wagner's earlier failed attempts at Italian opera and his later Germanic style, undoubtedly a good piece to start understanding the composer. Appropriately we came back on a boat, using the Danube ferry; with all the lights on the buildings and bridges, it was very beautiful.

Earlier had walk around the sights, rather than visiting any; did get mixed up in a Jewish festival where watched a street concert, called a klezmer. Had meal in Concert Hall's restaurant, which was stylish and good value. Indeed everywhere in the city seems very swish. Weather was 29C today, sunny, hot and humid, with rain shower early evening; it's going up to sunny, 31C, over next 2 days. Everywhere, including our apartment, has air conditioning. Birds totalled 17 types, including 4 Caspian Gull (3 2s and an adult, the latter calling), a male Black Redstart, 70 Common Swift, a Grey Heron and a Saker Falcon (flying rapidly across the Danube to W by the National Concert Hall). Butterflies totalled just 2 types: Small White (4), Large White (2). Son is moving into house purchase. He would like 12k (10k to reduce LTV to 85%, and 2k towards legal expenses) which is not a problem! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 2 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 25-26 for month, 95-96 for year). This is shaping up to be a very good spring for records.

10/06 19:14 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Boyton one flew north this evening

10/06 12:27 Somerset & Bristol : European Honey Buzzard, Coleford one flew northeast late morning (11:50)

June 9th: made good progress today in research, helped by spare time on flights, and by reinvigoration from Wednesday's meeting. Took out last year's ANPA slides, did some mods and can see not so far from good story in Music and Logic in 16 days time. Law workshop has been moved to a day later and not many in it: oh joy! Up at 06:00, drove to airport and both flights on time: KLM are efficient. Surprised at how many people drive 100-200 miles from NCL to get a direct flight; much better to use the local airport and change gates at another. Met son at BUD, who'd arrived from Luton by Wizz and we got agent's taxi to apartment close to Danube by Parliament, where we were met by agent himself. It's a good apartment, on top floor, with ample space for 2 and Danube in view with creative angles; cost is just under €1k between us. Had soup and goulash at nearby restaurant for the 2 of us at k13.3 fl (about £40) including a couple of dark beers; food was really spicy and tasty. Did have some raptors: a female Kestrel hunting at Schipol and a male Honey-buzzard at Budapest at 19:00 floating over the hills to N side of Danube coming down in a park area to NE of us. Honey-buzzard will nest quite close to urban areas, as seen before at Liege and Berlin. Other birds included Common Swift (12 over city), Swallow, House Martin, Cormorant, Mallard (drake), Hooded Crow, Jackdaw, Serin, Collared Dove, Woodpigeon, Blackbird, Feral Pigeon. Total is 14 bird species for a start with raptors:Honey-buzzard 1, Common Kestrel 1. Weather is very close: warm and humid; would not be surprised to see a few storms, 28C. Danube looks good at nite: 1  2. Booked stop-over for 19/6. Sorry I missed closing night with B9! 2moro it's sightseeing followed by concert 1: Wagner's Flying Dutchman!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally in UK 3 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 22-24 for month, 92-94 for year). This is shaping up to be a very good spring for records.

09/06 20:06 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Ipswich probable flew south over Foxhall Road (17:10) [?]

09/06 19:47 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Dunwich flew west over the Granary

09/06 14:23 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest one from raptor viewpoint yesterday (08/06 16:15)

June 8th: busy day, sorting out various outstanding matters. Sent off revised figures and final text corrections to Romuald at Vilnius; very pleased to support Brundibár; updated Rotary web pages with privacy statement for GDPR; chatted with son on imminent birthday, transferring to him 2k; sorted 0.5k for share of apartment; printed out KLM boarding passes (09:30 NCL-AMS, AMS-BUD 16:20); booked NCL car-park; made W4shop for materials for cleaner S; got seat in S H2 for Nielsen on 19/7. Not much birding today but while enjoying the sun outside an adult Red Kite came over very low-down; never had one that close in the 'Shire before! Funds recovered from -4k on Tuesday to -0.5k today, but fall increased again to -3k with the withdrawals above totalling 2.5k. On year now +87k after withdrawals totally 9.6k. These are very choppy markets, particularly in oil and switched significant sums from oilies to Uranium this week, helping the recovery; also put another 30k into short-term bonds to reduce risk profile. Tristan & Isolde is when passions reach their highest: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!! Nationally 3 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 19-21 for month, 89-91 for year). East Anglia continues to do well, obviously inspired by my visit!

08/06 19:06 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Sharrington one flew northeast (19:00)

08/06 13:09 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Stowupland probable flew north (12:58) [?]

08/06 10:16 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, St. Mary in the Marsh one flew over

June 7th: another sunny day, good for raptors with male Honey-buzzard up at both Close House (1 male stalled high-up over Tyne near Close House at 15:30) and Ryton (1 male on field with Corvids, flushed 11:00) and female Sparrowhawk up at Wylam (1 female up hunting over Wylam Hagg at 15:30) in trip in to NCL 4 VisCat with P/M; we didn't have too much to report – it's exam marking time for the other 2. Had late ample lunch at Mea House in unn with M, where met Petia S, an old friend, a Reader with degrees from Sofia! Back home for spell of energetic grass cutting b4 driving to CAL for 2nd trip into NCL. Made Br4rw4t followed by TC4film, where saw On Chesil Beach, a film set in the 1960s; this was an absorbing film, exploring the severe sexual problems of a young couple on their wedding night; the female spouse Florence, lead violinist in a string quartet, is played by Saoirse Ronan (Ladybird) and the male spouse Edward, an historian, by Billy Howle. There are frequent flash-backs to their younger days (no swirls!), bringing up some of the psychological problems and their lack of experience in bed. Instead of persevering, the relationship collapses after 6 hours of marriage: what a pity, something both would regret for the rest of their lives!! Film finished at 22:30 and was just in time to secure another trefid spoon on Ebay at 22:35 (I prefer to bid at end; after 38 bids by others put in 1 bid to win it!). Gr8 end to day: very passionate: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro should make W4g4s briefly but the main focus is on organisation!! xxxxxxxxx!! Nationally 1 Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 18 for month, 88 for year).Someone's seen one in Northumberland!

07/06 20:15 Northumberland : European Honey Buzzard, Gosforth one flew south (11:53)

June 6th: business meeting went very well, lasting almost 2.5 hours; lots of good material for Vichy and indeed for direction of work with music as example of more flexible and aesthetic communication/information system; most stimulating company and good food and wine!! Back for G4g4t where met B/P and many of my mates, with the well-qualified H on!! Not time for much else, after updating spreadsheet with the deals yesterday. Still like UK gas shares (UK's very short of own supplies) but almost out of straight oil equity (too volatile now, but has been very profitable) and quite heavily into U (renaissance at last!); short-term bonds by value are over 40% of portfolio (traditional retreat, pending market downturn). Ag trefid spoon 1684, bought on Ebay, arrived from USA yesterday in good condition. 2moro it's unn from 11:00-14:00 for further chats on VisCat with P/M. Back for gardening and maybe trip out. Much later via CAL-NCL (19:00) it's back to old haunts with TC4m4s!! Could be nite 19/6 for stop-over!! A Common Buzzard flew N out to hunt at Shilford at 15:40. xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Nationally 2 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 16-17 for month, 86-87 for year). Migration should be coming to a close soon but what great totals!

06/06 19:01 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Acres Down one from the Raptor Viewpoint again late morning (11:55)

06/06 09:20 Somerset & Bristol : European Honey Buzzard, Bishops Lydeard pale morph flew over heading ENE at 09:05

June 5th: continued the good work with gardening doing ½ work at the back; neighbour was pleased with my attitude: gardening before walk! Grass is looking very threatening, which is why I'm cutting it keenly: hay-fever season is not far off. But did get out from 17:00-19:00 to Eastwood Common, and was delighted to have a male Honey-buzzard up over the March Burn followed by a female a few minutes later, with whom he had some exciting dives; so they're not on eggs yet. The speciality of this site is Woodlark and had a total of 4 as a 1+1+2, with one posing very well on a gorse bush. Also good numbers of Linnet and Meadow Pipit, plus a Tree Pipit and plenty of insects. More to follow … A Barn Owl flew out of sheds N at Ordley at 22:05. Funds down 4k in further turmoil in energy sector but U3O8 is showing welcome signs of life; have almost sold out of oily equities with 14k as residue of today's proceeds going into short-term bonds tomorrow. 2moro it's important business meeting in NCL at lunchtime! Have made progress on the Baden-Baden paper, with weaknesses of earlier work highlighted and way forward spelled out but needs more analysis and confirmation of our thoughts. xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Nationally 4 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 12-15 for month, 82-85 for year); 3 of these look likely to be breeding birds; Grimsby bird is probably a genuine migrant.

05/06 12:59 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Minsmere RSPB flew southwest over Whin Hill (10:15)

05/06 14:26 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Rillington one moved north c.3km to west this afternoon (13:50)

05/06 16:51 Lincolnshire : European Honey Buzzard, Grimsby one over

05/06 17:50 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Acres Down one from Raptor Viewpoint again

June 4th: did make R @ B4m4l where normal good company; am being required as webmaster to put up a pompous DP Act document! Bought a light jacket in M&S, colour black, for £45 lined with bird feathers: need something for the summer that's shower-proof but not too hot! Did a lot of gardening at front of house with mower and hedge trimmer; did meet my neighbours who were quite affable, just a couple of comments on my brambles bring super-virile and invading their prestigious front patch; gave them licence to destroy them! Number of insects on Cotoneaster horizontalis became amazing at 17:00 as sun came out: bumble bees, honey bees, wasps, hover flies, moths: very satisfying to see so many pollinators at work! Not far away: some Crow calls alerted me to the male Honey-buzzard, low down near the nest site at 17:15, circling briefly. 2moro it's more gardening (at the back), trip out to Eastwood Common plus more work on Baden-Baden; could be a bit more creative with the Vichy visit!! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Nationally 1 Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 11 for month, 81 for year), another fenland-bird! Note late Irish record for 2/6.

04/06 19:55 Bedfordshire : European Honey Buzzard, Fenlake Meadows LNR one

June 3rd: last night's moth tally was 44 individuals of 17 types. Moths are often thought of as drab but from last night here's 2 Elephant Hawk-moth 1  2 and 1 Pale Tussock 1, all perched on my fingers. They are all released alive and don't trap 2 nights in a row to avoid pressurising the population. Weather was very dull today with drizzle so no raptor work. Here's photos from Kingston taken 30/5 of 2 granddaughters: S on scooter 1  2  3 aged 3¼ and I on car 1  2  3 aged 1½; don't they look sweet! Did get the 2 pages of scribbles more formally into Baden-Baden; took a little while as inspired spells often don't look quite so perfect when it comes to the graft but think the opposition look very low-level without even any attempt at aesthetics (which is what it's all about!). Sent off revised diagrams to Krakow. Made G4g4s where actually played some dommies in group of 4, winning 2/4 (and 0.80p) much to their amazement! 'Fraid I'm very competitive at everything. 2moro it's R @ B4m4l; week will get much better!! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Nationally 5 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 6-10 for month, 76-80 for year), aren't we doing well! Norfolk seems very prolific: visit was timely!

03/06 09:39 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Norwich over Castle Mound then flew west (09:24)

03/06 10:42 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Sculthorpe Moor NR one mid-morning then flew west

03/06 12:32 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Minsmere RSPB flew south over car park early afternoon (12:10)

03/06 13:22 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Alderton one flew over (12:50)

03/06 14:28 Lothian : European Honey Buzzard, Liberton one flew north mid-afternoon (14:25)

June 2nd: submitted moth records from 1/1-31/5 2018, amazingly up to date but there's a gap of missing records from 2016-17, which am filling. Here's the submission. Amazing amount of moths around MV trap tonight; turned it off at 11:45 as no more collection boxes available; they're all let go in the morning after an inspection! Had an adult female Common Redstart in hedgerow at 20:00, another new species for year to add to Little Grebe at Merryshields yesterday (1/6). Working on the diagrams for the Krakow Software Quality paper before returning to Baden-Baden paper tomorrow evening. Looked up Wagner Days, theme this year of renewal and diversity, being performed at Béla Bartók National Concert Hall and see we've got Der fliegende Holländer on Sunday, Tristan und Isolde on Wednesday, Tannhäuser on Thursday, Wagner and his Contemporaries - Camilla Nylund song recital on Friday, including songs by Sibelius, Mahler, Wagner and R Strauss. Sounds fantastic: conductor is the Hungarian Jew, Ádám Fischer, who thinks that Wagner's works are the opiate of the musical world: very true, has a devastating effect! Had a very good day!! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Funds lost 6k this week, not on oilies with PoO dipping just a little, but on Au-mining stocks, which continue to languish badly, and lagging price indicators from last week; probably fairer to say lost 3-4k in each of last 2 weeks. Still +90k on year after 7.1k of withdrawals but expecting consolidation (period of profit-taking softening (lowering) prices; so many euphemisms in the markets!) to last a little longer! Worth noting that many world indices and funds are negative for the year to date. Read FT today and USA appears to be picking up but €zone looks delicate with banks poorly capitalised (the roof was not fixed while the sun shone); overall was positive for short-term though, in medium-term, rising interest rates must start inhibiting global markets (will have peaked!). C4c4l was interesting with return of trhwso (just so!) and a look at staff training system on laptop with tbld: not sure I'd make a good barista!! Nationally (well, including Ireland) 3 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 3-5 for month, 73-75 for year), the one at Wykeham obviously a breeding bird:

02/06 13:52 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest male from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at SE936887 (11:45)

03/06 15:03 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Thursley Common one over yesterday

04/06 15:40 Cork : European Honey Buzzard, Dursey Island one by north cliffs on west side on Saturday [2/6]

June 1st: sunny, humid day but stuck into records, with those for moths for 2018 so-far ready to submit after another couple of hours work. Kept away from coffee bars to maximise progress. Gr8 news from Kingston where son-in-law has won promotion in GazP to Trading Team Leader (in oil/gas)! Met N at MP4m4t where we had good catch-up. Concert at S by RNS was fantastic with a full programme of music by Tchaikovsky; the 1st half, with Rococo Variations and Andante Cantabile, showed his sensitive side with the cellist Jian Wang in top form. In the 2nd half we had T4, a wild symphony with some great OTT moments; the orchestra was absolutely superb, obviously well-drilled by Julian Rachlin, but the musicians were so enthusiastic and skilled. Noted BC looking wistfully on from the sidelines; personally very keen on RNS taking on a few extra players and doing the bigger pieces but there is a debate! Stayed for spotlight and had the most scintillating conversation afterwards with the *, followed by last train at 22:53 and W4g4s until 00:45!! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!! N will be going as my rep to closing concert; 'fraid I will be a long way away where RNS went earlier this year (not Japan!); I gave my ticket back to the box office to avoid the empty seat. Had an inspired session coming in on train writing 2 pages of rough notes, giving the rationale for Baden-Baden (and Vichy) from CT point of view; do need a real musician's voice, will acknowledge!! 2moro it's C4c4l and more catch-up!! Nationally 2 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 1-2 for month, 71-72 for year):

01/06 12:51 Somerset & Bristol : European Honey Buzzard, Taunton pale morph drifted east over Cooper Associates County Ground

01/06 14:27 Shetland : European Honey Buzzard, Dale of Walls, Mainland dark morph flew south over Mid Dale (12:55)

May 31st: came back today catching 11:29 EAL-PAD (overground, 8 minutes) and PAD-KGX (M&C, underground, avoiding stuffy Piccadilly Line), KGX-NCL 12:30 and NCL-HEX 16:15. All went well! Had a great sighting at Shilford at 16:40 from train: a female Honey-buzzard doing flap-flap-glide N over the main road. Sorted house and data and made G4g4s with 5 others; was supposed to meet A at HoN at 21:00 but he was late so b.ggered off to G where he caught up with us later. A very anxious Oystercatcher chick (almost fledged) was running around at the back of the Queen's Hall at 23:30 with an adult crying overhead; another chick was feeding on the ground on the A69 roundabout at 17:15, looking serene; think there may be 15 pairs in Hexham town, nesting on roofs and other inaccessible places. 4 adult also seen today. The moth recorder has asked for my records over the last 2-3 years so will oblige; current year's are almost ready to go, 2017 needs a month's work and 2016 still needs quite a lot of work. Will work backwards! Have got UNILOG 2018 programme (choose C-Speakers button); I'm in twice!! It's not all logic: Thursday June 21: the whole day and especially the evening is music day. So you can find everywhere inside and outside in the city [Vichy], small or big groups playing music. Moreover a music show (a guitarist and a singer) is given at the bar Ascot of hotel Aletti from 8 pm. Have now started rationale for Baden Baden paper. 2moro it's a long session on moth (and butterfly) records, b4 going to S4con with N, preceded by MP4m4t; should finally try out last train NCL-RDM at 22:53!! lok2t beauties!!!! Nationally 2 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 69-70), closing month at a remarkable total:

01/06 07:30 Shetland : European Honey Buzzard, Haroldswick, Unst one flew over Boordanoost yesterday

01/06 08:58 Cambridgeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Fen Drayton one yesterday

May 30th: another walk in morning from 11:45-13:25 with big sis, up Horsenden Hill. This is a significant area of deciduous woodland in Ealing Borough, run in a very sympathetic manner for wildlife. Total was 19 bird types. There were many Ring-necked Parakeet (25), Magpie (19), Carrion Crow (12), all including a few just fledged. A Jay and a yaffling Green Woodpecker were scarcer. A total of 12 Swift were hawking over the wood in humid, overcast conditions with no sun, wind or rain! Highlights were a female Sparrowhawk, soaring briefly, and a pair of Hobby up in brief explosive display at 13:10,initiated by the female! Hobby bred here last year. Two butterflies were noted: a Speckled Wood and a Green-veined White. Quick lunch then over to Kingston on the 65 (no comfort spared!). Got into their gated estate and was met by loud cry, greeting me, from S who was out on her scooter with younger sis I (now called Bella by everyone!). Russian neighbour daughter's also called S so that's easy; she's really old at 5 and came to play. Daughter thinks they're growing up fast; still doing 2 flights a month for Virgin (last 2 to Barbados, Atlanta (some very poor people)); will get standby to Jo'burg. Son-in-law M arrived in time for evening meal and good to chat to him. GazP are now planning to boost their London business which is good news; thought they might be off to StP. They remain bullish on oil with trend-line still firmly up in the channel (charts). Son is at last lining up to buy his first house (in Hatfield, much cheaper than Kingston); it's convenient we can discuss it in Budapest! Own funds in spell of consolidation, -2k on week from falls still coming in from last week on backward-looking pricing; shuffling the pack a little or rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic, take your pick! Writing this on 12:30 from KGX. lok2t beauties!!!! Nationally 4 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 65-68)

30/05 11:36 Anglesey : European Honey Buzzard, Cemlyn Bay one drifted north before cutting across the bay

30/05 16:20 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Hastings male flew west (15:10)

30/05 17:47 Gloucestershire : European Honey Buzzard, Cotswold Water Park two flew over Pit 31 yesterday

30/05 22:16 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Bungay one flew north

May 29th: visit with big sis from 11:55-15:00 to Black Park, better known as Pinewood Studios. Weather was gloomy for first half of visit, then rain steadily increased until heavy at end; thought weather was always good in London. At 12:44 while in heathland area, noted a male Honey-buzzard pursued closely by a Carrion Crow, the raptor making a few squeaky calls; the Honey-buzzard escaped moving into a pine wood on the edge of the heath at low level, just off the ground. In total of 20 species, also had 10 Blackbird, 4 Blackcap, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 Bullfinch. A number of micros (moths, mines) were on a birch bush, duly photographed. More to follow … Could have stopped off yesterday on way through to see Exeter play Coventry at Wembley in L2 play-off final but pleased I didn't: they lost 3-1. Into the big city in the evening on Central Line; family met in Chandos a Yorkshire-style pub near Leicester Square before having meal in nearby Real Greek, St Martin's Lane. All went very well: very pleased to see big sis, daughter and son again. Cost was reasonable at £80+£10 tip, which I picked up. This is a brief visit, back to see the lovelies soon. lok2t beauties!!!!

Nationally 1 Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 64) at good place - RSPB HQ:

29/05 19:44 Bedfordshire : European Honey Buzzard, The Lodge, Sandy one flew past visitor centre (15:10)

May 28th: train journey HEX-EAL went well. Amazing send-off: like bank holidays: she's so moving: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! Had a female Honey-buzzard in flap-flap-glide display, a little N of York; North Yorkshire seems very good for the species. Almost completed lit review for the Baden-Baden paper – quite a landmark. Staying with big sis so good meal of salmon and asparagus and gr8 catchup! Both of her grandchildren are learning the piano, with the older boy also learning the violin and the younger girl the cello; quite talented evidently! Weather here is 26C on high humidity and with the odd rumble of thunder. Booked up with S4con on 4/7 and 26/7 (both singing!). 2moro it's trip out to park and family meal in Holburn at a Greek restaurant. lok2t beauties!!!! xxxxxx

Nationally 4 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides (count 60-63):

28/05 10:11 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Great Bircham flew north over village

28/05 10:44 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Thurston flew north over Black Bourn Valley SWT28/05

28/05 13:02 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Acres Down still from Raptor Viewpoint early afternoon; also two Hawfinches

28/05 21:33 London, Greater : European Honey Buzzard, Woodford Green one reported drifting high north (13:33)

May 27th: made Warden at midday from 13:00-14:40 in brilliantly sunny and warm weather (20C) on light E wind. Had good raptor totals with a pair of Honey-buzzard displaying over Allerwash on arrival at 13:07 (birds doing mutual circling, some distance apart, before each drifting off to feed), a Common Buzzard calling agitatedly, a pair of Red Kite circling over woodland to NW of Warden Hill at Frankham from 14:02-14:06 and a pair of Honey-buzzard up separately over local site at Greenshaw Plain; got some good piccie here particularly of the female Honey-buzzard, who was joined by a female Hobby when climbing high in the sky. Also in total of 27 types, had a Common Sandpiper, a Curlew, 4 singing Garden Warbler, 20 Swallow. Butterflies were of 6 types: Orange-tip 5 (2 male, 3 female), Green-veined White 3, Speckled Wood 1, Small White 1, Peacock 1, Large White 1. At Ordley did another massive grass-mowing; had a pair of Spotted Flycatcher moving in, plus 14 Tree Sparrow occupying nests on house walls and a persistently singing Garden Warbler. Spent some time improving size of labels in CT diagrams for a Vilnius journal; will send off final corrections tomorrow. Made G4g4s where the dommies gang and P were out; good chat there. Very busy in Hexham with Bank Holiday 2moro but enjoyed the nite sights!! 2moro it's HEX-NCL as 1st step, was planning on 10:38 but may do one earlier as it's the County Show at Stocksfield, which can cause complete chaos! Lok2t beauties!!!!

Nationally 9 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides, including 4 in Kent, quite amazing for some! (count 51-59 birds, is this really a rarity!!):

27/05 11:01 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Sandwich one flew northwest over fishery at 10:32 at TR311589 (10:32)

27/05 11:32 Somerset & Bristol : European Honey Buzzard, Brean Down female flew in, alighted in a bush briefly before heading off north at 11:25 (11:25)

27/05 12:23 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Long Nab, Burniston one flew in from north and left high to west at 11:40 (11:40)

27/05 12:24 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Tankerton one flew over at 11:20 heading slowly west toward Whitstable

27/05 12:44 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Sevington one drifted over high, heading southwest (12:10)

27/05 13:18 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Lakenheath Fen RSPB one flew over this afternoon (13:10)

27/05 13:31 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Hamstreet one flew over wood at 11:40 (11:40)

27/05 13:56 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Norwich probable flew east along Dereham Road this afternoon (13:22)

27/05 18:54 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head one over

May 26th: at C4c4l again studied tbld and FT: latter seemed cautious as to trends with some worries about €zone banking system. It was a beautiful sunny day and did masses of grass cutting; lost count of how many times emptied grass box but good for fitness. Later the Welly gang made DoW4m4s, where gr8 crack, food, service and drink (last less than with P!). Devon M wants me to go to Whitehead in Budweis, Czech, in early August but that would mean 3 consecutive full weeks of meetings and travelling: told him I was sticking at current commitments; anyway daughter and family have that week pencilled in for coming up here!! Expressed my concerns about The Topos of Music and my thoughts on the author as a showman (not a compliment in science!) and he said he was also uneasy about the mathematical side. There is a piecemeal useful side to M&A's work but overall don't think it takes the field forward in the way the author claims. 2moro it's work on CT, more 'gardening', trip out to a Hexham Honey-buzzard site and much later G4g4s with P!! Next week is dedicated to short visit to see family in London but back for S4con with N to hear the dynamic Tchaikovsky 4!! lok2t beauties!!!!

Nationally 3 Honey-buzzard records on BirdGuides, one for 2 birds (count 47-50 birds); ¾ of these birds (1st 2 records) may be local breeders:

26/05 10:11 Derbyshire : European Honey Buzzard, Calver dark morph circled 09:45-09:55 then flew north (09:55)

26/05 15:53 Wiltshire : European Honey Buzzard, Lower Moor Farm NR two flew north (15:35)

26/05 17:45 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Pevensey one flew east over Fairfield Farm Campsite (17:24)

May 25th: fine start, heavy rain later, did read the weather forecast coat-wise! Met PV and M at unn for 2 hours, discussing the VisCat paper; we thought topos should be downgraded in content for the moment as needs more work to establish its identity; bring on Dolittle I say! Did make CT4s4ll and L&P; at latter looks to me that M&A have taken a straight Eilenberg-Moore categorial approach without proper citation; so while approach at low level looks right, it's not very scholarly! Their use of the powerobject for collections of notes is equivalent to our Cartesian (strong) monad; it's an interesting alternative technique but think the strong monad is the more durable approach, going forward; however, type constraint of powerobject (all possible combinations of notes) is useful. Certainly good progress made! Met P @ B4m4s (Beaumont) where had good meal and chat, including a bottle of Lebanese red wine; bill for 2 was a modest £91, which we split. Then onto W4g4s, where 5 of us out for further good chat; special offer on Ps looks good!! Funds had a turbulent week; after new record on Tuesday, PoO went into sharp reverse on expectations that Saudi/Russia would increase output and oil equities plummeted; I'd already sold ½ my oilies and sold ½ of those remaining this week, though think falls overdone. Finished -1k on week as a whole but 10k down from Tuesday. Gain on year is 96k after withdrawal of 7.1k. Day had its great moments: love the attention: she's so talented: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l and catch-up b4 another meal with the Welly gang at DoW!! xxxxxx!! Had 1st Nightjar of season, hawking for insects, at Swallowship at 00:30 (25/5). Nationally 1 Honey-buzzard record on BirdGuides (count 46):

26/05 10:03 Cambridgeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Fulbourn one flew over New Shardlows Farm yesterday (25/05 11:15)

May 24th: sunny and warm inland today on light E wind so restarted Honey-buzzard fieldwork, visiting Beaufront W (Hexham NE) from 12:10-13:30. Had 2 Honey-buzzard (male and female up separately but close together where landed!), a Red Kite adult and an agitated adult Common Buzzard. Had another Honey-buzzard, a male, doing the butterfly display flight high-up over Dilston: marvellous to see!! More to follow … Made CAL-NCL, avoiding train disruptions; met N at MP4m4t where we had 3 courses of the day-time special; then onto S-H2-4con. Really enjoyed the concert: Brahms string quintet 5 was very mellow and Mahler's Das Lied von der Erde was very moving; love this sort of work!! The mezzo soprano rather outshone the tenor; she was Jane Irwin who sings regularly near top-line Wagnerian roles such as Brangäne, Isolde's maid, in Tristan And Isolde, and Sieglinde, Siegmund's sister (and lover!), in Walküre. So she had quality of voice, volume when needed, angst and presence: very impressive. Also thought TG, conductor, and AY, flute/piccolo, did a lot for their reputations!! Nite finished brilliantly: late show works so well: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro it's meeting at unn at 12 with P/M on VisCat for 2 hours, followed by CT4s4l. Hoping to get some time in L&P on this crucial paragraph linking M&A's work with ours. Meeting P at 19:00 at B4m4s in Hexham and the gang at 22:00 at W4g4s: so busy!! xxxxxx!! Nationally 1 record on BirdGuides (count 45)

24/05 18:51 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, Lodmoor RSPB one arrived in off the sea and flew north (17:45)

May 23rd: up late and didn't seem to get too much done in morning! Made C4c4l, T4c4ll (with M), G4g4t (with B), one long round of indulgence, gr8 to have H on at G!! Did get stuck into the Baden-Baden music paper in evening and made a breakthrough; working through in detail Mazzola & Andreatta's paper From a Categorical Point of View: K-Nets as Limit Denotators (2006) can see that what they are doing is a low-level representation of our approach, with home-made Kleisli lift. Some of the detail they give will be useful for our paper; their approach maybe fits their time but the monad, which we've adopted, is cleaner, has a Leibniz pedigree and moreover is implemented in the programming language Haskell. Still will make it much easier to present and write-up our work: Guerino and Moreno, thank you! They will of course be cited and acknowledged. Meeting at unn at 12 tomorrow has been put back a day, same time. But will be in on CAL-NCL for MP at 17:30 and S4con, with N. Also going to Tchaikovsky concert next week. lok2t beauties!!!!

Nationally 5 records on BirdGuides (count 40-44). Records increase towards end of May but they are not always what the observers think they are! Only migrants should be reported to BirdGuides. Some are breeders in the area, for instance Camelford in Cornwall was where I was last May finding breeding birds. Denbury is in the East Devon Commons; anything with Heath in the title could be a breeding site. Portland and Dungeness are obvious migration points. After visit to Norfolk and experience at Horsey Mere, cannot discount meres from the breeding point of view but transmitter indicates it was not locally bred.

24/05 09:22 Lancashire : European Honey Buzzard, Martin Mere WWT female with satellite transmitter over Reedbed Trail yesterday 20:00-20:30 (23/05 20:30) [!]

23/05 09:11 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness NNR one flew over bird observatory (09:10)

23/05 11:32 Essex : European Honey Buzzard, Frinton-on-Sea one flew in off sea (09:40)

23/05 15:20 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Dunwich Heath NT one flew north (15:01)

23/05 21:01 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, Camelford one flew high west

May 22nd: did further work on Norfolk records, updating butterfly records and completing Honey-buzzard account for Hickling on 18/5. After yesterday's sunshine it was much greyer today but did hear the wailing (mating) call of the Honey-buzzard at 13:00 as left the house; so they're getting down to business! This call is quite jungle-like, betraying their tropical origins; it's nothing like the Common Buzzard calls that they imitate; passion gives away your secrets!! Made N4c4ll where good chat with someone from Durham. Evening certainly had many highlights; was introduced to the minimalist music of Nils Frahm by a fan of Steve Reich!! After RIAS, need the love and attention of the insurance industry!!! lok2tmbo!!!!!!! Funds +9k on 1st 2 days of week, taking gain on year to date to 107k but still expecting a pause; moving back a bit into Zn/Mn, latter being targeted for electric-car batteries with shortage of Co. Bought a Ag trefid spoon 1684 (Charles II) from a US dealer on Ebay! 2moro it's N4c4l, T4c4ll with M and G4g4t. Full day in NCL is coming up on Thursday; will not be able to use new late train service as there's a strike so it's CAL-NCL. Nationally 6 records on BirdGuides (count 34-39):

23/05 08:46 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, Portland one flew north over Tout Quarry yesterday (22/05 14:00)

23/05 11:23 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, East Bergholt one yesterday

22/05 12:50 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Minsmere RSPB probable flew over; also 2 Common Cranes [?]

22/05 16:47 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Oxted possible flew north over M25 (13:45) [?]

22/05 18:20 Devon : European Honey Buzzard, Denbury one over Woodland village; later emerged from Greper Copse and flew towards Bickington (13:30)

22/05 19:38 London, Greater : European Honey Buzzard, Rainham Marshes RSPB one flew northeast (13:30)

May 21st: did make R @ B4m4l where fascinating talk by RD, owner of B, on progress made and what's still to do! Sat in sun outside N4c4ll where some good sights on view! Got down to work, finalising Norfolk data; still a little way to go, but almost there. Some of the piccies from yesterday of Honey-buzzard are very clear! Finally made G4g4s where 6 of us out for great crack. PoO up to $79.22 after Venezuelan election result showing another period of rule for Maduro, forecast to increase exodus of unpaid oil workers; own funds comfortably ton-up now!! Have re-entered CON!

Very interesting programme on BBC2 yesterday evening on our Neanderthal ancestry; c2% of our genes are on average Neanderthal for all humans except those from sub-Sahara Africa where absent. Sapiens inter-bred with Neanderthal on contact c40k-60k years ago as Sapiens moved N out of Africa. It's thought Neanderthal genes may have helped with our living in a cold climate, in particular reinforcing our immune system against viruses such as flu but it may be that obesity and diabetes also come from our Neanderthal links as they may have stored fat for the winter. Don't know what my % Neanderthal is – not sure it's in my DNA test results but some people tell me it's high!! Do know though my testosterone variations, peaking sharply at 8am and setting me off for an active start to the day: not sure how many people know that!! 2moro it's N4c4l and further catch-up. Later on in the week, going to MP/S4con on Thursday (with N), B4m4s on Friday (with P) and DoW4m4s on Saturday (with the Friday gang, at Newton). Lok2t beauties!!!! Nationally 4 records on BirdGuides (count 30-33):

21/05 06:59 Somerset & Bristol : European Honey Buzzard, Berrow one flew north early morning (05:30)

21/05 11:34 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, Briantspuddle one flew east (10:15)

21/05 13:22 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Bromley Green one over woodland then towards Shaxdoxhurst

22/05 09:44 Devon : European Honey Buzzard, Heathfield one flew high east over Ramshorn Down yesterday (SX792739) (21/05 16:00)

May 20th: a brill day for Honey-buzzard in the 'Shire with 7+ birds noted at 4 sites from walk, 12:00-14:30, along the old Slaley-Dotland road; the local pair in Ordley gave superb views as last spectacle on walk. Weather was warm and humid, 20C with hazy sunshine, no rain and light SW breeze. Much more to follow … Butterflies were of 6 types: Green-veined White (7), Small White (3), Orange-tip (5, 3 male, 2 female), Large White (1), Small Tortoiseshell (2), Wall (1). The tortrix-moth Cydia ulicetana were flying around the gorse bushes (8 counted). Didn't get into Hexham: had deep snooze after lunch, catching up with past week! Did though make G4g4s where good crack with Fiona and friends, and gr8 to have J on again!! P had been in earlier but left as no mates: I always stay and chat to someone!! Added records from Overstrand in Norfolk, where did some sea-watching, boosting the variety! Had to give some priority to home insurance (buildings/contents). When left on 11/5 had been told that RIAS were going to execute the automatic renewal a few days before renewal date of 13/5. Well they claimed that payment failed and sent me a letter dated 10/5, first read yesterday, that policy would be cancelled today 20/5. So faced a short period of no cover for the property until they re-opened on Monday morning. Amazed at this cavalier approach to an important asset so took out insurance with Saga on Saturday evening and will send a letter to RIAS confirming cancellation tomorrow. L&G executed an automatic renewal on the same card on Friday (18/5) for the car so would recommend steering clear of RIAS. Why didn't they send me an email or a text as well as a letter? 2moro it's R @ B4m4l, followed by N4c4t, catch-up on analysis of records and G4g4s. Aim to get stuck back into music and CT from Tuesday! lok2t beauties!!!! Nationally 3 records on BirdGuides (count 27-29):

20/05 07:06 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Long Nab, Burniston one flew in off the sea then northwest (06:10)

20/05 14:47 Somerset & Bristol : European Honey Buzzard, Bedminster one over Chessel Street then flew WSW

20/05 18:35 Devon : European Honey Buzzard, Soar Mill Cove one flew over early afternoon

May 19th: left Overstrand at 10:00 and made PBO at 13:00 after easy journey with traffic quiet with the wedding! Weather was beautiful, warming up everywhere with 16C as left. There was much good Honey-buzzard habitat on the A148, including Sheringham Woods, Pretty Corner, Bodham, Gunthorpe, Little Snoring. Past the Fakenham turn-off, going W, the agriculture is more intensive and habitat appears less suitable. Sandringham, NE Norfolk and surprisingly the Broads look the best areas for Honey-buzzard in the areas we visited. I wonder whether it is appreciated that fens and broads are potential Honey-buzzard habitat if there are some significant woodlands in the area. Away from the honey-pots of the reserves on the coast, birdwatchers were very scarce so similar to Northumberland in that inland areas are covered poorly. Added 2 species on journey: Yellowhammer E of Sheringham, Canada Goose near King's Lynn, making 96 types for trip [Later: After perusal of some photographs, added drake Pochard at Titchwell to make total 97 for trip]. Caught 13:17 PBO-NCL and got in a little early; managed to catch up on some work on the Baden-Baden paper. Updated Honey-buzzard home page with Norfolk report:

Norfolk/Lincs (12/5-19/5): West Lynn, 1 male W 13/5; Sandringham/Wolferton, 5 birds (3 male, 2 female) displaying, including 1 male in butterfly mode, 3 localities 14/5; Felbrigg Hall, 1 female in territory 16/5; Hickling, 1 male display; total 6 localities, 8 birds (5 male, 3 female), including 1 male migrant W.

Honey-buzzard are clearly widespread in the area. Today saw more suitable habitat from the main road Cromer-King's Lynn, a little inland from the coast, particularly around Sheringham Hall. Will add more detail generally tomorrow. We had a grand trip: got on very well, good food, comfortable beds, very atmospheric habitat, masses of wildlife, lots of sun, no rain after 1st day!! So back in fine fettle: empathetic welcome: she's very fit: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro it's trip out, looking for displaying Honey-buzzard in 'Shire, W4shop, C4c4ll, G4g4s!! xxxxxx

Nationally two late records on BirdGuides (count 25-26):

20/05 10:09 South Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Thorne Moors NNR flew north over Will Pits yesterday (19/05 12:55)

20/05 11:47 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Worth Marsh one yesterday

May 18th: went to N edge of Norfolk Broads today, visiting Horsey Mere from 11:25-16:30. It was a grey morning but sun came out at lunchtime and with lighter N wind, became almost warm at times, maybe 11C. Fantastic area for birds with 47 types, including 5 of raptor: a pair of Marsh Harrier up over main broad and another pair up over area by wrecked windmill (total 4) plus 4 Common Buzzard (scattered around mere), 1 Kestrel (female Kestrel hovering), 1 Hobby (female Hobby high-up over mere drifting E before gliding rapidly to S). Took some time to pinpoint where the 5th type – Honey-buzzard – was actually in occupation! Think it's the prominent deciduous wood to E of Hickling village and N of Hickling Heath; the male was up over here several times and the female was found feeding more into the extreme N side of Horsey Mere; the habitat is suitable for Honey-buzzard with many frogs around in the spring. In more detail at 11:59 a male Honey-buzzard was observed from the Horsey Mere NT centre a significant distance, maybe 3km, to NW; he dived down quickly but at 12:23 was seen again, much higher, hanging stationary in the clear blue sky until 12:30. At 13:12 the male was up again but we were now significantly closer, after walking the track along the N side of Horsey Mere; he was again hanging high in the sky; we were now 2km from the bird. At 14:14 the male was up again, this time lower down, being actively mobbed by 2 Jackdaw. He appeared to be unmated, waiting for his mate to return. The trumpeting call was heard once of Crane. Much more to follow … Made cliff-top at Overstrand at 17:15 with sea becoming much more smooth. Had 3 adult Gannet W, 1 adult Mediterranean Gull W, 1 Fulmar E plus a new Kestrel site to W towards Cromer with one bird up hunting. Now up to 94 bird-types with ½ a day to go, not bad! Nationally three records on BirdGuides (count 22-24):

18/05 14:11 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB flew over visitor centre

18/05 22:36 London, Greater : European Honey Buzzard, East Wickham probable at nearby Oxleas Wood (17:05) [?]

18/05 20:19 Orkney : European Honey Buzzard, Bay of Skaill, Mainland one flew south towards Yesnaby

Funds had a good week at +17k, manly on strong oil stocks after rise in PoO to almost $80 but also bond ERO1 (Eros, Indian film maker) of which hold over 50k nominal continues to recover. On year now +98k after 7.1k withdrawal. Expecting a pause in the oil story soon, which is why positions there have been trimmed. 2moro it's PBO-NCL at 13:47 if all goes according to plan but return ticket is open if it doesn't. Hope the gorgeous ones are keeping fit: lok2t beauties!!!!

May 17th: sunny, feeling a little warmer at 10C, still bracing on moderate N breeze: good weather for getting a tan! Went to Blakeney today where had an energetic long walk to sea from the village, c5km there and back. Total for birds was 37 types, including 2 pairs of Marsh Harrier in the Blakeney area; quite active getting up several times to hunt and interact with each other, a very impressive sight. Up to 80 bird types on 8 main lists, which have compiled on BirdTrack, with some more in smaller lists, which have still to process. No Honey-buzzard today but did have 3 Kestrel and 2 Common Buzzard as casual records. One butterfly was seen briefly: a Painted Lady in the sheltered hollow where we were having lunch. Earlier made cliff-top at Overstrand at 11:00 with sea moderating. Had 11 Gannet adult E, 4 Common Gull 1s NW, 1 Fulmar W, pair of Kestrel on cliffs to E. N had some relations around to hotel this evening for dinner (1st cousin and his partner) so there were 4 of us at the table for polite chat. His 1st cousin had crab; I had bass and have exhausted the menu now, once you eliminate anything containing shellfish! PoO crossed briefly $80 mark today; have reduced largest holdings, in ENQ and PMG, and diversified into other oils in Asia, Africa and Israel (ENOG) with significant chunk going tomorrow into short-dated bonds. So not long now: anticipation setting in: lok2t beauties!!!!

May 16th: weather remained dull, moderate N wind, very bracing! We made Felbrigg Hall from 12:00-17:00 for another fascinating day. Birds were good getting 37 types, including a Common Buzzard hunting on field boundary, with abortive attack on Grey Partridge; Red Kite: 2 birds near church and a single bird near lake; Kestrel: a pair near E entrance, another male near lake; male Hobby flying in from S over pond, scattering all hirundines, moved N at low altitude; at 14:30 a female Honey-buzzard was seen approaching from S at moderate height, surrounded by mobbing hirundines (8013). It moved N over the lake, then turned to go into the trees over the carr to the W of the lake. Spent ages watching for last-named but perseverance did pay off; habitat in lake area is superb for the species. So that's 7 Honey-buzzard now, much better than expected. We walked around the hall inside; we're both National Trust members so no charge. That was very interesting looking at an amazing library of antiquarian books and a bird collection, including 3 correctly labelled (juvenile) Honey-buzzard, supposed to be collected by the grandfather of the last Wyndham occupant, who died 1969. Then the NT took over. Earlier made cliff-top at Overstrand from 10:30-11:30 with sea quite rough: very exciting! In total of 18 species, had 14 Gannet adult E, 3 Common Gull 1s NW, 1 Guillemot E, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 Rock Pipit. Back to the hotel where more good food, though too much shellfish for my liking; in spite of being brought up in a fishing port in Devon, my sisters and I could never eat any such food, whatever the pressure! Looking forward to return: missing the lovelies: lok2t beauties!!!! Another national Honey-buzzard (count 21):

16/05 19:58 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Beaulieu River Estuary one flew north over Solent Way (14:30)

May 15th: in morning, very cool, misty, bracing moderate N breeze, 12C, not basking in sunshine like most of the UK! We left King's Lynn and moved further E to Cromer, where staying at Whitehorse; pretty testing climate here (10C and fog) on exposed NNE coastline of Norfolk. First stop was at Hunstanton from 11:20-12:20 where had, in total of 16 species, 15 Oystercatcher, 2 Turnstone and a Sandwich Tern. We visited Titchwell Marsh on way, one of the best reserves in UK, run by RSPB. Had 43 types here with highlights: male and female Marsh Harrier showing well throughout, many Swift feeding over ponds and marsh land, a male and 2 female Bearded Tit in reedbeds, 3 1s Little Gull seen well in flight and feeding on water, 1 drake Red-crested Pochard in a channel. More to follow... there were birds everywhere, enjoyed the layout and unpressured atmosphere as well as the wildlife; the mist made it look like a scene out of Peter Grimes – marvellous! In poor weather only insects were a Garden Tiger larva and a Silver Y moth. Funds rising as mid-cap oils attempt at last to catch up with PoO. Change is +11k making gain on year 92k after 7.1k withdrawal; might do a little more churning, moving into Asian/African oil mid-caps: eventually all ships will be floated! Hope the gorgeous ones are keeping fit: lok2t beauties!!!!

Finally here's some more BirdGuides reports, 1st 2 are Honey-buzzard (count 19-20), last is our homely Osprey:

15/05 12:42 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Sandwich Bay one flew north

15/05 13:46 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Sissinghurst one flew northwest (13:45)

15/05 21:15 Northumberland : Western Osprey, Derwent Reservoir one again

May 14th: in 2009 on 20/5 wrote “Sandringham looks superb for Honey Buzzard (could hold 3 pairs) but didn’t see any in short trips at start and end of visit, but obviously got onto one or two hit lists as suspected paparazzi!”. Today confirmed that feeling with 5 Honey-buzzard seen in area. A total of 4 birds (2 pairs) were up over Wolferton Wood from 11:25-11:32 (8011), with a Common Buzzard and a Red Kite, as seen from Castle Rising. A male Honey-buzzard was performing the butterfly display from 14:54-15:05 at West Newton (8012), as viewed from Sandringham Church. So that's fantastic news!! Another Common Buzzard was at Castle Rising itself. A total of 4 Honey-buzzard were also on BirdGuides today (count 15-18):

14/05 12:52 London, Greater : European Honey Buzzard, Alexandra Park probable dark morph flew north (12:13) [?]

14/05 14:15 London, Greater : European Honey Buzzard, Alexandra Park probable dark morph flew southeast (12:40) [?]

14/05 12:38 Buckinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Waddesdon Manor NT one over Chearsley to south then over A41

14/05 11:28 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Bough Beech Reservoir one flew northwest (10:00)

In NW Norfolk weather was 'sunny, moderate N breeze, dry, bracing' in morning and 'high cloud making it cooler on moderate N breeze' in afternoon. Up to 51 species of bird now. More to follow on trip … Good life continues but missing the lovelies: lok2t beauties!!!!

May 13th: spent morning exploring King's Lynn and West Lynn (on other side of Greater Ouse). Weather gradually improved from a murky start to clear sky and strong sunshine by late afternoon. Highlight was a grand male Honey-buzzard (8010): at 11:22 picked up a male Honey-buzzard at low altitude, rising very slowly in the poor visibility at West Lynn. The wind was a light N and the weather was beginning to brighten. The bird rose very slowly with no assisting thermals, but eventually gained enough height to exit the area, moving steadily W.

So a nice migrant arrived in the UK along the E side of England at Norfolk, now seeking to move W to skirt the Wash and move N/NW to Midlands/N England/Scotland. Also had 17 Swift W at West Lynn and 4 Kestrel today at 3 sites so raptor total is 7 birds of 3 types: Kestrel 5, Red Kite 1, Honey-buzzard 1. Main walk was on Wash NNR in Lincs from 14:00-17:50; this is a marvellously wild area and we were the only visitors (bar 1) on the seaside of the embankments. Here we had 1125 Brent Goose, 51 Shelduck, 6 Redshank, 4 Avocet, 2 Grey Plover, 1 Little Egret. Total for all bird species is 43 after 2 days. Butterflies were good on the Wash with 7 types: Green-veined White 9, Small White 6, Small Tortoiseshell 4, Orange-tip 3 (2 male, 1 female), Large White 2, Peacock 1, Red Admiral 1. Also here had 12 Common Seal and a Hare. There was1 Honey-buzzard reported on BirdGuides today and 1 yesterday (count 13-14):

13/05 15:14 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Littlestone-on-Sea south at 15:03

12/05 13:00 Orkney : European Honey Buzzard, North Ronaldsay one today; also Bluethroat

So all very comfortable in one of the best areas for birds in the UK. Feels a little quiet after last few days: lok2t beauties!!!!

May 12th: all went smoothly, now at KLN in a PI with N. Heavy rain this evening but weather is supposed to improve after tomorrow lunchtime. Made Wisbech in afternoon to look at Peckover House, whose last owner was Alexandrina Peckover in 1948, before surrender to the National Trust. Gardens were superb and house was presented in classical mid-19th century fashion. Raptors comprised a Red Kite at Oundle and a Kestrel at Guhirn. Total for bird types was 17 and for butterflies 0 types! Meal in PI was good food-wise but service was a little slow! Pleased she's seen the Honey-buzzard: it's very lucky with passion at dawn: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! xxxxxx

May 11th: had productive chat for 2 hours with P/M on our VisCat project (Visualisation in Category Theory); we agreed to revive it, meeting again in 2 week's time. We had 1 paper published in 2012 in the prestigious IEEE series but the work rather faded out 2 years ago; think we need more inspiration than tedious detail! Made CT4c4l where plenty of talent on view! 1 more Honey-buzzard nationally today on BirdGuides (count 12); interesting the number passing through Norfolk (5/12 so far). It is a genuinely popular route but Norfolk birders are also very hot and plentiful!

11/05 11:19 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Thornham flew south over Thornham Marsh (10:25)

Funds moving ahead well this week making +13k, giving +81k on year to date. Oil has been a bizarre opportunity. Some people thought that we'd all be driving electric cars by 2022, which is absolute nonsense; petrol engines provide superb energy density and diesel engines may well be cleaned up further. Electric vehicles will make progress, which is good for city pollution levels, but it's going to take time. With particular reference to oil company shares, investment funds are hoist by their own petard! Last year as much greenwashing, they said they would disinvest from fossil fuels; this gesture was win-win as oil shares were in decline. Now the funds are missing out on the strong rally and underperforming: their performance relative to funds that kept invested is declining. So it's no longer greenwashing: it's a proper sacrifice and their sell-off has stopped! Think have overtaken elder sister's wealth now with Ealing property shading slightly; on current trends will make the 2m level this year, including house, c6% short at present! Made S4con where the RNS Chorus was in action giving good voice; met ATT again and made the right noises: conductor is her boyfriend and man with her was NB, HB's father! Learnt a long time ago to be very cautious in comments about performers to others! But it was really good! Perfect rendezvous: she's fantastic: what some might call a beautiful tea dance: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro it's up at crack of dawn for NCL-PBO at 10:25!! xxxxxx

May 10th: busy day, mowing masses of grass, front and back, with my push-me rotary cutter and generally getting sorted. It was sunny and bright but quite cool. No fieldwork! Did make N4c4l where pleased to meet trhwso again!! Made S4con to publicise the new season. It was a very witty concert, starring BC! Very sociable afterwards, meeting EG to talk about her plans, JN on Japan trip, and engaging chat with ATT on contemporary music!! Caught last train home, where met J from the G for good catch-up. End was very moving with the gorgeous one: she's lovely: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro it's into unn for chat at lunchtime with P and M on visualisation in CT, later to S4con and more!! xxxxxx

May 9th: processed yesterday's fieldwork; took some time but all summarised below. Met M at T4c4c; actually got some chat on CT ahead of meeting at unn with P on Friday at noon; he wants me to apply the monadic design to the visualisation structures before the meeting; will have a go! Pleased 2 meet rhwso in familiar haunts!! Later met B at G4g4t; his new knee is still painful; gr8 2 have H on again!! Not out later: saving energy for next 2 nites!! Funds +4k in the 2 market-days so far this week giving +71k on year to date; plus point is PoO now over $77, drag is stronger £ as some (deluded) people think they still might raise interest rates in London tomorrow. 2moro it's N4c4l, 16:52 RDM-NCL and S4season preview. lok2t beauties!!!! Have renewed annual BirdGuides subscription (£69) to keep them sweet. Two more Honey-buzzard nationally (count 10-11):

09/05 20:58 Essex : European Honey Buzzard, South Woodham Ferrers, one drifted east along River Crouch mid-afternoon

09/05 10:15 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Burnham Overy, one east of Burnham Overy Staithe, flew west at 09:54 (09:54)

May 8th: another Honey-buzzard nationally (count 9):

08/05 16:26 Lancashire : European Honey Buzzard, Cant Clough Reservoir probable over Shedden Wood at Shedden Clough mid-afternoon then flew north (15:00) [?]

Locally went to Stocksfield Mount from 14:05-15:20 in very sunny weather on light SW breeze, changing quickly to overcast to W on moderate SW breeze by end. Had thought that as weather turned, the raptors would be out and so it proved to be with a fantastic 6 types recorded in such a short time. Will process all the piccies tomorrow morning. That's my new rule: no more fresh fieldwork until executed fieldwork published. Bit of a nail-biting day. First was DT's decision on Iran, which entirely support: Iran's regime is repugnant (ask my son-in-law) but also think the sanctions on Iran's oil are a good idea (not disinterested!), pushing PoO to $76! Second was Swans vs Saints, which Saints narrowly won 1-0, virtually guaranteeing their continued Premier status; not really a Saints supporter but my Auntie Ann is, and still attends some games aged 90; know it will be good for her morale! Third, waiting for news of stocks of oil (crude and products) in US: massive draw: oil is in short supply! 2moro it's T4c4c and G4g4t. Good news on last trains out of NCL-HEX from 20/5: Mon-Fri 22:53, Sat 22:33, Sun 21:00. lok2t beauties, particularly in the E!!!!

At the Mount had 19 bird-types including 6 raptors. An adult male Honey-buzzard up over Tyne E of Merryshields Wood, soared high at 14:16 mobbed by a female Sparrowhawk before coming down in Eltringham area; a male Honey-buzzard seen first at 14:57 up low over Cottagebank Wood, was mobbed by 40 Jackdaw and 5 Rook, with Honey-buzzard being at the bottom of the pack as usual; at 15:05 the same bird seen at E end of Short Wood in brief flap-flap-glide display (8003); at 15:00 a pair of Hobby appeared very high over Cottagebank Wood, interacted briefly before gliding off fast to W; at 14:28 a pair of Red Kite came up over nesting area at E end of Short Wood, floated around and came back to ground again; adult Common Buzzard was up at 14:39 from Bywell Castle, climbing quickly and drifting SE; a Common Buzzard was doing flap-flap-glide over Farnley at 15:30; a Common Buzzard was up briefly over Eltringham at 14:25; an adult Kestrel was hovering over back of Cottagebank Wood at 14:41. Total is 11 birds of 5 types: Common Buzzard 3, Honey-buzzard 2, Hobby 2, Red Kite 2, Sparrowhawk 1, Kestrel 1. Non-raptors included Swift 5, Swallow 7, House Martin 2, GBBG 1-2s W, Chiffchaff 2, Garden Warbler 1, Blackcap 1. Earlier at Hexham Elvaston had 3 Swift displaying and a singing Blackcap. Butterflies at Stocksfield included Small White 6, Speckled Wood 5, Red Admiral 1 (over-winter?), with a moth, Grapholita jungiella. Another Speckled Wood was at Hexham Elvaston. Running total for Honey-buzzard is now 6 sites, 4 male, 3 female, total 7 birds.

May 7th: another brilliant day weather-wise with all-day warm sunshine except for some cloud midday. Completed processing Oakpool 14/7 from last year, now on Kellas 1/7/17 with just 5 data-sheets to go. Booked up transport to Vichy for late June after quite a lot of research. Strikes are affecting the trains in France and they are trying to drag Air France into trouble as well. Air cost NCL-CFE via CDG was £194 including a suitcase; train NCL-VHY was heading for £300 with any flexibility and booking seemed a little chaotic with 3 companies involved. Checked NCL departures and flight had left for CDG on time today, in spite of strike action, so settled for that. It's 45km from CFE-VHY with good train/bus service. Extended stay at Aletti Palace in VHY for one night, so can make last night's farewell party and have a spare day to look for raptors, making 7 now at special rate of €101 a day. That was the Führer's palace so of historical interest! Did a lot of work today and yesterday on the music paper for Baden-Baden: researching K-, L- and PK-nets after purchasing some papers online. Policy this year is not to build up a backlog of data-sheets after a lot of fieldwork so break today while do more analysis. No break for G though, meeting P for good chat at 22:00. lok2t beauties!!!! Honey-buzzard continue to arrive [BirdGuides] (count 5-8):

07/05 22:43 Lincolnshire : European Honey Buzzard, Frampton Marsh RSPB one flew over; also 2+ Little Gulls, Spotted Redshank, European Turtle Dove and presumed escaped Wood Duck still

07/05 08:15 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Stodmarsh NNR one flew north yesterday (06/05 11:00)

07/05 12:08 Wiltshire : European Honey Buzzard, Great Witley one flew west late morning

07/05 15:43 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Salthouse Heath possible flew south (15:40) [?]

May 6th: in continuation of brilliantly sunny weather made another Honey-buzzard area from 15:45-17:05, which is quickly occupied: Staward on the Allen. Had single female Honey-buzzard up at both Staward S and Staward N, both briefly, obviously foraging for food and mates not back yet, so keep cool!! At Staward S at 16:07 the female just lifted above the horizon before floating off W to feed (8002). At Staward N at 16:26 the female again just lifted above the horizon before floating off N to feed. Running total is now 4 sites, 2 male, 3 female, total 5 birds. Always wonder whether females or males come first but think it's much the same on my experience!! Total for Staward in bird-types was 18, including Curlew 5, Stock Dove 7, Swallow 1 N, House Martin 4, Mistle Thrush 1, Meadow Pipit 3. Made moorland around Stublick Chimney at end, where looked for moths and found 6 Grapholita jungiella (tiny tortrix) with another 3 of these at Ordley so big hatch today; also at Stublick had a Winter Moth tiny green larva, beaten from birch. Birds at Stublick totalled 10 types, including Curlew 5, Lapwing 1, Red Grouse 1 (dead), Meadow Pipit 1, Willow Warbler 1. Butterflies were good today with at Ordley: 10 Orange-tip (5 male, 5 female), 1 Peacock, 1 Small White, 1 Large White, and at Staward: 2 Small Tortoiseshell. A Garden Warbler was singing loudly from the edge of the field: another new species for year. Did make G4g4s where extension; good crack with my mates; gr8 to have M on again!! Interesting sequel to last night's concert was being drawn to playing Vier Letzte Lieder at home, then finding it was on the programme elsewhere!! lok2t beauties!!!!

May 5th: 2 more reports on BirdGuides (count = 3-4):

05/05 11:40 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Pennington Marshes flew east towards Lymington (11:31)

05/05 21:22 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Carlton Marshes one reported flying over today [R]

and another Honey-buzzard seen by me, at Farnley, my 3rd bird of year (2 sites, 2 male, 1 female, total 3 birds). This bird at 15:15 was a male at moderate height in flap-flap-glide (ffg) action to S of ponds but N of the main road. ffg is an aggressive display mode, involving 2 powerful flaps of wings and a roughly equal time to the 2 flaps in a glide (8002). It indicates territorial possession (fo!) and is performed locally by Sparrowhawk, Goshawk, Common Buzzard, as well as Honey-buzzard. Didn't see any Honey-buzzard over the local site in a 30-minute watch from 12:15-12:45 but did have a Red Kite soaring high over the valley: gr8 to welcome them! Above it can be seen that March Burn 8/7 now processed, leaving 6 to do from 2017. At C4c4l again studied tbld and FT: latter was fairly certain that EM (Emerging Markets) are in a little trouble as the $ strengthens; extreme example of latter is Argentina where you can now get 40% per annum interest in the local currency! Orange-tip are featuring well with 3 at Ordley and 2 at Stocksfield and Prudhoe. Best sighting was an Otter slipping into the water off a stony island in the Tyne E of Wylam at 16:10; a Common Tern was seen at Scotswood. Caught train PI-NCL at 16:01, meeting N in MP4m4t at 16:30 for usual good chat/food. Then made ON reception at S on L3 where had couple of red wine and met some well-travelled people on the music front. Salome was again brilliant: compared to the dress rehearsal in Leeds, it benefited from better acoustics, a Salome of Wagnerian powers (Giselle Allen) and generally more polish after a significant number of live performances. The maestro Richard Armstrong is one of the best for heavyweight opera; we used to see him in the 1990s in Edinburgh conducting the Ring and Parsifal with Scottish Opera, where he was always totally in control; son was at Edinburgh Uni then! Got back on well-patronised last train at 21:52 NCL-PI. NCL was packed: lots of money being spent!! Not into NCL again until Thursday evening for another presentation on new season. lok2t beauties!!!!

May 4th: and the season kicks off in spectacular fashion at 12:16 in hot sunshine on light SW breeze. I'd come out for my regular midday scan of the local area at noon and it all looked quiet. Then at 12:16 picked out a female Honey-buzzard gliding in from the SE, 2km away, at considerable height. She approached the edge of the site at speed, steadily losing height, where she was intercepted by her mate, the male; together they had a few minutes of wild fly-about with much chasing at moderate altitude before being mobbed by a Common Buzzard and a female Hobby; the reunited pair ignored them, eventually coming down in trees to E of nesting area (8001). So what a grand sight: reading is that the male had arrived earlier this morning and the female's arrival was the reunion at 12:16. They don't winter or migrate together but they are site and mate faithful from one breeding season to another. The commotion also had a pair of Red Kite up over the fields to SE of Peth Foot so total was 6 raptors of 4 types: Honey-buzzard 2, Red Kite 2, Common Buzzard 1, Hobby 1. During this spell also had 2 flying rapidly N and a House Martin drifting N so 4 new species for the season in 10 minutes; also had 2 Swallow N, a Grey Heron and 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker on my nuts. The spring migration of UK-bred Honey-buzzard is typically from tropical West Africa, some 5,500km, taking about 3 weeks at 250 km a day so must be quite a relief when they arrive. They are super-fit on arrival: no need to rest; while they fast over the Sahara they will start fat and re-fill rapidly in France; fat in birds is fuel, essential for migration. Enjoyed sunshine in garden and field, not going out until W4g4s where all 6 of us out together for gr8 social. Funds rose for 5th week in row, up 3k giving gain on year of 67.5k after 7.1k withdrawal. Took some more profits on oil, reinvesting in old favourite U3O8: will this be the year of the grand revival or is it another false dawn? Along for the ride anyway! Have policy of putting 20% of proceeds from resource stocks into short-term bonds, which sticking to as a safety measure. 2moro it's S4con with MP4m4t with N, ON reception for supporters at S L3, Salome as seen recently at dress rehearsal but with Giselle Allen as S; should be exciting!! lok2t beauties!!!!

May 3rd: the 2nd report for the year on BirdGuides if a little tentative!

03/05 18:20 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Thorpe Marshes probable flew over high early evening (18:00) [?]

Had a good look at the local site around noon in bright sunshine but no signs yet of a returning bird; smart money is on Saturday (5/5)! Did have 4 butterflies: Orange-tip 3 (2 male, 1 female), Peacock (1) but then the cloud came over and temperatures dropped quickly. Feeling generous today: joined Friends of Samling Academy for £60 and sent £25 to Lynx UK to help their wild pussies come!! Made gr8 progress on March Burn 8/7/17, sorting out the piccies in flight of Honey-buzzard and Common Buzzard and getting close to completion; there's another pair of Hobby here to add to the annual summary. For relaxation did make C4c4t and HoN4st4s, with good crack at latter on the world of IT. 2moro it's N4c4l and W4g4s. lok2t beauties!!!!

May 2nd: took car into KF at 10:00 for exhaust replacement; new one fitted foc by 14:00; meanwhile met M at T4c4c and made C4c4l where did some work on Baden Baden paper: mainly ordering notes made, p1/5 looks close to final form! Went home to tidy-up b4 cleaner S arrived and out again to G4g4t where met B and his new knee: he took great delight in telling me the procedure, almost put me off my g! Getting warmer by weekend when will make a determined check for 1st Honey-buzzard; although sunny, feels too cool at the moment. 2moro it's determined effort on Baden-Baden paper and on March Burn 8/7 with breaks at C4c4t and HoN4st4s!! Here's latest piccie of my sweet granddaughters! lok2t beauties!!!!

May 1st: Still catching up … May Day: great sunny weather, very appropriate. Exhaust making funny noises but not quite same as blow-out so took it into KF at 10:00 where split found in weld; after a bit of discussion they decided it was covered by 3-year guarantee; fortunately kept all paper-work and front section, renewed April 2017, will be replaced again tomorrow free of charge. Roads are so bad, suspect constant flexing has knackered it. Next trip is Norfolk, making life comfortable the nite before, before and after Bach and Beyond!! Big family bash coming up on 2/9 in Wiltshire: my maternal Auntie Ann's 90th, née Lena Ann Nicholls. Getting stuck into Baden-Baden paper; will take laptop into HEX while exhaust fitted. Met N at MP4m4t where we were looked after well; then onto S4con in H2 with the SQ; it was full and could see why: very accomplished performers, really stylish in the slow parts but also speedy in the encore (didn't know what that was). Hope OMM goes well: looks very prestigious!! Took N to Br4g4s where we had good chat. Funds unchanged so far this week; have taken more profits in oilies as PoO slides back a little to $73.3 with resurgent $ having an effect. Diversified a little by buying some pt metal (ETF, not physical, 15 oz for £10k!) on interesting development by Bosch for severely cutting NO emissions from diesel cars; pt is anyway very cheap at moment, below both au and pd. Very poignant farewell: plenty of feeling: she's so evocative: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro it's car in to KF, T4c4c with M and later G4g4t where heard B was out last week on shaky new knee! xxxxxx

April 30th: sunny today but quite cool at 7C. Had Green Woodpecker yaffling from the valley and a Chiffchaff in the trees in back garden. Working on March Burn 8/7/17 at the moment (7106) and Honey-buzzard migration totals for 2017. Spent some time sorting out Sage bookings for next season; total comes to a little over 1k but plenty of action! Main themes are 'Why I love Brahms'; 'Our Artists in Focus': LV, Viktoria Mullova, Mahan Esfahani; 'Big Birthday Bash'. We have 5 female conductors and a few female composers, including Clara Schumann. One concert deals with bird themes, led by BC. There are a number of visiting orchestras, including BBC Scottish, Hallé, St Petersburg, Liverpool, LA. ON are performing Aida. There are 3 minimalist music sessions at Wylam Brewery; remember well Steve Reich from another festival! Also Oscars, Beetles, James Bond (like film music and the Liverpool lads). So very attractive programme. Today made N4c4l and G4g4s, with 5 of us out at latter for usual good crack! 2moro it's S4con in H2 with Chiaroscuro Quartet playing Bach and pieces by siblings Mendelssohn; going with N who meeting in MP at 17:30 after travel CAL-NCL. lok2t beauties!!!!

April 29th: lots to do today, including mowing 2 areas of grass, which have come away fast; transferring data and text from laptop to desktop and the two back-up 3-TB disks; updating index page for CT papers to reflect recent ANPA additions; sorting lepidoptera and bird records for 2018 up to today. Have a date now for the Unilog Music: here's our web page Not sure whether I should be flattered or terrified!! I'm also giving a talk in the Law and Logic workshop; M was coaching me as to what to say; our main theme is partial truth, following on from the natural intuitionistic (Heyting) logic of CT; we live in a society that is severely degraded by always looking for absolute truth e.g. probability of 0.95 is not left as such but is converted to 1.0 in most modern-day statistics; add in the qualification that the statistical method may be being used out of context and you have a recipe for poor decision making. The real-world is intuitionistic not Boolean! Pleased to see keynote speaker for the Unilog music workshop has intuitionistic in his title and Leibniz' monads feature well. Had a pair of Kestrel displaying over the house but no Honey-buzzard yet; I did make regular scans also picking up a displaying Common Buzzard over Dotland! Good to be back at C4c4l where studied tbld and FT; still no clues as to any decisive market moves! G4g4s was good break at end of day, joining the 4 dommies players for good chat. 2moro it's N4c4l and G4g4s with some work needed in between with Baden-Baden 5-page paper due by 9/5; have 6 pages but it's not exactly in final form! Concert with quartet is on Tuesday, meeting N at MP at 17:30. lok2t beauties!!!!

April 28th: long trek back made well: TOT-PAD 12:29, PAD-KGX tube, KGX-NCL 16:00 (29 min earlier than expected), NCL-HEX 20:16. On arrival in NCL made Hudson for a wee refreshment to recuperate: bit smarter than my usual dives!! It was a very good visit to Devon with lots of progress on all CT fronts and pleased that M agrees with new focus on music: it's all physics, even the aesthetic side!! Got a lot done on train, switching back to birds. Getting ready to register for the annual leading international raptor conference to be held in Kruger, RSA, in mid-November. I'm going to submit a paper on Honey-buzzard! Virgin will provide stand-by flights courtesy of daughter. Should see some Honey-buzzard there as did at same time in last visit there; they're probably from E of range – Russia. Also sorted comments on the Scottish Birds paper: very pleased with supporting evidence for Honey-buzzard being widespread but do have some concerns: artefact and interpretive bias come to mind! Gr8 welcome back: missed her: she's inspirational: lok2tgrf!!!!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l and walk, followed by G4g4s. 2 concerts in the coming week: S4con in H2 on Tuesday and S4con in H1 on Saturday (Salome, real performance!); former may fit in better!! xxxxxx

April 27th: we continued our discussions from 10:05-17:30, wider ranging today, looking at future publications such as TAC and factors such as postmodernism (particularly for law and music). Paid €345 to Baden-Baden conference via IBAN; why don't they all take PayPal? Paid through Caxton eventually for £309 after Lloyds failed to make the transfer for £321. Had a break late afternoon and evening making DH4t4m and DH4pres; latter had shades of a certain Festival with poetry and music celebrating the lives of Marina and Carito (Rodrigues), 2 of the refugees from Bilbao to Britain: the Basque children refugees of 1937, who had settled in Dartington. I didn't know much about this movement but after the left-wing Republicans were heavily defeated by Franco's Nationalists in 1937, there was a refugee crisis and a number of countries (France, Belgium, Switzerland, Denmark, Mexico, Russia) agreed to take-in refugees. Britain did not agree but insistent voluntary groups eventually forced its hand and c4k children arrived at Southampton from Bilbao, some ending up at Dartington. So that was interesting: very impressed with DH as an artistic centre: gr8 bubbly atmosphere!! Funds buoyed by steady PoO ($74.50) and weak £ after shocking UK growth figure (only +0.1%) for Q1. So +6k to new record: +65k on year after 7.1k withdrawal. Some profit-taking in oils in the past week, in which was an active participant; in the early stages of a bear market, need to take profits more quickly!! 2moro it's reverse migration, through LON, leaving KGX at 16:29!! Expecting to return to LON in late May to see family. lok2t beauties!!!!

April 26th: well right on cue is this what we've been waiting for:

26/04 10:28 Buckinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Lathbury, dark morph flew north [BirdGuides]

They're on their way:gr8 news! Did have a lot of commotion in trees near house at Ordley on 24/4 in evening with Crows going mad but thought it may be Red Kite (or Tawny Owl). That seemed a little too early for Honey-buzzard, even though local birds are quick returners. Common Buzzard were everywhere from Birmingham S yesterday: very common particularly across Somerset Levels.

Worked hard today on CT. Got 09:50 bus in from DH to TOT, then had long session with M on 'life is a free-functor valued colimit' followed by 'the Universe is the intension for everything'. A view I'm developing is that music is not that dissimilar from databases with the key providing the limit in well-structured genre and the object identifier the limit in less-structured genre. We looked at AI but this looks increasingly like a con: the theoretical basis of the subject has not changed in 20 years, making it light on active conceptual advances. Next year is 40th of our collaboration with 250+ papers to date; that's worth celebrating! M thought we should concentrate on the music ideas this summer so that's the way it is with Vichy (June), Baden-Baden (early August), Rowlands Castle (mid-August). Was fed all day at M's; did make DH4g4s to close the proceedings at 21:00. Found interesting booklet on the 2018 Dartington International Summer School and Festival 28/7-25/8: a lot of music with some of the performers having been at S; could come down for it but think I'm away much of time. Quite a small single bed here but could do with some company: lok2t beauties!!!!

April 25th 2018: welcome to the new Notice Board for 2018!! The blog will continue to adopt a high-minded approach to Honey-buzzard studies and other matters!! Today migrated 640km to the SW: 10:35 NCL-BIR, 12:42 BIR-EXE, 16:20 EXE-TOT. Arrived 8 min late, met by Devon M and we went to DH for very good meal in the White Hart Restaurant there. Spent 5 hours discussing CT: very upbeat in view of current publication position! M's still quite lame but should recover with natural nerve repair. Staying at DH: in due course has a very impressive summer music festival. lok2t beauties!!!! (no change there!).

Recent relevant references: (more reading here)

Shaw, KD, McInerny, CJ, Little, A, Little, K, Nadin, JS, & Goater, R, An exceptional season at a central Scotland Honey-buzzard study area, Scottish Birds 37(1) 3-13 (2017).

White, Steve, & Kehoe, Chris, Report on Scarce Migrant Birds in Britain in 2014: Part I: Non-passerines, British Birds 109(12) 724-748 by, including Honey-buzzard account at pp.735-736 and in Abstract p.724 (2016).

Forsman, Dick, Separating Common Buzzard and European Honey-buzzard, at p.302, in: Flight Identification of Raptors of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East, Christopher Helm (2016).

Panuccio, M, Chiatante, G, & Tarini, D, Two different migration strategies in response to an ecological barrier: Western Marsh Harriers and juvenile European Honey Buzzards crossing the central-eastern Mediterranean in autumn, Journal of Biological Research - Thessaloniki 19 10-18 (2013). pdf

Panuccio, Michele, Across and around a barrier: migration ecology of raptors in the Mediterranean basin, PhD thesis abstract, Scientifica Acta 5(1) EEG 27-36 (2011). pdf

Panuccio, M, Agostini, N, Lucia, G, Mellone, U, Ashton-Boot, J, Wilson, S, Chiatante, G & Todisco, S, Local weather conditions affect migration strategies of adult Western Honey Buzzards (Pernis apivorus) through an isthmus area, Zoological Studies 49(5) 651-656 (2010). pdf

1 Analysis of Meaning, ESP99

2 Harvard: the Future ESP155