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.

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 http://nickrossiter.org.uk/hbweb/devonhb.htm, 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! 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 f...ing 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 http://nickrossiter.org.uk/hbweb/northumberlandrk.html 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 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 http://nickrossiter.org.uk/process/index.html. 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) https://www.uni-log.org/vichy2018 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) https://www.uni-log.org/vichy2018 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. https://www.whatsonstage.com/leicester-theatre/reviews/review-le-nozze-di-figaro-nevill-holt-opera_46864.html

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. https://www.thestage.co.uk/reviews/2018/le-nozze-di-figaro-nevill-holt-opera/

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).

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.

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. 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 eyeing up the Common Swift, plus 2 more Common Kestrel, a female near our flat giving great piccies 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 Chiffchaff (1), Blackcap (2), Sand Martin (1), Starling (2); running total is 31 types. Butterflies comprised one type: Small White (8). 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 https://www.mupa.hu/en/events/budapest-wagner-days/budapest-wagner-days-2018 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 https://www.uni-log.org/start6.html (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 https://www.forbes.com/sites/neilwinton/2018/04/26/bosch-diesel-breakthrough-great-news-for-auto-finances-might-slow-switch-to-electric-cars/#1145a7f46f91; 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 http://www.uni-log.org/wk6-logic-and-music.html. 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