Notice Board: the Honey-buzzard Season in Northumberland 2019 as it happens – Nick Rossiter

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This is the current blog for the 2019 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).

Honey-buzzard migration data for 2018 was updated on BirdTrack on 19/04/19 (Population of the Honey-buzzard in SW Northumberland). Remaining data for 2018 for this species is actively being processed and reports will be available in May 2019. Moth records from 01/06/18-31/12/18 are still in preparation but are largely complete as of 29/04/19. Compilation of Honey-Buzzard breeding data for 2018 on BirdTrack was completed on 13/05/19. Compilation of reports for birds and insects from Budapest and Vichy in June 2018 was completed on 08/06/19; the summaries are available on notes for 17/06/18 and 28/06/18 respectively. Honey-buzzard breeding data for 2018 was published on 12/06/19 (Population of the Honey-buzzard in SW Northumberland). Summary of Budapest trip in June 2019 for birds and butterflies was added below on 26/06/19. Summary of Aquitaine trip in July 2019 for birds was added below on 31/07/19. Summary of South Tyrol trip in August 2019 for birds was added below on 01/09/19 and for Yorkshire Dales trip in September/October 2019 for birds added below on 4/10.

The pattern of fieldwork will continue to change in 2019, moving towards a more intensive rather than extensive approach with concentration on a reduced number of sites. 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, with a view to writing a book on the matter.

October 16th: completed run-through of the many (actually 8) clips of Honey-buzzard calls, mainly anxiety ones, from Kellas on 17/8 (9209). Next step is to convert the call sections from mts to mp4 format, the latter being more compact and standard for the web. Went through the piccies of the Honey-buzzard juvenile yesterday at Eltringham (9182); it's a different bird from that on 12/10, being smaller and slighter. Updated 2 biogs for the Festival! Made QH at 15:00 for more work on topos paper; it's proving to be a very useful exercise on data structuring in general with CT. Did make G4g4t, chatting to M as B away for the day, seeing relatives. So hope someone has a thrilling day, playing all those notes; it's the sort of programme my son would love to go to in London! lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's LAF from 12:30-20:30 at Belford in N of county, looking at the coastal path progress and discussing some alternatives; may see some migrants!! Will think of someone!! Day will close as fairly often with G4g4s!!

October 15th: bit murky but mostly dry today with weak sunny intervals, 12C, virtually calm. Went to Stocksfield Mount again from 15:05-16:55 and had a Honey-buzzard at Eltringham at 15:55, which floated around leisurely before sinking back to the ground ??? (9182); this was the only raptor seen in calm conditions; it was dark-phase and fairly light-weight, different in size to the one seen here on 12/10. Main other feature of the afternoon was the arrival of Scandinavian migrants with Redwing, Fieldfare, Brambling all noted coming in from the E. A few Mistle Thrush were also moving and 2 Siskin may well have been migrants. So that was exciting, seeing the birds come out of the sky and head for a clump of haws for refuelling. Did make C4c4l where pleased 2 c tmsuo again: she was actually very chatty!! While sitting there news came through on my mobile of GLEN (Glencore), the mining giant, buying a stake of 11.58% in ZNG (Group Eleven, Canadian junior mining company) which owns 70% of large areas of land at Stonepark, Ireland, adjacent to Glencore's own massive Pallas Green deposit of Zn/Pb. ARK (Arkle), an Irish junior mining company, owns 23.44% of Stonepark. Arkle used to be called CON for Connemara but changed their name to the racehorse, apparently to add a bit of credibility!! Anyway have shares in all 3 companies, holding 0.9% of ZNG and 1.8% of ARK, so things may be looking up! Knee was painful this morning so reinstated compression support and it's much more comfortable again, indeed best it's been since the injury. Did make TC where saw Good Posture, a bit of fieldwork really, looking into the mind of a young attractive lady with a very complicated life!! More to follow … Switch to Tuesday for this week worked brilliantly: satisfaction ratings were sky-high: so sensuous: she's beautiful: lok2tgrf xxxxx XXX!!!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l, G4g4t with B and catch-up!! xx

October 14th: well big celebrations as the crate passed its MOT at KF, maybe not in flying colours but comfortably with total of £350 spent on full service, MOT fee, 1 new tyre, 2 suspension bits, mending of ABS circuit on 1 wheel, alignment. Still to do is non-urgent job to replace the 2 front disks (£145) which will have done in a couple of weeks; said needed to spread the cost; don't want to appear as last of the big spenders! Work lasted from 08:30-17:00 so fairly intensive. Spent much of day in QH Library with long stay at N4l; maximum rest today now strapping off knee as all feels a little strange! Made major breakthrough on topos paper by identifying pasted pullbacks with type substitution, with a few well-written papers in the computing science/category theory area for support; underpins whole (at the time heuristic) approach at Liverpool University, strengthening the coming further publication. Jd did superb job on hair and eyebrows – increasing frequency from 12 weeks to 8 weeks to keep her happy and me smart! Booked sojourn after La Bohème!! Made R @ B4m4t and G4g4s where met Bb for good chat with Mg on: he used to work at Denver so had a lot to say including the problems of altitude. Not a lot of time for the web today but did label c20 piccies of the nest in Scots Pine at Kellas (9209) and update the Thanks page!! 2moro it's C4c4l, trip out, CAL-NCL at 19:00, TC4f!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! xx

October 13th: rained all day from 11:00 after being dull from dawn, mild, 12C, light SE breeze. Had very productive day, sorting yesterday's trip to the Mount and finalising the Aquitaine bird records from July. Also got a grip on the topos paper, producing a new diagram prior to revisiting the pasting. Did make G4g4s where plenty of crack with 7 of us out! Have only 4 data sheets of bird/insect records left to process for 2019: next up is Kellas 17/8 (9209). Might switch film nite to Tuesday as computing mates not around!! Have 2 preoccupied days this week: 2moro with MOT starting at 08:30, hair-cut at 11:00 and R @ B4m4t; Thursday with dentist and JLAF trip to N of county. If car has extended stay in garage (as is probably likely!), might come into L&P after session with Jade! Pain in knee has almost gone so sturdy strapping removed: feels a bit weak and needs regular exercise to build up muscle tone again: pleased with progress! Going to 2 operas by ON at end of month; might linger after La Bohème on 29/10 with the generous hospitality!! So thinking a lot of the gorgeous one: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! By noon: looking smarter after haircut but not heard from garage yet and don't want to appear anxious: think will stay close to base until know what's happening! xx

October 12th: 12C, light southerly breeze, sunny, dry. And the Honey-buzzard season continues with a dark-phase juvenile at Stocksfield E today, floating effortlessly up in the air from 15:36-15:39, accompanied by 2 Jackdaw 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19 (9181). This is almost certainly a Scottish-bred bird with the locally raised ones leaving the Tyne Valley by the end of September. Earlier there were bursts of Corvids and Lapwing in restless flocks on the fields at Stocksfield E, no doubt disturbed by the Honey-buzzard. Visit was from 15:00-16:40. Other raptors were 2 Red Kite (one N of Wylam at 15:18, a juvenile over Stocksfield E at 16:11), a Sparrowhawk male up over Stocksfield E at 15:55, a Common Buzzard juvenile in flap-flap-glide mode 1  2  3  4  5  6 from E of Guessburn towards Bywell Castle at 15:42. So that's 5 raptors of 4 types: not bad! Also had 2 Stock Dove, 2 Jay, 1 Goldcrest, in total of 26 species with the pick being a Green Sandpiper flying low W over the Tyne. After W4shop got back to Ordley at 17:30 where a flock of 15 Redwing was eagerly feeding on haws to recuperate from the North Sea crossing. Piccies are on server but need indexing and it's late: 02:13 13/10! Not the only person to be up late!! Did add the indexed piccies of the possible Honey-buzzard site at Katzenloch, South Tyrol, on 29/9 and added 2 artists to the Festival pages. Did make C4c4l where very pleased to meet the inspirational rhwso and tbld. FT was moderately supportive of big rise yesterday but I think there may be some profit-taking and nervous selling next week to keep the see-saw going; so relieved I've got some cash again as opportunities there will be! It's going to rain 2moro all-day so will catch up on correspondence!! lok2t gorgeous one: she's done an amazing job: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! xxx

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – October total 7, total for autumn (from 17/8) 111, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9, older siblings from 24/9-, younger siblings from 30/9-:

12/10 11:50 Shetland : European Honey Buzzard, Toft, Mainland dark morph flew south over ferry terminal

October 11th: quite windy from SW, cooler, 13C, rain showers. What a week on the markets where 'ruined' on Thursday morning at 10am at -11k, partial salvation by close on Thursday to -2k and then amazing recovery today to +28k on the week. All due to Brexit with total pessimism on Thursday morning giving way to significant optimism on Friday that no-deal exit is now very unlikely at the end of the month. Did top-slice a bit this afternoon, raising 26k in cash for trading opportunities next week. FTSE 250 was up 4%; have to go back to 2009 when coming out of the great financial crisis for similar sharp rises with many banks and building shares up 10%. So have been following the dealing screen closely today. Concert was fantastic with LV conducting and playing Mendelssohn PC1 with great feeling and panache; love this concerto with its great variety. The RNS also played Dvorák 7 with great sensitivity and dynamism. More to follow … Did have quiche + rw at S with partners b4 the concert, giving news catch-up. Latest gossip is we'll have no flute players soon: such a pity with AY/EG in great form today! Nite finished in style in dark sensuality: plenty of thrills: she's so gorgeous: lok2tgrf xxxxx XXX!!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l and maybe trip out!! xxxx

October 10th: showery, mild, 15C, sunny intervals. Had a juvenile Common Buzzard, flushed from side of road near Ordley village at 13:00 while driving into Hexham; almost in the car with me! Connected 10m Ethernet cable from router to desktop and it worked so well that immediately cancelled satellite BB from Bigblu. So now have 35Mbits BB without the latency, the pause before transmission/receipt of data as signal goes into space and back. And it's half the price with Vodafone at £23 a month against £45 a month with Bigblu. It's good for marketability of country properties: families cannot accept old BB speeds. No gardening today: time to rest! Did though make C4c4l and G4g4s where met P; pleased to have Mb on!! Completed processing of South Tyrol bird records and piccies but there's still the diverse butterflies and a few piccies of habitat at Katzenloch, taken on 29/8, another potential Honey-buzzard site, latter will add tomorrow. Summaries for South Tyrol are at 1/9 below. So that's a major milestone in 2019 records; will check a few queries on the Toulouse data and then wrap that one up for birds as well. Festival site is now advanced on home and events pages: programme looks great, time to sort the artists!! 2moro it's N4c4c, RDM-NCL at 16:05, S4t (Nick's away), S4con, W4g4s and hopefully engaging the favoured, gorgeous one: xxxxx XXX!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – October total 6, total for autumn (from 17/8) 110, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9, older siblings from 24/9-, younger siblings from 30/9-:

10/10 09:19 Durham : European Honey Buzzard, Whitburn Coastal Park possible in off the sea (09:10) [?]

October 9th: sunny intervals, moderate SW breeze, occasional light shower, mild. At Ordley at 14:00 had 8 Pied/White Wagtail migrants drop in onto my roof and a Common Buzzard adult in the valley. 2 Redwing moved W at Hexham at 15:15. Processed some of 29/8 piccies from South Tyrol. Busy day seeing M at T4c4c for good chat, completing cutting of high leylandii hedge 1  2 (but is he going to pick up the cuttings!), adding some material to topos/monad/music paper in QH while S smartened up the house, G4g4t with B (who's very keen on the Piano Great ticket in particular, in exchange for a bottle of wine!). Did make TC where saw Ad Astra, a deep-space adventure, which was much more exciting than some of the genre! More to come on this … Bit of a limp still but can walk faster and best of all libido has returned!! That's much more satisfying for all: very happy: may the gorgeous one keep fit: lok2tgrf!!!!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – October total 5, total for autumn (from 17/8) 109, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9, older siblings from 24/9-, younger siblings from 30/9-:

09/10 10:16 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Leith Hill one flew west over tower mid-morning

October 8th: sunny, dry, moderate W breeze, what a change! At 15:30 had 3 Redwing W at Ordley and 2 Red Kite up together at Dukesfield. At 00:05 (9/10) had a Tawny Owl calling at Slaley W. Completed processing records from last full day in South Tyrol, 30/8, on which 6 types of raptor were seen. Aiming to largely complete 29/8 tomorrow when can produce full summary of the great trip. Cutting hedges started today with a vengeance with the brute of the leylandii; sides and most of top done with a mohican cut on the top, which will remove tomorrow with the longer-reach electric trimmer! Intruder-alarm man S did arrive on time; he's a keen photographer of stars (dark skies!). Booked accommodation in Fort Collins Hilton at $866 for 6 nights; that's the home for the conference so very convenient! Price in £ is a little uncertain with current chaos! Did make C4c4l and much later HoN4st4s with M/A and M on again, following her around!! 2moro it's T4c4c with M, G4g4t with B, CAL-NCL at 19:00, TC4f!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – October total 4, total for autumn (from 17/8) 108, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9, now into older siblings from 24/9-:

08/10 13:15 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Flamborough Head juvenile flew south from Thornwick over Lighthouse Road near Ocean View Farm (13:14)

October 7th: wild and windy this morning on brisk SW wind but some sunshine by tea-time. Engineer from Openreach, contracted by Vodafone, arrived at 08:30, tested the old BT line and pronounced it of good quality with green signal. He then went away to do the connections at the exchange, returning at 12:00 to do final BB connection and testing. All's good with laptop and 'phone benefiting from 35Mbps download speed on WiFi; that's faster than the satellite and there's no monthly limit; ordered 10m Ethernet cable for £8.60 to connect desktop to the router. So that's all progress! Engineer left at 12:38 making me late for R in Beaumont at 12:45 but with falling membership greeted well by members and hotel staff! Much later made G4g4s where 4 of us out and good to have M/A on!! Worked hard on records from Seis E on 30/8 in the morning, doing much labelling and indexing on that superb morning for raptors; will index piccies and compile data tomorrow. Updated Find Us for Festival! 2moro it's the turn of the intruder-alarm man to spoil my beauty sleep at 9:30; will make C4c4l and maybe HoN with IT mates in evening. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

October 6th: another day of very wet and gloomy weather; wonder how the young Honey-buzzard are faring; they will be able to feed well, just not move towards Africa. Concentrated on the desk job compiling piccies and records for 30/8 at the lake at Völser Weiher and the 7 Raven and 2 Golden Eagle on the magnificent mountains to E at Gabels Mull (2389m asl). Next up is 30/8 morning, a good spell for raptors. Added the stimulating events to the Festival website. Did make N4c4t where a good chat with a couple of mates and pleased to have S on!! Later made G4g4s where 7 of us out in our group for good reunion! Knee has made great strides today (sorry!). After hot bath late-on all pain gone and stiffness much reduced: the rest, ice and compression treatment seems to have worked quickly. Must be the tender kiss!!! Have to be careful not to aggravate it; hope is that drain on physical energy from it will now go away! 2moro morning Vodafone are coming to check my BB potential (not as high as they think!); also have intruder alarm service on Tuesday morning and hair cut at JG + car MOT/full service at KF next Monday. lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxxxxxxx!!!! Satellite BB from Bigblu down again as write! 2moro it's R @ B4m4l, G4g4s!! Back to TC this week at normal time for plenty of space!! xx

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – October total 3, total for autumn (from 17/8) 107, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9, now into older siblings from 24/9-:

06/10 17:19 Isles of Scilly : European Honey Buzzard, St Agnes one over Porth Killier heading towards Turks Head

06/10 17:28 Isles of Scilly : European Honey Buzzard, St Mary's one over airport late afternoon

October 5th: active at my desk, compiling records and accounts for visit to Schmung Schwaige, South Tyrol, on 28/8, including finding 2 Honey-buzzard juvenile at 1810m asl! Updated home page for the splendid Festival! Did make C4c4l where rhwso looked good with tbld providing inspiration!! Read FT closely in view of prevailing gloom with last week the worst for 18 months with ftse down over 3%. Growing political chaos in US and UK is not helping matters. Own funds last week were down 16k (1.5%) so in last 4 weeks, things have been very volatile at +27k, -7k, -4k, -16k, bringing me back to the starting point! Own portfolio is defensive, populated mainly by high-yielding, cash-rich, low-debt companies. Anticipate being in this choppy phase until at least February 2020 when the extreme risk-off mentality will have lasted 18 months. That's a common length for bear markets but think that terminology may not be so apt now. Knee continues to improve: can now drive comfortably: had warm bath and can see bruise is on inside of right-knee, so MCL (medial collateral ligament) tear grade 1, same as in August 2014, when tried to walk it off and it became grade 2: not doing that this time!! To the talented, gorgeous one: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! 2moro looks like C4c4ll and G4g4s. Aucun changement dans mes envies!!

October 4th: total for trip to North Yorkshire was 45 types of bird, including 3 raptors: Common Buzzard 5 birds at 3 sites including at least 1 juvenile; Honey-buzzard 4 juvenile at 2 sites with 3 S and 1 migrant on open moor, maybe resting; 1 Kestrel male. The Honey-buzzard records are significant (for me!) as we're getting close to the Lancashire/Yorkshire area where Common Buzzard migrants are regularly reported at this time, for instance 9 Common Buzzard SW on Trektellen on 2/10 (same day as our 2 S) at Bury It's a very sensitive issue as challenging id offends people's egos (it's like a wrong note in music!); however, Common Buzzard is not a migratory species in the UK and id of juvenile Honey-buzzard requires a lot of experience. Butterflies comprised single Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell.

Caught up on quite a lot of piccies and records in September: poorly knee encourages desk work! Some improvement today: pain on standing and climbing/descending stairs largely gone but walking is far too slow under heavy strapping (½ normal speed) and car driving using the pedals is still quite painful. At 00:30 5/10, after 72 hours from injury, into postinflammatory phase so will have a hot bath, much favoured activity, in the morning, and relax! Off painkillers – never been keen on those. Friends say I should have disassembled the bed: that's what they do! Did make S4con with MP at 17:00 with N, local at 22:00, last train NCL-RDM, W4g4s, so not much concession there to normal activities; walked as usual. Concert with RLPO was brilliant: Sergej Krylov was a wild and passionate violinist in Tchaikovsky VC, playing with such vigour in the high passages that his bow rapidly eroded! He got tremendous applause and played a Paganini encore. After half-time we had R Strauss' Death and Transfiguration, which brought the best out of the large orchestra, with tremendous climaxes. Stravinsky's Symphony in 3 Movements closed the concert; this appeared difficult to play with complicated cross-rhythms all over the place. Overall with Vasily Petrenko as conductor, there was a very definite eastern European feel! Pleased to see NB (cello) and MS (violin 1) in the orchestra! Night closed in great style: at last after the discomfort a large dopamine release (aren't scientists fun!): made effort so worthwhile: good for morale: she's absolutely gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l and recuperation!!

October 3rd: sorted final Settle records but not posted all piccies yet; getting ready to post final statistics; also processing late September records for Honey-buzzard at the Ordley site. Added some Meyerbeer material to Wagner discussion below. Did make W4shop and G4g4s (where good chat to P) but left C4c4l up the hill to 2moro! Did Rest, Ice (3 times today), Support (strapping) part of RISE but didn't really do Elevation (keeping knee above horizontal). No pain killers: hope after 48 hours (00:00 4/10) inflammation phase will be nearing its end. Got the injury in bed through trying to turn leg when foot trapped in bedding (honest!); suspect muscles were tired after jumping around Skipton Castle; I normally sleep in very loose bedding!! Booked LHR-DEN 2/11-16/11 economy return for £378.42, changing at DTW on way out and MSP on way back. Flights are VS4039/VS1691 (out) and VS1554/VS4040 (return). At this price not worth going standby where you would pay basic taxes, charges of c£200, except for possibility of upgrade. Was going via New York with daughter but she's concentrating on her new job so I'm going direct now. 2moro after the coffee it's intended to be RDM-NCL ex 16:05, MP with N, S4con with RLP, W4g4s!! Should be OK if walk slowly!! lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!! No bb as write at 00:15 04/10; Vodafone did deliver router with engineer coming on 7/10 for installation of their bb on the BT line; satellite bb with Bigblu has been very unreliable lately and will be cancelled if the new system works; will update blog when available. Threatened with chaperone tonite! xxx!!

October 2nd: not a good end to yesterday, twisted knee through sudden manoeuvre, injuring ligament(s) on right knee. Think it's grade 1 (stretched but not torn or broken ligament) so will be painful and limiting for 2 weeks and need careful nurturing for a further 2-4 weeks. What a s.d! We came back from Settle a little early but while waiting outside for taxi to drive us 800m in glorious sunshine, did see 2 Honey-buzzard juvenile move S at 10:47, mobbed by Corvids, one dark-phase, the other a little lighter. They appeared to have come out of the Giggleswick area in the calm conditions and climbed slowly in the sky to the S, soon leaving the Corvids, mainly Jackdaw, behind 1  2 (9180). I thought I might have had a dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard on pasture to SW of Giggleswick yesterday (1/10) but light was too bad to capture it on camera and confirm it. Also this morning had a Common Buzzard and a Kestrel (adult male) up over ridge to E at 11:37. A Swallow and 4 Skylark flew S. Total watch this morning was 10:00-11:55. Had the only butterflies of the trip this morning: single Red Admiral and Small Tortoiseshell. We said goodbye to the staff at the Falcon; we've had a very comfortable stay and the staff were very obliging; liked R from yesterday!! Journey through Pennines from Settle to Carlisle was magical with tremendous visibility and hence views. After saying goodbye to N after our great trip, found driving was difficult but did eventually park in Beaumont Street for short hobble to G4g4t where met B for good chat; wanted to see him as not seen him since his trip to France. Back home applied ice in form of wet tea-towel deposited in freezer and strapped the knee; no hot bath, not recommended for 72 hours until peak swelling has passed; no Ibuprofen as can delay healing if used in first 48 hours but did take 2 Paracetamol late in evening (encouraged!). 2moro is quiet day with just delivery from Vodafone of new router but hope to be in C4c4l and W4shop in daytime and maybe G4g4s later. Like the KP and 4S concept in context of nature!! Trust the gorgeous one is keeping fit: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – October total 1, total for autumn (from 17/8) 105, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9, now into older siblings from 24/9-:

02/10 13:31 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB one flew south-east past Visitor Centre (08:00)

October 1st: after yesterday's walk of 10km, more leisurely today with strong ENE breeze this morning at 11C this morning, with driving rain and sunny interludes. Felt like November! We took train down to Skipton 1, a dales town closer to Leeds, 3 stops from Settle, indeed the outer limit of the Leeds transport system with electric-powered trains to Bradford and Leeds. Looked around from 12:45-16:25 in cold rain! We bagged a bit of culture visiting Skipton Holy Trinity Church 1  2  3 and Skipton Castle 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9; latter was very interesting dating from Norman times in 1090 through to the Civil War when it was held by the Royalists under siege for 3 years. Near Gargrave had a Little Egret and 7 Greylag Goose. At Settle had 2 flighty Redwing, in top of beech tree, at Falcon Manor at 17:00 plus 2 GBBG 2w over the valley. 2moro we're going for walk on E side looking for more Honey-buzzard b4 catching train back at 14:17 ex SET 4 CAR (and HEX). Been an excellent break but mind turning now to the delights of the NE: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 30th: revealing day for Honey-buzzard in the central Pennines belt. Have long been puzzled by the number of Common Buzzard migrants reported on Trektellen in September and October in this area, particularly surprising for a non-migratory species. The timing points to Honey-buzzard and the limited id skills to juvenile Honey-buzzard. So today had the chance to check matters out as the weather improved. From 08:15-10:30 we were in Settle area with light SW breeze, misty, bright overhead, dry; then from 10:30-14:45 in the Giggleswick Langcliffe area when visibility improved, with weak hazy sunshine, dry, cloud increasing at end, almost calm. Next belt of rain came in at 17:00, to last well into tomorrow in daytime. Although brighter, weather conditions were not good for raptors with such slight winds. Had a Common Buzzard juvenile overhead at Langcliffe at 13:30 but it was flapping. At 12:54 had a large bird on horizon 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 (9178) to E at Langcliffe Scar W, flapping heavily to N, low-down over the rough vegetation (habitat here 8  9  10); it was a dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard, quite young looking as relatively compact for the species but with classical jizz (high wing amplitude, broad wings, long neck, thin tail, very dark); it appeared to either land on the high hillside for foraging or turned around and presumably resumed flying S. It had flown out of a relatively large upland beech wood, where it had presumably taken refuge. The next sighting at 13:38 was clearer. Another dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard was flying along the same high ridge, gaining a little orographic lift perhaps if a little more breeze up there 1  2  3 (9179). This one was older than the other with longer wings and tail, and was making good progress S, passing at least the start of the beech wood with it not being clear if it landed there. These could be Northumbrian, Cumbrian or Scottish birds. I've noticed birds going down the upper South Tyne turn SW at Slaggyford, towards the Eden, avoiding top of Hartside. They would then cross Ribblehead at the top of the Eden/Ribble watershed before coming down the Ribble as noted today. Getting orographic (ridge) lift is vital for an economical traverse of the Pennines, which they can generally do on the W side, where the prevailing wind is SW. So very interesting results! Had some other migrants: Meadow Pipit (22: 3 SW, 9 S, 10 N), Brambling (2 arrived from E, dropping out of sky onto beech area), Swallow (8 S), House Martin (6 S), Goldcrest (1), Mistle Thrush (4: 1 N, 3 others). Three tribes of Long-tailed Tit totalling 28 birds was noteworthy as was 13 LBBG (11 adult, 2 juvenile). A Raven was also seen in the Honey-buzzard migration area. Total for trip to date is 38 types of bird; no butterflies have been seen but there are a few wasps and hover fly on flowering ivy. Looks wet tomorrow so we may go to Skipton for some shopping! On Wednesday when sunshine is promised planning to go to Ribblehead on way back for check on area (and any Honey-buzzard migrants using ridge lift). It's RLP on Friday, when maybe back into action!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 31, total for autumn (from 17/8) 104, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9, now into older siblings from 24/9-:

30/09 16:58 Gloucestershire : European Honey Buzzard, Longney dark-morph juvenile flew downriver mid-morning (09:15)

27/09 16:13 Isles of Scilly : European Honey Buzzard, St Mary's juvenile flew over Porth Cressa and The Garrison (14:00)

September 29th: very wet for start of trip but rain had largely stopped by time made Settle. The train journey from Carlisle to Settle is very spectacular, particularly around the Dent/Ribblehead area and visibility was good for this part of the journey. We're staying at the Falcon Manor 1  2, a modest place on S edge of town. Settle is a typical Dales town, rather like Nenthead in natural setting 1  2  3  4 but with richer residents and maybe not so much fun! Ribble Valley runs N-S so might get some Honey-buzzard migrants. Today had 3 (resident) Common Buzzard on E side of valley at Settle (view 1 above), a Raven at Dent and, at Ribblehead (300m asl), 1 Wheatear and 3 Meadow Pipit. At Settle itself from 14:30-17:45 had 20 species of bird, including 2 House Martin, 6 Meadow Pipit, 4 LBBG N, 1 alba Wagtail N. Earlier had a Red Kite juvenile up in drizzle over Hexham N at 11:30 and was good to be seen off in style by thfsn!! Dinner was massive, having Sunday lunch for evening meal plus a few g. WiFi is not good: none in bedroom and ftp is blocked in bar but have workarounds for that! Delighted that starring role went well!! 2moro we're out for short walk to Giggleswick Scar with rain not forecast until tea-time. Did read some of Jewry in Music book on way over: according to Conway, Wagner behaved rather like the worst of modern-day professors, not acknowledging those who helped him, taking advantage of others when it suited him and making destructive comments on others while he borrowed their ideas: bit of a c..t really; but he was involved heavily with Jewish composers and musicians of the day; his intense jealousy of Meyerbeer's success was destabilising for all. But I might add: where is Meyerbeer today? Still reading: has all the hallmarks of a controversy with entrenched positions! How did I get into this! Better to stick to xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Extracts from Jewry in Music p.197-200 in Chapter Germany: Mendelssohn, Meyerbeer and the Rest.

Serious efforts have been undertaken by some academics to demonstrate anti-Jewish prejudices on the part of Richard Wagner before 1850. The most assiduous writer in this case [is] Paul Lawrence Rose. … His evidence, however, does not sufficiently support his assumption. … Primary evidence of Wagner's attitudes to Jews in general (as opposed to Meyerbeer in particular), is thin on the ground. … If anything, as Katz has pointed out, Wagner's associations before 1850 would have marked him a philo-Semite …. A long list of Jewish friends, colleagues, supporters and benefactors, runs through Wagner's life”, for instance:

Patrons in Paris: Mme Gottschalk, Samuel Lehrs; Horn-player: Jean Rodolfe Lewy (Viennese, assisted with Wagner's development of the instrument, including the Wagner horn); Author: Heinrich Hesse (story-line or inspiration for Wagner's operas). Wagner initially benefited from contact with Meyerbeer: "In 1838 Wagner met [him] by chance in Boulogne , who undertook to look over the draft of his opera Rienzi, and promised him recommendations in Paris on the strength of this, as well as introducing him to Moscheles. Around this time Wagner drafted a long article praising Meyerbeer as a man and artist and stating that 'to go beyond Meyerbeer is impossible' in a letter to Meyerbeer of 26 July 1840". ... "Apart from lending him money and giving him moral support, Meyerbeer successfully recommended Rienzi for its premiere in Dresden in 1842 and also procured the acceptance by Berlin of both Rienzi and Der fliegende Holländer. As late as 1840 Wagner was signing himself to Meyerbeer 'your ever greatly beholden'.

Those who, in the 1840s, criticised the “young Germany” intellectual movement, with which Wagner was allied, for being 'cosmopolitan', 'un-German' or 'Young Palestine', therefore need have looked no further than the young composer for a satisfactory vindication, had they wished to consider the above examples.”

But in his later writings: “Virtually all Wagner's musical, financial or social debts to Jews were omitted, deleted or toned down in his own later accounts of his life to avoid such embarrassment”. In particular Wagner's attitude to Meyerbeer rapidly changed as his own reputation grew, by developing his own style. "... by this time Wagner was also finding his own feet and beginning to discern yawning differences between his conception of opera and that of his erstwhile patron." A letter from Wagner to Schumann in 1843 highlights Wagner's scorn of Meyerbeer -- 'striving after superficial popularity' -- and the help he received from Meyerbeer -- 'to the extent that I now find myself in his debt'. Wagner therefore expresses artistic opposition to Meyerbeer while acknowledging the help he received from him.

September 28th: weather was dry today after very heavy rain overnight, mild, light SW breeze, 15C. Completed grass cutting for year, demolishing last of the long grass by the pony shelters; nest up is the hedges and shrubs in the front. Did have a quick look for raptors over the Devil's Water around 13:30 (13:30-13:50) and had 5 in all: the Honey-buzzard dark-phase juvenile, restless and moving fairly high from 13:32-13:35 but still not off 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 (9174); 2 Common Buzzard together, adult and juvenile, below the Honey-buzzard; 1 Red Kite adult with a juvenile from 13:35-13:37. Also had a Swallow SW and late butterflies: 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Small White. Completed processing of bird records for 7/9 so close to being up to date for September records now. Did make C4c4l where just missed trhwso but did catch up with her later!! Booked tickets for Giulio Cesare on 30/10 for myself and N to add to my Bohème on 29/10; also booked for Mahler's 1 concert at Abbey, Hexham, on 20/10 and train tickets for next trip. So really early start 2moro at 11:35 on next trek; let's hope line isn't washed away! Will think of the gorgeous one tomorrow afternoon: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

September 27th: another exciting day! Concert was very enjoyable: NC was the soloist performing brilliantly in Saint-Saëns CC1, playing an encore after that and 2 more pieces in the Spotlight to conclude the evening. She is such a talented and warm performer: certainly an asset to a Festival! The concert was really Ladies Night with conductor Giedrė Šlekytė, from Lithuania, NC, Tansy Davies' Plumes (commissioned as part of RNS' 60th birthday celebrations) and a performance of (Louise) Farrenc's S3, which should be further up the concert repertoire; it did have Beethoven overtones, particularly movement 2 which had lots of tension, as in movement 2 of B4. The men were left with the composers Wagner and Saint-Saëns. Was particularly interested in how RNS would approach the Idyll; it's not an easy piece as it's a complex structure with a number of alternating sections and the romance is restrained with subtle climaxes. Thought they did well, bringing out the love while maintaining concentration. The Idyll bears some resemblance to the work of Mendelssohn IMHO, including for instance the restrained use of horns and the complex interplay of the instruments. Delighted to meet the charming duo of flautists EG and AY and another delightful duo later!! Back on last train to W4g4s in RDM where 5 of us out for brief but good catch-up. Earlier made C4c4l where tmsuo looked the part, processed 8/9 bird records and started on 7/9 bird records. Nite had beautiful climax: urgency is a virtue: looked fantastic: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! Funds had wild week as populists everywhere run amok: -14k at one stage but big rally Friday gave change for week as -2k gross, reducing to -4k net, after 1.7k of withdrawals, including 1k for younger granddaughter's birthday. 2moro it's C4c4l, maybe trip out, catch-up! Next day it's off am with N; very sorry to miss the *dom: will be brilliant!!

Am taking the book Jewry in Music: Entry to the Profession from the Enlightenment to Richard Wagner by David Conway on next trip: the title is a deliberate play on Wagner's infamous text 'Das Judentum in der Musik'. Because of his extensive contact with Jewish musicians, Wagner ranks 3rd after Mendelssohn and Meyerbeer in index entries in the book. There is a play on words A Vulture is Almost an Eagle, discussed by Conway at Wagner's biological father may well have been Ludwig Geyer [], the German name for Vulture used by Jews, which in the developing anti-Semitic climate deeply troubled Wagner. Why don't the male heirs in direct descent from Richard Wagner take Y-DNA tests? Or maybe they already have! Not perhaps ideal for the Third Reich to have had a left-wing composer of partial Jewish descent as one of its guiding lights.

September 26th: trip to Leeds University, School of Music, was well worthwhile with speaker Dr Bryan White from the School giving us an in-depth insight into Handel and his opera Giulio Cesare; did take some notes which will polish soon; learnt a lot about the Baroque period, Handel's Hannover/Hanoverian connections and tensions, Opera Seria, castrato, comparison with 19th century opera, the plot (and story) in Giulio Cesare. Pleased to meet ON team including KH who confirmed 29/10 is hospitality day at TR – already booked! Trains (TPE) were comfortable and roughly on time. Did the 20 min walk from LDS to the School both ways, using Google Maps. Did some useful work on music/topos/monad paper, investigating how to integrate ANPA 40 into the already-published Socanthro journal paper; plan is to add extra material at end of S3 (natural category theory) expanding intension/extension to include the different genre and to revise S4, the topos, to bring the data structures into line with ANPA 40, where the intension/extension relationship is extended over the whole topos; the monad section and main thrust of paper will need very minor changes. This can be published in the ANPA 40 proceedings and in another journal. Also made some notes on the Handel on train back in Notepad on my 'phone (which is 'perfect' again) for emailing to server. Did have a Honey-buzzard juvenile on way down near Dalton on a stubble field S of Darlington; a regular occurrence for me on farmland in North Yorkshire. Was most exciting and satisfying time; late nite scene was incredible; split worked brilliantly; slept like a saint: she's so gorgeous: fond farewell: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Caught up on records for 11/9 (Slaley Forest) and recent ones for the 'Shire up to today. Weather today was cooler 16C, damp in morning, weak sunshine later, gusty SW breeze. From 17:18-17:27 a dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard was seen 0.5km S of Shield Hall, mobbed by a Corvid initially, rising and putting up Woodpigeon and Rook before going very high; it then came back quickly towards normal site to SE of house; it then rose again high but came back to normal site again; signs of a juvenile getting ready to go 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14 (9173). Next task is to add data from fruitful visit on 8/9 around 'Shire to BirdTrack with multimedia all done for this day. Made G4g4s where met Tuesday's gang -1: good chat and nice to have L on!! 2moro it's C4c4l, RDM-NCL 16:05, MP with N, S4con with extract from Wagner's Siegfried (Idyll), Natalie Clein on cello (S-S CC1), Farrenc (S3) and encore Plumes by Tansy Davies, followed by W4g4s!! Fais de beaux rêves: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 29, total for autumn (from 17/8) 102 (ton-up!), main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9, now into older siblings from 24/9-:

25/09 18:51 Cambridgeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Grafham Water pale juvenile flew low south this evening

25/09 16:10 Fife : European Honey Buzzard, Dunfermline juvenile flew east at Dempster Place loosely associated with 4 Common Buzzards (15:20)

25/09 12:59 Isles of Scilly : European Honey Buzzard, St Mary's juvenile flew from Peninnis to The Garrison (12:58)

25/09 12:06 Isles of Scilly : European Honey Buzzard, St Mary's juvenile flew over Port Hellick towards Lower Moors (11:58)

24/09 14:39 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Bubwith village juvenile flew south over Bubwith village (23/09 13:00)

September 24th: weather is very wet, heavy rain all day on moderate SW breeze, mild. Might persuade a few young Honey-buzzard to pack their bags! Did make dentists where told that base for crown had lost a little chip but worth trying to re-cement once more as next step will be extraction. So superglue produced and still in place tonite, all for £22.60. Meal at Beaumont was very good with 5 of us out, spending £187 on 3 courses and drinks: service was lovely: had bonus cognac at end! Then out to R&C4m4s to meet the IT gang for further good chat. Sorted out piccies for 11/9 below, trip to Slaley Forest (9162); just need to add data to BirdTrack. Marvellous news from the Supreme Court today: loved piccie of BJ with Trump: you judge people by the company they keep: 2 unprincipled populists! Did think of the gorgeous one at 20:30 CEST (and later!): hope it was gr8: look forward to clips!! 2moro it's T4c4c with M followed by Opera Uncovered: Giulio Cesare in Leeds University; it's a very exciting day!!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

Coming to the foreground now is trip to Colorado, Rocky Mountains, USA, for RRF from 5/11-10/11. Have already registered, including for the odd field trip. Trip will start in New York c1/11 and finish somewhere c15/11. It's quite a big trip!! Do have short trip with N from 29/9 for 4 days in Yorkshire Dales by train HEX ex 11:35 on present plans; mixed feelings on one aspect of this (spiders!).

September 23rd: weather was mild, 18C, light to moderate SW breeze, rain arriving late afternoon. Made R @ B4m4l where speaker did an unashamed sales pitch for his wealth management company: not quite within the rules but the club's suffering from tensions caused by a power-crazy secretary, not checked sufficiently by the president, so think most members looking for more tranquillity will just let it pass. Had leisurely visit to N4c4ll before going home and doing some energetic grass-cutting on the outer limits: good for the libido!! Kept an eye out for raptors and had a juvenile Honey-buzzard at each of the local sites plus a male Sparrowhawk flying over house at Ordley at 16:48. At 16:45 and 16:54 the local dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard came flapping into the SE of the view from my house over pasture by the Devil's Water; it then circled and went back out again to SE 1  2  3 (9172). The other dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard was seen over stubble to W at 17:20, presumed from Dotland site. A Hornet was again sighted flying fast over my field. Processed last Monday's records (16/9) from Stocksfield and Corbridge to keep up the pressure on recent field trips. Made G4g4s where pleased to have Mg on! 2moro it's dentists at Corbridge at 15:30 for another go at re-cementing the crown, 18:30 to B4m4s with 4 of the gang from the G, 21:00 to R&C4m4s. Will have to have a soggy meal! Loved the clip of the end of prom 72: bonne chance pour demain à Paris: vous serez sûrement géniaux!! Travel for ON in Leeds looks like: HEX ex 13:41, NCL ex 15:15, with return LDS ex 20:10. Should be gr8!! lok2tgrf!!!!!!

September 22nd: warm rain most of day, probably good for garden but even better for my records, spending c8 hours on massive catch-up including bird records back to 17/9 and on 28/8 at the lake SW of Seis. These records were completely processed, including adding to BirdTrack and indexing the piccies on the web site, so pleased with that. Did go for walk at dusk to Dotland, getting 2 toad, a hare, a rabbit, a Tawny Owl, 7 Robin, 6 Blackbird. Had nitecap at G4g4s where plenty of good crack! Someone's exciting life continues: very impressed: gorgeous she is: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

September 21st: another very warm day at 20C, moderate SE breeze, sunny all day, dry. It's now the equinox (equal daylight across the globe) and appropriately weather is supposed to be going downhill slowly! Had a fantastic afternoon out around Hexham High Wood from 14:30-15:50, for walk from Lowgate N towards A69. Had 2 groups of juvenile Honey-buzzard, one a little to the W of High Wood of 2 birds, which did some mutual circling low-down over the trees, like the 2 yesterday, plus a bit of talon grappling; this duo, both dark-phase, was up briefly from 14:45-14:46 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14 (9170); the other further W, also of 2 birds, due S of the Greenshaw Plain site. This latter duo, dark-phase and brown-phase, were stronger fliers, going to moderate height at times and looking more confident in their ability; they were up for a long time from 14:44-15:34 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17 plus clip (9171). These 2 duos could merge to form a pre-emigration gang. The habitat in which they were feeding was an intimate mixture of small unimproved pastures, stubble and small woodland 18  19. So this raises the total number of sites where fledging noted to 22 of which a minimum of 12 had fledged 2 young. It's been another excellent breeding season. Other raptors were a female Kestrel, diving onto some prey, on a stubble field and a splendid juvenile male Goshawk, menacingly circling over woodland at W end of High Wood at 15:13 captured on clip and stills 1  2; has it been bred there? So total for trip was 6 raptors of 3 types: 4 Honey-buzzard juvenile at 2 sites, 1 Goshawk juvenile male, 1 Kestrel female. For all bird species total was 17, including 4 types of tit with 13 Long-tailed Tit, single Treecreeper and Goldcrest. Very interesting were the sightings in flight of 2 Hornet: 1 at High Wood, the other at Ordley in my back garden over a large area of rose hips. Earlier made C4c4l where tmsuo is a lot more matey!! Read FT: some emphasis on need for Brexit compromise so that the country can get on with other things; might second that if Brino! Decided to dally after Leeds trip!! Les Dissonances looks so exciting: l'amour et la mort: Wagner's Tristan und Isolde (harmonic closure after 4 hours 20 minutes of longing in opera but wow, what a passionate climax in the liebestod!), R Strauss' oboe concerto, Schönberg's Pelléas und Mélisande (another intense story of a difficult romantic situation, with both partners in the tryst dying!). What a great opportunity with climax in Paris!! 2moro may try and catch up with records and gardening but doubtless will be tempted out a bit more if sun comes out! Might make N4c4ll and G4g4s!! lok2tgrf!!!!!! xx

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 24, total for autumn (from 17/8) 97, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9, now into older siblings:

21/09 22:11 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, St Columb Major one reported at nearby Castle An Dinas [R]

[These seem surprising on SE breeze, not Honey-buzzard juvenile??:

21/09 11:24 Durham : Rough-legged Buzzard, Gateshead one flew south-east over Queen Elizabeth Hospital

21/09 10:31 Northumberland : Rough-legged Buzzard, Grindon Lough probable to north-east above Housesteads then drifted east [?] ]

September 20th: glorious weather continued at 21C, light S breeze, sunny, dry. Visited Beaufront W, near Anick Grange, from 14:15-15:30 where intensive agricultural work in progress, planting winter wheat. Raptors were good here, including 3 Common Buzzard (family group), 1 Red Kite (juvenile, hanging for ages in sky to NE around 14:26), 2 Honey-buzzard (dark-phase juvenile, up at 15:20 to W of Anick Grange, with another brown juvenile, keeping close company, low-down over trees in rough pasture area. Here's shots of birds 1  2  3  4  5  6 and habitat 7  8  9 (9169)), 1 Sparrowhawk (male), 1 Kestrel (adult male in tree). Earlier at Ordley around 13:30 had 3 Common Buzzard up, a Red Kite (juvenile, W of Dukesfield), the regular locally-reared brown-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard coming up quickly from trees overlooking the Devil's Water and then diving back again at 15:39, 120 Pink-footed Goose S in 1 skein and 7 Lapwing N. On the road had a Common Buzzard at Prospect Hill at 15:40 and an adult Red Kite at Shilford at 16:10. So total raptors for day was 7 Common Buzzard, 3 Red Kite, 3 Honey-buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Kestrel, that's 15 birds of 5 types. Total for all bird species was 17 types, including 10 Chaffinch and 10 Goldfinch. Made NCL: tested Vodafone connection 48 hours after set-up and it worked: updated configuration for contract instead of payg and that worked as well on mobile data: oh joy!! Might still use WhatsApp more as diversification!! Made MP4m4t with N where good catch-up, then onto S4con with LV in Piano Greats. Didn't find the Mozart (PS 2) that inspiring but it got better with Janáček's PS 1 sounding harsh and dramatic and Liszt's Ballade 2 having some lovely dark harmonies and rhythms. After HT we had Schubert's PS 23, a meaty piece with lots of contrasts; this was inspiring!! Made W4g4s off last train for good chat with mates before arriving home at 00:55. Was a gorgeous end to day: most inspiring: andante: she's the favourite: lok2tgrf: XXX!!!!!!

After last week's meteoric rise back to harsh realities of Brexit this week with fall of 7k but maybe much of fall due to profit taking and to investors relieved to get out with many holding large losses on UK domestic issues. Managed funds now up to 200k. Suspect EU will want to do a deal to avoid a neo-fascist state emerging on their border, undercutting them in trade on all social and environmental standards. This will involve modifying the backstop agreement, putting in the insurance scheme Northern Ireland with the Irish Republic; the DUP will object but going from a majority of -45 to one of -65 is not the end of the world and the DUP could be shafted at the next general election anyway by its strong support for Brexit in a province which voted to remain. Next week cellist NC is playing at S on Friday: promises to be one of the great concerts of the season. Also going to a talk at Opera North in Leeds on Wednesday at 18:00, maybe dallying on way back!! xx

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 23, total for autumn (from 17/8) 96, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9-14/9

18/09 07:24 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, Portland flew south over the Bill early morning

18/09 09:56 West Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Ringstone Edge Reservoir one flew over early afternoon yesterday (17/09 12:30)

19/09 17:48 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head one reported yesterday [R]

September 19th: more glorious sunshine, 18C, light to moderate SW breeze. After my fix at C4c4l made Wentworth area of Hexham from 14:30-15:00 to scan the hillside to Hexham N on far side of A69. Plenty of action here with a dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard flying through the tops of the trees from 14:44-14:45 1  2  3 (9168), 3 Red Kite up with 2 juvenile low-down and a juvenile later soaring high with an adult, a Sparrowhawk female out to hunt. Had skeins of Pink-footed Goose passing S over March Burn 2 days ago (50) and over Ordley today (50) at 12:55: winter visitors from the high Arctic. Have about a week left of the fledging season on my reckoning so need to keep the pressure up, particularly in the core area of the 'Shire and Tyne Valley W. P had a family party of 5 Common Buzzard up over Hackwood, Hexham S. Resumed grass cutting by rose hedge: under control would say, 1st time for a while! Much later made G4g4s where sat next to a crowd from Haltwhistle who were in good spirits; the lass next to me lives 50m from where we used to live in Town Foot. The noise in the next room could be heard 100m away: famous family!! Good to have A on!! 2moro it's trip out mid-morning, C4c4l, RDM-NCL 16:05, MP with N, S4con with LV on piano, W4g4s!! C'est la vie: fais de beaux rêves: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

September 18th: did visit Vodafone at their shop in Eldon Square for about an hour; it appears that I was right to come in as the new contract had been sidelined for some reason; so that contract has been resubmitted for resumption of service within 72 hours; also discussed swapping broadband to Vodafone, signing provisional agreement; the satellite service that I have is much less reliable under BigBlu than with Avon though did hack down some vegetation today to see whether that is a problem; Vodafone would charge £23 a month as against BigBlu's £44 a month. Went to BC4m4t with N; not bad but dislike how places that automatically add a gratuity to the bill then expect a further tip on top of that! Concert at WB was brilliant: minimalist music played with style and enthusiasm. In part 1 we had Reich's Duet, for strings, Mellits' Black, for a pair of bass clarinet, and Missy Mazzoli's Ecstatic Science, for flute, clarinet and strings. I liked the Ecstatic Science, unusual woodwind noises, not quite finishing right maybe with the odd giggle! The duo on the bass clarinet included DG, SR's other ½! Glass' Symphony 3, in part 2, was the weightiest item on the agenda, with interesting slight variations in each player's score (like Ligeti!). This came over really well and got enthusiastic applause! Then popped into Hotspur, an old haunt when at NCL! Was a gr8 day for romance, both early and late: so happy to be back for both of us: plenty of action: she's so gorgeous: lok2tgrf xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

September 17th: glorious weather, sunny all day, 15C, light to moderate SW breeze. Had successful fieldwork in afternoon from 14:30-16:45 in area S of Dipton Wood where found for Honey-buzzard 1 new brood of 2 and another new brood of 1+, both in sites where found the nest-tree so that's reassuring to see the success. Also for this species had the dark-phase juvenile at Ordley, floating at moderate height at 14:36 before descending back to trees SE of my house, a familiar haunt for them this autumn 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 (9167), and a juvenile at Dipton Wood S at 15:10 (9165) floating above a juvenile male Goshawk, in rampant hunting mode. A Common Buzzard was also seen at Ordley in flap-flap-glide mode. In the March Burn site where present from 15:00-16:45 had a Kestrel juvenile soon after arrival but had to wait almost 90 minutes before seeing the Honey-buzzard. From 16:19-16:26 2 birds (female, juvenile) soared very high and indulged in much diving at each other 1  2 (9164); a presumed younger juvenile came out of the trees and was well below them (as a 2); when it finally climbed high enough to join them, they disappeared: cruel! At 16:29 a dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard flapped slowly from E towards the site at Kellas N, a 1+, 1 (9166). So raptor total was 8 birds of 4 types: 5 Honey-buzzard (1 female, 4 juvenile), 1 Kestrel (juvenile, flushed at close range on arrival at March Burn), 1 Common Buzzard, 1 Goshawk (male). Total for trip was 23 types of bird, including 10 Linnet, 3 Yellowhammer, 6 Chaffinch, 14 Swallow S. Had a flock of 40 Goldfinch near Letah Wood. Appear to be in a bootstrap problem with Vodafone; will see them 2moro afternoon; meanwhile using WhatsApp through WiFi for messaging to keep things up!! Unusually made C4c4t where tmsuo was on: much more talkative this time!! The IT crowd did come out for good crack in HoN: Mg was on here as well, not sure who's following who!! 2moro it's T4c4c with M and main business of day ko with CAL-NCL at 15:00!! Looking forward to it: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 20, total for autumn (from 17/8) 93, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9:

17/09 10:41 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Northward Hill RSPB male flew over main wood (10:38) [interesting both claimed as male, could be from upland areas where season later]

17/09 15:20 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Ripley male flew south-west mid-afternoon

September 16th: a trying day; set off for dentist appointment and car started misfiring with catalytic converter warning light on; decided couldn't make Corbridge so staggered up the hill to Loughbrow and down to KF in Hexham, stopping several times for a break. They were having trouble with their WiFi links all down but said they'd diagnose the problem in 1.5 hours. So up to N4c4c and a very sociable time with people I haven't met so much over the summer, together with the inspirational tbld (from C!!). Back to KF who said it was the spark plugs and the ignition coil which needed replacing (not the cat(alyst), that was a symptom from dirty engine gases). So said OK and they said come back at 5. A bit of time to spare so caught the bus to Stocksfield for raptor studies on the Mount from 14:55-16:00 in good weather conditions: moderate SW breeze, bright, dry. This was very productive seeing 12 raptors of 4 types: 3 Honey-buzzard - a Honey-buzzard juvenile up briefly over Short Wood at moderate height on arrival, 2 Honey-buzzard juveniles up in playful display with much diving over Stocksfield E captured on clip and in stills 1  2  3  4 with habitat 5 (9163, new site for fledging in 2019, Elrington); 7 Red Kite – 3 at Short Wood E (ad, 2 juv), 2 at Cottagebank (both juv), 2 at Stocksfield E (ad, juv); 1 Common Buzzard juvenile over Stocksfield E; 1 Kestrel over Stocksfield E. Honey-buzzard and Red Kite are so graceful, a joy to watch and both doing so well. Total for trip to Stocksfield was 14 bird species; earlier at Corbridge at 14:20 had 3 Goosander redhead, a Dipper and 8 alba Wagtail. Back to KF who had just got the parts and fitted them quickly; all for £260 so pleased with the garage for the speedy solution and it goes noticeably better! An aggravation was Vodafone: I'm in the middle of switching contracts and they'd stopped one this morning without starting the other. So no 'phone or messages; got off bus at Corbridge to see the dentists who were very sympathetic and gave me another appointment next Tuesday. The no.10 buses do actually have decent WiFi, which was useful. Will throttle Vodafone on Wednesday afternoon in Newcastle if no progress by then! Can see them b4 BC with N at 5 and minimalist RNS (great programme at Wylam Brewery) at 8. Missed the R do but not too worried about that really: P has resigned and I think it is getting too jolly and stuffy! Did make G4g4s where 6 of us out for good crack with Mg on!! Should have gone to bed really on return from KF as they say these things come in threes. 2moro it's C4c4l and trip out to March Burn for further check on Honey-buzzard at Tyne Valley W sites; maybe out later but these IT people are a little erratic! So more or less intact: lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!! xxxx!!

September 15th: after yesterday's sunshine, dull today but very little rain, 15C, light NW breeze. Might get a little Honey-buzzard emigration on Monday (16/9) with passage of cold front overnight. Had 2 Red Kite yesterday (adult, juvenile) over roundabout at Hexham N on A69 at 14:45 so that's another breeding site. Did make N4c4l and G4g4s (only 3 of us out but good 2 c M) but more time to self, completing processing of records from Seis W on 27/8, registering 4 sites for Honey-buzzard to date. Son in his new flat today assembled bed and curtains and ordered washing machine: not sure what influence I really have! Oil price is spiking tonight (Brent +13%) after attacks in SA; have a few which might sell; fill up your tanks; some shorters could be destroyed! Gave LibDems £25 for their more +ve Remain stance. 2moro it's dentist in CRB at 09:50 (can they refit old crown which kept), Roman fort Corstopitum with R at 11, Rat in Anick for lunch, also with R. Later onto Stocksfield Mount for raptor watch. In evening planning on G4g4s but always open to offers!! Hope the gorgeous one is fit: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 14th: opening concert was a grand affair and very well supported with even level 3 being open. Went with N. The Shostakovitch went well: PC 2 with LV was very enjoyable in the boisterous first and last movements and poignant in the middle movement; we had an encore, quite an extensive one, of a Shostakovitch piano trio with LV, KH, SM, which was beautiful!! Some people don't like these extras, thinking they're an attempt to sneak modern music into the programme! But really there's nothing surely controversial about DS's PT, maybe a Stockhausen piece should be tried! The programme was all Russian with the well-known chemist Borodin the composer of the first piece In the Steppes of Central Asia. AY was gr8 throughout on the flute: pity about November! Tchaikovsky 6 came over well well, particularly the march in movement 3, but always think movement 4 is so difficult as it attempts to portray death as it actually happens rather than the great climatic version of grand opera, such as in Wagner's liebestod (love in death) in Tristan und Isolde. Not sure they got it right, the enduring flickers of hope didn't seem strong enough. Do think that many people underrate Tchaikovsky: he's a lot more than the Sugar-plum Fairy! His opera Eugene Onegin for instance has a lot of depth. Anyway social side went well, meeting N at MP at 16:00 where keenly welcomed back and partners at the reception before the concert. We made Br for a drink later. Much earlier made C4c4l for most enjoyable environment and amazed to see someone – very interesting!! Hope close of festival at Bremen went well: Beethoven VC was surely not from memory as well: such feats!! Plenty of good reviews, for instance I'd rate it up with the Ring in Budapest as one of my great recent musical experiences. A quieter day 2moro, making N4c4l and G4g4s: maybe more action on Monday!! 2 concerts next week on Wed/Fri. lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 18, total for autumn (from 17/8) 91, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9:

14/09 20:50 Devon : European Honey Buzzard, Colyford Common LNR one flew over (11:00)

14/09 08:47 Isle of Wight : European Honey Buzzard, Bonchurch one over Bonchurch Down then flew south over the sea (08:44)

14/09 08:04 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, West Rise Marsh one flew south-west (07:35)

13/09 17:48 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wheldrake Ings YWT one flew low over this morning

13/09 08:53 Aberdeenshire : European Honey Buzzard, Ythan Estuary one flew inland (08:45)

12/09 10:24 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Welney WWT flew north of the visitor centre along the Hundred Foot Bank (10:10)

September 13th: woke up at 10:05, too late for breakfast and not so much time to make KGX at 12:30; taxi for getting back was good idea on reflection -- nice to have someone who cares; cost was £19.80 + 2.50 tip!! Had meal yesterday at Byron in Gloucester Road on recommendation of son: they asked me intensely about allergies when ordering, can see why today on court case they are facing. LNER got me back on time: much better run railway than Virgin's on western side. Spent a lot of time on both legs of the journey, looking at combination of Socanthro paper with the ANPA Liverpool one; it's just a case of revising the topos design and the Liverpool one is more compelling as it better links player to score. Prom 72 came over brilliantly on TV BBC4; creativity by Aurora Orchestra and conductor Nicholas Collon was very evident; I'd not realised that Berlioz was such a revolutionary composer; thought the left wing played superbly!! Funds had the best week for ages (not very precise!) at +27k, taking gain on year to 54k gross, 39k net. The bid for GFRD contributed just 8k of the gain, the rest being a broad-based rise in UK domestic equities on more optimism that a no-deal Brexit can be avoided. At the same time international equities benefited from an easing of US-China trade tensions but the sharp rise in the £ has muted this gain in £ terms. Cash is right down to 14k. Don't think GFRD is reflecting at all the full value of the bid from BVS: often happens, profit taking and caution over whether bid will go through are 2 factors keeping the price down. Dividend on GFRD of 3.46k (35p a share) payable on 4/12 whatever happens is nicely timed! Giving 1k to younger granddaughter for her 3rd birthday this weekend; it goes into a Junior Isa so she can have a big party when she's 18! They're going to Disneyland in Paris to celebrate. Here's piccie of them both on S's very recent day 1 in formal school at age 4.5; Richmond Park is 10m away! Much later today made W4g4s where 5 of us out for good crack until 00:30 (14/9)! Had 3 Honey-buzzard today from train on way up: will expand later. 2moro its C4c4l, CRB-NCL, MP4m4t with N, reception at S, S4con: a busy day!! lok2tgrf!!!!!!

September 12th: busy day making proms at Royal Albert Hall to see and hear Aurora's late-nite performance (prom 73) of Berlioz's Symphonie Fantastique: truly fantastic, loved the dark setting, the actor Mathew Baynton and the orchestra! Good social setting seeing son b4 at Queen's Arms and plenty of gr8 dialogue later!! Can see the prom 72 on TV tomorrow evening (BBC4 19:30-21:00) but there's nothing like a live performance! Will compare it with performance 2. Marvellous farewell: lok2tgrf!!!!! A great day out, well worth it: back safely at PI in Chiswick via taxi at end!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

September 11th: good weather for raptors today with sunny spells on moderate SW breeze, mild 15C. Did go out to Slaley Forest site on W side from 15:05-17:00 while S busy at home. This site adjoins the heather on Blanchland Moor with fairly rough scrubby pastureland and extensive forests: perfect habitat for Honey-buzzard. Had frequent sightings of Honey-buzzard over the rough pasture, clearly foraging over the area with 1 spectacular dive onto the ground from high-up. Total was a female and 2 dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard, indicating that departure of the females is not complete. Their feeding style was to hang low-down over the ground, clearly looking for grubs and the like. Have plenty of piccies of the 2 Honey-buzzard juvenile 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 and one of the female 1 (9162). this completes the 'Shire study with 5 broods of 2 and successful fledging at another site but number not known: brilliant season! Also had 4 Red Kite at 2 sites: an adult 1 and 2 juvenile 2 at one, a juvenile at another; the colonisation of the Beldon Burn has been followed by a successful colonisation of the Devil's Water, over the watershed, after a few hiccoughs. Common Buzzard totalled 5 at 2 sites: adult and 2 juvenile at one, 2 juvenile at another. So raptor total was 12 birds of 3 types. A flock of 25 Mistle Thrush was impressive and 2 Raven were on site: have they bred locally? In total of 16 bird species had 3 Meadow Pipit (1 S), 1 alba Wagtail S, 25 Swallow and 7 House Martin. Made good progress on 27/8 Seis am Schlern; just need to index piccies. Earlier made C4c4l where delivery man managed to cage me in while stacking the shelf: what you call a captive customer: smiles all round!! Mood in the City is more positive towards domestic UK shares; maybe it thinks BJ will not survive until 31/10! With the cancellation of my Times and Telegraph subs, I did review others but Bloomberg retained enthusiastically: they think we're insane on Brexit, provide very good commentary and strongly support the arts. Guardian sub was of course increased; I've always been a supporter. Funds +16k in 1st 3 days but will it last? Not out later: want to be at best 2moro!! It's 10:56 ex HEX for TUG and first-thing next day at 12:30 ex KGX. So seen all the trailers: delivery time now: best of luck for the performances!!!! lok2tgrf: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

September 10th: mild today and humid with sunshine in afternoon on light SW breeze, 15C. Suddenly remembered while dozing at 10:30 that was meeting N at the shack [Wentworth Cafe] to go to the AF at the Wentworth. So sudden action, getting there at 11:15 for coffee. We had good catch-up, not having met for quite a while but it's 16:00 at MP for further chat and prelude to opening nite at S. Bought a couple of Ag berry spoons 1804 (George III) for 100 (marked 125); gilded, good makers Peter & Ann Bateman, superb condition! Take-over bid for GFRD (Linden Homes, hold 9367) by BVS should help figures this week; housebuilders are incredibly cheap at 4-7 P/E (price/earnings ratio: P/E of 4 means the company earns its share price in 4 years; compare that to bond interest at 1% where takes 100 years to double your money at simple interest; FT was commenting on this on Saturday, saying that on a long view some equities look very cheap! No one out tonite so decided to have a break! Sorted the multimedia for 8/9, really pleased with that as that's the most time-consuming part of the records. Also did some work on web pages, improving ease of maintenance by using include HTML facility to copy in frequently used code over many pages: one fact in one place. Looking forward to the marvellous event coming up: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! Day out in N Germany for that inspirational series (#tag dreamteam!) sounds gr8!! 2moro it's C4c4l, trip out to last 'Shire site to check for Honey-buzzard, cleaner S is back (thank goodness), G4g4s (B away so later!).

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 12, total for autumn (from 17/8) 85, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9:

09/09 08:34 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Spurn YWT one flew south past the Warren and over the River Humber

09/09 14:43 Durham : European Honey Buzzard, The Leas, S. Shields juvenile dark morph flew north-west over mount (14:20) [might have been an adult female]

10/09 17:25 Perth & Kinross : European Honey Buzzard, Aberfeldy adult male flew south-west at 13:45

September 9th: rain in morning gave way to a sunnier afternoon and did a lot of grass cutting. Completed processing piccies for 7/9 which took a lot of time. Need to start on 8/9 now; determined not to have a big backlog of records like last year. Made N4c4l and R @ B4m4s where we had a talk on poetry and witchcraft! Later it was G4g4s with the gang – 4 of us out; it was very busy with football on and M doing the honours: pleased to meet tcmmo again!! Appreciated proximity with the thfsn!! Laughed at this story, bit of schadenfreude:

Arctic tours ship MS MALMO with 16 passengers on board got stuck in ice on Sep 3 off Longyearbyen, Svalbard Archipelago, halfway between Norway and North Pole. The ship is on Arctic tour with Climate Change documentary film team, and tourists, concerned with Climate Change and melting Arctic ice. All 16 Climate Change warriors were evacuated by helicopter in challenging conditions, all are safe. --Maritime Bulletin, 4 September 2019

Always like to see zealots brought down to earth! I've actually been to 80 deg 32 min in that area in 1979: they approached the pack ice very gingerly. Now if only the Brexit bus would (metaphorically) drive off the cliff! Brexit is why this update is late: watched on Sky News the suspension of Parliament happening around 02:30 (10/9) and all the associated demonstrations and antics. Have been looking at referenda from the ethical point of view. Countries which specialise in such votes have strong ethical safeguards so that the minority losing a vote do not suffer unduly from the outcome. Brexiters say 52-48 means winner takes all but this is totally wrong ethically: some of the 48% might suffer big losses such as loss of citizenship and split families, and in destruction of their businesses. Brino (Brexit in name only) was probably the logical outcome to such a close vote. And now it's 49% remain 44% leave on current polls so another referendum might not confirm the result. A further critical point is that the result of a referendum is the design for which Parliament has to do the implementation: it may not be possible to implement the design in the simple way that some voters intended. xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 8th: another good day weather-wise for raptors with max 15C, strong sunshine, light NW breeze in morning, turning SE later. But moderated yesterday's pace, visiting one site West Dipton for a little over an hour from 11:30-12:40. Provisional view is that had total of 4 Honey-buzzard in trip: an adult female and 1 juvenile at Swallowship, an adult female and 1 juvenile at West Dipton. The Swallowship birds comprised a dusky female floating around over the fields towards Linnels Bridge at 12:02 1  2  3  4  5 (9137) and a dark-phase juvenile, not the one seen twice since fledging, with short P8 but rest of wing-tip fully grown up at 12:08 1  2 (9138). The West Dipton birds comprised a female up over the wood to NW from 12:13-12:19 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  with habitat 11 (9139) trying hard to get a juvenile up in the air, which she eventually did at 12:19 1  2  3  4  5  6 (9140); the dark-phase juvenile moved N over the ridge towards Hexham, a popular feeding area it seems. The most amazing record was at 15:38 of a juvenile Honey-buzzard heard giving chicken calls from the untidy hedge on the W side of my field (recorded!); here's clip of calls (1s 6s 9s 56s, mp4) and still of habitat jpg (9141). Also had a Red Kite juvenile at Dipton Wood E at 12:08. Total for trip was 13 bird types including 11 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff. 2 Southern Hawker dragonfly were mating on the air at Letah Wood. Damp 2moro so should catch up on last 2 days. Did make G4g4s where good crowd out: plenty of chat! 2moro it's N4c4l, R @ B4m4s, G4g4s!! Booked up 4 days (3 nights) with N at end of this month in Settle in Yorkshire Dales. Hotel this week is PI in Chiswick with king-sized bed!! Enjoy the culture of N Germany: lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 9, total for autumn (from 17/8) 82, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9, females from 7/9:

08/09 10:21 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Grimston one flew south this morning; also a possible Slavonian Grebe flew past distantly offshore

08/09 10:24 South Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Old Moor RSPB (Dearne Valley) one flew south-west at 10:11

08/09 12:51 Northamptonshire : European Honey Buzzard, Islip one over high circling south early afternoon (12:44)

08/09 13:12 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Dorking one flew west over Denbies Hillside NT (12:45)

September 7th: important day in the Honey-buzzard calendar: with the males largely gone, it's now the turn of the females to leave. Weather was perfect for migration and display with polar air: light N breeze, 13C, sunny periods, cumulus clouds. Up with the lark, at 11:06 was outside in my dressing gown dumping some vegetable matter for compost when suddenly realised the local female Honey-buzzard was coming right over my house in a beating of the bounds manoeuvre, often a prelude for an immediate exit. Thought she muttered as she came over: “bye f....r; c u next May”. Anyway that was round the back so grabbed the camera and went out the front, where picked her up beginning to soar with 2 juveniles hanging on below 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 (9132). She left them way behind, eventually rising above the clouds and at 11:16 floating off to S: Africa here I come! The 2 juveniles returned to the ground, one of them being quite conspicuous about an hour later at 12:12, appearing to revel in taking over the territory from 12:11-12:15 13  14  15  16  17  18 with some Crow on the tops of the trees as usual when the Honey-buzzard are about 19  20 (9132). At 12:18 a dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard was up over Slaley Forest (Trygill site), well in the background, flapping low over the trees to NE 1 (9133). Went into Hexham 4c and took bins/camera in case anything popped up. Well walked right around Hexham with good views to N seeing nothing but as was about to get in the car up Elvaston at 15:00 noticed the Jackdaw were very restless. Sure enough to SE was a dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard floating low down over the Hackwood Estate; took some video 1 and some piccies 2  3  4  5  6  7  8 (9134); this bird is still growing outer primaries so quite immature; it was later seen drifting back S, towards the area on the ridge E of the racecourse; suspect it's from Swallowship site as outer primaries are similar in growth to those of the juvenile seen there on 21/8 (9210). Walked along the road from Ordley to Dotland from 15:40-17:45 picking up another migrant, a female from Dipton Wood S who at 15:55 came out of the trees and decisively soared very high on her own, before floating away to S like the one earlier in the day 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17 (9135). Not all the females have left from the 'Shire: one was at Dotland in display with another juvenile at 16:44 1  2  3 (9136). But expect that the 2nd phase of emigration is now well under way. At 17:27 flushed a dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard from a perch overlooking a pig farm, maybe looking for grubs and beetles in the mud below; this bird quickly went behind some trees and flew back towards Dotland so assume it's the 2nd juvenile fledged at this site.

Today's total for raptors in Hexhamshire was 11 including 9 Honey-buzzard (3 female, 6 juvenile) at 6 sites and 2 Common Buzzard – juvenile flushed from small field popular with rabbits at Ordley and another juvenile calling at Dotland. Total for all bird types was 35, including 260 Lapwing, 2 Skylark S, 4 Stock Dove, 16 Swallow SW, 15 House Martin SW, 4 Chiffchaff, 1 Marsh Tit, 2 Tree Sparrow, 8 Bullfinch, 15 Greenfinch. Worrying sign of the disease's advance is this ash tree on the roadside along my field showing early signs of ash dieback. The disease is particularly noticeable in isolated trees and those near arable fields, maybe those stressed and vulnerable; mature trees are more resilient: the disease seems to favour middle-aged trees but the 'Shire is going to be badly affected as our common roadside tree is the ash. Today was good for lepidoptera with this Elephant Hawk-Moth larva 1  2 on the road near my house; it feeds on rose-bay willow-herb and the name comes from the long neck of the larva. Painted Lady 1 continue to have a remarkable summer. Saw a Humming-Bird Hawk-Moth in Hexham on some flowers near the Shambles. Had a good diversion in C4c4l where rhwso looked good with tmsuo and tbld providing inspiration!! Next week is going to be stunning, particularly Thursday: lok2tgrf: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 5, total for autumn (from 17/8) 78, main emigration of males was from 23/8-1/9:

07/09 20:40 Ceredigion : European Honey Buzzard, Eglwys Fach one at Cwm Einon flew to wood north of valley mid-afternoon (15:00)

September 6th: working hard on South Tyrol trip (26/8), sorted out many piccies (see below) and added bird records to BirdTrack; this was the best trip for alpine meadow scenery. Now looking at trip to Seis am Schlern W on 27/8 where had the best family party display of Honey-buzzard on the trip. Made old haunt N4c4l and W4g4s where there were 5 of us out for good catch-up; other N's had another chest infection but should be alright for next Friday and Saturday. Out in the field 2moro when wind drops in afternoon, looking for juvenile Honey-buzzard in the 'Shire. DH reported 2 Red Kite today, presumed adult and juvenile, at Holeyn Road, Wylam (N of village, towards A69); this site has been used before several times. BT have more or less caught up with email backlog, so that's creditable; they must have enormous servers to store the incoming unprocessed traffic; not got everything though! Funds staggered up another 3k buoyed by the brilliant blocking, for the moment, of no-deal Brexit. It's really strange for the £ to rise 2% against the $ on an opposition led by Corbyn wining some important debates! The Tories are behaving like a load of ideological nutters! Some in the markets are looking for a minority Labour government in loose coalition with the LibDems as the best (least worst) option. Gain on year is 27k gross, 13k net after withdrawals of 14.4k. Nothing spectacular but preservation of capital, while keeping in touch with markets, is the main priority. Funds are split between domestic UK stocks, international natural resource stocks, bonds to hedge bets, with much more in managed funds (190k, split same way as own stocks) than usual. Cash is down to 35k. So 2moro it's C4c4l, trip out, relaxation!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

Very pleased to welcome Luciana Berger MP to the LibDems: sure she'll find we're a very enlightened party. They're suggesting at the next election she may stand for Finchley, which includes Golders Green. I've never got to the bottom of why as a family, when I was young, we made several visits to Golders Green to see my father's relations. Evidently when he was studying chemistry at Imperial College, well away from his home in Devon, they used to provide some care. It must be on his maternal side, maybe relations of Sarah King who married my great-grandfather Ebenezer R in the Bristol Register Office in 1875. She would have been my father's paternal grandmother. Ebenezer died young in Teignmouth in 1888 and she was left with 3 children and an embryonic jewellery business. She passed on a thriving jewellery business to her son George R, my grandfather, whose twin sister Rose was mother to Sir Evan Norton, a solicitor and millionaire in the 1960s. She did marry again in Teignmouth, becoming Sarah Poole. She was thought to be eccentric at best, mad at worst, but suspect that successful Victorian/Edwardian business women were regarded by men with grave suspicion!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts – September total 4, total for autumn (from 17/8) 77:

05/09 12:16 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Shellness/Swale NNR, Sheppey one flew on off sea at Shellness this morning

01/09 21:36 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Thursley Common one flew over with Common Buzzards south of Shrike Hill

01/09 15:28 Shetland : European Honey Buzzard, Fair Isle one flew north over West Cliffs (15:19)

01/09 12:40 London : European Honey Buzzard, Woolwich one flew south-west over Plumstead Common (11:55)

September 5th: cool today on moderate NW breeze, 15C, sunny spells. Did do quite a lot of record processing, including Pitshanger Park and Osterley Park on 2/9, Innsbruck Airport on 31/8 but only ½ way through the high plateau's Seiser Arm on 26/8. About to add the Honey-buzzard piccies for Seiser Arm at Bocia de Mont (9312). Busy with Google Calendar, adding all concerts booked via Sage, and making new bookings at Leeds University, School of Music, for Opera Uncovered: Giulio Cesare, early evening 25/9, and for La Bohème TR 29/10 (both Opera North). Made C4c4l where good 2 c tmsuo and G4g4s where 4 of us out for good chat with N on!! Got back into grass cutting: rate of growth is decreasing rapidly: makes me feel fitter: lok2tmbo: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!. BT email crashed badly over last 24 hours; they've lost some important messages! 2moro it's C4c4l and W4g4s!!

September 4th: cool today on moderate NW breeze, 14C, sunny spells. No fieldwork as finishing the processing of records from 23/8-25/8: Prospect Hill, Allerwash (Northumberland), Seis am Schlern E, Seis am Schlern W, Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Park NW (South Tyrol, Italy), Innsbruck Airport (Austria); all done! 2moro it's the other end of the trip and 26/8. Had good crack with M and partner B at T4c4c and with B at G4g4t. Tickets arrived for new season at Sage, costing 1050.80 of which 1/3 paid in instalments to date. NH 'phoned to check if I'm coming to reception before opening night on 14/9: I am, never miss such events! So have to add them all to Google Calendar now to stop me double booking. 'Phoned Corbridge Dental Surgery to inform them of detachment of crown fitted 8 months ago; happened in Italy, retaining old crown; to be examined 16/9; superglue required! Updated Samsung J3 to Android 9 OS; as usual after a system update could not connect for 4G mobile data; they did send me a configuration settings message, which installed but still didn't work; reset APN (Access Point Name), installed again, still didn't work; then found they'd turned off mobile data usage in the installation so set that on and all working! As a chess player would not call a general election until early November: letting your opponent stew is a very good strategy, sapping morale and increasing the chances of eventual victory! So getting back into action: 2moro it's C4c4l and G4g4s: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

September 3rd: well 1 dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard today flapping low-down over a field between 2 plantations at Ridley Hall at 17:00; this is a new site for year, raising total of sites to 30. Also had a Red Kite near Watford Gap and 2 Common Buzzard juvenile just E of Haltwhistle. Weather was mostly cloudy, cool W breeze, 16C in South Tyne Valley. Travelled on W coast because KGX was closed the weekend before last. Don't think Virgin are up to LNER standards: we were 15 min late leaving EUS and still 10 min late at CAR; windows are too small, cannot see much out of most of them; WiFi wasn't working and 4G out in the countryside was very erratic for much of the journey; reservations were not working (not that I had one!). Nice to be on the CAR-HEX line, which has good visibility over the many Honey-buzzard sites! Back to W4shop and R&C4m in short visit with A. Lots of data transfers this evening, consolidating the interesting results from the South Tyrol. Delighted with today's events in Parliament; let's hope the substantive bill preventing no-deal clears the Commons tomorrow and the Lords by Friday; thought this smile on Theresa May was hilarious: revenge is a dish best served cold! Booked a hotel in Chiswick for my next stay in the capital!! Think need to concentrate on catch-up of records tomorrow but will make T4c4c with M and G4g4t with B! Love dark music: practice makes perfect: delighted with the present: nocturnal emails are fun: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

September 2nd: beautiful morning with hot sunshine on moderate W breeze, becoming much cloudier later, 21C. Had walk around Pitshanger Park from 12:00-13:10 followed by lunch at Cinnamon in Pitshanger Lane. Later with sis made Osterley Park where had 2 Common Buzzard (1 adult, 1 juvenile, in some interaction low-down, from 16:13-16:14) and a juvenile brown-phase Honey-buzzard at 16:08 coming up from lake area in E part and moving W at moderate altitude; it had a full crop so may have been feeding by the lake. Here are some piccies 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11 of bird and of typical parkland habitat 12  13  14  15 (9130). Had total of 21 bird species here but only 8 at Pitshanger. At Osterley bird species included Egyptian Goose (1), Pochard (1 drake), Tufted Duck (11, including female with 8 large chicks 1  2  3  4), Ring-necked Parakeet (6), Mistle Thrush (5). SC certainly is relevant: many dictators initially rely on false reassurances to achieve their aims! We watched DVD Peterloo (Massacre) tonight; very sobering; some of the unrest was caused by the Corn Laws putting tariffs on wheat imports and increasing the price of bread (Trump kindly note); the (Manchester) Guardian directly emerged from the massacre in 1821 saying it would "zealously enforce the principles of civil and religious liberty ... warmly advocate the cause of Reform ...”.; a proper memorial was finally placed on the site just before the 200th anniversary this year; our electoral system is rotten today with the first-past-the-post system enabling parties with 30% of the popular vote to govern: that's what Hitler had. 2moro it's EAL-EUS-CAR-HEX, ex EUS at 12:30. Looking forward to return but will be back soon!! lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

September 1st: trip to WGC took almost as long as flight home yesterday! 11:48 leave house to walk to EAL where caught 12:03 Central Line to Oxford Circus, change for Victoria Line to Finsbury Park and Great Northern to WGC, arrive 13:30. Daughter's family arrived as well and we had a look at new flat; suggested he deals more with IKEA, including paying for assembly, and Argos for white goods, including 12-months free interest period, as he has salary to be much better off as initial bunched payments are worked through. Toured local facilities including Bebo (WGC), Italian for meal and Rose & Crown (Welwyn village) for afters. Approved of choice of property in the village, much more likely to become fashionable than the sprawling WGC. R&C was a good pub: would be my choice for a local! Son & I discussed at length the compelling concerts on 12/9, reaching a decision!! Started journey back on 301 bus at 19:31 from village to WGC, missing crowds from Arsenal vs Tottenham match played 16:30-18:20. So very good to see the set-up in Welwyn!! Big changes in digital newspaper subscriptions today: cancelled Times and Telegraph and installed Guardian premium: cannot support dictator BJ's mouthpieces! Here's piccies of us in South Tyrol on last morning at Seis: straight and fun!! 2moro big sis is minding nephew's kids in morning when will make Pitshanger Park but we will go somewhere local in afternoon such as Burnham Beeches. Might see a Honey-buzzard! Absence makes the heart grow fonder: sure she's looking good: lok2tgrf!!!!!

Honey-buzzard summary for South Tyrol, Italy (24/8-31/8): Seis am Schlern E, 1 juvenile in territory 25/8, 30/8, 1300m asl; Seis am Schlern W, 1 female with 1 juvenile in territory 25/8, 1 female with 2 juvenile in territory 27/8, 1 juvenile in territory 29/8, 1120m asl; Bocia de Mont, 1 juvenile in territory 26/8, 1780m asl; Marinzen, 1 juvenile in territory 27/8, 1400m asl; Schmung Schwaige, 2 juvenile in territory 28/8, 1 juvenile soar high and move S 30/8,1810m asl. Total 5 sites in Seis am Schlern area, 8 birds (1 female, 7 juvenile).

Summary of birds for South Tyrol, Italy (24/8-31/8): 38 species from 116 records, 10 complete lists, 15 places. Birds of prey: 33 birds of 8 types: 8 Honey-buzzard (1 female, 7 juvenile, at 5 sites), 8 Common Buzzard (included juvenile, at 5 sites), 5 Golden Eagle (4 adult, 1 juvenile, at 3 sites), 5 Kestrel (included juvenile, at 3 sites), 3 Goshawk (adult male, adult female, juvenile male, at 1 site), 2 Hobby (male, female, at 1 site), 1 Sparrowhawk (1 juvenile female, at 1 site), 1 Eurasian Pygmy Owl (at 1 site). Interesting specialities of the area were Alpine Swift (9 birds, 2 sites), Grey-headed Woodpecker (2, 2), Nutcracker (45, 5), Raven (10, 3), Crag Martin (6, 2), Icterine Warbler (1, 1), Firecrest (12, 2), Fieldfare (12, 2), Black Redstart (2, 2), Collared Flycatcher (1, 1), Italian Sparrow (10, 3), Citril Finch (35, 1).

August 31st: weather on drive back was sunny, humid, 28C, not best for the driving conditions. Well we finished off well at the villa with group piccie, eating everything left in the house, tidying up. We left at 10:00 to do the 120km in 3 hours with Matt driving but it did not turn out well. There was a major crash on the Brenner Pass and on the alternative road that we took another crash so we were crawling along. As we came to a halt by a wood I seized the opportunity to have a p which started a trend with lots of relieved Germans emerging from the bushes!! Most of the cars were indeed German returning from holiday in Italy. Our car was marked SK (for Slovakia). So we didn't get back to INN airport until 14:30, instead of the booked-in 13:00. The car-hire people said the lateness didn't matter as we hadn't gone over into another 24-hour period. But C/M missed their flight to FRA and re-booked on our flight for £800 between them! On road had 2 Common Buzzard at Kollmann, 8 Alpine Swift at Waidbruck (both Italy), a Nutcracker at Raitis (Austria). On the side of the runway at INN had 2 Kestrel (juvenile, unaged), 74 Carrion Crow, 2 House Sparrow, 1 White Wagtail. INN airport is fun for take-off – massive revving and acceleration to get lift-off at the end of the short runway. Now back in EAL after great holiday, seeing son, with own flat, and daughter and family 2moro in WGC. Funds had a resilient week at +2k considering that the suspension of Parliament did knock UK equities; continuing to move money from sales of non-dividend, more speculative, stocks to managed funds (up to 184k) and relatively solid UK equities and mining stocks. So not so exciting as a few years ago but perhaps better for the troubled times. Matters are looking up elsewhere: should be a great performance: lok2tgrf!!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 73, total for autumn 73:

31/08 11:23 Glamorgan : European Honey Buzzard, Cardiff one reported flying north-east over Rhiwbina [R]

August 30th: last full day at villa, it's been a great trip! From 10:45-12:00 had an amazing display of raptors in very clear, sunny weather, light and variable breeze, 27C. Visibility was good, with these mountains 1 well to W showing snow on its slopes. At Seis E had 5 raptors of 4 types up together at 11:06: the dark-phase juvenile Honey-buzzard, a male juvenile Goshawk 1, 2 Common Kestrel, 1 Common Buzzard. They were joined by an adult female Goshawk at 11:10 1  2  3 who spoilt the party by doing some threatening powerful soaring. Here are the piccies of the Honey-buzzard up on own at 11:06 1  2, with Common Buzzard at 11:06 3, with adult female Goshawk at 11:10 4  5  6 and shot of habitat 7. The Honey-buzzard floated around over the pasture in the gap in the cliff with the other raptors; it maintained this position in the presence of the juvenile male Goshawk but quickly went higher and disappeared when the adult female Goshawk arrived (9317). At Schmung Schwaige (Seis far E) had another juvenile Honey-buzzard present from 11:25-11:45, soaring from 11:36-11:45 to tremendous height and disappearing, almost certainly an emigrant 1; the rugged habitat is shown here 2  3 (9318). Near to base had a juvenile female Sparrowhawk out hunting 1  2  3  4  5  6 at 11:13 so good morning for accipiter. Total of bird types in morning was 17, including Grey-headed Woodpecker 1, Green Woodpecker 1, Jay 1, Nutcracker 2, Carrion Crow 4, Crag Martin 2, Firecrest 4. Later we went to the lake at Völser Weiher from 14:40-17:20 where spotted 2 more Golden Eagle, adult and juvenile in floating and diving action 1  2  3  4  5  6 from 16:16-16:21, plus a family group of 7 Raven 1  2  3  4  5  6 at 16:03 on top of an enormous crag at Gabels Mull, 2389m asl. Birds at the lake itself were of just 2 types: 5 Chaffinch 1, 2 Great Tit, making 4 types in all, including the high mountain crags. No Honey-buzzard were seen at Seis W so suspect adult female here has left and juveniles are taking it easy in her absence! Here's some more local habitat shots 1  2  3  4 for potential Honey-buzzard. Total for raptors for day was 6 types: Goshawk 2, Kestrel 2, Golden Eagle 2, Honey-buzzard 2, Common Buzzard 1, Sparrowhawk 1. We had a good time in evening, drinking up all the left-overs! 2moro it's 18:45 INN-LHR on BA685, then staying with big sis! Of 4 of us in car, niece and partner continue to LHR via FRA and nephew and family are driving separately to MUN b4 going to LHR 2moro. Let's keep it up a bit more: xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Should have mentioned before, our villa is on Henrik-Ibsen-Straße, Seis am Schlern, named after the famous Norwegian playwright who spent a significant amount of time in Italy.

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 72, total for autumn 72, the 4 in Dorset could be from N Britain – it's due S of W Northumberland:

30/08 13:12 West Midlands : European Honey Buzzard, Marsh Lane NR unconfirmed report of one at paddocks north-west of A452/B4102 roundabout [?]

30/08 12:21 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, Lodmoor RSPB four flew south (12:14)

30/08 19:33 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Old Basing one flew over Barton's Mill towards Blackdam (19:04)

August 29th: weather cloudy with light rain showers up to early afternoon then sunny and warm 26C, almost calm. Went to N side of Seis today with big sis, visiting Kastelruth where we had lunch, with a spicy goulash soup. We were here from 12:30-13:30 getting just 2 species: 6 Carrion Crow 1  2, 1 Swallow but also took some piccies of the mixed pasture/woodland habitat 1  2  3  4  5, just to the W of Marinzen where a juvenile Honey-buzzard was seen on 27/8. Then went to Telfen (NW of Seis) where walked to Laranz for magnificent views 1  2 towards the Schlern mountain group. At this viewpoint a large brown shape was caught out of the corner of my eye on the E end of the pasture near the viewpoint, moving a little S by swerving into cover. The pasture runs down steeply towards the NW edge of Seis with Rung Puntschn woods, holding mixed conifers of variable age, on the S side. I didn't see the 'shape' again but what was obvious was the attention of 6 spaced-out Carrion Crow, all perched high on trees in the area and making angry calls from time to time 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9. They slowly moved W so presumed they were watching a juvenile Honey-buzzard keeping very low in the ample cover. The juvenile Honey-buzzard did give the chicken call once at 57s on the clip 1, with Carrion Crow calling at the start; I give a quick summary to my elder sister at the end of the clip. Some piccies of the habitat are shown here 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 (9316). This is not a new site, being the one identified in Seis W on 25/8 (9311) and 27/8 (9313) at about 1120m asl; the sites found complete a circle around Seis am Schlern. Two species of flycatcher confirmed the site is insect rich: 1 Collared Flycatcher juvenile 1  2  3, 6 Spotted Flycatcher in 2 family groups 1. Did take some piccies of suitable habitat for Honey-buzzard at Katzenloch 1  2  3  4, 1km N of Telfen and 1.8 km N of Ring Puntschn, height 1100m asl. Total for trip to Kastelruth, Telfen and Laranz was just 7 bird-types with 5 Great Tit and 2 Mistle Thrush making up the numbers. We went for evening meal in the Pizzeria Zum Woscht, where I had favourite Pizza Napoli, full of anchovies, apple doughnuts, a glass of red wine and cafe Americano. Cost was €86.80 for 6 of us, plus €10 tip; actually a little cheaper than MP! All very good and back to the villa for some beers and good crack! Will go to A concert, looks superb, will quickly ask one or two family members as well!! Staying with big sis for 3 nites when back from INN, to see son's flat and daughter's family! Good to know someone's in a German-speaking area as well tonight and hope first nite went well!! lok2tgrf: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 66, total for autumn 66, looks like the 1st bird moving in NE England:

29/08 12:25 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Medmerry RSPB probable flew north-east; also 2 Whinchats from Ham viewpoint (09:20) [?]

29/08 11:30 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Worth Marsh one flew south (11:00)

29/08 09:50 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Scarborough one flew south-east over Crossgates (09:49)

August 28th: hazy sunshine most of day with the occasional shower, virtually calm, 26C, then the most magnificent thunderstorm at dusk with torrential rain and frequent lightning and thunder: we sat outside under the wide eaves with a bit of vino, marvelling at the spectacle! Out for morning walk from 10:50-13:15. Honey-buzzard survey continues to go well, getting another juvenile in the gap between Ratzes at 1300m asl (Seis E) and Bocia de Mont at a peak marked 1753m asl; suspect it may have been bred a little further E in Schmung Schwaige area at 1811m asl; this one was up at 11:39 doing flap-flap-glide through the tops of the tall conifers on the ridge before coming down on pastureland behind 1; another juvenile was up floating over the ridge a little to N where the Hobby were seen at 12:12 2  3  4; some habitat shots were taken 5  6  7  8  9 (9315). This is the 5th site found, did not expect such success at high altitude. There was plenty of pastureland between the wooded areas, some of it being actively worked for winter food for the cattle. Also had a pair of Hobby high up on a ridge a little to the E of the chair-lift at 11:57 1  2  3. Here are piccies of a Carrion Crow 1  2, the magnificent peak Schlern 1 and the ruins of the old castle Salego 1. Had 2 Raven at Ratzes at 12:12. Total for morning trip was 16 bird species, including 63 Swallow (55 S), 2 Crag Martin, 8 House Martin, 18 Mistle Thrush in single flock, 30 Nutcracker, 8 Carrion Crow, 1 Grey-headed Woodpecker, 2 Green Woodpecker, 4 Italian Sparrow. In the afternoon we all went to Völser Weiher from 14:40-16:50, a lake 4km to SW of Seis for a walk and a meal. Here's a piccie of us, from left to right: Gill Reed (big sis), Matt, Julie (niece, partner to Matt), Emily, Clare (mum to Emily and Ben), Ben, John (nephew, partner to Clare, dad to Emily and Ben). John did a massive mountain trek of 34km yesterday. Didn't like the alternative name Waldsee given to the lake; has connotations of postcards in the Holocaust where it was a fictitious name for Auschwitz. Total for bird species here in immediate area was only 5 types. Habitat looked suitable for Honey-buzzard with lake, ponds, tall trees and pasture 1  2  3  4  5  6  7; maybe they've fledged and gone already. Had an adult Golden Eagle nearby 1  2  3  4  5  6, lifting off a peak to SE at 15:36 at Hammerwand 2128m asl, 4 km away, bringing total to 3 of this species; also had a distant Raven there, soaring high 1  2. We did massive shop in Despar (Spar, really) of €109.35, our turn to cook and buy! BJ might well have over-played his hand with proroguing of Parliament for 5 weeks. Reminds me of a South American dictatorship, made complete with American approval of the regime by a tweet from their president. There are real electoral risks for the Tories as they appear to be becoming an English nationalist party; at the next election they could lose 12 seats in Scotland and 4 in Wales; the DUP could lose 5 in Northern Ireland as they fail to match the remain mood of the people there and the LibDems could retake 20 seats in SW England, which they've represented for much of the last 25 years. Anyway signed the petition with now over 1m signatures and will join any demonstration organised in Newcastle. So (as the Germans like to say!) collected masses of material, much of it still to process but it's a very good trip. Delighted to hear about A concert: lok2tgrf!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 63, total for autumn 63:

28/08 07:40 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Chipstead one reported over to south-west on Sunday afternoon (25/08 16:35) [R]

28/08 14:19 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB one drifted south-east over Burrowes Pit; also 2 Black Terns (12:10)

28/08 15:24 Isle of Wight : European Honey Buzzard, St Boniface Down one flew low to west (14:08)

August 27th: weather was sunny all-day with none of the thundery showers in the afternoon and evening, max 29C, light and variable winds. Went for walk in morning from 10:30-13:45 to Seis W where had had the female and juvenile Honey-buzzard on 25/8. Had to wait for one hour before the family party emerged over Rung Puntschn, a female Honey-buzzard together with 2 dark-phase juvenile. She kept above them throughout the flight from 11:29-11:33 with the 2 juvenile keeping close to each other initially well below. At the top of the soar the 3 birds all met together before diving back to ground again. One of the birds was captured low-down over the nest-site wood at 11:35. Piccies are here of birds 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10, coming down into habitat 11  12  13 with further shots of habitat taken earlier 14  15 (9313). Next star was an adult male Goshawk up at 12:05 over craggy dense woodland to E (Seis am Schlern E); he went off quickly to hunt. Final raptor was another juvenile Honey-buzzard to NE of Seis at 12:21, a new site Marinzen (1400m asl), with intimate mixture of alpine pasture and woods with tall spruce 1  2  3  4  5  6  7. The dark-phase juvenile was floating low-down over the edge of the high wood 8, possibly also in 6 (9314). The Honey-buzzard scene is particularly interesting as the birds are behaving much like those in Northumberland by 10/9 (so 2 weeks earlier here) with the juveniles left alone in their territory and continuing to forage there for a while. The behaviour of the one soaring family party with adult and juveniles up together is also similar to that in Northumberland. The false statements that juvenile Honey-buzzard once fledged do not remain in their breeding areas are based on 1) misidentification of juvenile Honey-buzzard as Common Buzzard, 2) perhaps studies of isolated territories where surrounding habitat is more readily accessible without conflict: something that can only be corrected by an authoritative book on the subject! Had some other interesting birds today: in a clump of rowan with berries an Icterine Warbler and 4 Fieldfare 1  2, a Grey Wagtail on this stream 1, a Nutcracker (1 of 3) in flight 1, a Black Redstart, a Chiffchaff and a Green Woodpecker. Total for trip was 17 types. So all is going well: miss the gorgeous one: look forward so much to seeing her again: xxxxx XXX!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 60, total for autumn 60; continuing high counts from Kent and Sussex today, totalling 5 birds with singles in Norfolk and Yorkshire, making 7 in total. These will still mainly be emigrating males. Weather was hot in SE, 32C London, light W breeze (10 kph), clear. Last year's counts were 29 in August and 82 for the whole autumn!

27/08 11:03 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB one drifting south (11:02)

27/08 12:02 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head one still (11:32)

27/08 12:26 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness NNR one flew across the Point and out to fishing boats (12:15)

27/08 12:33 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head still then moved off east (12:32)

27/08 12:59 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB again, circling over Visitor Centre (12:59)

27/08 14:48 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Ormesby Broad flew over towards Martham (14:42)

27/08 22:38 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Muston one flew north-west between Muston and Folkton on Sunday

August 26th: weather was much the same as yesterday, 26C, virtually calm, sunny morning, cloud increasing at 14:00, thunderstorms at 16:00, light rain in evening. Everything is very green. Here's a musical greeting from the area. We went up on the ski-lift to the famous Seiser Alm, a large area of montane meadow at just over 1800m asl. We had lunch at a restaurant including a bit of dunkel bier and I went off to survey a gorge Bocia de Mont (1780m asl) at the E end of the plateau from 12:30-14:00 where there were some large trees giving easy access to the pastureland. This walk was very productive seeing a juvenile Kestrel 1  2  3  4, 2 Common Buzzard (adult, juvenile, 1  2  3  4  5  6  7) and yes a dark-phase Honey-buzzard juvenile, which had clearly brought the Common Buzzard up in the air by flying through their territory. The Honey-buzzard was floating over open pastureland complete with musical cows, which looked a little brown, maybe past its best for the cows, and was clearly foraging at 1780m asl. Have some piccies of the bird 1  2  3  4  5 and the habitat 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12, which looks able to hold Honey-buzzard if there's a mixture of tall trees and pastureland in the area (9312). The site is 4km from Seis am Schlern E so just about room for another site between them. Wonder how high they really go! 1800m is 6000 feet! Plenty of other birds on the top, from 11:10-15:00, particularly Nutcracker (19, 1  2, à la suite), Citril Finch (35, single flock, feeding on ground), Common Crossbill (2 singles), Italian Sparrow (4, 1  2  3  4), House Sparrow (1 male, possibly an intergrade with Italian Sparrow 5). While waiting for the (free) bus to take us to the start of the chair lift at 10:30-10:33 (not free, €16 return) had a pair of Golden Eagle adult at the same place as yesterday, Schlern Burgstall (Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Park NW) 2500m asl 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18. At Schmung Schwaige at 1800m in conifers just before the main plateau, from chair-lift had 2 Common Buzzard and 4 Nutcracker. Total for trip was 13 species on or near the high plateau, including 4 Common Buzzard, 2 Golden Eagle, 1 Kestrel, 1 Honey-buzzard. Took some closer habitat shots for Honey-buzzard at Seis W 1  2  3  4  5  6 (9311, continued). My turn for shopping so stocked up on plenty of beer at the local Despar! Worth pointing out that South Tyrol was in Austria but was transferred to Italy after WW1 so it has a dual Germany/Italy feel about it with many locals speaking both languages to some extent. So, behind with records as nice to be sociable but very pleased at progress with the Honey-buzzard at 3 sites occupied by a female and 3 juveniles. As going to bed at 23:00 had a small owl fly across the garden; it did not call but was clearly smaller than Little Owl and spruce habitat is ideal for Pygmy Owl so that's the id. Will be very much more settled after this trip: looking forward to that in many ways: always gr8 to be home!! lok2t fancied one xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 53, total for autumn 53; continuing high counts from Kent and Sussex today, totalling 5 birds with 3 probables in Devon and a single in Gloucestershire, making 9 in total. These will still mainly be emigrating males. Weather was hot in SE, 33.3C record at Heathrow, light ENE breeze (8 kph), clear.

26/08 10:47 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness NNR one over viewpoint

26/08 11:17 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness NNR still over east side of Long Pits then flew towards Lade

26/08 12:24 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Truleigh Hillone today; also Pied Flycatcher

26/08 16:35 Gloucestershire : European Honey Buzzard, Oldbury Power Station one flew south yesterday

26/08 17:19 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, North Foreland one flew in off sea late afternoon (17:14)

26/08 17:49 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, North Foreland one flew south-west (16:45)

26/08 20:39 Devon : European Honey Buzzard, Ashburton three probables flew south-west [?]

August 25th: never a day without a Honey-buzzard!! Weather was warm on hot sunshine at 26C by 13:00; huge clouds were building up and following some dry thunder at 15:00 it poured with rain at 16:00 for an hour without any thunder at all. Observations were from 10:20-20:00. Today's first star was a juvenile Honey-buzzard in Seis am Schlern, on E side in a craggy area near Ratzes at 1300m asl, covered in tall spruce trees with much pasture on NW side 1  2  3  4  5. The dark-phase juvenile flew across the valley from E to W at 11:31 1  2  3 landing in some dense vegetation on the W side of the craggy gorge (9310). Suspect that as long as there are the upland summer-grazing meadows and some trees around, Honey-buzzard will not care too much about the altitude. Stayed at the villa today (piccies 1  2, of car 3, and view from my bedroom window of the peak Schlern 4) except for a walk mid-afternoon, up to the presumed site, where near the top of the ski-lift heard 3 chicken-calls from the juvenile Honey-buzzard from a Scots Pine plantation 1. This is confirmed breeding, amazing for a day's work in a completely new area! Also had an adult Golden Eagle up from the NW shoulder of the peak Schlern at 12:17 at Schlern-Rosengarten Nature Park NW. Two more medium-sized raptors were up together at distance to the W of Seis at 12:24: a female Honey-buzzard, soaring high and another smaller bird in the haze, a weak-flying juvenile, keeping well below. So this is another Honey-buzzard territory, c2.5km W (classical spacing) of the other site on the W side of Seis, in a large conifer plantation near Rung Puntschn 1  2  3  4 at 1120m asl. The habitat is shown here from long-range 1  2 (9311). A Common Buzzard was in the same area at 13:20. The butterflies were fantastic on the buddleia bushes with at least 17 types; sis found a Privet Hawk larva, looking to pupate 1. Other birds, in total of 15 species for day, included single Alpine Swift, Green Woodpecker, Grey-headed Woodpecker, Spotted Flycatcher, Carrion Crow (roost of 20 at dusk after 9 seen in day, no Hooded Crow seen). Everyone's gelling well! 2moro we're going up on a ski-lift to the high plateau above Seis. So plenty to see and experience!! lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxx XXX!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 44, total for autumn 44; continuing high counts from Kent and Sussex today, totalling 7 birds with 2 in Jersey and one further bird in Yorkshire. These will mainly be emigrating males. Weather was hot in SE, 30C, light NE breeze (10 kph), clear.

25/08 15:28 European Honey Buzzard Jersey Noirmont Point 09:30 two flew over heading east

25/08 09:42 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Pulborough Brooks RSPB one again yesterday

25/08 10:48 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Walmer one flew inland over back fields (10:20)

25/08 11:11 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, St Margaret's at Cliffe adult male flew south at Bockhill Farm (10:40)

25/08 11:28 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Bekesbourne one flew west (11:15)

25/08 13:15 West Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Headingley one flew low over Western Stand

25/08 15:03 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Ninfield one flew south over Catsfield (11:45)

25/08 15:04 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Fairlight two flew east (10:45)

August 24th: well we're here now in Seis am Schlern, South Tyrol, Italy, in the Italian Dolomites at a height of 1000m asl. Arrived from LHR-INN almost on time but others were 30 min late; we picked up the hire car, a red Nuova Kia CEED 5-door 1.4l. I drove us all with plenty of space to spare to the villa, some 120km, arriving about 21:00. It's good for people with elderly crates to drive hire cars to see how things have moved on: besides central locking(!), the car encourages lane discipline on motorways by providing beeps when you cross a white line, including the inside one, and by the steering turning automatically to follow a lane: amazing! We climbed up and up from Innsbruck to the Brenner Pass, on tolled motorways, and then down and down towards Bozen and up and up again in the dark to Seis, the last having a number of hairpin bends. Got a nice room with view (apparently) of the 2,563m high Schlern. Appropriately we had pasta for supper and a few local beers, dunkel tomorrow! Had a Common Buzzard on the Italian side and 7 Raven on the Austrian side. Weather was dull after earlier rain but mild at 20C and no breeze. A typical day here sees sunny morning and showers in the afternoon, 26C, little wind. Local walks 2moro! Flew over Brussels and Frankfurt today: so quite close really: doux rêve au plus s.xy: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 34, total for autumn 34; amazing counts from Kent and Sussex today, totalling 19 birds with one further bird at Cornwall. Beachy Head had 8 and Dungeness 5. These will mainly be emigrating males. Weather was very warm in SE, 28C, light E breeze (10 kph), clear.

24/08 10:41 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head three again over pub (10:27)

24/08 11:52 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head one circling over Went Hill (11:47)

24/08 12:00 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, West Wittering one flew east

24/08 12:12 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Worthing one flew south-east (11:45)

24/08 13:21 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB two flew west over car park (13:18)

24/08 13:29 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, Drift Reservoir one drifted south (13:15)

24/08 14:17 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB three flew over Boulderwall Farm (13:28-13:37)

24/08 15:24 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Crowlink NT at least two flew over this morning; also Western Osprey

24/08 17:03 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Telscombe adult male pale morph over Telscombe Tye

24/08 18:18 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head four; also 10 Pied Flycatchers

24/08 18:24 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Lydd one from Robin Hood Watchpoint

August 23rd: fine day, bit warmer, 17C, light W breeze. Out to Prospect Hill, overlooking Farnley, from 12:40-13:50 and was in luck with a brown-phase Honey-buzzard sitting in a tree below the nesting area at 13:09, dropping deeper into the Tyne Valley. Then from 13:18-13:22 had a family party of 4 Honey-buzzard up over the N side of the valley, the pair of adult up first and moving to medium height with the straggling pair of juvenile (brown phase, dark phase) well below. Eventually they united way up in the sky as they drifted c1km to E of nesting area before disappearing from sight; a juvenile was seen a little later at 13:26-13:27 struggling to get back W to its home area. So that was very good, another brood of 2, indicating yet another successful breeding season for Honey-buzzard in the Tyne Valley 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16 (9128). Had 3 other raptor types in the brief visit: a Kestrel juvenile out to hunt at 12:54; single Red Kite up at Thornbrough at 13:30 (a juvenile) and at Styford at 13:44 (an adult); a Common Buzzard juvenile up at Styford at 13:45. Total was 12 species of bird, including Nuthatch (1), Linnet (7), Yellowhammer (2). On train over to CAR had a male Honey-buzzard plus a juvenile Kestrel over the N side of the lower South Tyne Valley at Allerwash at 16:12. Up to 9 occupied sites for Honey-buzzard in fledging season with 14+ young raised. Virgin train from CAR-EUS was on time: amazing, think that's 1st time it's happened to me! Took tube down Victoria Line to Oxford Circus to continue on Central Line to EAL. Funds were +2k this week, doing significantly better this morning before Trump started another tantrum with the Chinese leader. BJ's meetings with AM and EM went down well because of better chemistry on view! Off at 12:15 2moro by taxi to LHR, where we get assistance for big sis to the gate. Same at INN, where later meet her daughter and husband before hiring car to drive 120km to our villa in South Tyrol, Italy, which costs £4.3k a week of which I've paid ¼. I'm lead driver! Other guests are her son, wife and 2 children. So looking forward to a bit of style! Should be vultures and eagles in area plus of course Honey-buzzard, which nest to high altitude in the Alps. I think we may get through quite a lot of vino! There's a ski-lift nearby to take us up to the mountain slopes but no skiing in August!! So au revoir xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Keep gorgeous!! xxxx!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 14, total for autumn 14; amazing counts from Beachy Head, obviously a good lunch; our visit to South Downs (West Sussex/East Hampshire) in May was very productive for Honey-buzzard:

23/08 08:02 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Pulborough Brooks RSPB one from West Mead Hide yesterday morning (22/08 10:30)

23/08 12:23 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head two from the pub early afternoon (12:15)

23/08 14:00 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Beachy Head three flew over mid-afternoon (13:30)

August 22nd: gloomy all day with spells of drizzle and light rain, light SW breeze, 16C. No fieldwork today, but did work out details of trip out on 20/8. At 14:09 had 2 Common Buzzard up over Letah Wood, a noisy adult 1 and a juvenile. At 15:43 spotted a male Honey-buzzard coming low out of the nest site at Shilford and rapidly gaining height, moving to E in the breeze; at some height he hung in the breeze looking back at the nest and presumably his family. Once at Stocksfield Mount, had a juvenile Common Buzzard up over Bywell Castle at 15:43 1; at 17:10 a different juvenile and an adult 1 were up together here. At 15:57 a Red Kite adult flapped across the open area W of Bywell Cottagebank towards Toft Hill and another adult was up over Cottagebank itself at 16:19; a juvenile appeared here at 16:19 encouraged into the air by the adult; at 17:00 the full family party of 4 birds (2 adult, 2 juvenile) was up at Cottagebank, rising to a moderate height with the adults above the juveniles. At Whittle Burn a male Honey-buzzard came up briefly low-down at 15:57 doing a recce before a practice flight 1  2; he was up again briefly at 16:01; at last from 16:48-16:56 the family party of 4 birds (male, female, 2 dark-phase juvenile) took to the air, slowly climbing to an enormous height while drifting in the breeze to the E; the male dive-bombed each juvenile several times; the adults climbed higher than the juveniles who were still up low-down at the end of the display, flying on their own to increase their confidence; these juveniles have more rounded primary tips than the ones in 9117, hence older, but still show some indent around P8 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24 (9116). At Styford an adult and a juvenile Red Kite came up over the site together at 16:22, drifting towards the E towards Cottagebank. From 17:00-17:08 a family party of 4 Honey-buzzard (male, female, 2 dark-phase juvenile) were up in the air over Bywell Cottagebank; the male initiated action coming up with the juveniles from the trees with the female joining them from the E, the male went up to moderate height with the 2 juvenile anchored below not far above the trees; the juveniles show middle outer primaries not fully grown yet as is common at this stage; the female drifted back to ground, maybe in the middle of some interesting foraging 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13 (9117). Finally at 17:53 back home at Ordley had 2 Red Kite juvenile and a Common Buzzard up to S of Devil's Water; it's excellent to see a family party of 2 juvenile Red Kite in the 'Shire. So totals are Honey-buzzard 9 (3 sites, 3 male, 2 female, 4 juvenile), Red Kite 8 (3 sites, 3 adult, 5 juvenile), Common Buzzard 6 (3 sites, 1 adult, 5 juvenile). No smaller raptors seen. Well that's a major job done! The Ardennes are very good for Honey-buzzard, plenty of woods with open countryside between them and a relaxed atmosphere: good choice: enjoy!! Made C4c4l where had appointment with P; thought the use of foot by tmsuo to shut fridge was good form!! Went on to 'Spoons with P for f&c+mp and a glass of water: last of the big spenders! Late-on made G4g4s; just 3 of us out, pleased 2 c A again!! So just getting the lederhosen out: it's HEX-EUS ex 16:12 2moro and LHR-INN BA684 the next day at 14:45. N not keen on logistics of Perthshire so think it'll be Settle for our autumn break; plotting a wee trip in mid-September to tackle the Munro Ben Chonzie (931m), maybe staying in Crieff; will be space in the bed!! Fascinating article in Guardian – Blow to 10,000-hour rule as study finds practice doesn't always make perfect – Research of violinists undermines popular idea as average players practise more than best ones – maybe talent, a natural aptitude, is underrated by those with more money than sense but keep spending is the watchword! Hoping to do check on a local pair of Honey-buzzard tomorrow morning; feeling a little demob happy as the end of another season is in sight. Will be long-time no see: missed her a lot: lok2tgrf!!!!!!

August 21st: so all 10 site visits completed, really pleased to achieve that before next break! Weather was sunny, 16C, moderate W breeze, becoming cloudier towards end but remaining dry. Visit was to Swallowship, on the edge of the Devil's Water in the 'Shire, from 12:35-16:25 with about 3 hours of that walking in rough habitat down forest glades, such as these 1  2 where there's a pond rich in wildlife (Southern Hawker, Common Darter dragonflies, 7 types of butterfly). Had a bonus at the start at 12:39 with a female Honey-buzzard doing flap-flap-glide from S to N over the N edge of Dipton Wood into cover; this was presumably the flying practice ground, being elevated a little. Later at 13:39 a juvenile Red Kite did a very similar manoeuvre but at higher altitude. Was then sworn at by angry Common Buzzard adults from 12:46-12:51, protecting their 2 young near the entrance to Swallowship. So onto the Honey-buzzard site where suspected strongly that the young had fledged. The nest was high in a Scots Pine in the crown of the tree so not easy to see from the ground. The tree was overhanging the Devil's Water and it would be a difficult climb, with a 25m tree on top of a bank of similar height. There were some signs below but the number of Wood Ant meant that small feathers would be quickly removed and some feathers would blow into the gorge. The juvenile often keep the nesting area as a focal point as they get fed there by the adults. At 14:05 and 14:16 heard single juvenile Honey-buzzard peep calls from the trees on the opposite side of the burn but could not see the bird. When having lunch back on the field just outside the site picked up a juvenile Honey-buzzard, which had been perched in a tree, moving back towards the site on the W side. This was captured on video 1 with derived stills 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15 (9210); the uneven primary feathers are still growing but the bird was flying well so fledged for at least a week probably. Would take this as a different juvenile to that heard in the site. More to follow here and also need urgently to process the 20/8 material. Celebrated completion of site visits with a couple of g at the G with B. 2moro it's out in morning to check another site, C4c4l, processing of new material and that for 20/8, G4g4s. Hope someone's enjoying their break in the land of the Eagle!! Bet she's keeping gorgeous: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Colleague M is presenting a paper of ours on 28/8 in the 12th International Whitehead Conference, Section 5: Whitehead, mathematics, logic and natural sciences (Head: Vesselin Petrov), Michael Heather & Nick Rossiter. ‘Now’ as Instant, ‘Now’ as Interval: Examples from the Process of Music, in the University of Brasilia, but he's giving the presentation from Totnes, Devon, by Skype!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 8, total for autumn 8:

21/08 14:28 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Pulborough Brooks RSPB one circled over mid-afternoon

21/08 17:19 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Hastings one flew over to west (14:35)

August 20th: a great day all-round; went to Stocksfield Mount from 15:30-17:25 in ideal weather for raptors: sunny, not too hot 16C, moderate steady W breeze, dry. Still working out totals but Red Kite, Honey-buzzard and Common Buzzard all featured well. B4 made C4c4l where tmsuo was on in style with tbld's mum, who was very chatty!! Later made R&C with A/M for good chat; it was very busy with harvest almost in! Had an inspired evening: feel we're closer again: gr8 rendezvous lok2tmbo!!!! 2moro it's T4c4c with M and G4g4t with B, plus major attempt to catch-up on records! But may add a few more in afternoon: have to strike while the iron is hot! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! About to do site visit no.10 to complete the year's series: it's a real slog: in fact completed it, so satisfying!!

Honey-buzzard autumn migration from BirdGuides: counts - August total (from 17/8) 6, total for autumn 6:

20/08 16:09 Highland : European Honey Buzzard, Grantown-on-Spey one flew over Castle Grant

20/08 16:08 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Fishlake Meadows HIWWT one flew over (11:47)

20/08 15:04 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, St Blazey one flew over Imerys, Par Moor Road (11:00)

August 19th: stuck energetically into the early-fledging sites at the moment with trip to Staward from 15:40-17:35 on moderate W breeze, 15C, sunny spells, feeling cool in the gusty breeze. At the S site had the female up at 16:34 over a ridge with the dark-phase juvenile right below but the breeze was strong and the juvenile quickly came back to the trees, followed rapidly by its mother (9113); the male was not seen here but he could well be tending the other juvenile. The Staward N site is of particular interest as it was here that felling had destroyed all the neighbouring trees. Result today was a little inconclusive: at 17:02 the male was seen lifting off the trees on the ridge on E side of the gorge which is a popular flight-training area (9114). He moved a little to N out of sight in an area where they have nested before so maybe this will be next year's site; the tall spruce remaining on my site visit have been left in the flat area below so that's another possible nesting area. Feeling is it was too breezy to bring the young up so maybe this was abandonment of any practice for the day; alternatively the young may have not fledged yet as progress will have been slowed by the nest tree becoming isolated with the female having to spend nearly all of her time on sentry duties. Anyway the continued occupation is an encouraging sign! At Staward S found a Common Buzzard tail feather 1  2. You need to be a 'cattle man' to survive at Staward: here's a group of bullocks 1  2  3 who were hoping to chase me for a bit of fun: you have to stand your ground! Back home where it was a little less windy had instant success from 17:55-18:00 with the female and second juvenile up together c1km to SE of nest site. As predicted this was a more gentle affair than yesterday with the female hanging low over the ground and another dark-phase juvenile making occasional forays up into the air before coming back to the ground 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17 (9115). Also here was a juvenile Red Kite hanging in the breeze. Did make R @ B4m4l where speaker did not appear as mother-in-law ill; we were given chats by visitors from Queensland and Wales. Much later made G4g4s with 4 of us out; M was on; good 2 c A!! Sage have caught up with my DD for concerts this coming season: paid £350 in past 10 days (1/3 of total), +500 for principal flautist sponsorship and 20 for a draw: it's going to be an exciting season; looking forward to opening concert on 14/9!! 2moro it's C4c4l with P, trip out E, probably R&C later with A/M and who knows!! xxxxxxxxxx to the gorgeous one!!!!!!

Into Honey-buzzard autumn migration now with, since 17/8 on BirdGuides, count 3 August, 3 total for autumn:

18/08 15:51 Cambridgeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Ferry Meadows CP one flew over yesterday afternoon (identified from photographs) (17/08 14:00)

19/08 20:23 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Black Down NT adult female circled west of ridge before heading off south-west (10:00)

19/08 13:35 Lincolnshire : European Honey Buzzard, Chamber's Farm Wood NR one flew over (13:32)

August 18th: we have lift-off literally with first Honey-buzzard juvenile, a dark phase, seen in the air today at 17:58 over the local site accompanied by the male (its father!); the duo were actually over the same area where the male was doing the butterfly flight yesterday, an area with a crested woodland 1 1km to the E of the sunken nesting area; such elevated areas help to give the juvenile lift in the stronger breeze when doing their first flights. This juvenile was only up about a minute, escorted very closely at the start by the male who then playfully moved quickly above and below the youngster who came rapidly back to the trees 2  3 (9112). The female has not been seen yet; she is probably with the younger juvenile as birds of prey often split the young between them in encouraging flight, showing how to feed and how to keep safe! The males are more robust with the juveniles than the females, often playfully dive-bombing them (bring them up rough!). As this is an early lowland site, he will be off in a week (c25/8), leaving the female to mind the young for a further 10-14 days (4/9-8/9); the elder youngster leaves around 10 days later (14/9-18/9) and the younger sibling may linger another 10 days to 24/9-28/9. In the UK only the males are identified reasonably well; the female and particularly the juveniles are called buzzard, implying Common Buzzard: very poor id skills! So the fledging is a great development; don't think I can take the credit though!! Earlier did masses of grass cutting; getting on top of the garden now that vegetation growth rates are rapidly declining. Did make C4c4t and much later G4g4s where 7 of us out for good crack. A certain office -- it's only 4 minutes from my hotel – whoops: good (discreet) change in strategy!! Amazed that the Brexiters have called their campaign paper Yellowhammer, after the bird. It's long been known as a bird of ill omen and its song is usually noted as a 'little bit of bread and no cheese': so food shortages! In Liverpool found these 2 comical posters, doubting the wisdom of Brexit 1  2. 2moro it's R @ B4m4l and G4g4s and maybe trip out in afternoon. lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

August 17th: cloudy and cool start but becoming fine in afternoon with moderate SW breeze, dry. So did do Honey-buzzard site visit no.9 (out of 10) from 14:45-17:55 to Kellas N, near Slaley Hall. Visit was very successful, finding nest in Scots Pine, close to last year's site, a bulky affair looking quite solid but without the fresh decoration on the rim applied to the nest when newly built; it was at the base of the canopy in the tree with easy access from a small clearing adjacent to the nest 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23. Had some alarm and anxiety calls from time to time, which were mostly recorded. There were plenty of signs to E of nest, which appeared to be still occupied. Best of all on exit from nesting area at 16:57 the male Honey-buzzard came to see me off the premises, giving excellent views on this clip 1 as he drifted off S to a feeding area (9209). Was not convinced the female was present for most of my visit: she may have been out hunting; did have a glimpse of the male through the trees c100m from the nest itself, quite rare. But at the end she must have been present for the male to drift off away from the area. In same area had a Common Buzzard juvenile up at 15:25 1. Much more to come … On return home at 18:15 decided to scan the local site to see whether the young had fledged yet. Had the male come up, spooking 150 Common Gull adult, before climbing above them, leaning back to the E of the site (1km to E of nest) against the moderate breeze, and doing some butterfly display in a quite triumphant mode with no other Honey-buzzard around 1  2  3  4  5 (9111). Suspect the young are out on the branches and he's showing off so fledging phase (for the survey) will start tomorrow and rearing phase will end today; it's rather arbitrary when the change is made as progress of the season depends on altitude to a significant extent. Had lovely soak in bath after the trip; that's so welcome for avoiding stiffness (in muscles!) and washing off insecticide. All the site visits are fairly testing as they nest in secluded overgrown places. Earlier at C4c4l pleased 2 c trhwso and tmsuo and had long chat with tbld who wants to join me in Italy!! Really enjoy my Saturday coffee!! Next weekend is chaos on the trains with KGX closed from 24/8-25/8; could not get a reservation on 23/8 for NCL-KGX so booked HEX-CAR-EUS where finally got a reservation on an evening train. Having a fairly sedentary period in next 2 months though going away with N somewhere for a few days but he wants to go to the Yorkshire Dales (twee) and I want to go to Perthshire (wild)! Might be following someone around: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! 2moro it's some more grass cutting, catch-up on records and most certainly G4g4s!!

Funds were down again this week at -7k. Fall in late July and August to date is around 3% as against 6% for the ftse but do have 67k in cash. Reasons for weakness are Trump reopening trade war with China, troubles in Hong Kong, fears of world recession and of course Brexit! I'm picking up small amounts of stock in FTSE 250 funds (HSBC), emerging market funds (Fidelity), global high-yield bond funds (JPM), UK house builders, construction and insurance companies on bad days. With 'safe' bonds giving -ve or next to nothing returns and many mainstream equities giving 6-13%, it's an amazing risk-off environment. Think the bull/bear terms are not suitable for current state of affairs: many sections of the market have been declining steadily for 12 months; the overall indexes don't look so bad because a few defensive sectors have held up relatively well and tech shares have continued advancing in the US. But it's overall certainly not a bull market and commentators should stop saying that! I prefer the terms risk-on and risk-off for measuring investor sentiment in current choppy markets. FT was interesting read in C4c4l with editorial advocating increased capital works on infrastructure in all countries as no more can be done with monetary policy. BJ to his credit appears to be at last ending austerity in the UK, which has left the infrastructure/support system no longer fit for purpose (think schools, health service, care homes, police, prisons, roads, railways, power supplies for starters!).

August 16th: wet today with a few bright spells in afternoon, moderate SW breeze, 17C. At L&P did do a memory dump of all current thoughts on the ANPA 40 paper, bringing number of slides to 37. The pullback diagrams seem to model musical practice well with the Conductor as the initial object of the topos. Made a generic acknowledgement of inspiration from musicians. Remaining task is to merge last year's topos diagrams with this year's, then think can publish, preferably soon in light of the number of pirates around! The monad and the brain activities of last year remain unchanged. The continuous aspects are next year's work. Could say I'm becoming more discreet!! Here's the details added this evening on the Visiting Research Fellow home page:

Rossiter, Nick, & Heather, Michael, Physical Sounds as Colimits in the Topos, ANPA 40, Dept Physics, Liverpool University, UK, 10-15 August (2019). abstract pdf, presentation pdf.

Summary for trip to Liverpool/Chester reads for Honey-buzzard on home page [did keep an eye on the birds, cannot resist!]:

Liverpool/Chester (10/8-15/8): Chester Littleton, 1 male floating over area for 2 minutes 13/8.

So that's 2 of the highlites in my life!! A third gave a gr8 reunion today; lovely to be back: the Gods smiled on us: she's highly desirable: lok2tgrf!!!!!! Made N4c4t and W4g4s, former with A in focus, latter with just 3 of us out but we had excellent chat! 2moro it's C4c4l and Honey-buzzard site visit no.9. xxxx!!

August 15th: sunny, light W breeze, 17C, dry. Left Hallmark Inn at 10:15 after good chat with ANPA enthusiast LK over breakfast. He has an interesting new position, spending some of the summer in Siberia: “The Laboratory of Topology and Dynamics [Novosibirsk State University] was created within the framework of the grant of the Government of Russia (contract No. 14.Y26.31.0025) under the direction of the leading scientist professor Louis Hirsch Kauffman from the University of Illinois at Chicago.” As a discrete physicist he's one of my supporters in using CT! Managed to get to CAR almost on time but then chaos reigned over getting sets ready to run and was 25 min late into HEX. Went to W 4 big shop; later out to meet M/A for good crack at HoN. Was a beautiful evening: very enthusiastic: lok2tmbo: she's so sensuous: love the vibes!!!!! 2moro it's 10:00 CRB-NCL for work at L&P on presentation while all uploaded in mind; planning to integrate the results from last year and this year: all good intentions; lunch at CT then home!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

August 14th: rained all day, so wet! Last day of lectures; MJ's paper on Fractals in Music was clearly looking at unsaid adjoints, so possibly inspired by my last year's paper, whose IP is protected by early publication. He's also using anticipation, the free functor, so plenty of influence there. Doing these things outside of category theory is much harder! This was the zany day; pleased to be included this year on day 2 with the heavyweights! We made 'Spoons at LIV Lime Street for our evening meal: f&c+mp and a pint of g; had good final chat with everyone! Much later made Font, a bar in the Uni where a fanatical crowd cheered on Liverpool's win 2(5)-2(4) on penalties aet: made sure I looked enthusiastic!! So it's LIV-CAR-HEX ex 10:45 2moro: should be out in the evening! Next trip is then 8 days away. gt is lovely: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

August 13th: team-building day trip to Chester today, catching 09:28 LIV-CTR with 10 other attendees at conference, with leader PR. Party comprised 3 from England, 1 Scotland, 1 Bulgaria, 3 USA, 3 Russia (1 called Nadia, the other 2 Nina, including a speaker's 12-year old daughter, who's seeing the world). Weather was cool and showery at start but it settled down into a very fine and warm afternoon. Chester has so much history, dating from Roman times with amphitheatre remains and the city walls through Norman times with the old and new cathedrals to the present with many important residents and their houses through to the 19th century. Had lunch at the cathedral and dinner at Thai restaurant Ruan Orchid; hungry at latter as we walked the entire length of the City walls in late afternoon. Back on 21:00 train after a very enjoyable day out in great company. Total for bird-types in Chester City was 24 including 19 nesting House Martin, 1 soaring Common Buzzard juvenile 1, 3 Common Gull adult, 1 Gadwall, 6 Cormorant, 2 Raven drifting high overhead 1. Star of the day was a male Honey-buzzard: at 14:32 a commotion was noted to E (towards Littleton). A male Honey-buzzard was seen floating over the area, with Jackdaw, Black-headed Gull and Lesser Black-backed Gull all up (9110). The Honey-buzzard hung over the area for 2 minutes before subsiding down again and all went quiet. 2moro is last day for ANPA talks so attending that; think there are 2 on music so looking forward to it all. Then it's back LIV-HEX via CAR on Thursday morning; expect to make L&P on Friday to consolidate the presentation from comments made on 12/8! lok2t gorgeous one: looking forward to return: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

August 12th: talk went just fine, plenty of support for line of CT assisting in understanding of musical practice. Did get some dissent from a LIV local with particular interests in musicology but didn't rise to bait and he was assured by others that CT is a natural for composition applications. He sat next to me at dinner and guess what, he's a great Wagner fan so big turnaround!! Conference dinner was at Matou restaurant on riverside of the Mersey; brilliant views of the riverside, including moving Sandwich Tern, Common Tern, Curlew; weather was damp, cloudy, light SW breeze. Here's pdf for the talk. Total for bird species in Liverpool over whole visit was 12 types, with Lesser Black-backed Gull the most noteworthy, nesting raucously on many roofs.

August 11th: number of slides up to 30 now as talk completed this evening, spurning any evening out on the town! Not displeased with outcome!! Chaired this afternoon's session, including a discussion one: all went smoothly with everyone encouraged to contribute! 2moro it's 15:00 for own talk: wish me luck!! lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

August 10th: in Hexham slight clearance after heavy rain over last 36 hours, cool at 18C, moderate W breeze. While waiting for train at HEX had at Hexham Hermitage at 13:00, a Honey-buzzard female floating low-down anxiously over wood to N for 5 min, obviously with young about to fledge. Weather got worse and worse as approached CAR so could concentrate on work. On the departure board at CAR was one entry for going S, the 11:49 for PRE not due until 14:42. Heavy rain had flooded the track in Scotland. Eventually that arrived at 14:55 and enjoyed first class seating in the chaos until PRE where missed 15:31 connection to LIV, finally catching 16:31 so one hour late. Upside was got loads of work done, writing 17 complete original slides for my talk (maybe 10 to go but some copies from previous talks). An interesting thought is that the adjointness between Timeline and Occasion measures the conductor to some extent. Checked into Heritage Liverpool on Mount Pleasant and walked short way to Philharmonic Dining Rooms where met colleagues for a couple. This was a fascinating large drinking hall with rooms called Brahms and Liszt; it's next to the Philharmonic Hall where the Royal Liverpool Phil play! We then had a tour of the Physics Department in Liverpool University and a meal at Papillon nearby where 8 of us spent £212. It's a very friendly city, settling in well! 2moro we're hard at work!! Thinking of the gorgeous one: wish she was here: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

August 9th: stormy today, with heavy rain am; quite muggy 20C on light E breeze. Problems in balancing wind farms and gas plants brought the national grid down; that's the way it goes when unstable wind supplies go above 20% of the total! Spent much of day working on the ANPA paper, finally cracking it, using some results from our earlier jitter paper in relating timeline (as laid out in score) to occasion (as actually played). Not planning any acknowledgements in this paper as the angle is far more technical, rather than aesthetic, including how the score can be coded in category theory. So just need to add to the slides all the diagrams constructed with OpenOffice Draw in the last couple of weeks, add a bit on Now from Whitehead and pray: we're a co-operative lot really!! Not much on Honey-buzzard today, did play the 1st clip and found some clear alarm calls of presumed male Honey-buzzard mixed up with those of a Jay; these were before entered the main site: the males often perch a little outside the main nesting area (9207). Did make C4c4l where met P/M for good chat; tmsuo looked good!! Funds -12k this week as our populists run amok. That leaves gain on year at 27k gross,13k net. No further comment except that £ crisis is looking increasingly likely over next few weeks as markets lose confidence in BJ's growing shambles! Made W4g4s with 4 of the gang for good catch-up! 2moro it's HEX-LIV via CAR and PRE, ex 12:55. xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

August 8th: another landmark day, completing 8/10 Honey-buzzard site visits, while they're still at the rearing stage. Today made Shilford from 12:20-16:20 in mainly sunny weather, quite humid, 19C, dry except for one brief shower on light SE breeze. Didn't see any Honey-buzzard but there were plenty of signs close to a nest in Scots Pine, with heavy splash right below. Have recorded 1 alarm call and a series of anxiety calls, all from presumed female (new bird for year), with a fair amount of material still to run through (9207). It's an energetic visit, with a lengthy walk-in and rough bramble-dominated vegetation near the nest itself; only 30 min rest to eat my lunch in the schedule above. Butterflies were again fantastic with 12 types in the walk, including Wall Butterfly, Small Skipper, Comma, Holly Blue, plus flavour of the month 5 Painted Lady. Photographed masses of leaf mines for id later. Will leave last 2 nest visits until back in mid-August when the young are starting to fledge. Booked train tickets HEX-LIV via CAR; we're assembling on Saturday evening for a welcome drink at the Philharmonia, next to where the Liverpool Phil play! I'm looking forward to the trip, for taking the CT/Music theme forward, for meeting my good friends in ANPA and for seeing Liverpool again after a long time away! Still masses of work to do on the presentation but have a lot more uploaded in my mind than a week ago with time jitter, weak colimits, adjointness, mediation, all coming to the fore! Made N4c4t for recuperation where met P for good chat; later there were 5 of us at G4g4s where gr8 to have N on!! 2moro will make C4c4l, maybe do some 'gardening', write the outline with slide headings for the presentation and visit W4g4s!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

August 7th: mostly sunny today, feeling fresher at 19C on moderate W breeze, dry. Had a juvenile Common Buzzard at Mowden Hall at 18:40. Did make T4c4c with M for good catch-up, QH Lib 4 some work while S at house, G4g4t with B, TC4film. The film was Tie me up! Tie me Down! Bar lass M gave me such a look when I mentioned its name!! I thought the film was a dark love story with humorous touches rather than an exercise in sadomasochism, such as in Berlin Syndrome. It was made in Spain by Almodóvar in 1989, with dialogue in Spanish with English subtitles. The gate was quite large! The leading roles were played by Victoria Abril as Marina Osorio, an actress in the story with a drug problem and who likes playing with things in the bath, and Antonio Banderas as Ricky, a discharged mental patient with many skills as a thief and who initially ties up Marina on her bed to stop her escaping! The twist in the story is that it all ends happily with Marina and Antonio going off to get married, rather than her escaping into the distance: she seemed to like being tied up after a while!! So is seeing such films good for my reputation? Doing site visit 8 tomorrow before the rain on Friday, with trip to G4g4s later. Tonite ended brilliantly with the *: have reflex reaction when think of her: she's so gorgeous: lok2tgrf xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

August 6th: heavy showers today, mild in between, 22C, light W breeze. Raptors were active in between the showers: a Honey-buzzard female floating over bank just to W of Ryton Willows site at 10:25, a Sparrowhawk male up over Blaydon at 10:30 in display, a Red Kite adult up over Short Wood E, Bywell, at 16:20, and a Honey-buzzard male floating over Tyne, W of Farnley, at 16:30. Made great progress on physical sounds presentation at L&P, producing 5 new pullbacks on the Score bringing together pitch, note, octave, chord, accent, to add to the 5 prepared for last year's paper; pleased that the new pullbacks just slot in naturally to last year's structure through a decomposition of categories S and V (Score and Variant) as pointed out in defence of the strategy adopted last year. Next steps are to match Occasion, a place in the Score, across the various categories and to relate Occasion to the Now of the philosopher Whitehead. Worked from 10:40 to 15:30 with lengthy lunch break at CT4s4l, walking through heavy rain! Result will be far from a ready to publish paper but the presentation will readily support the development of a second paper. Back home have indexed all pictures from Courties on 29/7 and updated the entry for Aquitaine on the home page to give the final findings. Made R&C with the computing guys A/M for good chat! Exuberant reunion with the gorgeous one: where there's a will, there's a way: gt's very motivating: lok2tgrf: xxxxxx!!!!! Do have a couple of clips from 27/7. 2moro it's T4c4c with M, G4g4t with B and much later TC with CAL-NCL ex 19:00. xxxx!!!

August 5th: fresher today, 22C, sunny, moderate SW breeze, dry. Had hair-cut at JG (good work by Jd), went to R @ B4m4l for good company and finished off with chat at G4g4s, with M on and A looking good!! Spent a lot of time checking that car hire from Innsbruck will allow us to travel on to Italian Dolomites; got 2 different answers but in the end did get clarification on screen that we could just book the extra country at the desk for €20 on arrival; screen capture quickly made!! All the best people are going to Italy this year!! Progressed categorial diagrams to extent that hope to finalise the musical score structure tomorrow at L&P, starting at CRB at 10:00 (crack of dawn!). Have connected 2 issues that I'd never really considered before as related: that's the essence of research. Looking at my maternal genealogy, I was circumcised when about a week old, at the insistence of my mother: nothing to do with me! I'm happy with it: it's supposed to give some health benefits. It certainly wasn't normal practice in SW England, thinking of communal showers at school where nearly everyone had the foreskin intact: need to look further back maybe for the tradition!! Obviously something to be highlighted in my ancestry documents!! Think the gt is lovely: beautifully shaped!! Possibly TC on Wednesday! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

August 4th: weather was very muggy this morning at 23C with 80% humidity and light SW breeze. Did masses of grass cutting in morning, taking out all the early-summer grass which has got quite thick. Welcome the exercise and hot bath afterwards (like yesterday) is great restoration! Had a family group of 4 Common Buzzard in distance to S at Slaley Forest but no sign of the local Honey-buzzard. Had 12 types of butterfly in the garden/field in good numbers; shows benefit of slack habitat management for insects! There were some showers with large drops of rain mid-afternoon accompanied by thunder but heavy rain did not really arrive until evening when out to G4g4s with the dynamic E on!! Have sorted out some piccies from 29/7 trip in Aquitaine, deciding that 6 sites is eventual Honey-buzzard total with one site (Marciac W) being recorded as a duplicate on 29/7 as S of Courties. Made good progress on Liverpool paper, finally constructing 2 categorial figures for the Score structure; amazing how approaching deadline focuses the mind! Planning to make L&P on Tuesday all-day to concentrate the mind further! 2moro it's JG for hair-cut with Jd, R @ B4m4l, G4g4s!! Looking forward to someone's return: missed her zest: she's gorgeous: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

August 3rd: weather was warm and muggy 23C, light W breeze, mainly overcast. Did make C4c4l where talented show, pleased to meet trhwso!! Challenging trip to Oakpool, East Allen, for Honey-buzzard site visit 7/10 from 14:50-18:30. Last year's nest in oak had been abandoned with only a few twigs left and no signs underneath; tried a group of 3 oak trees to the SE, which have been used in the past but no signs at all; so went to N extreme of wood along a track kindly cut by the Pheasant shooters but nothing here also. So wondered where they'd gone. The wood appeared less used by humans than for many years with no clear footpaths and no vehicle tracks to the Pheasant pens, where at last some clues. Noted a little medium splash and more importantly a little way to the S some small white down caught in the ground elder. This is in an area formerly used for access by the 'keepers on foot to the Pheasant feeding bins but little used now as they come in by vehicle from the N side. Finally found the nest in a fork in an oak tree, just below the crown with very extensive deposition of oak sprays around the fork. Although the nest looked very fresh, was not convinced that it was intact, maybe suffering storm damage in which case the juveniles would be out marching on the branches. Looked hard but couldn't see the young out this way; will monitor clips closely for any chicken-type calls (the hunger cries of the young). While walking down the steep hill approaching the site at 15:11 had the male Honey-buzzard floating over the site briefly before a rapid descent (9206); good of him to alert me to continued occupation in view of subsequent difficulties. Would expect full fledging here in 2 weeks time. Other raptors seen were a family party of 4 Common Buzzard on other (W) side of valley above Cupola Bridge and a Red Kite juvenile with them (new site for the Kite). Butterflies were incredible getting 11 types, including 9 Painted Lady 1, 1 Purple Hairstreak, 1 Small Skipper. At home had 17 Peacock and 10 Painted Lady on buddleia. There's a massive Painted Lady movement northwards over the whole of the UK. Ash die-back is really getting a hold now, particularly in the higher land in the dales and along arable land in the 'Shire, where maybe the trees are a little more stressed; none yet on those in my field and on the other side of the road. Maybe thinking of someone. The newly-promoted Gulls started life well in tier 5 - NL, at home annihilating Boreham Wood 2-1, who played 2/3 of the match with 10 men! Going to pub yesterday had a Barn Owl at Ordley at 21:55 (2/8) and a Nightjar at Lamb Shield at 00:45 (3/8). When back watched some challenging late nite TV films on piranha taking over a swimming lido and intelligent ants taking over the Arizona desert!

Encouraging number of (confirmatory) Red Kite reports in N&TBC bulletin for June 2019:

NTBC June 2019 bulletin: Red Kite Milvus Milvus

On 11th two birds were at Carterway Heads (IFo) and single birds were seen at Ovingham on 1st (ASJ), nr Slaley Forest on 3rd (IFo), Allensford on 4th (IFo), Humshaugh on 8th (TWi), Tynemouth on 9th (MK), Coanwood Common on 14th (AA), Derwent Reservoir on 15th (IFo), Carterway Heads on 16th (PRM), Harthope Valley on 25th (LJM et al.) and Airy Holm Reservoir on 29th (IFo).

It's also relevant for the local Red Kite that an article in this month's BB discusses the success of the reintroduction nationally. Only the Black Isle population near Inverness is highlighted as a serious laggard in its success through continued human persecution. So the one in NE England is considered a success, in line with my findings! 2moro hope to do some grass-cutting, maybe make C4c4l and much later G4g4s!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!

August 2nd: made N4c4l where met P for good chat; loitering, surprisingly bumped into trhwso!! Made a lot of progress in records from France with just 29/7 to do now; have made a start on these, confirming first sites found for Red Kite and Honey-buzzard and labelling views of the Pyrénées. Weather was much wetter than expected today with frequent showers in muggy conditions so neither grass-cutting nor field trips but looks better tomorrow afternoon before wetter again on Sunday. Also wet somewhere else, fascinating culture!! Late in evening made W4g4s where 5 of us out for good catch-up; we will be meeting the next 2 Fridays. Terrible week for markets with populists in full cry, first BJ going all-out for reckless no-deal Brexit, then DT re-starting trade war with China. Can see some similarities with how tyrannies have gained power in the past through 'good' people in the middle refusing to get stuck in. The LibDems are our main hope in countering populism as at least they speak out decisively! Own funds lost gains of last 2 weeks, closing 13k down but it could have been worse! I think we've been in a kind of bear market since August 2018 in terms of the risk that investors will accept; would expect this phase to last another 3-6 months so move to quality continues. Have at last received confirmation of booking for Sage concerts in the next season with £175 per month for 6 months; they've obviously had some problems with their direct debit system as the first 2 payments are both being taken this month but anyway very pleased to see it's all under control now and of course looking forward to the music!! 2moro it's C4c4l and hopefully activities outside. lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

August 1st: all went smoothly today travel-wise with train just 6 min late! Did a lot of work on train on Liverpool paper, taking a simple example of a scale and working it through to a formal category, using subobjects and pullbacks. There's plenty of scope for extending the example with vector spaces to handle more realistic scenarios. Made G4g4s where 6 of us out: good to have N on and A/M in attendance!! Still feeling relaxed after tour of France. Hope to make progress on recording sightings in France tomorrow. Enjoying the story from the continent: commanding gesture: magnificent backdrop: culture and allure!!! lok2t gorgeous one: xxxx!!!!! Stayed up to 02:30 to see LibDems gain Brecon, a leave (Brexit) seat, from Cons in by-election: warning to Boris whose majority, even with DUP, is now 1-2! 2moro it's C4c4l and W4g4s!!

July 31st: met daughter and granddaughters at WWT at Barnes, SW London, which is a duck centre by the Thames. We were there from 13:45-17:00. Weather was mild 25C, moderate and gusty S breeze, occasional shower. Had a male Peregrine hunting over the E edge of reserve. In total of 22 bird-types had breeding Canada Goose, Tufted Duck, Mallard, Moorhen, Coot, plus 4 Mandarin Duck, 1 Egyptian Goose, 1 Reed Bunting female/juvenile type. S and I were both very keen to use my bins though not sure exactly what they saw; anyway here's piccies of Sophia 1  2 (4.4) and Isabella 1  2 (2.9); they were both in very good mood today so maybe keen on nature (or is it the cafe?); we had a fantastic session pond-dipping – very well organised by the centre! Went back to Kingston for supper before returning on 65/297 buses; earlier had taken UG to Hammersmith. They've just got permission to build an extra storey on their house overlooking Richmond Park, making it 3-levels. Son completed his house purchase today. Registered for RRF conference at Fort Collins, Colorado, in November. Must say someone looks absolutely stunning today on their hols: lok2t gorgeous one: xxxx!!!!! 2moro it's 12:30 KGX-NCL without the love!!

Summary for birds in Aquitaine from 23/7-30/7: 52 species from 163 records, 7 complete lists, 13 places. Besides the raptors below, interesting birds recorded were Cattle Egret (7 birds, 3 sites), Little Egret (1, 1), Woodcock (1, 1), Turtle Dove (3, 2), Collared Dove (very common), Swift (140 moving between S and W), Bee-eater (1 E, 2 calling overhead), Hoopoe (3, 1, bred), Wryneck (1, 1), Woodchat Shrike (1, 1), Golden Oriole (1, 1), Woodlark (1, 1), Crested Lark (1, 1), Chiffchaff (1, 1), Sedge Warbler (1, 1), Black Redstart (5, 1, bred), House Sparrow (very common), Ortolan Bunting (1, 1), Cirl Bunting (1, 1).

Summary for raptors in Aquitaine from 23/7-30/7. Total was 109 birds of 11 types: Black Kite: 58 birds (6 juvenile at 3 sites, 37 S) at 8 sites; Common Buzzard: 21 birds (at least 1 juvenile) at 8 sites; Kestrel 11 birds (at least 2 juvenile at 1 site) at 6 sites; Honey-buzzard: 7 birds (4 male, 3 female) at 6 sites; Red Kite: 5 birds (2 adult, 3 juvenile) at 3 sites; Sparrowhawk: 2 birds (1 adult male, 1 adult female) at 2 sites; Montagu's Harrier: 1 bird (1 juvenile) at 1 site; Booted Eagle: 1 bird (1 juvenile) at 1 site; Black-shouldered Kite: 1 bird (1 adult) at 1 site; Hobby: 1 bird (1 male) at 1 site; Tawny Owl: 1 bird (1 adult) at 1 site. Breeding was confirmed for 4 species (Black Kite, Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Red Kite) with fledged young seen and was highly probable overall for 1 other late-breeder (Honey-buzzard). Single juvenile of Montagu's Harrier and Booted Eagle were seen, maybe bred in the area.

Summary for Honey-buzzard: Aquitaine, France (23/7-30/7): Juillac N, 1 male in territory 24/7, 28/7; Marciac W, 1 male soaring 25/7, 29/7; Montesquoui, 1 female out hunting to SW, 1 pair in active display to E 26/7; Courties, 1 male in territory to SW, 1 female close to nest site to NW 29/7. Total 6 sites in Marciac area, 7 birds (4 male, 3 female).

July 30th: weather in Aquitaine was cloudy and dry with sunny intervals, almost calm, 25C. Been a really good break! Drive by me from Marciac to TLS Airport at Blagnac went well, taking 3 hours 10 minutes, including a break for lunch at Gimont. Raptors continued to be very visible in France with an amazing 5 Kestrel and a Black Kite on the side of the runway as taxied at TLS plus 2 more Black Kite seen earlier. Also had 2 more Black Kite here plus en route 5 Common Buzzard, 1 Kestrel, 2 Black Kite, 1 Sparrowhawk adult female; single Little Egret and Cattle Egret were also noteworthy. Flight back by BA to LHR was an hour late on arrival due to bad weather in London with storms and gusty S winds; while stacked above LHR saw some really spectacular cumulus nimbi cloud formations, which we skirted! 2moro it's trip to see daughter and family. Pleased to be back but maybe last leg will be the most rewarding: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

July 29th: added records from 25/7 to BirdTrack and uploaded a few piccies to the server. Hot again today at 32C, light S breeze, intense bright sunshine, dry. Made trip on own in car to N side of valley at Courties. Parked on a ridge with superb views over the Pyrénées 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 at 10:40 before it got too hazy, some of the peaks still holding some snow. Main objective was to check on extent of Honey-buzzard occupation in the wide countryside in good wooded habitat 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 and not disappointed with 3 sites, 2 new. At 11:22 a male stuck to the familiar pattern here, soaring slowly on flat wings in a straight-line upwards to a moderate height and then floating around for a while before gliding down to a foraging area; he was to SW of my position on the unofficial viewpoint, captured on Google Maps, occupying a large deciduous wood, mainly oak: the bird 1  2  3  4, the habitat 1  2 (9305). At 12:13 a female Honey-buzzard was caught circling low-down over a field near a wood close-by to NW; she flew back in flap-flap-glide to a copse where presume nesting; she was doing a bit of opportune hunting while male away on a long feeding trip 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12 (9306). At 12:43 was watching 7 Black Kite soaring and moving S; at the bottom of the funnel was a male Honey-buzzard, floating around, presumably protecting his site; here's one picture of the bird 1 and others of the habitat 2  3  4  5 to the distance in the S (9307). This was due S of the viewpoint at a considerable distance, close to the river that runs into Marciac; could conceivably be the site no.2 W of Marciac, E of Juillac; on checking it is so 9301 (25/7) is same site as 9307 (29/7) with the male seen twice. Another feature of today was confirming that Red Kite have a significant breeding presence here with a pair of adult and a juvenile at one site to W 1  2  3 and a single juvenile at another site to N 4. Also had a total of 9 Black Kite S and 5 resident Common Buzzard. Left at 12:55 for a long g back at the ranch. Total for this trip was 13 types of bird, including a calling Wryneck,an Ortolan Bunting, a Woodlark. Next event was Le Peniche restaurant by the lakeside at Marciac at 18:00 for a jazz session with the Sed Trio (sax, bass, drums), who played a melancholy range of pieces while 3 of us ate 3 courses (younger sis' partner having bad stomach so absent!). I do have a couple of recordings. So almost finished stay here at nephew's place; it's 17:35 TLS-LHR. Booked 5 nites at Hallmark Inn, Liverpool, for next trip, to be close to ANPA mates. Have 1 more trip to EU before Boris intends to leave whatever; if he does manage to achieve this expect, within 5 years, Scotland to leave us and Ireland to be reunified (so we lose Northern Ireland as well) and the € to be at par with the £, even lower than the 1.095€ to £ this evening. So it's been a great trip!! lok2t gorgeous one: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

July 28th: perfect weather today with sunshine throughout; wind N in morning, backing to SW by tea-time and becoming warmer as weather coming over Pyrénées (120km away) from Spain; brilliant red sunset to W, maybe due to Sahara dust high-up. We went out for good lunch today at Le Pigeonneau, a restaurant run by a Dutch couple in Riscle, some 20km to the W; food was very tasty, tending towards haute cuisine but better portions, thank goodness. Cost was €165 including tip for the 4 of us. As expected after 2 dank days the raptors were out in force, particularly Black Kite with 15 S at Juillac from 11:04-11:45; also here were 8 Common Buzzard in their territories and the male Honey-buzzard with site to N soaring high over his territory and hanging there from 11:00-11:20 1  2  3 (9304), a bit apprehensive about the Black Kite gathering overhead 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 (6,7 show 2+ birds), I felt. A Sparrowhawk adult male was picked up on one of the Black Kite piccies 8 and also moving were 7 Cattle Egret S, 13 Swift W, 1 Cormorant adult W, with 2 calling Bee-eater and a fluty Golden Oriole also probable migrants. On the trip to the restaurant had 8 more Black Kite (6 S) and 2 Common Buzzard plus a Bee-eater E. Admiring the red glow at 22:00 had a Tawny Owl calling and a Woodcock out from a wood, plus a roost of 23 Carrion Crow, then found myself locked out and had to make a bit of noise to get a bed for the nite!! So up to 11 types of raptor now. Total for day at Juillac was 24 types of bird, including 3 Hoopoe (family party, 1), 1 Cirl Bunting, 2 Black Redstart, 11 House Martin, 10 Swallow. Younger sister is trying to get me to be more active on Facebook; have accepted friend requests from my first cousins Steve and Za, latter Alexandra from Cape Town; they are interested in our maternal family history and have the bulk of the early family piccies!! To restore some much-needed balance here's some music from the jazz festival yesterday from the Phillippe Soirot Q4: very cool!! We're going to some more jazz tomorrow evening by the lakeside. Stay here is for a week but lingering for 1- 2 days in London to catch-up with kids so back in 4! Looking forward to return to the most fancied one: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

July 27th: quite cool day at 18C max with little sunshine and some heavy showers on light NW breeze. We're c140km from the Bay of Biscay at Biarritz so the cool Atlantic is not that far off. Number of Hoopoe in home garden rose to 2 with one captured close-up at last 1  2. We went to another medieval village Tillac, amazing how well preserved these places are but of course we're far from the main battleground between France and Germany. In this area had 2 Kestrel (male, female at separate sites), a Common Buzzard on a post, and a Woodchat Shrike perched on some wires. Then back to Marciac where we had lunch at a Pizzeria; I skipped the shared piazza and had a large plate of sardines, really tasty, one of my favourite foods, good for the libido!! Nobody else wanted to share the Sardines, too many bones. We went to the jazz festival for the afternoon where we sat outside listening to Ecole Agostini Trio and Phillippe Soirot Q4. Have some recordings, will publish soon, a good atmosphere with talented musicians. Coming out to collect the car at 16:20 a dark juvenile Booted Eagle was floating overhead, maybe wondering what was going on below: a magnificent sight 1  2  3  4  5  6  7! So up to 9 types of raptor now: Black Kite, Common Buzzard, Honey-buzzard. Kestrel, Red Kite, Black-shouldered Kite, Montagu's Harrier, Booted Eagle, Hobby: very good!! Se sentir comme du s.xe: assez érotique: la magnifique est sûrement le prix !! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

July 26th: weather broke today with prolonged damp spells on W airstream. Winds were light and in between the wetness did have some warmer interludes 25C, when humidity appeared high. Three of us, the siblings, went out to some old historic villages Bassoues and Montesquoui, within 25km of Marciac, going W with yours truly driving the hire-car. Had lunch at Bar Restaurant du Centre à Bassoues, where had a warm goat-cheese salad; decided to skip one based on gésier, which think relates to the gizzard after some chat with the waitress!! We ate outside in the rain under some cover, which was not perfect but created a lot of good humour; cool showers were welcome to most people. 13 Swift in one loose flock moved S in the rain while we ate. Bassoues is one of the Bastide medieval towns of SW France. Managed a quick look over the woods and fields to S of village and picked up 2 juvenile Kestrel, practising flying, and a Black-shouldered Kite adult, a bird which only colonised France in Aquitaine in 1990; In France the population has reached 22 pairs in 2007 The Black-shouldered Kite was sitting in an oak tree, taking off to catch something near the ground 1  2  3  4  5. After being here from 12:30-15:30 moved E. At Montesquoui, from 15:15-16:15, there is a 14th century porte (gate) and a 15th century church (Catholic) which we entered. Here's a piccie of the 3 of us, taken in delayed action, with the old church behind. As we came out to the viewpoint in this village, the sun came out briefly and had a female Honey-buzzard climb out of the wood to the SW (which looked outstanding for the species) at 15:40 and fly 2km to the S to forage 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14 (9302). In a nearby wood to the E at 15:46 a pair of Honey-buzzard came briefly out of the wood, hung over it and then dived quickly back into it 1  2 (9303); this suggests fledging is close; they will breed significantly earlier (2+ weeks?) this far S than in NE England. France has an estimated 11,000-15,000 pairs of Honey-buzzard so would expect to find some here, in such brilliant habitat with pasture and arable land interspersed with woodland, mainly deciduous but with some conifers. On drive back approaching Bassoues (again!) had a family party of 5 Black Kite in display with another much higher, possibly a migrant going S. Rain returned at tea-time but we were back at the ranch, enjoying the g! Funds were +6k on week after the 0.8k withdrawal, leaving gain on year of 53k gross, 39k net. Whenever get the chance am moving funds to investment grade stocks and managed funds, away from more speculative issues, as risk-off still rules. Son moves in to his flat next Friday 2/8: what a relief and very good for his morale! So really love Aquitaine!! People are very friendly, countryside is marvellous and food/drink very satisfying! From my research the Rs before going to Ireland with Strongbow in 1169, were wine merchants in Gascony with the family name of Gregory. J'espère qu'elle est toujours là au retour: la dernière fois a été très inspirée: faites de beaux rêves: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

July 25th: as since arrival, weather continued hot at 39C, 35% humidity, wall-to-wall sunshine, much like London and Paris but no obvious pollution in the French rural countryside. Big change though at 21:30 when out for a bit of fresh air: the wind changed from SE to W in minutes and became much stronger and gustier – quite dramatic, like a Wagner opera! Cloud cover is steadily increasing as Atlantic air moves in and it's now 28C. See Hexhamshire Racecourse was 29C today; the locals will have been wanting a foot of snow! We went to Marciac for lunch in the square but the jazz festival had not started yet; we're trying again tomorrow morning when definitely on! Earlier we cleared the local hypermarket out of g, buying 12; think that was unusual judging from the cashier's expression: don't know whether any Irish people are coming! My little sis speaks French (and Spanish) well so great help: more use in Aquitaine than category theory one might say! She was an administrative assistant in her 20s at Vevey, Switzerland, for Nestlé, working in their Spanish sales department, with basic languages of Spanish and French. The locals are very supportive if you do try to speak French to them so having a go! Know someone who would be superb!! Son is exchanging contracts tomorrow having sent in 20% deposit today on 200k; I'm oiling wheels with a further 0.8k; completion is 1 August: gr8 news!! Missing the gorgeous one very much : sure she'd be very hot: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Raptors had a purple patch in morning from 10:50-11:20 with 6 Black Kite (2 moving S, family party of 4), 1 Red Kite (overhead, juvenile, 1), 3 Common Buzzard (pair adult, juvenile). At this time Swift were doing a big gathering with 25 at start joined by a flock of 45 coming out of the sky; after much excited wheeling, they all gained height rapidly and went off SW. Up above the Swift pictures later showed a male Hobby with intent 1  2. All of these were seen from the ranch but had another walk to NE from 17:00-18:30, while family slumped in the heat (it was 34C then). This produced another male Honey-buzzard c2km to E of ranch, soaring up to moderate height at 18:08 before gliding off to E to forage 1 (9301). This is a new territory – no.2, Marciac W, c2.5km from no.1 so regulation distance! Also on the walk had 3 Black Kite at 2 sites (all adults) and much later at 21:20 had a Kestrel hunting well to W of our house. So 6 types of raptor today. Total for all bird-types was 25, including 1 Turtle Dove, 1 Green Woodpecker, 1 Hoopoe, 1 Crested Lark, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Black Redstart, 1 Sedge Warbler 1  2. A stag Roe Deer was seen at dusk 1  2.

July 24th: added piccies of house and fields below (23/7). 1st Honey-buzzard of trip, a male, up in short walk this morning at 11:20. Yes had good walk in morning from 10:30-11:50 with lots of raptor activity from 11:00-11:20 including family party of 3 Black Kite, 3 Common Buzzard adult up at 3 sites, a Kestrel up over the Black Kite and a male Honey-buzzard, which soared slowly and majestically over a wood to N, gaining great height before gliding off to feed 1  2  3  4  5  6 (9300). The wood was deciduous, including oak, with arable farmland and pasture in the area. We went for long lunch at a nearby restaurant by a big lake, La Peniche, very relaxing! I did another walk from 16:30-18:00, this time to S of house; had 22 Swift W (on migration back to Africa) and 2 more Common Buzzard to add to day's total. Total of 20 species included 3 Cattle Egret, 1 Hoopoe, 7 Swallow, 5 Black Redstart, 1 White Wagtail. Weather continued hot at 38C, 30% humidity, wall-to-wall sunshine; enjoying it!! Really laughed at chess entry: whole pastime is too intense: it's a breath of fresh air: must give her a game!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

July 23rd: well got here safe and sound, here being Juillac, a commune in the Corrèze department in Nouvelle-Aquitaine in south-west France. Had early start, up at 04:00, taxi to LHR, 1 Kestrel juvenile over runway at Heathrow at 07:30, LHR-TLS on time, took 2 hours to exit airport with assistance for my sister and to do the bureaucracy associated with the car hire, which is an Opel Corsa 1.5l. Roads were not bad, only got slightly lost a few times but hot at 40C (39% humidity) with the A/C being a saviour; there was not a cloud in the sky; rain is forecast for Saturday with plunge in temperature to 26C. 2 g served on arrival were just the ticket! Black Kite is the bird of this region and had one over the Airport (probable migrant S) and 3 on the road near Mirande plus a juvenile Montagu's Harrier on final straight to Marciac. At our house had 2 more Black Kite (adult, juvenile) and 4 Common Buzzard (2 adult, 2 juvenile). Also had a Hoopoe near Auch. Total of bird-types from 17:00-21:00 at Juillac was 13, including 4 Cattle Egret, 8 Collared Dove, 1 Turtle Dove, 30 Starling, 4 Linnet. We're near Marciac where a massive jazz festival is imminent; we're going to go along for the atmosphere!! House is very comfortable with room each, large gardens and views over farmland and woodland 1  2  3  4  5. Car FF is 'mine'; gr8 spot for exploring the countryside. So long day, it's now 23:05 CET, time for bed and plenty of sweet dreams: lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

July 22nd: temperatures rising to 22C at Hexham Racecourse, 27C at Greater London today, 40C at Toulouse-Blagnac tomorrow. Train journey NCL-KGX was almost on time, 7 min late! Had a male Honey-buzzard near Thirsk, dropping into a scrubby wood and a Red Kite gliding over Rostholme, near Bentley, South Yorkshire; locations courtesy of Google Maps! UG KGX-ACT on PIC line was roasting but last bit to EAL on DIS line was cool, with A/C. Big sis cooked me a grand meal and at 21:44 getting ready for bed with 07:35 flight LHR-TLS. Picking up Renault Clio or similar for drive (by me!) to Marciac of 124km, where little sis and partner have arrived already; property is owned by her son A. Expecting plenty of Black Kite and will of course be looking for Honey-buzzard. Had sound sleep of the innocent, breakfast, wee walk and a short session in L&P on vectors and Stockhausen, whose main hallmark is evidently serialism (that's the music, not his affairs!). Great send-off: very pleased we came: so captivating: lok2tgrf xxxxx!!!!

July 21st: weather was dry, warm, 18C on moderate W breeze in morning and afternoon. Adult Red Kite came over house at 14:30 (when having lunch) very low-down while recreational shooting on other side of the Devil's Water. Have been through all the clips of visit to local site (18/7, 9205) and there's a presumed female Honey-buzzard giving a soft alarm call at least 4 times, mostly at the same time as a Crow was calling angrily. Still got to label files and upload material to server. Have labelled and indexed 3 piccies of a truculent female Honey-buzzard at Warden on 18/7 (9103). Two more trips are coming up in August to Liverpool University (ANPA, 10/8-15/8, my paper 11/8) and to the Dolomites at the end of the month. But September and October are pretty clear; in November thinking seriously of going again to RRF, this time in Colorado, USA. Stop-over in NCL tonite: gr8 challenge for ingenuity and co-operation: all worked out brilliantly: very motivating: she's so gorgeous: sweet dreams: lok2tgrf xxxx!!!!!

Local paper Hexham Courant on 18/7 was very helpful 1  2 in promoting RNS's local concerts yesterday evening at Hexham Abbey and on Friday evening at St Mary the Virgin, Ponteland. The back page of the same Courant Weekend had a very interesting, empathetic article on the recent performance of Brundibár 3  4 at Whitfield Primary School, 20km SW of Hexham, near the grouse moors (and SR)!

July 20th: weather was sunny in afternoon after heavy showers in morning, 19C, moderate W breeze. Completed processing all Staward records, including the insects (14/7-15/7 below). Next up is the Acomb trip and the Ordley site visit but won't get the latter done before go. Made C4c4l where again very stimulating with trhwso, tbld, tmsuo all present!! Guy at table in front of me was also reading FT! Paper was singularly gloomy about prospects for UK economy with uncertainty over Brexit! Our meal was rearranged for DoW and went off very well with 6 of us there; had great chat, food and drink, with bill for 180, including tip. All very good for group bonding! Sunday is a lot more intriguing but maybe a mystery with the Carlisle event!! lok2t most gorgeous one: xxxx!!!!! HEX-NCL ex 21:32.

July 19th: did make N4c4l followed much later at church St Mary the Virgin, Ponteland, for concert. The programme was very well-judged with melodic pieces like Barber's SQ4 in B minor and Summer Music for WQ5 interspersed with Martinů's Three Madrigals and Haas' WQ5 op 10. Think the audience's favourite was the closing piece Dvořák's SQ4 12, which had some superb melodies and atmospheric moments. Personally found the Haas very intriguing with its unusual harmonies! Pleased to meet AY there: she came over well, particularly in the Haas where the piccolo was required for a short spell! The wind section was very strong, also featuring SH, JL, AT, JQ. The string players were TG, SR, JS, GW, all having a great evening! So that was good!! Amazed to meet DL there, helping out in the church; he was in the database group at unn so very close interests. We retired to Blackbird at end for a drink and good catchup! So late at W4g4s but mates still there. Our long-standing booking at W for meal tomorrow evening for 6 of us is under threat by another event, a buffet for 50th wedding anniversary of a RDM couple. So we will meet at DoW instead or anywhere! Made good progress on the Ring in mathematical terms, downloading Birkhoff & Mac Lane's book on algebra and finding it very readable and perceptive. Suspect the Ring in Stockhausen's terms involves the construction of new musical terms by addition (dissonant) and multiplication (consonant) and the assimilation of the new terms into the base set for further elaboration. In a mathematical Ring all new terms created must be members of the base set. Do find all Mac Lane's writings very useful for research purposes. Funds gained a little, making 6k, taking gain on year to gross 45k and net 32k. Domestic UK stocks gained on no-deal Brexit looking slightly less likely and on diminished prospects for a Corbyn-led Labour government on their weak treatment of anti-Semitic members. Looks like it will be 42C in Toulouse next Tuesday. 2moro will make C4c4l and dinner somewhere! Thinking of someone: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! It is DoW, Newton, at 19:45!!

July 18th: busy day with Honey-buzzard site visit 6/10 to local nest from 10:20-12:40 and full JLAF meeting at Acomb and Hexham from 14:00-20:50. Weather was sunny, mild, 18C, moderate W breeze, good for raptors. At the local site the pair of Honey-buzzard have reverted to an old nest in Hemlock Spruce, not used for a while, with the platform built up with a new boat-shaped structure on top; the nest is placed on branches, slightly separate from the main trunk; there is some fresh heavy splash directly below the nest with 4 medium splash and 2 large white down close-by (9205). Wood Ant were everywhere so feathers falling on the ground would be rapidly removed. The burn was low for the crossing and the bright light helped in the searching. The adults were not seen but at least one call was recorded as they moved closer, as witnessed by angry Crow calls. Got back home, had shower and set off for NP offices in Hexham for afternoon meeting, which involved walking from the road in Acomb to Waters Meet, where North Tyne and South Tyne join, and then going N until the track along the old railway line was blocked. I always enjoy the afternoon outings: here we were witnessing 2 paths almost touching but with no connection because of obdurate owners and the blockage of a linear route, again by stubborn private owners. One of our themes is re-opening old railway tracks for linear access for the public on foot, bike or horse. This was good exercise, doing 5km in all from 14:30-16:30, to add to the morning's shorter but much tougher expedition. A female Honey-buzzard was up over Warden at 15:04, a new site for year in lower South Tyne; she quickly climbed high in the breeze, before coming right down to the ground again, in truculent mood 1  2  3 (9103). The walk produced 13 bird-types including 2 agitated Redstart, 16 Sand Martin, 2 Swallow, 2 Swift. Ate large tea provided before the evening meeting, which was a little soporific! Then onto G4g4s for good chat where pleased to have M on with A making a stylish entrance! So very pleased to have all this activity before a wetter day forecast for tomorrow: a day of catch up with C4c4l; making church in Ponteland for concert in evening by RNS, which looks very attractive. Should be W4g4s later but needs to be confirmed as seeing everyone on Saturday at W for celebratory meal (not sure for what but booked a long time ago!). Feeling in the mood for the music. lok2t s.xy one xxxx!!!!!

July 17th: weather was sunny and warm in morning 20C, dry, but cloud increased in afternoon and raining by tea-time. Completed processing the piccies for the Staward visit (9204, below, 15/7) and sorted some casual records from last few days. Studied vector spaces in some detail at L&P; could use IR techniques taken over by Google for text with vector spaces for the music and matrices for search terms, including pattern matching. If so my life goes round in circles as that takes me back to my research on text IR in the 1970s! ANPA's a fairly informal event for presentations so may compile a series of alternatives and see which holds up better; often just putting up an idea to an audience helps clarify its potential (or otherwise!) very quickly! The main drive is to handle the physicality of music to complement the logical approach of last year, particularly dealing with performance, and certainly not to supersede anything in the full paper produced. Did make G4g4t and B was back so we had gr8 chat in contrast to that with my computing scientist friends last nite! Think we've mastered lunch-times: that's a definite * for creativity: she's so s.xy: lok2tgrf xxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's JLAF meeting from 14:00-20:30 in Acomb and Hexham; could be subtitled 'know your rights in the countryside'! Might do another site-visit in the morning, no.6/10. Hope the tree's still there! xxxx!!

July 16th: weather today was sunny in afternoon after cloudy morning, 21C max, humid. Did a lot of grass cutting on the cowslip meadows, taking off all the tall grass; it's essential if you want a good crop of flowers next spring. Finished processing visit 9203 to Wylam (the one in the rain!). So just need to finish 9204 to be up to date. Made N4c4c outside in the sun where met PL for good chat; later met M/A for chat at HoN; took A back to S where he spent the whole journey describing in lurid detail his medical procedures: well!! 2moro's crunch time for vector spaces; will attempt to nest them and apply linear algebra to capture structure of musical notation! So it's 09:05 ex RDM and 13:55 ex NCL with L&P/CT in the middle!! Later will make G4g4t with my building-mates (B's in France)! So looking forward to the big-city experience: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

July 15th: here's some piccies from yesterday's site visit (14/7): wood felling area 1  2  3  4  5, lone tree spared 1  2  3  4  5  6, wood felling notice (the order with effect from 15/7 post-dated the start of felling activity but is of course now operative from today -- no public access permitted for 3 months) 1 (9204). Here's the pictures of the nest in the isolated Norway Spruce tree 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17. Below the nest lying as fresh signs over the top of the wood-chopping debris were 5 small white down 1  2  3  4  5, 1 large white down 1, 1 medium splash 1, 1 cluster Woodpigeon feathers from kill 1. The girth of the trunk holding the nest was 170cm. Total for trip for birds was 16 types, including 3 Honey-buzzard (2 sites), 1 Kestrel, 4 Curlew, 3 Stock Dove, 2 Swift, 5 Swallow, 10 House Martin, 4 Coal Tit, 3 Meadow Pipit. The trip produced 6 types of butterfly: 81 Ringlet, 41 Meadow Brown, 7 Red Admiral, 3 Painted Lady, 3 Green-veined White, 2 Small Skipper. The main fields were untended, containing long grass, very suitable for the 'browns' and the grass moths. Number of moth-types was 13 including 10 Twin-spot Carpet, 24 Chrysoteuchia culmella, 16 Crambus lathoniellus, 1 Crambus perlella, 6 Pseudargyrotoza conwagana, 3 Phyllonorycter messaniella (blisters, beech), 10 Eriocrania sangii (blotches, birch), 3 Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella (blisters, birch), 6 Stigmella floslactella (galleries, hazel), 3 Scoparia pyralella, 40 Yponomeuta evonymella (spun tents, bird cherry), 1 Phyllonorycter sorbi (blister, bird cherry), 1 Anthophila fabriciana.

Today at 17:10 had a male Honey-buzzard over Stocksfield Mount coming down from height to E, gliding down westwards towards site at Shilford. Weather was settled, calm, 20C, dry. Hope to do one more visit before next trip abroad. R @ B4m4l was different in that speaker did not turn up at 2 hours notice so talk-side of meeting was waffle at which we excel! Again pressured to become next in line for President of Club but declined: want to concentrate on other activities – Honey-buzzard, music, category theory (order is immaterial!!). Delighted by Alan Turing being emblem for new £50 note; such an honour for computer science and for the shortening of the war through code-breaking. Ada Lovelace deserves an honour as well for her foresight in seeing how computing would develop away from purely number crunching. Went into S4m4t, having my favourite there of quiche, washed down with a little rw! Concert was unusual, being part of the Masala Festival, with events this week at S2, Jam Jar Cinema, Culture Lab (NCL), L&P, Gateshead CL, TC, Arch 16, Baltic, Northern Stage, Live Theatre, Dabbawal, Buddhist Centre, SpiritLevel, Cullercoats Bay. Quite a range but they can keep the dip in the sea! Tonight's concert was well attended: like Iranian events that I've been to, the start time is regarded as a rough guide to when you might think of turning up. Audience (and I) were very enthusiastic giving standing ovation at end. Wajahat Khan showed complete mastery of the sarod, a string instrument which looked fiendishly hard to play (and tune!). After half-time the RNS joined in with 5 string players: BC, ATT, JS, GK, TA, accompanying the sarod. Quite a different paradigm but done very well with BC and GK looking particularly at home! On last train met guard L who's moving to Trans-Pennine in a few weeks; we had a good hug on the platform at RDM for all our lively chat on the late trains; a few passengers looked pointedly at their watches but she didn't care (public relations!). After a little more rw, passion was the overriding feeling with the talented one: split venue worked well: she's absolutely gorgeous: sleep well: lok2tgrf xxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's N4c4l and HoN4m4s (M/A) with catch-up in between!

July 14th: weather was sunny, warm 19C, almost calm. Two tetrads were covered today, Staward S from 14:20-15:00 and 18:10-18:40 and Staward N from 15:00-18:10. Today was probably the most amazing I've ever had with Honey-buzzard, in a visit to Staward N, run by the National Trust, for the routine annual check. The Norway Spruce wood they've occupied for a while is being clear-felled: was very apprehensive as got closer and closer with the noise of timber crashing and electric saws. It's not the best season for this type of activity as birds can still be nesting and felling a tree containing a nest can be an offence under the Wildlife and Countryside Act. Honey-buzzard are particularly late nesters so are especially vulnerable to summer felling. When arrived at the bottom of the track down from Staward Peel, it was clear the felling was going to be of the whole wood and a large amount had already been taken. Walked round to the S end of the wood on a still-legal track and inspected the closure notices: these had obviously been prepared in a hurry and were post-dating activity on the site with the 15 July posted as the effective date for commencement (tomorrow!). So decided to be brazen, crossed the barriers and moved towards last year's nest site. The felling activity by 2 men ceased and I decided to sit on a stump to review the area. I doubted I was going to be moved on as the felling activity had jumped the gun, potentially losing the licence of those responsible! Sat there for 45 minutes taking numerous photos with felling activity still paused and suddenly realised a Honey-buzzard was alarm-calling nearby from the woodland on the Blackett-Ord (W) side of the West Allen. I then realised that they'd left one Norway Spruce intact on the extreme W edge of the wood, in a line of 8 trees, the only one spared. This tree had extensive white down below it and judging by the alarm-calling was still occupied. There was little splash but it's been very wet recently and the adults are not going to linger in such an exposed position. The nest in the tree looked in good condition with recent sprays on the rim. Likely scenario is that the timber operators are under some instruction to look out for nesting birds. The Honey-buzzard must have appeared over the tree in desperation as the machinery got closer and closer. The operators to their credit spared the tree, probably with no idea that it was a rarity with which they were dealing. If the felling was 7-10 days ago the nest would have contained small young. I do measure the girth of the nesting-trees with a tape measure, which involves hugging the tree. That probably gave the operators of the machinery a good laugh and story!! After completing study of the site I retreated back S and operations resumed for a while, before as I moved N again, they stopped temporarily. Good to see the back of him was probably their closing thoughts, particularly if they're on piece-rate! I doubt the nest tree will be felled now; it's not worth it in the grand scheme of things. The Honey-buzzard will be treating it as an outcrop from the woodland on the W side; in 2 weeks time, as this is an early site, the young could be marched through the trees, in a mixture of jumps and short flights, to cross the burn into denser woods; they will not fledge fully until c10/8. If Goshawk were around the nest would be an easy target but not seen any here for a while. Severe weather is also a bigger risk. After climbing the hill, picked up the male Honey-buzzard 2km away at 17:51 over a ridge to the W; he was flying very low towards the nest site cutting in between plantations; when opposite the nest-site he went below tree-top level moving E, before being lost to sight but it looked as if he was coming in very low to the nest site from the W side, as predicted. The bird calling earlier around 17:00-17:15 must have been the female. A lot of tenacity has been shown here by the Honey-buzzard in keeping the nest going under very difficult circumstances! The clearing of the woodland will have long-term benefits: it had not been thinned so the trees were spindly and could become dangerous after storms; there are no ground flora as the trees are too close together. There is plenty of good habitat in the immediate area for the Honey-buzzard to occupy next year. At the adjacent Staward S site had a female Honey-buzzard flying out to forage at 17:58, moving fast further SE, maybe to Stublick area containing heather. An adult male Kestrel was hovering over Yellow Rigg at 14:15. Lots more to follow including piccies!! Got home, another strip to wash off all traces of conifer resin, to which I'm allergic! Did make G4g4s where 7 of us out and N doing the honours! So that's enough for now: 2moro it's R @ B4m4l, S4m4t, S24con. Looking forward to the evening, RDM-NCL 17:03, xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

July 13th: more bad weather today but had to progress garden so in drier interludes used the hedge trimmer to cut down vegetation near the back gate. It was 17C today on light N wind, quite muggy with thick cloud, even interfering with my satellite broadband this evening – only happens 4-5 times a year. Not sure the forecasters are on the same planet! And how do they define 'shower'? Sorted out records up to Wylam visit yesterday, plus a family party of 3 Common Buzzard up over Elvaston, Hexham, at 13:00 today. Finished running through clips from yesterday (9203); just 2 with one call each; it's hard work! Tidied up family-history files with minor changes. Preparing moth records from 1 June 2018 to 31 Dec 2018 for submission to County Recorder. Received a piccie of Isabella, younger granddaughter, 2.4 now; she looks in scheming mode! Here's front garden 1  2  3 after blitz this week (it's a haven for bees, wasps and butterflies) and inhabitants of garden: 2 baby rabbit 1  2 and 1 of 4 baby field vole 1; there's an explosion of both at the moment! Aren't they sweet! Visit to C4c4l was a turn-on with trhwso, tbld, thslo all present!! Found it quite difficult to concentrate on FT but some talk of switch from momentum to value stocks is interesting as specialise in latter! Next week is S2 on Monday evening, JLAF on Thursday (afternoon, evening), Ponteland on Friday evening, W4m4s with gang on Saturday evening. Maybe L&P on Wednesday morning as need to press on! Will stay an extra day or two when back from France to see family down there. 2moro it's site visit 5/10, weather permitting! lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

July 12th: busy day, doing a couple of hours at L&P on vector spaces, thinking this is a promising route for musical notation with a class of vector spaces in Haskell permitting implementation if desired. It's amazing the speed with which CT is emerging as a design language for Haskell applications on a computer! Had good chat with KG, who like me finds L&P visits productive; he's a neighbour of someone!! Made CT for lunch but that's a cafe associated with Kwik Tan, off Northumberland Street, not the abstract maths. Then back to CAL at 13:45 to pick up car. Weather so far had been a little sultry but feeling warm 20C in the humidity on the light N breeze with the forecast of the odd shower in the remainder of the afternoon. Well afraid this was a terrible forecast; after parking car near the Honey-buzzard nest site and walking for 10 minutes, there was a cloudburst with torrential rain getting everywhere; I was only wearing a shirt and trousers, which were lightweight and got soaked very quickly; that's no big deal but was more worried about the digital gear (camera, phone) and the wallet! After about 30 minutes it stopped but paths, foliage (and I!) were saturated and there was no sign of a real turn for the better. Walked on to site where took a lot of video and some stills; the light was so poor that had to open manually the aperture to get proper exposure (on the camera!) but it was dry at this point! The nest was in the usual Scots Pine in exactly the same position as usual at the bottom of the crown, with birch twigs and a few oak sprays built up on the rim 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15 (9203). As entered the site at 15:09 got a soft alarm call from a Honey-buzzard clip 1 (26s), presumed female as likely to be the the sitting bird evacuating. Had another call, a low whistle, at 15:28 clip 2 (33s in), presumed male concerned at my presence. Did find 3 small white down 1  2  3 around nest but splash had largely been washed out, finding just 2 lots at the medium level 1  2. The girth of the Scots Pine tree containing the nest was 136cm. After 50 minutes in the site, another cloudburst occurred and made a really rapid exit as leaving young birds exposed to bad weather, with the female not brooding them, can be fatal. So speedy retreat back to base where the sun came out and studied the insects; no Honey-buzzard were seen at this point or earlier. Was in Wylam from 14:30-17:20 but with only 50 mins in the area around the nest. Had 14 bird types including 1 Common Sandpiper, 10 Coal Tit, 10 Wren, 2 Song Thrush. Had one dragonfly: a Banded Demoiselle. Butterflies comprised 6 types: 6 Small White, 2 Green-veined White, 2 Large White, 4 Meadow Brown, 1 Ringlet, 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Moths comprised 1 Parornix betulae (on birch, folded leaf edge on birch), 2 Stigmella floslactella (on hazel, sinuous gallery, fairly broad, filled with green frass at start). As got near Ordley at 17:50 in a very damp scene the local male Honey-buzzard was up at low height, moving N right over my field, going out on a foraging expedition. Got home, did complete strip, hot bath, all digital equipment aired/charged and feeling good! Later it was still raining but did have single Nightjar at Dipton Wood at 22:05 and 00:40 (13/7) at Letah Wood. Exploring all angles might have been a theme: eventually succeeding: the gorgeous one is very inspiring: lok2tgrf: xxxx!!!!! Did make W4g4s where just 3 of us out but was just what was needed! Should be back to full-house next Friday and Saturday with special meal on latter day and concert at Ponteland earlier in the evening on former. Funds had a good week overall at +4k, after falls at start, with rally today in housebuilders on RICS report indicating a bit of stirring in the market for 1st time since Brexit vote in 2016; have 200k in this sector, paying out 19k each year in dividends (it's bombed out!); on year gain is 39k gross, 26k net after withdrawal.

July 11th: completed the compilation of the fanfares for the Ring, adding that for Act 1 for Walküre below (21/6). Finished processing of clips for the Honey-buzzard music at March Burn (9202, 7/7). Hazy sunshine today at 17C on light N wind, dry. Sorted front garden today so it looks more tidy: prohibition on chemicals means it is still too wild for my neighbours! 'My' rabbits are having a good breeding season: trouble ahead but they're ever so dinky! Also got Hare and Roe Deer breeding in the field. Met P at C4c4l and there were 4 of us out at G4g4s with the spirited A doing the honours!! Tomorrow think it will be CAL-NCL ex 09:30, L&P, CT4s4l, nest visit. Hoping to sort out vector spaces in morning: think they will lead to the physical layer which can be accommodated in a Ring, possibly approximating to Stockhausen's ideas. Whatever the Ring has close similarity to the Topos (dual in some respects) so can be readily assimilated in the work recently published. Was intrigued to discover another vice last Saturday: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

July 10th: sociable day meeting M at T4c4c and a number of mates at W4g4t! Did a lot of work on the March Burn visit (9202), labelling and indexing piccies as below (7/7); tomorrow need to sort 2 clips and to compile results onto BirdTrack (birds) and MapMate (butterflies/moths). So that will be 3 nest visits done and 3 documented fully – it's the plan not to let the documentation slide this season. Spent some of the afternoon in QH library, studying the difference between Cartesian and tensor products; the latter may be more relevant for music as handle vector spaces in a more flexible way than the Cartesian direct sum. Becoming aware that ANPA is only a month away so need to make progress! The concern here is the physical sounds. 2moro think the garden beckons as it's looking a little wild but will make N4c4l and G4g4s!! Friday am making L&P in morning to carry on ANPA preparation, away from distractions at home, followed by site visit no.4 on way home!! Very depressing programme tonight in Panorama showing the entrenched anti-Semitism in the Labour Party. With Brexit having shades of racism as well, according to some polls, it's a very sorry state of affairs: LibDem or Green is the only way to vote! Felt so good this morning: she's brilliant: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

July 9th: good day!! Made C4c4l for study of the action in Hexham! Then completed processing of all data for Towsbank visit (9201, 2/7) so 2 nest visits now processed completely. Will try and process March Burn visit (9202, 7/7) tomorrow. It will take an hour just zipping through the clips, let alone processing (identifying, labelling) anything but the clips contain the action including calls! Really enjoyed RNS is Curious, compèred appropriately by Marlene Dietrich (not the original!), who looked like a drag queen! RNS entered into the spirit well with a programme of high quality music: Smyth Trio in D minor (MS, JC, SA), Britten Phantasy Quartet (SH, JN, TJ, DM, in his harsh style), Poulenc un Joueur de flûte berce les ruines (AY, haunting, succinct piece), Poulenc Sonata for Flute (AY/SA, played very stylishly!!), Tchaikovsky String Quartet 1 (TG, KN, MC, GW, the most popular piece with the audience, tremendous energy, variation and feeling!!). Most of audience I hadn't seen before so ticks AP's boxes for widening participation. From entertainment point of view it was an undoubted success: titillating, certainly!! Early evening call is working well; nitecap is up a notch!! Think we more than made up for misunderstanding: very sensuous: in harmony: she is so gorgeous: sweet dreams: lok2tgrf!!!!!!

July 8th: weather better than expected this morning, making 17C in bright sunshine in morning; later it became cloudy with showers. KF were reassuring; tyre's still OK, come back in a month and we'll replace it. Made N4c4l where very sociable sitting outside in the sunshine. Completed processing of Wylam visit (6/7) and of fanfare to Act 2 of Walküre (21/6); one fanfare to go; checked all material added to Towsbank (2/7) with a little more still to add. Did book Ponteland concert, see it's got a piece Wind Quintet by Pavel Haas. Booked train ticket NCL-EAL for 22/7 at 12:25, 1 day before flight to Toulouse, with overnight stay before to maximise the experience!! Return is open. Much later made G4g4s, where 5 of us out for good crack! 2moro it's C4c4l, CAL-NCL ex 17:30, S4con at 20:00. Certains rattrapage à faire avec le magnifique: xxxxx XXX!!!!!

July 7th: after yesterday's excitement, back to the day job with nest visit no.3 to the March Burn, Tyne Valley W, from 15:30-19:25. Weather, sunny spells, settled but cool E breeze, 16C, dry. This is always a difficult site as the nest is built very high up in Hemlock Spruce, where it is almost impossible to pick out the nest. But cannot just have easy-to-find nests in my sample of 10 so have to press on with it. The nest appeared to be moved from last year's tree by one tree to the E in a tall Hemlock Spruce with heavy splash 1  2  3 between the tree and another stunted one. These stills give an idea of where the nest is placed but suspect you would have to climb the tree to prove where it was 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 (9202). Further heavy splash (2 lots, 1  2), medium splash (4 lots, 1  2  3  4) and small white down (1 feather, 4) were found near the putative nest tree. Girth of tree was 126cm, narrower than last year's nest-tree by about 1/3; this year's tree is in a more open position to E. It is very gloomy within the site, the 'phone signal dwindles to almost nothing with no internet al all; it is the creepiest site that I go into. Obtained 4.28 GB in 10 clips and 0.973 GB in 163 stills so pretty productive in digital terms! Got some interesting calls as moved to edge of site at 16:46 including alarm, whimpering, bill snapping for Honey-buzzard; at this point the male was seen sloping off through the larch trees to the S at low altitude leaving the female to deal with the situation (good plan!); she responded with the bill snapping calls, which are very precious as not recorded that often. In more detail on original MTS file from 0 to 1-20 had sad, single melancholy notes, presumed from male; from 1-30 to 1-55 had further more excited calls mixed with Jay calls followed by a Woodpigeon being flushed, presumed from male; from 4-20 to 4-50 had bill snapping, presumed from female. These have been published as 3 MP4 clips: clip 1 the mainly melancholy single calls from 0 to 2-00; clip 2 the bill-snapping calls from 4-20 to end; clip 3 from 2-00 to 4-20, nothing obvious but there may be quiet calls to be detected on closer inspection. All appeared to go quiet after that but did find this single quiet anxiety call from 17:33 on clip 4 at 21s. A pair appear to communicate with such calls while an intruder is in the site; many presumably go undetected by a human. At 15:50 had a male Honey-buzzard in the distance near Trygill in the Slaley Forest; he was floating low-down over the forest to W of Trygill, clearly on a feeding trip 1  2 (9102). Total for bird-types was 24, including 2 Treecreeper, 1 Whitethroat, 1 Grey Wagtail, 14 Linnet, 15 Coal Tit. Butterflies comprised Large Skipper 4, Small Skipper 3, Meadow Brown 4, Ringlet 55, Small Tortoiseshell 3, Painted Lady 1. Moths comprised Gracillaria syringella 1 (blister, ash), Aphelia paleana 3, Eana osseana 1, Stigmella ruficapitella (1, gallery oak, quite long gallery with wide margins, linear frass at start, thicker dispersed frass at end), Nemophora degeerella 4 (very long antennae), Eriocrania sangii 15 (blotches, several on one leaf, birch), Common Wave 1, Silver-ground Carpet 4, Shaded Broad-bar 7, Chrysoteuchia culmella 10, Crambus lathoniellus 6, Crambus pratella 1 (long white streak not interrupted), Celypha lacunana 1, Gold Swift 2. Next concert (RNS is Curious, S2) is on Tuesday – LGBTQ – something for everyone!! Have had a lot of ribaldry through booking this; I'm keeping clear of the cabaret tables, going for a seat on Level 2. 'fraid a flautist and I did giggle a bit when talking about it yesterday – I'm going for solidarity with oppressed minorities, and it's a good programme!! Travel will revert to CAL-NCL return. May book up the Friday 19/7 concert at Ponteland as cannot make the one at Hexham on 20/7. Did make G4g4s where economist M was on: she's very smart: no errors at the till!! Had good chat with all my mates!! No definite news on son's property purchase but good news is that the housebuilders from whom the vendor is buying a new-build are insisting on a 31/7 completion date; I've offered some bridging finance to ease things, maybe another k to see it all through. 2moro it's tyre check at KF in morning, with view to replacing OSF one, N4c4l and G4g4s!! lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

July 6th: highlight of day was a brilliant performance of Cosi Fan Tutte (All women are like that!) by Nevill Holt Opera and RNS in Sage with the orchestra in a pit and full staging; it was so captivating that it really grabbed the attention for the whole of the 3 hours running time!! Think all the performers were a little exhausted after 8 performances but there was a very buoyant atmosphere in the bar afterwards, with AP (manager!) having a very warm glow on her face! The central female characters of Fiordiligi (Alexandra Lowe), Dorabella (Katie Coventry) sang beautifully and acted confidently and were well-portrayed IMHO as to which one would succumb first to the charms of Ferrando (Nick Pritchard) and Guglielmo (Martin Hässler), who were totally convincing in their roles as duplicitous suitors! The Chorus came in for brief spells to give lighter moments, dressed in 1920s style. The RNS were superb as the orchestra, playing with polish and no signs of staleness after the sustained run. Chatting to 2 of the singers in the bar later, they thought the 20 minutes interval was far too short for them; they were drinking Newcastle Brown for recuperation purposes! In the Midlands there was a big meal between the 2 acts. A strength of Mozart is that his operas can be viewed at many levels so children love them as well as grown-ups! So lots of good work; let's hope the series between NH and RNS continues! The NH people in the bar were very impressed with their reception and the setting, including the acoustics. Got 2S early as N's away with his brother and wanted to study the scene a little more: very rewarding: nice to see more than usual of someone and loved the dress: gp!! Travel was CAL-GHD return; thought she'd gone back to J; hope the tooth fairy has come, so to speak! In afternoon on way in stopped off at Wylam from 14:50-16:30 for birdwatching in the Bridge area; had 3 Honey-buzzard at 2 sites (both new for year), 2 Red Kite at 2 sites, a juvenile male Goshawk (regular breeding here, soaring very high at 15:15 with a few mobbing hirundines almost paying for their audacity) and a Common Buzzard. Weather was sunny on light NW breeze, 17C, dry. For Honey-buzzard a female was up over the Tyne to W at 15:00, at E end of Spetchells, before flap-flap-gliding towards the well-studied nest site at Horsley Wood 1  2  3  4  5 (9100). At Wylam E site, a female was caught belatedly gliding into the site from the S at 15:38 and a male was seen coming up from the site and moving E at 16:07 1  2  3  4 (9101). The Common Buzzard was also up at the E end of Spetchells at 16:16, circling around in display mode 1  2  3. The Red Kite comprised 2 adults: one descending gently at 16:17 over Bradley Burn, where have bred; one circling low-down to SW of Heddon village at 15:30. Total for trip was 24 bird types, including a Mallard brood (female and 2 chicks), Oystercatcher 2, Sand Martin 7, Swallow 8, Song Thrush 1 singing. Butterflies comprised just 2 types: Speckled Wood 3, Small White 1. Moths comprised: Gracillaria syringella 12 (11 blister mines on privet, 1 on ash), Phyllonorycter rajella 1 (blister on alder). Earlier still, made C4c4l where gr8 chats with my mortgage advisor (for son!) trhwso and bex!! 2moro it's nest visit no.3 and G4g4s!! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

July 5th: did complete processing the visit to Slaley Forest on 28/6 (9200) and started on Towsbank on 2/7 (9201), labelling the stills and doing a preliminary run through of the clips. Have 21 sites across the study area now with 20 male and 10 female; this ratio of 2:1 is high, even though males do tend to predominate in the display phase. Today had a female Sparrowhawk crossing fast on road ahead; could not age it in brief view but 1st of this species for a while. Next site visit is on Sunday as not enough space tomorrow with vital engagement!! Made N4c4ll and M&S4shop where pleased to meet trhwso!! Funds rose 4k on week, giving gains on year of 35k gross, 22k net. It's all a bit fragile though, having been +8k yesterday. Some investors are selling on the slightest rise in price, making everything a little uneasy. Underlying valuations are favourable though so not inclined to liquidate! Holding cash or near-cash with interest rates now going negative on 'safe' assets is a pretty desperate measure. Germany and UK both need urgently an increase in public spending to stave off a recession and to stop the rot in the standard of delivery of public services. Hammond needs to go, whatever his likeable Brexit views: he's far too deflationary and a prisoner of austerity! Germany and the UK both need to reduce their energy costs to make themselves more competitive. 2moro it's C4c4l, CAL-GHD, S4m4t, S4con; will linger afterwards: lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

July 4th: 2 things added to yesterday: cold Christian in Midsommar gets his just desserts from his girlfriend; starred as Crocodile Dundee at QEHS. Booked up 2 concerts at Sage on 9/7 (RNS is Curious), Khan (14/7). Next trip is France in 19 days time to my nephew's house near Toulouse! Have big meal at W on 20/7 with the gang so miss out on RNS at Hexham yet again (sorry!). Added summary of Budapest trip for birds and butterflies below (26/6). Voted for Jo Swinson as new LibDem leader. Did much work on the Honey-buzzard site visit for 28/6 (9200), not far off completing, maybe tomorrow. Had good catch-up with M at T4c4c and much later made G4g4s where the dynamic A was on: she's fascinated by pagans and looks the part!!! lok2tmspo!!!! Best wishes for 2moro in the home match: it will be all so polished by Saturday: that will be a great musical experience: can't wait: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

July 3rd: up early at 08:00 to make QEHS for the careers day session with year 10 (14-15 years old) students; idea was to get them thinking about CVs, what they might include in these, such as strengths, and what to avoid. Quite happy with this type of material as used to teach Systems Analysis at NCL, what we called waffly bollox at UNN!! Anyway all went well!! Amazed at the reaction to a wasp, which entered the classroom. Causing chaos, it eventually got caught up in the hair of a lass sitting at the table I was monitoring. I told her to sit still and flicked the wasp off towards the window: she didn't panic, which was good; wasp escaped intact! Shades of Crocodile Dundee!! Made QH with laptop as cleaner S at home, then G4g4t where good 2 c B again, TC. Film Midsommar was brilliant – really recommend it, provided you like pagans, sex scenes, nudity and brutality, all tinged with black humour. The seduction (mating, in the script) of one of the Americans by a Pagan lass is part of a ritual with 8 naked women cheering them on, in rhythm!! The male is then discarded (not sure that's to be recommended!). The setting is an idyllic woodland clearing, ostensibly in Sweden but actually in Hungary! All the Swedes wear pure white clothes so superficially everything is very pure but matters go downhill. The victims are a group of American tourists who all end up being burnt alive, after various tortures, except for the heroine Dani (Florence Pugh, great presence) who first became the Pagan's May Queen and then 'one of them' as she mysteriously becomes fluent in Swedish; the highlight of the film is the end where her frown as her American mates scream turns gradually to a gleeful smile! The very big gate was delighted by that! The Director was Ari Aster of Hereditary fame. In the film there is the underlying tension between Dani and her boyfriend Christian. Dani had a very rough spell in her life and she found Christian very cold and unsupportive. But they did agree to go on this holiday to the Swedish idyll together, as part of a party. Dani's resentment at his coldness could have been an influence on her feelings at the end. So a little steamed up: after aperitif gr8 closure later: welcome back: she's so gorgeous: lok2tgrf xxxx!!!!!! 2moro it's T4c4c with M and G4g4s with the gang!! xxxxxx!!

July 2nd: great day out in the field near Eals from 13:20-17:35 on the upper South Tyne. Have 3.05 GB of video and 1 GB of stills to analyse! Weather was sunny intervals, moderate W breeze, dry, 17C max, 9C min: good for raptors with the mixture of sun and breeze, holding fine into evening. Wood at Towsbank had been devastated (superficially) since last autumn by a major programme of thinning and felling 1  2  3  4  5  6  7. And the neighbouring birch wood at Softley resembled the Amazon with smoke billowing from cleared areas 1  2  3  4. The Towsbank wood could benefit enormously from the thinning done as this allows a greater diversity of plants on the ground and more openings for insects. This year though it looks a bit of a mess but next year it could look a lot better than before. So what did the Honey-buzzard make of such changes done in the autumn? Was a bit apprehensive but need not have been: they moved the nest site from one oak tree to the next one, a distance of about 50m! They obviously wanted to keep the nest relatively well-sheltered from the breeze so remain at the bottom of the wood. The new tree is in a more open position with clearance around it 1  2  3 and the nest, in a fork covered in oak sprays, is not easy to see, except from right below and from a bank above if you knew where it was 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24. Did see the birds, quite easily in fact, as less canopy for them to hide behind. Indeed the male was up on arrival 1  2, through the smoke haze, drifting E. Clips compiled: 1 at 15:10 on entry to wood (single alarm call, 8s in); 2 at 15:12 with pair of Honey-buzzard overhead, while looking at nest, followed by a very ragged Common Buzzard hanging over the site and a subdued Honey-buzzard alarm call at 1-50; 3 at 15:12 showing thinned-out situation around nest. In the wider area, up to 200m from nest, found 2 Woodpigeon kills 1  2. Close to the nest found 2 small white down 1, 4 heavy patches of splash 1  2  3  4, 4 medium patches of splash 1  2  3  4. Just after leaving the wood from 16:25-16:40 the female Honey-buzzard was keeping a close eye on me 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10; she's missing an inner primary (P1?). 7 Common Buzzard (4 Towsbank 1  2 including 1 very ragged bird in heavy moult (see clip 2), 2 Snope Burn, 1 Lambley) and 2 Red Kite, at 2 sites (Towsbank 1  2  3, Snope Burn), were also seen in the area. Total was 38 types of bird – quite amazing – plus 1 dragonfly, Common Hawker, and 1 mammal, Rabbit. Birds included at least 2 Long-eared Owl chicks hunger calling clip 4, a Tree Pipit, 2 Spotted Flycatcher, 2 Red Grouse, 4 types of wader – 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Lapwing, 4 Curlew, 1 Woodcock (juvenile flushed) --, 1 Wheatear, 2 Greater Spotted Woodpecker, 15 Swallow, 2 Sand Martin, 5 Chiffchaff, 6 Goldcrest, 6 Coal Tit, 6 Mistle Thrush, 7 Pied Wagtail. Butterflies comprised 1 Red Admiral, 5 Painted Lady, 2 Green-veined White, 2 Ringlet. Moths comprised 1 Large Yellow Underwing, 2 Common Carpet, 1500 Yponomeuta evonymella larvae in 100 webs on bird cherry, 1 Eana osseana, 6 Chrysoteuchia culmella, 1 Stigmella lapponica (gallery, birch). On drive back had a male Honey-buzzard floating over the A69 up at medium height at Allerwash (lower South Tyne) at 17:45. Much later on way back from R&C at 22:46 had 'my' local male Honey-buzzard floating low-down over the stream at dusk, near the road, to S of Shield Hall. This keeps their crepuscular reputation intact. Was at Towsbank from 13:20-17:35: very energetic as very few sit-downs and undergrowth is uneven! Bird list is very long: c38 types: much more to follow!! Someone finished CFT at MH tonite: sounds very successful but testing NE to come!! 2moro am assisting with R at QEHS in careers open day from 09:15-15:20. Later it's G4rw4t with B, CAL-NCL ex 18:45, TC at 20:10. So busy day: looking forward to it all!!! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

July 1st: almost completed the Budapest trip, compiling the birds and butterflies for 25/6 in Budapest W, the Béla Bartók residence on 25/6, the piccies of müpa on 26/6, the fanfare for Act 1 of Siegfried on 22/6 and Honey-buzzard habitat on 25/6 and 26/6 but no birds unfortunately! Had long lunch break at R @ B4m4l where plenty of good chat; not been for a while so think some thought I might be exiting but no; gave £50 to polio eradication appeal, becoming £62.50 with gift aid and £187.50 with Bill Gates x3! Completed with N4c4ll and much later G4g4s where 4 of us out and E doing the honours!! Long chat with KH at N who's just returned from Svalbard, doing a similar trip to one we did in 1979. We made 80 degrees 32 minutes N before meeting thick ice; he made just over 80 degrees N so not much change there! Sounded a marvellous trip; he used Albatross, a Danish company, flying from Copenhagen into Longyearbyen. Here weather's turned cooler and more breezy. 2moro it's site visit no.2 to a secret venue!! xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

June 30th: have run through all the 5GB of clips obtained from the visit to Slaley Forest on 28/6: 5 contain Honey-buzzard calling or in flight (9200) so well-pleased with that. Earlier made C4c4l where tbld looking good!! Did masses of grass cutting today: really easy as cooler and grass was dry and not too coarse! No room for complacency though: here's yt 1  2 taking a break on an uncut bit near the old pony shelters, which I built. Russian vine (mile-a-minute!) has taken over this one! Also made G4g4s where M/A having a good time!! Well I make that 4/5 done down S: hope it's all being kept up: lok2tgrf!!!!!! Looking forward to midweek!! xxxxx!!

June 29th: yesterday (28/6) at Farnley at 18:55 had a male Honey-buzzard floating over site on hillside at low altitude. Have had some interesting mammals over last 3 days: Badger – 2 at Dipton Wood, 3 at Letah Wood; Hedgehog – 1 at Letah Wood; Brown Hare – 1 in my field at Ordley. Had a Nightjar last night (29/6) in Dipton Wood at 00:30, hawking over a road near the cottage. Ordered from Amazon for £22 the paperback Conway, David, Jewry in Music: Entry to the Profession from the Enlightenment to Richard Wagner, Cambridge (2011). The title is a little ambiguous, probably not intentionally alluding to the possibilities but intriguing all the same! Did add my table comparing timelines of Marx and Wagner to my home page at Added fanfare from Act 2 of Siegfried below (22/6). For the Ring as a whole, scanned tickets and, from programme, the singers and the company. I couldn't find a listing of the orchestra players in the programme (or the web): poor! We went to the 2nd performance of the cycle, the first from June 13-16, the second from June 20-23, no slacking!! Also scanned tickets from the Ludwig Exhibition and the Bartók Béla Emlékház. No slacking elsewhere: someone's working very hard but the reception must be rewarding!! Interested in a dark Swedish film next Wednesday, bit more my scene really than a documentary!! She's very stimulating: lok2tgrf xxx!!!!!

It's half-time in the 2019 money-stakes, time for stock taking! Funds fell 1k in 5 weeks from 24/5-28/6; they had gone lower but have recovered in the last week a tad. So gain on year is 31k gross, 18k net, after 13.3k of withdrawals. It's not a great performance (+3.0% gross) but have preserved capital while many of the more speculative, smaller companies, particularly in natural resources, in which specialise have seen their values fall by 70-90%. There are obviously plenty of opportunities around (IMHO!) but am taking it easy, concentrating at present on larger UK companies, which seem to offer particularly good value if an abrasive Brexit can be avoided. Also increased sharply holdings of managed funds (OEIC) in emerging markets (Fidelity), global high-yield bonds (JP Morgan) and FTSE 250 stocks (HSBC), to let other people do some of the work! Still, cannot resist putting the odd k into the smaller companies, whose share price and hence market capitalisation has totally collapsed! There's the old market truism: if a share collapses from 100p to 4p then you've lost 96% of your capital; if you come in at 4p and it drops only another 2p, you've lost 50% of your capital so it remains very risky: a 'cheap' price doesn't mean downside's limited! Many more-adventurous investors have been preparing for the next market crash and have converted to cash but it's not clear this is going to happen soon: Central Banks (and the G20) seem keen to ensure that the current world slowdown does not morph into a recession and cash earns next to nothing. FT was interesting read today for catch-up; it never predicted that H1 2019 would be a recovery time for markets and is struggling to accommodate the situation. Had gr8 chat with trhwso: looking good!! 2moro it's C4c4l and further catch-up in garden: did do some grass cutting today in steamy conditions 25C, hazy sunshine, dry, calm (but not enough!).

June 28th: added the fanfare for Act 1 of Götterdämmerung below and added bird records from 16/06/2018 from Dipple Wood to BirdTrack including the Honey-buzzard female here (8105). One more favourable pointer thetimesthe-best-of-what-s-on-this-week Mozart’s sublime comedy!! Today was big day in 2 respects: start of Honey-buzzard nest visits, starting with Slaley Forest (9200). Field trip lasted over 3 hours in the heat from 12:00-15:15, but only 1/3 of this was actually close to the nest. Weather was warm 23C, continuous hot sunshine, light S breeze. Found the nest in Scots Pine and got some calls from the birds – very good start!! Processed clips for Honey-buzzard are as follows: 1 at 12:11 on entry to wood (single anxiety call, 9s in); 2 at 12:33 when nest discovered; 3 at 13:40 with anger calls presumed from male, female fly-over (0-17s 39s-47s on clip) with background Common Buzzard juvenile hunger cries; 4 at 14:00 with alarm calls female 0 to 0-15, fly-over female 0-15 to 0-37, Common Buzzard anxiety calls throughout; 5 at 14:31 with single alarm call (12s in) from presumed male (9200). Nest was in a Scots Pine tree, slightly separated from rest, giving easy access 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22. The nest was on the side of the tree at a fork, in the lower part of the canopy, built out substantially and with a rim of sprays of brown pine needles, on the S side of the trunk. The girth was 124cm. There were 4 lots of heavy splash 80m away from the nest to the E 1  2  3  4. Under the nest there were 3 Pheasant feathers 1. At 13:04 there were a series of Black-headed Gull alarm calls, indicating some stirring of the Honey-buzzard. Close-by at c200m there was a Common Buzzard nest with almost continuous hunger cries from the chicks. Following the 13:40 activity of the Honey-buzzard (clip 3), a Common Buzzard adult was overhead for 10 minutes until 13:50, sounding anxious and doing some diving. Total for birds was 23 types, including 20 Coal Tit, 8 Blue Tit, 14 Swallow, 3 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler, 11 Wren, 10 Goldcrest, 1 Song Thrush. Butterflies included Speckled Wood (27), Painted Lady (1), Red Admiral (1), Large White (2); moths included Bordered White (26), Silver-ground Carpet (3), Northern Eggar (1), Gold Swift (1), Stigmella sorbi (1 blotch with early gallery, rowan), Phyllonorycter ulmifoliella (2 blister, birch), Stigmella lapponica (3 gallery, birch), Parornix betulae (1 spun folded leaf edge, birch), Mottled Beauty (1), Common Wave (1), Grey Pine Carpet (1), Eriocrania sangii (1 large blotch, birch).

Rendezvous was less certain but so pleased read it right: the gods must be with us!! Did see film Apollo 11 at TC; special interest in this as the US Air force sponsored my Chemistry PhD at Hull University, into the gas kinetics of the hydrogen + oxygen reaction, ingredients for rocket propulsion!! It was a documentary but the new footage discovered made it very authoritative and beautiful with the shots of space, the moon and the earth. Noted incidentally for this 1969 venture all the scientists/professionals were men, the women served the tea, the men smoked all over their apparatus! Have finally found time to update my fund valuations: will publish tomorrow for the last 5 weeks but can say for now there's very little change: I'm in defensive mode! So delighted with the encounter: she's excitingly receptive: so gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!! Made W4g4s off last train with 4 of us out at the bell! 2moro it's C4c4l, catch up with garden, thoughts for someone: xxxxx XXX!!

June 27th: pleased to be stationary for a while, indexed material below from the Jewish Quarter and the Liszt Museum on 24/6 and fanfare for Act 2 of Götterdämmerung on 23/6. Realise I was sitting next to Brünnhilde on flight AMS-BUD on 19/6; thought she looked like a professional musician (though not sure exactly why!); she was obviously trying for a power-nap (it's hard retrieving all those fallen heroes!): all very fascinating!! Anyway at the end of the flight, we had some chat and after getting off she rushed ahead a few metres and looked back over her shoulder with a really cheeky grin: not the death-is-imminent glance of the Valkyrie!! Read one favourable review thestage: impressive!!! Made C4c4ll and G4g4s: gr8 to be back. Might brush up my knowledge of Apollo 11 tomorrow at TC!! xxxxx XXX!!!!! It's 19:05 ex RDM, back to W4g4s!! About to do Honey-buzzard nest visit 1!!

June 26th: today really hot at 34C, no breeze, hot sunshine, high humidity, best to have a few beers! We lingered in our apartment until lunchtime as cleaners failed to arrive and then took a taxi (10k HuF, £26) to the Airport, Ferenc Liszt, named after the composer! Along Danube had 11 Black-headed Gull and an adult Cormorant. müpa showed well 1  2  3 and some Honey-buzzard habitat was noted between the city and the airport 1. At the Airport had 4 Red-rumped Swallow and 6 Barn Swallow. Son's Wizz plane to Luton was late so we weren't far apart in leaving at the end. KLM performed well and back in NCL on time, where collected car and got home by 23:50. It's 9C at Hexham at the moment so 25C drop from Budapest, though am comparing night with day. Trip was really good: started with a bang and lovely to have the music festival which met all expectations!! Social side also went very well and we had great time. Raptors suffered a bit as was wanted for help with the property matters, rather than being allowed to drift off, but in truth it was too hot with too little wind for raptors to show well. It's also vital to get this property matter settled: going to be a tense 10 days! On way back added piccies and elaborated below up to afternoon of 23/6; have also started work on 23/6 evening and 24/6 day, so getting there! Back to routine 2moro with N4c4l and G4g4s. Bet it was brilliant: will look for sparkling reviews: lok2tgrf!!!!! Will take it easy tomorrow but could be a little more adventurous on Friday!! xx

Summary of Budapest trip: types of birds 28, including 2 raptors -- Common Kestrel (4 in total, 2 female, 2 juvenile) and Red-footed Falcon (1 male); 2 gulls – Black-headed Gull (17, mixture adult, 1s), Caspian Gull (5 adult, 2 1s, on 2 days, moving upstream over Danube, locally N, basically W); 5 interesting passerines – Turtle Dove (4), Crag Martin (5), Red-rumped Swallow (5), Black Redstart (4), White Wagtail (2), Serin (1). Did not explore the surrounding area as much as last year, with the demanding Wagner schedule (the whole Ring in 4 days!). Added 6 following species to 2018 visit: Coot, Black-headed Gull, Turtle Dove, Red-rumped Swallow, Nuthatch, Goldfinch, giving running grand total of 43 types. Butterflies in 2019 totalled 6 types: Large White 5, Painted Lady 5 (new), Holly Blue 1 (new), Small White 2, Swallowtail 1, Map Butterfly 1 (new). That makes 17 types over the 2 years. Had 1 Hummingbird Hawk-Moth this year, also found last year.

June 25th: we walked to the Béla Bartók former residence (Bartók Béla Emlékház), now a museum, in W Budapest; it was quite a good walk of 4km in hot weather: 32C with very few clouds and dry. Here's the plaque 1 at the entrance and a statue 2 of the composer in the grounds. We got the 5 bus back; we've used masses of public transport – metro, tram, bus – on our 5k weekly pass (£13) but have often walked as well to try and keep fit, with all the sitting down!! We did get a taxi back to our apartment after Götterdämmerung with tram 2 line under repair – too exhausted for any creative travel but it was only £7! BB was an inveterate collector, not only of folk songs from the region, but of insects, shells, leaves, pottery, etc. But of course he was also very creative in his recording of the music on phonograms, analysing it and setting it into a conventional score for posterity. His musical output was of course far wider than the folk tunes but the latter seemed to have had a profound impact on him. Son said Budapest W was the rich part of the city and he's certainly right with large houses in extensive grounds. There was some promising Honey-buzzard habitat 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 but didn't see any birds! Birds totalled 13 types, including Kestrel (2 juveniles noted in flight), a male Black Redstart, 4 Turtle Dove (2 pairs), 40 Swift, 1 singing Blackcap, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Serin. Insects included these Cameraria ohridella blotches on horse chestnut 1 and 6 types of butterfly: Large White 4, Painted Lady 4, Holly Blue 1, Small White 1, Swallowtail 1, Map Butterfly 1. Here's 2 shots of the Danube 1  2 on our way back. At our apartment from 20:40-21:30 at dusk had a Red-footed Falcon male hawking for insects at 21:05 and 33 Hooded Crow going to roost near the Danube. Hummingbird Hawk-Moth. We've switched our eating from lunch to dinner post-opera and have been patronising a local Hungarian restaurant Vigadó Étterem és Söröző, Batthyány tér, which is good value. Next year we might go to Georgia for a music festival there at Tbilisi, for a change; son says I'd like it there! After we've placed a lot of hassle this week on the various parties, looks like son will exchange contracts on Friday week, which is brilliant! He's depositing 30k on a 200k flat in Old Welwyn. A dark horse: he has a Greek girlfriend: keep looking east!! Added some notes on Stockhausen below (20/6); these will be useful for next leg in research. Schedule of someone seems maniac but great to see the recognition: I do like Mozart, really, and CFT is my next * attraction!!! lok2tgrf: xxxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's 17:10 BUD-AMS and 22:30 AMS-NCL; sure opening nite will be superb!! xx!!

June 24th: well a Wagner-free day – something's missing!! Leisurely morning was followed by visit to Jewish Quarter, which we did study in last year's visit as well. We walked past the synagogue, largest in Europe and 2nd largest in world, and walked through the streets. Of 861,000 Jewish people in Hungary in 1941-44 only 255,000 survived with at the peak 12,000 people transported by cattle trucks to their deaths [euphemism for murdered] in Auschwitz each day in 1944. Being in Budapest does strengthen my EU idealist tendencies: no atrocities or wars have occurred on EU territory since its formation; do we really want to start drifting back to a collection of nationalistic entities, as suggested by the incoherent Brexiters! Took quite a lot of pictures of the synagogues, streets and shops in the Jewish Quarter 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12. We then visited the Liszt-Paganini Music building 1 and the Franz Liszt museum 1. The exhibition was good with lots of pianos, books, scores and pictures on exhibition; last included a picture of Cosima van Bulow-Lizst 2, illegitimate daughter of Franz Liszt who married first the conductor Hans von Bulow and second Richard Wagner, and another of Richard Wagner himself 3. Wagner is supposed to have 'borrowed' some of Liszt's ideas in chromaticism! The Wagner Lexikon 4 is said to be not too complimentary about him. The Liszt family were seriously anti-Semitic, including Cosima. For light relief we made Central Park and took out a pedalo for an energetic half hour tour of a lake: piccie here with general shot of the boating area! Next stop is the Danube! Weather today was warm at 28C with hot sunshine and one shower, causing chaos to outside restaurants, on light N breeze. Out and about had 14 species today of bird, including 3 of the swallow family: 14 House Martin, 2 (Barn) Swallow, 1 Crag Martin. Around the boating lake in Central Park, had a Coot and 12 Mallard. Swift, total 20, were nesting in the Jewish Quarter. 2moro we're off to the Béla Bartók Museum where there's an insect collection of the composer as well as a musical one: should be fascinating! Temperatures are rising up to 32-34C over next 2 days. Compiled bird data and some scenic piccies from 20/6 so some progress in documentation but need to get chats on Stockhausen documented from notes from discussion with son (done, see 20/6). Pity the gorgeous one's not here: missing her a lot: bon chance: xxxxx XXX!!!!!

June 23rd: end of another brilliant Ring Cycle at 22:55 tonight; what an experience with the brooding Act 1, a masterclass in bipolar, the energetic Act 2, ending with the packed leitmotifs and 2 parallel weddings, and the climatic Act 3, with death of the hero, funeral march (stunningly moving!) and immolation ceremony, concluding events to massive applause, including a standing innovation. Catherine Foster was absolutely brilliant as Brünnhilde in the Immolation, hitting all the right high notes with strength to complete the singing in style. Saw the orchestra packing up during the applause and wondered if they'd crossed some time-line but no: the maestro Ádám Fischer invited them all onto the stage to take part in the final bow: that was very much appreciated by everyone as they'd played to good effect so long and hard!! Evidently relations between Ádám and Orbán are pretty bad but it's difficult for Orbán to remove Ádám while he is so popular and effective! The fanfare for Act 1 of Götterdämmerung had the leitmotif for Siegfried's betrothal to Brünnhilde; a touching return to the beautiful romantic music at the end of Siegfried, but it won't last! The fanfare for Act 2 of Götterdämmerung had the leitmotif for the ill-fated double wedding between Siegfried & Gutrune and Gunther & Brünnhilde; Siegfried is already married of course to Brünnhilde but he's under a spell, where he thinks he's a free agent! Brünnhilde, played by Catherine Foster today, creates absolute hell leading to the closing scene of the Act where Hagen, Gunther and Brünnhilde wish for Siegfried's tod (death!). Here's the fanfare for Act 3 of Götterdämmerung, the hero's (Siegfried's) leitmotif adapted for his death; this becomes the base for the funeral march, the orchestral climax of the opera but there's still 30 minutes to go! Sorry not more detail but shattered: more to follow!! At lunch time went for a walk upstream to Margit Bridge, across the Bridge and downstream to Parliament. Weather was sultry at start, following the heavy overnight rain, becoming a little brighter in afternoon, 28C. Had 4 Caspian Gull N, an adult 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8, a 1s 9  10  11  12  13 and 2 more adult, all flying low-down but purposefully. A Cormorant adult was perched on a floating tree stump 1. A Painted Lady butterfly 1 was the first seen in a significant influx; also had a Large White. Scenic shots comprised one more of Parliament 1 and another of the area 1 containing our apartment. lok2t gorgeous one: she's very special: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

June 22nd: no flagging today, preoccupied with Siegfried, part 3 of the Ring, lasting from 16:00-22:10. This is a much simpler plot than Walküre, set in deep forest with a dragon in a cave, sitting on the Rheingold hoard, awaiting a hero to claim his fortune. This hero is Siegfried (played brilliantly by Stefan Winke), son of Sieglinde and Siegmund (keep it in the family!), facing competition from the Nibelung brothers Mime and Alberich, under the watchful eye of the Wanderer (Wotan in disguise, played by Tomasz Konieczny, more presence than the previous Wotan), head of the Gods. Siegfried duly kills the dragon (and Mime) and is assisted by a wood-bird who he can understand (in German!) after getting dragon blood on his lips. She sings beautifully near the end of Act 2, the first female voice to be heard in this part of the Ring, telling him about dangers and directing him towards Brünnhilde's Rock, a hell of a lot more useful than Honey-buzzard! The fanfare to Act 1 of Siegfried is the leitmotif for young Siegfried, brought up by Mime in the forest. The fanfare to Act 2 of Siegfried is the leitmotif for Siegfried slaying the dragon. There's a gap of 20 years in composition of Acts 1,2 and 3, and a step-up in style with Act 3 being a massive exercise in grand opera. This features Siegfried breaking Wotan's spear, wrecking all of his treaties, and marching on to claim Brünnhilde from the rock. In between Wotan contemplates the end of the Gods, having already been told by Erde that the Norns are losing the thread of time. The fanfare to Act 3 of Siegfried is the Valhalla leitmotif compromised by fate, reflecting this downfall and the last part of the opera. The courtship of Siegfried and Brünnhilde (acted and sung in great style by Allison Oakes, who did Isolde so well last year as a stand-in) is incredibly moving, ending with the couple on the front of the stage singing in absolute joy, which brought the house down at the close!! So tomorrow it's the doom laden Götterdämmerung with ecstatic sections (maniac depression), my unqualified favourite opera, from 16:00-22:40. Weather today was 28C on hot sunshine turning to heavy rain in evening: we got soaked on short walk back from metro station to our flat. Being gluttons for culture we also visited the Ludwig exhibition in the concert building before the opera, seeing the interesting Bauhaus, simple construction techniques based on constructivism, same as category theory (though they didn't say that) and Post-conceptual Art in Slovakia (not sure Orbán would give this much time!). Noted a few birds on the Danube today: 1 Mallard, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Cormorant. Hope rehearsals are going well for another opera with opening night imminent: missing her but back soon!! She's gorgeous: xxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Looking at the orchestra components, the 90 strong comprise 10 French horn, 4 Wagner horn (instrument developed by Wagner with sound between that of trombone and French horn, played by horn players, used since by Bruckner and Richard Strauss), 12 brass, 2 timpani, 16 cello and 5 double bass. The remaining sections are more normal size, including the woodwind, the violins and the violas. It appears to be the horns which Wagner uses for the characteristic Ring sound, backed by cello, double bass and bassoon for the dark feel. His orchestration varies from opera to opera; in Tristan und Isolde, moving to an atonic mode, the violins play a major role, providing a continuous web of music through which the other instruments penetrate and in searing phrasing the emotional climaxes.

June 21st: hot today at 30C with continuous sunshine and calm. Made Toscana again for lunch where warmly welcomed! Die Walküre started at 16:00. Popular idea is that this is the easiest part of the Ring but, even though it has the spectacular Ride of the Valkyrie, this is far from the case. I would bracket Walküre with Götterdämmerung in that both have long brooding sections, requiring tension in the orchestra and expressiveness by the singers. Today's performance ran from 16:00-21:50 with 2 1-hour intervals. Act 1 was done brilliantly with Camilla Nyland as Sieglinde and Stuart Skelton as her brother Siegmund – the Volsung siblings! Their love affair emerging from a long brooding passage was quite orgasmic and their reception at the end of the Act by the packed house was fantastic. The fanfare to Act 1 has 2 leitmotifs: the sword Notung; the pairing of the Volsungs Siegmund and Sieglinde. Act 2 is one of the most difficult of the Ring and that also came over brilliantly with the tension building up superbly between Brünnhilde (Catherine Foster) and Wotan (Johan Reuter) on the rock and between Siegmund, Sieglinde and Brünnhilde in the forest, prior to battle in which Siegmund and Hunding (Sieglinde's husband) are killed. The fanfare to Act 2 has 2 leitmotifs: the Valkyrie (Brünnhilde) glancing at her soon-to-be-fallen hero (Siegmund); Siegmund going into battle with his sword Notung. Here's the well-known fanfare to Act 3. The Act started in great form with the Ride and finished well with the fire music but faltered a bit in the middle with Wotan appearing a little wooden towards his misbehaving daughter Brünnhilde; his final embrace of her was far too feeble. But overall the great experience continues and tomorrow it's a walk through the Jewish Quarter before lunch at Toscana, a visit to the museum at Müpa where there's a Wagner exhibition, and Siegfried, which in my view twins with Rheingold in its accessibility. Siegfried is a long march from darkness to light, ending with the so-romantic wooing of Brünnhilde by Siegfried. Some of the locals do look like somebody: almost started chatting them up!! Opera in general makes me feel romantic and Wagner is the best of them all; so looking forward to our next encounter!!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!

June 20th: Rheingold went off brilliantly in the Béla Bartók National Concert Hall in Müpa, Budapest, with Ádám Fischer, maestro, brother of Iván Fischer. Both are Jewish and prominent critics of Viktor Orbán, Hungary's populist prime minister with anti-Semitic overtones. It was a new production, making much use of dancers and video effects in some scenes . Rheingold is the longest mainstream music to be played without a break at just over 2 hours 30 minutes, beating Flying Dutchman at 2 hours 20 minutes and Götterdämmerung Act 1 at 2 hours 10 minutes, also by Wagner. Stockhausen who I'm learning about fast from son has written much longer pieces. Here's a clip of the opening fan-fare for Rheingold on the balcony with 3 leitmotifs at the end that run through the rest of the Ring: Valhalla, Wotan, Rhine Gold. The opera tonight was so good because it steered a careful line between the pantomime aspects and the serious messages underneath; it also succeeded as a spectacle and the orchestra was very effective both in the quieter tense moments and the loud climaxes. The layout of the orchestra, Hungarian Radio, in full view from our upper circle seats, was interesting: horns and woodwind to far left, cellos to near left, double bass at back in middle, violin 1 close to conductor on his right, violin 2 and violas further out on right and brass, harps and timpani on extreme right. A lot of the background sound was made by the horns, bassoons and cellos, giving a dark feel. I noted they took every opportunity to switch off if only for 30 seconds: every sympathy! Reception was rapturous! We had lunch at Trattoria Toscana, which cost £50, same as MP! Weather was sunny in morning, becoming cloudier in evening with threatening rain clouds, which did not come to much. Had 13 species of bird, including Crag Martin (4), Kestrel (1, adult female flying across Danube to W, out to hunt), Black-headed Gull (3, 2 ad and 1s perched on jetty 1), Caspian Gull (3, flying N low over Danube as 2 (ad, 1s) and 1 (ad) 1  2  3  4  5). Here's some more Honey-buzzard habitat 1  2 and some general scenes: St Anne's Church twin spires 1, Parliament 1, Buda Castle with St Matyas Church spire from other side of Danube 1. Just 1 butterfly was seen: Small White. So ko is at 16:00 tomorrow for Die Walküre. It's high summer for opera: CFT is presumably well under way in practice; looking forward to that on 6/7 at S!! lok2t gorgeous one xxx!!!!!!

Some comments on Stockhausen after discussion with son, who's seen some recent live performances. Mantra: the work is scored for two ring-modulated pianos; each player is also equipped with a chromatic set of crotales (antique cymbals) and a wood block, and one player is equipped with a short-wave radio producing morse code or a magnetic tape recording of morse code. In his catalogue of works, the composer designated it as work number 32 [Wikipedia]. In CT the category Ring is an abelian category, factoring through coproduct to product, so the opposite direction to topos but clearly closely related. Indeed Freyd says topos and abelian are equivalent with different initial object (starting point). The successive coequalizer and equalizer applied in an abelian category are analogous to the successive pullback and pushout in a Dolittle diagram but of course the other way round. The Ring adds more than just the abelian properties, it also provides tensor products, that is all possible combinations of elements, including those within vector spaces in 13 notes. Such products would enable a free pairing of all notes within a workspace, which may be particularly relevant for music. Donnerstag aus Licht (Thursday from Light) is an opera by Karlheinz Stockhausen in a greeting, three acts, and a farewell, and was the first of seven to be composed for the opera cycle Licht: die sieben Tage der Woche (Light: The Seven Days of the Week). It was written between 1977 and 1980, with a libretto by the composer [Wikipedia]. This work involves 3 characters: Michael (husband), Eve (mother, lover) and Lucifer (father). They are represented by an instrument, singer and dancer, each time their role is enacted. There is one formula that can be changed (reconfigured). The whole cycle lasts 15 hours over 3 nights, with each evening lasting up to 6 hours. Biographical note: Karlheinz Stockhausen's father Simon was a Nazi; his mother Gertrud was considered mad, after a mental breakdown, and was murdered in hospital by lethal injection. .

June 19th: flights were a little delayed by bad weather at Schipol which meant only 1 runway, instead of 2, were operating. So sat on plane at NCL from 06:00-07:00 in pause mode while waiting for a chance to land at AMS. Many KLM flights were late for same reason and 11:20 to BUD was delayed by 45 min so arrived a little late but son's plane was also late with Wizz getting lower priority in traffic congestion. Not feeling too bad after the journey: interesting chat with an engaging Hungarian lass on last leg. We got cab from airport to our apartment in Castle Hill (Piano) for 8kf, about £20, and then had a quick look round our local area by Danube and Parliament. Dinner with Hungarian food for 2, including beers, came to the same so pretty reasonable! The apartment cost £566. Weather is warm and humid, 26C at 70%, with thunderstorms in afternoon. Did count 12 types of bird, including Black Redstart 1  2  3  4  5 (3, family group on rooftop including a male, 2 female/immature), Swift (18), Hooded Crow (9). From our roof-top Piano Apartment can see Parliament 1, the Danube 1, 2 Honey-buzzard sites 1  2, a Hooded Crow 1 and an eastern spire 1. 2moro at 18:00 sees start of action with Rheingold, part 1 of 4: excitement mounts as fate starts its long and telling journey!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

June 18th: morning spent getting sorted, including downloading and installing AVS4YOU for £50 on the laptop for full multimedia processing. Weather was surprisingly good at 20C in hot sunshine on light SW breeze and dry. Stopped for 30 min from 14:30-15:00 at Throckley N, near Airport, where had a Red Kite quartering the ground to NE of the central coniferous wood and, yes, a male Honey-buzzard, returning W at at 14:51-14:54 from a feeding trip far to E towards Chapel House, at moderate altitude; he steered a course well to N along Callerton road before coming down, floating over an arable area with some trees at 14:56 (9055). Another new site for both species this year. Total for journey was 13 bird types, including a male Kestrel hunting at 15:05 near Newcastle Airport. Well the plans did turn out brilliantly at the rendezvous: great to have an accomplice: veux-tu coucher avec moi ce soir? To bed at 20:45, up at 03:25, slept surprisingly well since 4 hours ahead of normal rhythm, away by taxi at 04:05. lok2tgrf: She's gorgeous: xxxxx XXX!!!!!

Still they come: 2 more Honey-buzzard migrants/breeders since 17/6 on BirdGuides, excluding routine repeat counts at Welbeck and Wykeham (count 3 April, 57 May, 23 June, 83 total for spring):

18/06 10:01 Northamptonshire : European Honey Buzzard, Northampton possible over southern part of city (09:56) [?]

18/06 17:03 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Hythe one flew over (16:55)

June 17th: completed processing the leaf mines from last October on 01/10/18: “Collected lots of leaves containing mines of Microlepidoptera from back garden and field at home in Ordley. On analysis showed 15 types: hawthorn: Stigmella hybnerella, Ectoedemia atricollis, Parornix anglicella; domestic apple: Ectoedemia atricollis, Phyllonorycter blancardella; sloe: Phyllonorycter spinicolella; lilac: Gracillaria syringella; rowan: Stigmella nylandriella, Stigmella sorbi, Phyllonorycter sorbi; hazel: Stigmella microtheriella, Stigmella floslactella, Phyllonorycter coryli, Phyllonorycter nicellii, Parornix devoniella.” Identified 2 micros from 23/07/18 trapped at Ordley which had earlier been put aside, as Epinotia ramella and Bryotropha terrella, completing this data sheet. Identified 2 more micros from 07/07/18 trapped at Ordley which had earlier been put aside, as Mirificarma mulinella and Metzneria metzneriella, completing this data sheet. Identified 2 more micros and 1 macro from 05/07/18 trip to Kellas N which had earlier been put aside, as Tawny-barred Angle, Crambus perlella, Ancylis badiana, completing this data sheet. Lepidoptera total for 2018 is now 233 types. Also added the 8 Red Kite and 1 Common Buzzard found along M4 on 02/09/18 to BirdTrack, whether they like it or not! So only 1 data sheet left in main pile: 16/07/18 at Dipple Wood (8105), which actively processing. Hard at it today but did make G4g4s with good chat to P, and the appealing M on!! Could give a few hints 4 2moro: MET.APT to MET.CEN arr 16:00. Looking forward to it: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

1 more Honey-buzzard migrants/breeders since 15/6 on BirdGuides, excluding routine repeat counts at Welbeck and Wykeham (count 3 April, 57 May, 21 June, 81 total for spring):

17/06 14:32 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, North Foreland flew west (13:55)

June 16th: weather quite good today in context of national soaking, with long sunny spells at 16C on light SW breeze. Did masses of gardening along roadside both at back and at front so all looking a lot tidier from narrow perspective of road! Didn't pick up any raptors; thinking of finishing display/migration period on Tuesday 18/6 to fit in with personal plans; number of sites found in study area in display period at 18 now slightly exceeds that for 2018 at 17. Working on large number of leaf mines found in field/garden on 01/10/18; making good progress and might finish tomorrow, reducing data sheets left to completely process to 5. Also did a few repair jobs in house on fittings with screwdriver and glue. Here's latest piccie of granddaughters, dancing on a pub table: I looks very much at home! Made G4g4s where bar lasses' (N, A, M) impromptu party gave a bit of excitement!! Had good chat with P! 2moro it's R @ B4m4l and G4g4s plus trip out. lok2t gorgeous ones: xxx!!!!!

2 more Honey-buzzard migrants/breeders since 14/6 on BirdGuides, excluding routine repeat counts at Welbeck and Wykeham (count 3 April, 57 May, 20 June, 80 total for spring):

15/06 11:47 Shetland : European Honey Buzzard, St. Ninian's Isle, Mainland one flew east towards Geosetter

15/06 14:30 Shetland : European Honey Buzzard, Scatness, Mainland one heading south

June 15th: gr8 day, making C4c4l, MP4m4t with N, S level 3 for 60th anniversary RNS significant donors (good turnout by partners and long chat with NH, funds are being targeted at outreach, into communities in northern England, outside the hub), S4con!! Did have a pale-phase Honey-buzzard male over Whittle Dene wood, circling at medium altitude, as passed Nafferton Farm area at 14:30; this is 1st site in Tyne Valley E this season. Weather today was 16C, sunny intervals, light SW breeze. The concert was very enjoyable, finishing in style with Bradley's farewell! The music was all Brahms, with LV back as maestro. It was all easy on the ear and superbly played with highlights the last 2 movements of Brahms 2 and the double concerto for violin, cello and orchestra with soloists the siblings Tetzlaff. LV is very good at varying the volume and the light touch in the last movement of the double concerto gave the superb effect of a chamber orchestra. The siblings with LV gave a very accomplished rendering of PT 3. The first part (of 3) was choral with the RNS Chorus in normal good voice: we had Gesang der Parzen, Alto Rhapsody with soloist Claudia Huckle, and Schicksalslied; the soloist sang amazingly low (in tone) at times, very impressive. Bradley's farewell as leader, after 30 years, was appropriately stylish with some titillating formal speeches (KH, SH, JC, AP) and outright amusement with BC being wheeled around Level 1, playing in gypsy style. BC was too overwhelmed by the occasion to make a speech: very moving in itself! Hexham looked fairly wild on return; it's been Corbridge Beer Festival over the weekend and Hexham Races today. With midsummer almost here it was still quite light on return along A69 with full moon to S and twilight to N: very atmospheric! Really, unfinished business later; plenty of passion: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf: more to come: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

June 14th: reviewing results from last trip: the Honey-buzzard does not like maritime areas but I think that's coastal areas along the open sea, where the temperatures are cooler in summer. Now have 3 breeding-season records around Morecambe Bay: Arnside Knott (male, 05/07/2010), Ulverston N (male, 13/06/19), Warton Crag (female, 08/07/10); 1st 2 are in Cumbria, last in Lancashire, near Carnforth. Suspect Morecambe Bay is viewed a bit like a tidal lake rather than the open sea! Thinking hard about how to leave for AMS at 6 on 19/6; airport hotels are so dreary; city hotels are so spicy; so it's the latter!! Today made N4c4l and W4g4s, where E was lurking, very s.xy!! Weather was wet this morning but improved in afternoon and frustrated raptors took to the skies! Wind was SW at 15C with veiled sunshine. Way in the distance to S from home had a pair of Honey-buzzard up to W of Trygill in Slaley Forest from 15:54-15:59; the male was seen first floating over the ridge containing the forest to the W; he then moved E in very emphatic flap-flap-glide mode, meeting the female; in display they both soared very high initially with the male below but eventually with him below 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 (9053). This is a new site for the year, normally classified within Derwent as on the watershed above it; clearly no eggs have been laid yet; it's another late site like Blenkinsopp (see 12/6). There was one 'Shire site which had not been visited yet this season so did that from 16:05-17:05: Slaley Forest on W side. The female Honey-buzzard was up here on arrival, floating over some rough wooded pasture to SW of site, hovering occasionally; she may possibly have been a 3cy with pale cere and more bars than in some, though nowhere near the thin, multi-barring of Common Buzzard; this means she might be learning fast as to what breeding involves! The male who was sitting on the eggs was a little impatient for her return, getting up in the sky at 16:58 to see if she was in sight, nest site looks like it is in the same area as last year 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11 (9054). Also here had a pair of Red Kite out foraging, 3 Common Buzzard (pair and single) and a hovering adult female Kestrel. At Dukesfield had another Common Buzzard at 16:00 so in one hour window of better weather, had 11 raptors of 4 types: 4 Honey-buzzard (2 new sites for year), 4 Common Buzzard, 2 Red Kite, 1 Kestrel: fantastic! Other birds in total of 18 types were Siskin 16 (one flock), Swallow 11, Curlew 4 (2 sites). Mammals comprised a hedgehog and 2 rabbit. Paid 3k to son for his birthday, including wee bonus for his house purchase, which is completing early July. Withdrawals increase to 13k on year, 12k of which is for anniversaries and Xmas so trips, sponsorship and living almost entirely met out of regular income with investment income mostly re-invested. Only birthday left in second half of year is Isabella's. Daughter sent nice father's day card 1  2, signed and decorated by Sophia but not Isabella! 2moro it's C4c4l, CAL-NCL, MP at 15:30 with N, drinks reception at S at 17:45 for donors for 60th birthday of RNS, S4con (Brahms Fest!). xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

4 more Honey-buzzard migrants/breeders since 7/6 on BirdGuides, excluding routine repeat counts at Welbeck and Wykeham (count 3 April, 57 May, 18 June, 78 total for spring):

11/06 18:49 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness RSPB one drifted northeast over Denge Marsh at 18:35 (18:35)

11/06 18:55 Fife : European Honey Buzzard, Crail adult female on northwest side, flew NNW near junction of B940 and B9131, mobbed by various corvids

12/06 09:50 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness NNR one flew over trapping area towards RSPB reserve (09:45)

13/06 11:22 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Sheringham flew north late morning then NNE out to sea and lost to view (10:58)

June 13th: after very sound sleep had leisurely breakfast at hotel 1, then uploaded the work done yesterday to server before going out for short walk from 10:00-11:00 up the hill from the hotel, turning right (N) and getting a viewpoint over the promising mainly deciduous wood of uneven age spotted yesterday. At 10:15 a male Honey-buzzard appeared low-down over this deciduous wood to N of Ulverston; he floated over the wood facing into the breeze, quite low down for 2 minutes until 10:17. At 10:33 he appeared briefly again in the same spot. Take this as a male patrolling over his territory 1  2  3 while the female is settled on a clutch of eggs (9052). Also had a Raven in this area. Weather was NE light to moderate breeze, overcast, little drizzle from time to time (not good!). Caffeine levels were dropping so visited H&F Cafe in Market Street which served a good cappuccino. Took some piccies of the Festival setting for fond memories: Coronation Hall 1, Emblem 1 plus Laurel and Hardy 1. Compiled bird records for trip showing 40 types, including adult female Kestrel hovering near GSK, Eider 2, Shelduck 24, Little Egret 4, Oystercatcher 9, House Martin 14, Swallow 9, Nuthatch 1. Train journey was on time and it got wetter and wetter as approached Hexham with both South Tyne and Tyne in flood! Visit was brilliant in all aspects, particularly the personal one, so very happy with that!!! Management of levels is the game!! Not out tonite but Friday sees a return to routine with N4c4l and W4g4s. Sweet dreams: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

June 12th: well, completed the report on breeding Honey-buzzard in SW Northumberland in 2018 on the trains over (Population of the Honey-buzzard in SW Northumberland). Absolutely amazing!! As said before if got a train to Australia would write the book on the Honey-buzzard!! Helped by Virgin train being late into Lancaster, missing connection: what a terrible line the LMS is, no wonder they're losing their franchise! Had a Honey-buzzard on way over at Blenkinsopp at 09:30 where a male was hanging over the wood; this is a very late breeding site, always has been. Weather was overcast but dry on light SE breeze. Found my way into Ulverston, making an inauspicious arrival at Parish Church for piano recital: 5 min late, no ticket and baggage!! But produced evening ticket and he said 'see me later' – very pragmatic! Performance of Beethoven's Pathétique and Appassionata by Ronan O'Hora was fantastic! Made out on to the Canal Turn/Lock 1 for birdwatching from 15:10-18:30 where had 37 species, very diverse! On Canal had single broods of 6 Mute Swan 1 and 2 Moorhen 1. Morecambe Bay looked very bleak 1 as rain threatened on NE moderate breeze but some interesting woodlands around, suitable for Honey-buzzard on E side of Cartmel Sands; in addition spotted a wood to N of Ulverston which looked homely for Honey-buzzard. The bridge shown across the sands carries the railway line to LAN. Hoad Hill Lighthouse 1 is a prominent landmark. Evening concert was brilliant: Mozart PQ4 2, Mahler PQ4, and Ireland Phantasie were all played well but inspiration took over in Bridge's PQ5 in D minor, with deep emotions captured. Retreat was to Sun Inn: what a marvellous idea: she's totally captivating: so gorgeous: c u n s maybe!!!! 2moro it's 12:04 ULV-HEX after another look at habitat. xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

June 11th: completed processing of leaf mines for 07/10/18 at Ordley with 2 new species for me in the area: Phyllonorycter blancardella on domestic apple and Phyllonorycter acerifoliella on field maple. Total Lepidoptera species for 2018 reaches 227. Have been doing some work on the home page for the whole website, in particular updating the music and family history entries there. Also updated my biography on the Visiting Fellow page to reflect advances in the family history. Am going to at last get some video software for the laptop as want to record and edit the fanfares in The Ring and add them to this web page during the week; the fanfares played on the balcony before each act add a lot to the atmosphere of the occasion. For day 1 there will be only one fanfare session: Rheingold is so short at 2 hours 45 minutes that it's not worth having a break! We did make R&C 4 meal – 5 of us out; enjoyable with good chat. Excited about 2moro: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

June 10th: weather continued fine with hot sunshine at 15C on light W breeze; torrential rain is forecast for next 3 days in NE. Enjoyed sitting in garden and watching the wildlife! Did compile all of yesterday's records; trying to keep up to date so no backlog develops. Sorted most of leaf mines from Ordley 07/10/18, leaving just 6 data sheets to go once this one is finished, of which 3 just have a few difficult to id moths. Had haircut by Jd at JH: she's so bubbly but there is a slight problem in that she has different ideas on my hair to Jn; Jd wants it a bit longer which meant she didn't take much off at all though she did fuss around for quite a while; having eyebrows done is useful as saves me having to get the scissors out at which point Jd shudders! So that was 17.50 + 5 tip +1 for a cupcake (job on the side!). Made N4c4c for recuperation! Much later made R @ B4m4s at 18:15; we had a talk on the North African campaign (WW2) in rather the bombastic style of Montgomery, bit over the top really! Didn't tell him that my father-in-law Hans Makosch was also in the North African campaign as a fighter-pilot in a Messerschmitt Bf 109 for the Luftwaffe; he was taken prisoner and transported to Bristol as a PoW. He never talked about the war and, with his homeland transferred to Poland, had to remain in England, as an agricultural labourer, a railway worker or a coal miner. He first worked on the land at Kingsbridge in Devon, near Plymouth, but quickly transferred to the railways in Yorkshire and then again in Devon. Added to Home Page the link: mtDNA mother-of-mother Rossiter – Nicholls – Holbrook – May – Dashper – Illustrated Report. Have got confirmation of speaking slot at ANPA: Alternative Natural Philosophy Association 2019, University of Liverpool, Day 2 (Monday 12/8), 3.00 - 4.00 Nick Rossiter: Physical Sounds as Colimits in the Topos. Am stirring myself to advance the topic: it's encouraging that the recent journal paper is on front page of Google's search for some of the terms; Stockhausen's ideas are related to the Ring category of Category Theory (not of Wagner!); maybe including Stockhausen and the physics of a score, in combination with the recent publication, is good but still feeling my way! Want a creative sequel not a turning-the-handle. 2moro it's N4c4l and R&C4meal4s! Wednesday looks like HEX-ULV at 9:05 with 2 tight connections at CAR and LAN! lok2t gorgeous ones xx!!!!!!

June 9th: completed Dipton Wood records for 06/10/18 yielding 12 species of moth leaf-miner from 22 leaves photographed close-up. Lepidoptera species count for 2018 goes up to 224 for UK, with 7 data sheets to go. Weather was great today with hot sunshine through clean air after the heavy rain. It was 15C today on moderate W breeze. Did a lot of local work as battled with the grass: how can it have grown so much in 10 days! Still it's brilliant exercise, which does raise my libido!! Here's yours truly 1  2 on the ranch admiring one of the areas cut, about ½ of that actually done! Monitored the local Honey-buzzard and also went to Broomley, near Shilford, to check on the Shilford site. Single males were up at each site as is usual at end of migration period, when the occupants push on later arrivals to stop them settling. So that's plus 1 site. Red Kite were conspicuous at both sites. At Ordley had total of 20 bird-types including a pair of Spotted Flycatcher and a singing Curlew. Raptors comprised 2 male Honey-buzzard at 11:56 with a pale-phase intruder rapidly disappearing as the resident dark-brown male climbed quickly into the sky 1  2 (9050), a Red Kite mixed up in the melee and a hunting male Kestrel. During this watch also had a pair of Red Kite up over Dukesfield at 13:07. At Shilford had 2 Red Kite up hunting to W at 15:11 and 15:31 and a pair of Kestrel actively hunting; the Honey-buzzard comprised a male from 16:10-16:12 up to NW of site, going very high but always looking down on the nest site below, keeping an eye on his mate (9051); this bird is also claiming the territory against late migrants. At Lamb Shield had a Redstart female in an overgrown hedgerow. Have a Cotoneaster horizontalis bush in flower, which must have had 150 bumble bees on it at peak, plus honey bees and some flies: absorbing to watch and so good for the environment! Much more to follow … Enjoyed the Women's football: the Scottish lassies are very fit particularly the goalscorer, the very determined Emslie: wish them well! Later made G4g4s where 4 of us out for good crack and gr8 to have E on!! 2moro it's JG 4 haircut at 11, more work outside in garden and a site visit b4 R @ B4m4s and G4g4s. Looking forward very much to UF on Wednesday!! lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!!!

Reaction to maternal family history by family has not been positive other than by son, who thinks it's fascinating that we made 2 marriages to the E when we thought we were from Cornwall back to King Arthur's times. Think Downton Abbey (Highclere Castle, Hampshire, we passed it on motorway), rather than the slums of Plymouth, would have gone down better. I look at it more positively: we were poor when we arrived, probably having left anything we had behind, but have battled to a more prosperous position. The potential non-Ashkenazi Jewish origin suggested by the mtDNA is (I think) regarded as off the scale, by all but son. My late wife would have been absolutely astounded as she looked so hard, as a professional genealogist, on my paternal side for a Jewish origin, which she was convinced I had; paternal side were well-to-do jewellers. That was before DNA testing which confirms a southern Irish (Leinster, Celtic) paternal origin and an eastern maternal origin. Think I'll publish this week on my home page the sanitised version, leaving to one side the extended family idea, which apparently does not appeal to everyone! There's a lot of useful facts for other researchers.

June 8th: weather today was terrible: heavy rain from yesterday continued much of the day at 11C max so no outdoor distractions. So busy day with records. Compilation of reports for birds and insects from Budapest and Vichy in June 2018 was completed on 08/06/19; the summaries are available in notes for 17/06/18 and 28/06/18 respectively; all bird records on BirdTrack. Final results from Petersfield trip from 29/5-5/6 are birds: 63 species from 235 records, 8 complete lists, 27 places. 106 raptors (gross) of 5 types: Common Buzzard 42, Red Kite 33, Kestrel 15, Honey-buzzard 14 (12 after removing duplicates), Hobby 2. All added to BirdTrack. Insects to follow. Identified leaf mines, mainly on birch and rowan, from Dipton Wood on 06/10/18: all very interesting; need to check results having slept on it! Did make C4c4l where tbld looking good!! Have booked train HEX-ULV and AH ticket (balcony, almost sold out – popular!), planning 24 hours noon-noon to fit in a bit of Honey-buzzard work!! 2moro it's masses of catch-up on gardening in the jungle and a trip out for Honey-buzzard: it's going to be sunny! Will make G4g4s!! lok2t gorgeous ones xx!!!!!

6 more Honey-buzzard migrants/breeders since 2/6 on BirdGuides, excluding routine repeat counts at Welbeck and Wykeham (count 3 April, 57 May, 14 June, 74 total for spring):

08/06 12:52 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Garton-on-the-Wolds one in view from 10 minutes as it drifted slowly west early afternoon (12:30)

07/06 17:19 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Hornsea Mere flew high east late morning

07/06 08:09 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Coltishall flew low south over RAF Coltishall (08:07)

06/06 14:58 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Weeting Heath NWT one north of entrance of post 49, drifted east (13:50)

04/06 15:09 Lancashire : European Honey Buzzard, Carnforth one over J35 of M6 to east of Carnforth yesterday morning (03/06 11:15)

03/06 17:17 Cheshire : European Honey Buzzard, Lach Dennis one flew north (17:05)

June 7th: fascinating day!! At start completed processing of Vichy piccies for 24/06/18, a great day out in the Auvergne. Made CT4s4ll b4 making S4reh and S4con. Concert was fantastic, one of best of season, thanks to conducting style of Roger Norrington (aged 85) who put on such a relaxed style, even inviting us to applaud in between the movements of Mozart 29, sacrilege to some but very natural in the atmosphere of tonight's concert. Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream was exquisitely played: it appears to be a very light piece but has very moving moments! R Strauss's Wind Serenade gave the woodwind section a chance to shine, which they did. Clara Schumann's piano concerto was very rich in harmonies and melody and Lauma Skride got a good reception; Clara was Robert Schumann's wife so good to see the women acknowledged! AY as usual was in good form but the whole orchestra excelled today in the warm, creative atmosphere facilitated by the conductor. N didn't make it but had good chats with other partners. Later made W4g4s off last train NCL-RDM for good chat with the rest of the gang! Weather deteriorated after dry morning and was pouring with rain on moderate E breeze by time came out of concert. More life than expected on way through Toon: brief ecstasy in the conditions: very welcome!!! Hope the Donizetti goes brilliantly tomorrow evening: have every confidence!!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

June 6th: did make HMS for 1:1 with student on career prospects: it's a government pilot scheme for getting students more aware of their career choices at age 12. Always meet at least one of late wife's former colleagues for cheery catch-up! Getting things organised at home again but grass is still long, having grown phenomenally while away, and not got mower out yet! Completed processing of all records for week away – much sharper than normal! Also completed butterfly processing for Hungary last June and am just completing processing of Vichy data for same month. Made G4g4s where met the gang and very pleased that N is back, after maternity leave, for 3 nites a week!! Quite explosive later: reunion with someone special: very positive outcome: liked the close: she's in command: lok2tmbo!!!!!! Pleased with by-election result at Peterborough but would have preferred a different Labour candidate; Brexit party were odds-on favourite (1/5 last time I looked) so good result for bookies. 2moro it's meet-up for RNS rehearsal in pod at 15:30 followed by S4t, S4con and W4g4s. xxxx!!

June 5th: left Petersfield at 09:30 in N's car for trip to BAN where dropped off at 13:45 in good time to catch 14:31 CC to NCL, arriving at 18:45 with quick connection to HEX at 18:55. So journey very smooth but quite a way really! Weather was sunny at start on light SW breeze, with cloud increasing as moved N but still sunny intervals. We stopped at Harwell Down for a walk from 10:40-11:35 where had a male Honey-buzzard up over the woods to the NE at 11:04; he soared high to NE using the breeze for lift (9047). Total was 13 types including 6 Red Kite, 2 Common Buzzard, 4 Lesser Whitethroat, 2 Whitethroat. Many other raptors around in morning as they took to the air after yesterday's low cloud, with 10 Red Kite, 9 Common Buzzard and 3 Kestrel noted on route from Petersfield to Cherwell Services, in addition to the Harwell ones. N and I thought it had been a great holiday with good weather, plenty to do on the South Downs with varied scenery and old houses, interesting walks and a comfortable, well-run hotel. We did get out a lot: fighting fit!! Of course 5 breeding pairs of Honey-buzzard was an incredible find with a further migrant a bonus! The downs collectively are as rich an area for Honey-buzzard as the Tay Valley in Scotland and the Tyne Valley in Northumberland. Nats 'phoned me to say that RNS rehearsal on Friday is put back to 16:15-17:45 with our chat b4 at 15:30 – no probs! NCL-AMS is 06:00 for start of next major trip in 2 weeks time. Trying to optimise a few things: would rather stay in the city!! It's great to be home but excited about UF as next venue!! 2moro it's HMS for student career advice in morning and meeting the gang at G4g4s!! lok2t gorgeous one xx!!!!!

June 4th: monad/music paper duly published today with citation information at and full article for download at Good reading, particularly if you're just going to bed!! Today went to Gilbert White House in Selborne: very uplifting experience with, under the microscope, the lives, achievements and collections of the naturalist Gilbert White, the zoologist Thomas Bell, the artist Edward Lear of 'nonsense' fame, the southern Africa explorer Frank Oates, his nephew the Antarctic explorer Captain Lawrence Oates 'I am just going outside and may be some time', all in the context of exploring the natural world. Gilbert White did find the Honey-buzzard breeding at the Hanger, Selborne, a steep wooded bank on S side of the estate; this area of woodland was an oasis at the time in an area largely denuded of timber. Weather was dry and cloudy in morning with no wind, not good for raptors and no Honey-buzzard were seen in walk from 10:30-12:00 up the Hanger to Selborne Common, now well-wooded. We stayed until 16:35 as it turned quite wet, looking at the fascinating collections: very inspirational with the valuable lesson: you have to put it into print to have an influence! Total raptors for day at Selborne were 3: 1 Red Kite, 2 Kestrel (adult male, juvenile). Our hotel at Petersfield, 13 miles from Portsmouth, is now packed with police, men and women, getting ready for duty at Portsmouth tomorrow for the Trump visit: all fitting in well, everyone on their best behaviour! May be drifting N in morning to be dropped off from N's car at BAN for train connection to NCL and HEX. Do not pass Go: do not collect!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Running total for or compiled records on trip from 29/6-3/7 (176 records, 14 places, 6 complete lists) is 60 bird species with 5 of raptors: Honey-buzzard (6 sites, 11 birds), Red Kite (6 sites, 16 birds), Common Buzzard (6 sites, 28 birds), Kestrel (5 sites, 9 birds), Hobby (1 site, 2 birds). But quite a lot to sort still!

June 3rd: quite cool early on with a line of showers over the downs but warmed up by 13:00 to give fine sunny day with moderate SW breeze. We went to Queen Elizabeth Country Park from 10:45-16:45, including Butser Hill 270m asl, which we climbed for 1st part of day. In part 2 we did a woodland walk, doing 8km overall for day with some climbing. Had superb view of a male Honey-buzzard at 10:59 crossing the valley low 1  2  3 (9045). At 11:26 the female Honey-buzzard was gliding up the valley to E, before coming down at the E end of the big deciduous wood 1  2  3  4  5  6 (9046). This site is the same as War Down (30/5). Other raptors were 2 Kestrel, (male and female up at separate sites), Red Kite (2), Common Buzzard (10). Total for all birds was 28 types, including Whitethroat (2 singing), Skylark (10), Linnet (2), Mediterranean Gull (8 adult), Chiffchaff (4). Butterflies comprised 8 types but low in numbers and 3 Hornet were seen. So amazing results for Honey-buzzard continue! Delighted that rendezvous secured at such an interesting concert!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

June 2nd: weaker sunshine today through veil of high cloud but still quite warm 21C on light to moderate SW breeze and dry except for very light drizzle in evening. We went to Uppark today, a National Trust property close to Petersfield, from 11:00-15:30. The property has had a number of associations with Northumberland, being occupied by Tankerville, Grey and Featherstone-Haugh families, seeking to convert mineral wealth into property assets in the south. Some of the liaisons described were fascinating. The property caught fire in 1989 and was restored by the NT to a high standard after much debate. The property looks S over downland to mixed woodland/pasture, very good for raptors with Honey-buzzard (2), Hobby (2 male up high to S, female far below, then male did spectacular dive, almost to ground), Red Kite (4), Common Buzzard (10), Kestrel (2 up much of time, hovering close-by, clearly with brood nearby, plus a female at Harting Downs) all noted. The Honey-buzzard were noted as follows: male up from 11:15-11:20 due S of Hall, climbing high and hanging far above the site 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 over habitat 8 (9042); pair up at 12:51 and 13:28 to SE of Hall, doing mutual circling without much activity 1 (9043). Total for bird-types was 28, including Blackcap (2). The old pictures of the estate showed much less woodland with quite bare downs, presumably with the woods chopped down for timber for ship-building, houses and fuel. Harting Down showed worrying signs of ash dieback disease with roads in the area due for temporary closure to remove the affected trees. Trump is visiting Portsmouth on Tuesday; we've had to move our rooms to make way for policeman attending the event nut we have been given complimentary breakfast for 3 mornings! So fascinating area! Son's spent the weekend at a Stockhausen 'festival': Ring modulation is his technique: must try and relate that to CT! Great concert notified for12/6: must go!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

Upsurge in UK records of Honey-buzzard below: change in status imminent!

14 more (after excluding duplicates) Honey-buzzard migrants/breeders in last 3 days on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 57 May, 9 June, 69 total for spring) including 1 on South Downs, at Arundel and 2 in NE, at Linden and Geltsdale, latter on edge of my study area::

02/06 07:22 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Welbeck watchpoint wing-clapping male from the viewpoint 13:00-13:40 yesterday then drifted southwest (01/06 13:40) [duplicate, +0]

02/06 08:37 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest wing-clapping male still viewed from raptor watchpoint [duplicate, +0]

02/06 08:51 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest two still viewed from raptor watchpoint [duplicate, +0]

02/06 09:30 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Welbeck watchpoint one still from the viewpoint 09:25-09:27 (09:27) [duplicate, +0]

02/06 10:51 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Welbeck watchpoint one still from the viewpoint mid-morning (10:34) [duplicate, +0]

02/06 14:06 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Welbeck watchpoint two from the viewpoint (14:00)

02/06 15:27 Lincolnshire : European Honey Buzzard, Gibraltar Point NNR one reported flying east yesterday [R]

02/06 19:33 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest four from raptor watchpoint [duplication, +2]

01/06 17:20 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Briston one to east briefly (16:25)

01/06 14:57 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Arundel one flew over the town (13:55)

01/06 13:19 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Sherwood Forest CP one flew over towards Edwinstowe

01/06 12:09 Cumbria : European Honey Buzzard, Geltsdale one late-morning

01/06 08:52 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest one still south of raptor watchpoint this afternoon [duplicate, +0]

31/05 15:09 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest two still south of raptor watchpoint this afternoon [duplicate, +0]

31/05 14:00 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Westleton Heath one reported

31/05 13:52 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Carburton one briefly over top lake from raptor viewpoint (13:30)

31/05 10:56 Northumberland : European Honey Buzzard, Linden Hall probable flew north late morning [?]

June 1st: almost hot today at 24C, light SW breeze, dry, sunny throughout. After 4 pairs of Honey-buzzard and many Red Kite in first 3 days had a change of emphasis today going to the seaside at Bosham, near Chichester. Had good walk of 5km at Bosham along the E side of the peninsula, feeding into the Solent. Highlight of the day was a male Honey-buzzard flying N at moderate height over Bosham at 13:49, a migrant who had just crossed the channel 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 (9040). A pair of Kestrel were also noted hunting. In total of 29 species also had a Sandwich Tern, 3 Little Egret, a Mediterranean Gull adult, a Green Woodpecker yaffling, 2 singing Chiffchaff. We then went for late lunch in the town before having a complete change by visiting Fishbourne to see the Roman remains from centuries 1-2, including some amazingly well-preserved mosaic floors and some good stories of how the excavations were made with many volunteers! Had 2 Common Buzzard up to S of Fishbourne. Most bizarre record of day was a Honey-buzzard male photographed 1 (9039) from our moving car on the A3, as passed near Butser Hill at 10:22; he was foraging low-down over the chalk embankment, with underwing under-lit by the reflected light from the ground. Back to the PI for welcome refreshments, including a few g! Over last 2 weeks funds are down 6k in the torrid market conditions, thanks to Trump and Farage: worst May globally since 2010. Still marginally ahead over year at +36k gross, 26k net, and yield on portfolio is now at a record high, in recent terms, of 4% giving some defence in current conditions. So pleased to see the emphasis on opera: lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!!

May 31st: muggy 21C, dry, moderate SW breeze, overcast. We went to Midhurst from 10:30-13:00, the centre of the South Downs National Park. Cowdray House ruins was indeed a wreck but it was a fine, open site and had a walled garden with strong Americano coffee. Had 3 Red Kite 1 and a Common Buzzard 1 in the area but highlight was a female Honey-buzzard arriving from the E at moderate height to raucous alarm cries from all the Crow in the area. She was carrying a prey item, maybe a chick of some sort at 12:48, coming down to W of town 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 (9030). At 15:10 from Cockling while looking back to Midhurst, picked up a male Honey-buzzard over woodland to W of the town circling slowly at great height; he was mobbed by Corvids and lost height steadily before landing in the same woods to W 1  2 (9031). Total at Midhurst was 22 bird-types, including a yaffling Green Woodpecker, 2 Raven, 2 Whitethroat. We then went onto Cocking Down where we went for a walk on the South Downs Way, moving W, from 13:05-15:05 doing 6km. We climbed from 103m to 248m asl. Still analysing data from here but think there's another Honey-buzzard site on the way. No butterflies were seen all day: very poor as the sun came out at Cocking for last 30 min of walk. At 14:15 had a pair of Honey-buzzard up over woodland hills to the S, maybe at Colworth Down; it was typical display with the male high-up and the female much lower down, closer to the woodland; it was all very orderly with no overt diving and chasing (9035). We went back to Midhurst for a pot of tea by the 11th century church. Very good day all-round with another feast in evening at the PI! Received the valuable information wanted on the Festival domain log-in details and all sorted an hour later: some relief definitely!!! 2moro it's the seaside which should be fun!! lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!!

May 30th: mainly sunny, muggy and overcast at times, light SW breeze, 23C max. Settling well into the South Downs National Park. We went for local walk through the town to Heath Pond, which was very busy at ½ term. Petersfield is a good-looking town with plenty of facilities; it has a conspicuous statue of William III (of Orange) and there is even an Orange march each July. Not very keen on that as William III was vindictive winner of the Battle of the Boyne, finally dispossessing the Rossiters, who were Catholic, of their lands in Wexford, Ireland, in the 1690s after an earlier attempt by Cromwell was largely ameliorated. These Rs, from which I'm directly descended, then moved to Tiverton in Devon. A town guide, seeing me photograph the statue, explained that Petersfield was not that protestant but an important local family, the Jolliffe, had been great supporters and had donated the statue. Masses of birds around with 41 types counted, including a Red Kite and a Common Buzzard. In the distance picked up 2 Honey-buzzard sites: From 11:52-11:55 adult male Honey-buzzard soaring to some height over War Down; returned to woods below in gap at end. Presumed to be a male displaying over his territory while female sitting on eggs below, common occurrence at start of incubation (9100); from 13:04-13:13 adult male Honey-buzzard up over Durford Wood W, joined by a female at 13:07 for some vigorous chasing for 2 minutes. The male then went very high over the site hanging in the SW breeze and was lost to sight in the base of a dark cloud at the end (9101). Broods at Heath Pond involved Mute Swan, Canada Goose, Mallard, Egyptian Goose. Also had a Great Spotted Woodpecker with an active nest-hole in a dead tree and a Great Crested Grebe fishing. Insects comprised 11 Common Blue Damselfly and butterflies: 1 Large White, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Brimstone Butterfly. In background added to BirdTrack records from Aulnat, Clermont-Ferrand Airport, last year on 20/6. Also modifying some web pages to include in the meta-data a Viewport statement, which on Google's advice is needed for pages to display well on a phone as well as on a laptop/desktop. We're having good time, warm weather, very comfortable inn, gr8 food/g and plenty of exercise (5 km today). Just 1 aspect missing: xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

1 more Honey-buzzard migrant in last 3 days on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 54 May, 57 total for spring):

30/05 09:57 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Sculthorpe Moor NR one flew over (08:58)

May 29th: in the deep south now with N at PI in Petersfield, Hampshire! Did catch 09:35 at NCL reaching BAN at 13:22, just 3 mins late; fetched by N and we made PI at 17:45 after 2 service-station stops. Weather was murky with drizzle, no good for raptors though did get a Kestrel near Cherwell Services and a Common Buzzard sitting in a tree at Sutton Scotney E, a raptor hotspot but not today. Had f&c+g at the PI tonite. Weather is on an improving trend up to Saturday then down again from Monday. Did some work on train, having a look at trips done last year – Vichy, London mid-July, Baden-Baden – where not compiled raptors fully yet: in hand! Budapest has been compiled already; have the data sheets for Vichy and London with me. Feeling very fit with lovely glow: amazing what a lot of liaison does: hope it's reciprocated!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!

May 28th: made short distance today but very rewarding!! After early final grass cutting, just before a rain shower, spent some time sorting various web matters, including a re-look at the real home page for my domain, where have some music and family history material already. The Honey-buzzard page has tended to dominate my thinking but there's much more to the whole spread of content. Have become a friend of OMM, paying 200 by bank transfer today with grateful acknowledgement:

Dear Nick, Many thanks indeed - we really appreciate your support. Best wishes … Brian Foster

Dear Brian, Thanks for your reply. I think I lose some email messages altogether to over-zealous email filters. I've just made the payment via bank transfer. So it should soon be in the Oxford May Music account. Thank you very much to yourself and collaborators for organising the inspiring event this May. Best wishes ... Nick Rossiter

Had a Honey-buzzard on way in at 16:20, over pasture just N of Riding Mill: a female floating low-down, quite large but long-winged and -tailed with fine bill, rather like the Ordley female. This bird is presumed to be from Farnley, a new site for year. Weather was sunny after early rain, very cool N breeze. Great reception later on: she's fantastic: can see the logistical problems: very sensuous and hot: lok2tgrf xxxxxx!!!!!!!

May 27th: another poor day for soaring raptors with 10C max in 'Shire and rain showers from time to time in cool N breeze. No fieldwork but looking good for reconnaissance trip to S with N where weather looks good after Wednesday! So was good last week to make hay while the sun shone! Have added the Festival at least temporarily to my domain as pity to have it offline; lapsed renewals can be hell with all sorts taking advantage! Will delete if instructed: no charge!! While relations digest latest horror show from Plymouth in family history research on mtDNA, can set aside that research for a while!! No Downton Abbey I'm afraid: shocked silence so far except for daughter who's sent a cheery text about a WWII bomb being exploded in Kingston, which may have blown in the windows on her flat there but no news from tenant. She's just got back from New York on flight as cabin crew with Virgin. Did make C4c4l and G4g4s, latter with P/G for good crack. The birds are Greylag Geese!! 2moro not sure what's happening: may be out on toon or at BH: feeling like a bit of razzle!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! HEX-NCL ex 16:14!!

6 more Honey-buzzard migrants in last 2 days on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 53 May, 56 total for spring, in 2018 total was 59 by 26/5):

26/05 13:06 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Sheringham flew in off sea then west along ridge (12:58)

26/05 13:59 Lincolnshire : European Honey Buzzard, Gibraltar Point NNR one flew north over Dunes (13:30)

27/05 09:08 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Hornsea Mere one flew southeast over Swan Island (08:55)

27/05 09:45 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Spurn YWT dark morph came in off sea then flew north over the Lighthouse

27/05 11:25 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Grimston pale morph flew south (11:10)

27/05 12:09 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Spurn YWT dark morph flew high over Long Bank Marsh, then flew southwest over Humber late morning

27/05 12:40 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Spurn YWT dark morph flew south over chalk bank (12:10) [duplication of above, +0]

May 26th: actually felt quite fit after long sleep; weather became good after 3pm for grass cutting with strong breeze on sunshine after early rain; here's 2 areas cut – towards shelters where used to have ponies 1 – towards orchard 2 which had fantastic apple crop last year, plus the mature conifer trees by the shelters 3. Here's the Poplar Hawk-moth from yesterday 1 with wingspan 8cm. Got laptop (and desktop) ready for upload of files to web server to be more up to date when away next. Will copy piccies from the Panasonic camera FZ-82 to a file in a folder on the laptop (Acer, Windows 10); this folder will be opened with Windows Explorer; the phone J3 file system will also be opened from the laptop in Windows Explorer (download available from Samsung for the driver for the USB transfer); files can then be copied between the devices, in this case placing piccies in the downloads folder on the phone; using the app Andftp (Android ftp) files will be copied by ftp from the phone to the web server over the 4G network. Might sound a bit messy but I find the phone often has better bandwidth in its internet connection than the hotel systems, which usually go out of their way to throttle connections; I also have a 20 GB data limit on my Vodafone J3 contract, the same as on my satellite broadband through the desktop. Looked at overall web stats for domain, held on BT Business at cost of £86.40 a quarter, in April 2019: 108 GB downloaded, 3675 visits, 52230 hits. Size of data held is 75 GB: vast amount obviously video and photos, all material is indexed, that is addressed in HTML statements with no unlabelled files lacking description.

Worked hard on a new more complete version of my family tree on mother-of-mother side, tracing back to the Dashpers in the 1830s, complete with piccies, mtDNA results, certificates and analysis. It's 22.7 MB: nr_female_side (pdf). Needs a story (discussion) – next task!! Very few people do the female side like this: it's more difficult as the surname used to change every generation. The mtDNA result was a shock as was always told that mother's side was Celtic for centuries. Family traditions tend to gloss over misfortunes – we were never told of the suicide of our great grandmother.

Wrote to family a more honest appraisal of the research:

I've been working hard on a new more complete version of the family tree on mother-of-mother side, tracing back to the Dashpers in the 1830s, complete with pictures, mtDNA results, certificates and analysis. It's 22.7 MB: (web link, pdf) . Needs a story (discussion) – next task!! Very few people do the female side like this: it's more difficult as the surname used to change every generation.

There's very little speculation in this version: it's the sanitised one! However, there are quite a few questions on the family in the 1830s in Plymouth. It doesn't all add up to the face value. There's the strange paternal name of Dashper, which I suspect is an anglicisation of a foreign name (Dashpevsky!), maybe indicating an immigrant cell in that part of Plymouth. In those days immigrants anglicised their surnames.

The family tree of Margaret and Henry Dashper is a little weird. It looks like 2 families with the style of the name changing in 2 out of the last 3 daughters from the earlier ones. These last 3 (Lavinia, Sarah Jane, Selina) are also fitter (though Selina dies of TB, aged 13) in what was a very poor family, in terms of both money and health. The transcripts of the certificates are worth reading; the late registrations of the births is perhaps a signal that all may not be as stated. Margaret Hopper was 45 when the last daughter Selina was born. The death of Selina in 1860, aged 13, was reported by a Lavinia Mitchell, present at the death, not her official mother. Is Lavinia Mitchell Selina's real mother and hence also probable mother of Lavinia and Sarah Jane? Lavinia Mitchell would then be our direct ancestor and not Margaret Hopper, maybe a femme fatale!

If we take Margaret Hopper as the natural mother it's difficult to see where the T2 mtDNA comes from, as we have to branch east. My speculation is that Margaret Hopper is not the natural mother of the last 3 daughters. The natural mother is an immigrant from the east, quite possibly unofficial, in the lively port of Plymouth! Whether Henry is the father is another matter but neither the mtDNA nor my father-of-father DNA will decide that! Should be on the Jeremy Kyle show, except that's finished now!

Catherine found an interesting article on web: Girls Get Most Of Their Genes From Their Maternal Grandmother, which seems to have been removed -- maybe copyright issues. This shows the importance of mtDNA in what we are!

Anyway it's all very interesting, particularly when all our relatives said that tracing the family history on the female side would be very boring!

Decided to watch the € results on BBC1 at home than try and work out what was going on in the €-phobic Globe! Found some ginger wine to celebrate the brilliant performance of the Liberal Democrats and the Greens. Think that Remain is slightly ahead of Leave now but it's very close: more deadlock to come! 2moro will be more sociable: C4c4l and G4g4s. Looking forward to someone coming back soon in triumph!! xxxxxxxxx!!!!!

May 25th: a welcome break today with weather feeling much cooler at 15C with no sun and wetter with light rain from 15:00 to the wee hours. Virtually up to date with 2019 records. Hope to complete 2018 Honey-buzzard account on train to BAN! Clearing decks for the Honey-buzzard book: will produce outline of contents in same trip; this is going to be a major task over the next 9 months with publication intended for spring 2020. Did make C4c4l where the sights were very good!! Gr8 to meet N for meal at MP and concert was sublime with perfect choral singing by the American choir under Peter Sellars, director, who was there. Grant Gershon did a marvellous job of conducting the chorus in their ever-changing layout. The tone was pretty sombre: bit like Parsifal without the jokes! Made Br4g4s while N had a coffee. Skipped the masked ball!! A web site's gone missing: the owner needs to log into their namecheap account and renew their domain name asap in the grace period from expiry on 20/5!! Could take around 24 hours to reappear as www is updated around the world; content is secure, could easily remount elsewhere! B9 is on home ground 2moro: should inspire confidence: bet it's been a great experience!! Might spend much of tomorrow in bed: fais de beaux rêves: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

6 more Honey-buzzard migrants today on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 47 May, 50 total for spring) plus a good gathering of Hobby in Leinster:

25/05 11:39 West Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Blackmoorfoot Reservoir one flew south late morning (11:36)

25/05 14:12 Wicklow : Eurasian Hobby, Five Mile Point five today

25/05 14:56 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Sandwich Bay flew south over Green Wall and Worth Marsh

25/05 16:51 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, North Foreland one flew northwest late afternoon (16:33)

25/05 17:20 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Cliftonville one flew high to west (16:54)

25/05 17:50 Lancashire : European Honey Buzzard, Marshside RSPB over Hesketh Road viewing platform then flew north (17:00)

25/05 18:10 Pembrokeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wooltack Point one attempted to cross to island this morning but turned back (10:30)

May 24th: another fine day, solid sunshine in morning becoming a little cloudier in afternoon, moderate W breeze, 17C max, 8C min forecast so better for moths maybe. At 13:02 had the male Honey-buzzard up briefly from local site, climbing a little way and then rapidly coming down again; this sort of manoeuvre happens on hunting trips 1  2 (9024). I was in the middle of a bumblebee photographic session on the Cotoneaster horizontalis blossom, which is very popular with hymenoptera. Then made C4c4ll where walk afterwards via Wentworth produced a Red Kite hanging over The Riding, near Acomb, N of Hermitage at 14:20. Did go out to another Honey-buzzard site, Swallowship, adjacent to the one visited yesterday in the 'Shire. Found a route across the farmland which may make the walk-in a little easier to the nest. Was there from 14:55-16:10. Action started early with a Common Buzzard adult hovering nearby at 15:00 1  2  3. A male Honey-buzzard was picked up in the distance to the W at 15:02; he climbed very high, performing a limited butterfly display, not moving a great distance, with wing clapping at the top of a glide. He was up in the air until 15:15, when he made an enormous single dive, coming back to the ground. He presumably then flew through the tops of the trees back to the nesting area where the female is likely to be incubating 2 eggs. Piccies are here 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10 (9025). He was again seen at 15:55 to the W. A Red Kite was soaring high above the N side of the nesting area, between the Tyne and the Devil's Water at 16:06. Total for bird-types was 21, including 2 Grey Heron, a Garden Warbler, 3 Chiffchaff, 5 Swift, 1 Siskin. A dragonfly Broad-bodied Chaser 1  2 was new for me; did wonder what this enormous yellow insect was; it's a female, which was in territory on the edge of a new deciduous plantation. Butterflies comprised 3 Orange-tip, 2 male and a female. Made W4g4s with 4 of the gang; we had a good chat; E's away, maybe collecting fallen heroes!! Need to index the piccies. With more cloud tonight did run the moth trap to 03:30. Not many moths around but do have a large hawk moth, the Poplar. Pace has been relentless since return from Grand Tour: it's been such a rewarding period with the healthy Honey-buzzard population and the fine weather. Have just 2 Honey-buzzard sites left to check in the Tyne Valley W and 1 in the 'Shire: all present and correct so far! 2moro it's C4c4l, RDM-NCL, MP4m4t with N, concert at S with Orlando di Lasso 'Lagrime di San Pietro' by Los Angeles Master Chorale: short and intense! Hope B9 goes well in the land of the Canaries: sure it will with the talent on show!! lok2t gorgeous one xxxx!!!!

But no room for complacency: bad news in the Hexham Courant 23/5 Police appeal after two birds killed The birds, both shot, were Common Buzzard, one fatally wounded on 25/4 at Steel 1.5km from my house in the 'Shire and the other killed outright on 14/5 at Blanchland. The birds are fully protected by law. Hopefully the perpetrators will be sufficiently worried to stop such activities. Gamekeepers would normally take great steps to remove the corpses so the deaths may be due to rogue (amateur) shooter(s). Vigilance is required!

3 more Honey-buzzard migrants today on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 41 May, 44 total for spring)

24/05 12:38 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Hornsea Mere flew northeast over Wassand Hide late morning (11:05)

24/05 13:51 London : European Honey Buzzard, Tufnell Park flew northwest

24/05 14:51 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest two still south of raptor watchpoint this morning; [repeat, +0]

24/05 15:46 Cambridgeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Great Shelford noted twice drifting between Roman road and over the Gog Magog Golf course this morning (10:37)

May 23rd: brilliant weather continued, all-day sun, moderate W breeze, 17C max. Did make JLAF meeting to discuss top-level strategy from 14:30-16:00 at NP offices in Eastburn, Hexham. There were 3 of us there: AE, SR and I: always surrounded by power-women!! Had a Holly Blue butterfly in their grounds: a good find as rare outside Tyne & Wear this far N. Recovered in C4c4t where enjoyed the sights! Then from 17:20-18:20 made Letah Wood to look for Honey-buzzard to NW and E (2 sites). Did have a male up at 17:48, 17:54 and 18:08 over the ridge to the NW, above West Dipton Burn, towards the racecourse 1  2  3  4. He looked territorial, monitoring the area against intruders and having the odd incident with a few Crow (9023). Also up was a Red Kite over the same ridge; this is an established site; the Honey-buzzard and Red Kite were captured 'together' on some piccies with the kite below 1  2  3. A Pied Flycatcher male on the outside of the wood was a good find. To the E at Swallowship had a male Kestrel doing a spectacular climb, followed by plunge to ground. Total for trip was 23 bird-types, including Great Spotted Woodpecker (1). Later made G4g4s with P/R/D and the fanciable Am on!! Had massive firmware update for Samsung Galaxy J3 phone a few days ago. Always expect trouble after these events and so it was this time, losing mobile data connection while WiFi was still OK. Problem was APN (Access Point Name) not being set to anything, let alone Vodafone prepaid so SIM card didn't know about the connection to be made! Have learnt a bit more about how the phone works by exploring other issues: quite complex really, designed to keep the maintenance gangs happy! Had a Nightjar late-on, catching moths at a street lamp in GB (clear, still night after fine day, cool 5C). There's enough forestry in the area with clearings for this to be a breeding area. Like the piccie: stylish, intelligent, s.xy!!! More to come … xxxxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

7 more Honey-buzzard migrants in last 2 days (none on 21/5) on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 38 May, 41 total for spring)

22/05 13:29 Isle of Wight : European Honey Buzzard, Seaview one flew north early afternoon (13:25)

22/05 15:32 Lancashire : European Honey Buzzard, Leighton Moss RSPB one over skytower this afternoon (15:21)

23/05 10:28 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Worth Marsh flew north (10:25)

23/05 11:07 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Rye Harbour NR flew west late morning (11:00)

23/05 11:50 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Horsey flew southwest late morning

23/05 13:43 West Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Arundel WWT flew west early afternoon

23/05 15:46 Surrey : European Honey Buzzard, Thorncombe Street one flew west over Allden's Hill (15:40)

May 22nd: another brilliant day with strong sunshine throughout, up to 17C, dry, light NW breeze. Went out for walk on S side of Dipton Wood from 15:20-16:30. At 15:35 a male Honey-buzzard was flying W through the wood at moderate altitude towards the SW part of the wood 1  2  3  4  5 when he was attacked by another male Honey-buzzard, which gave determined chase. He escaped by moving E before turning and trying again to go W. He was again attacked but managed to escape to the W this time and get back to his site; all captured on video in this clip 1 (exciting!) with derived stills 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19 (9021)! The Frankham site found yesterday was also new, indicating a still-expanding population. As the two Honey-buzzard disappeared an adult Common Buzzard got up and dominated the scene 1  2. A Red Kite was again noted at Ordley at 15:14 as seen at Steel on way over to the start of the walk. A male Honey-buzzard was seen briefly over the March Burn site at 16:05, circling at low altitude (9022). So we're up to 10 sites now in the display phase; cannot count the Dipton scene as 2 sites as there's no space within the regulations for a new one here! Total of 19 bird-types included 2 Woodlark (one coming down from song-flighting, other flushed from a field on edge of wood), a male Kestrel to S over fields, 5 Pied Wagtail (fledged young), 8 Swallow. Butterflies comprised 3 types: Wall 1, Green-veined White 3, Orange-tip 8, with 2 micro-moths Anthophila fabriciana 2, Cydia ulicetana 7. Did a lot of work on the 2 visits made yesterday, completing the analysis except for the indexing of a few clips. tmeo looks good!! Socially met M at T4c4c, B at G4g4t and P/R at BB4m4s so quite busy! M's a remainer but otherwise in a minority of ¼ at G and 1/3 at BB; have already voted for 2moro – LD! Missing someone: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l, JLAF committee meeting to discuss WG priorities at 14:30 at Eastburn (NP), G4g4s; will try and get a site visit in for late afternoon!

May 21st: brilliant weather for raptors in afternoon with 16C, bright sunshine, light to moderate W breeze, the last giving lift for the birds. Covered more ground than expected as the Warden lay-by was packed with Network Rail vehicles in a job battling a water leak (not sure they succeeded as water welling out again as finished my visit later!). So went onto Grindon Lough before returning later to Warden, doubling my effort. At the Lough had 21 species, including Wigeon (2 drakes), Teal (a pair), Redshank (5, 2 pairs on moss), Curlew (2), Lapwing (2), Oystercatcher (1), Meadow Pipit (8), Skylark (2), GBBG (3 – 1 2s, 2 1s), Willow Warbler 1. Butterflies comprised 17 Green-veined White, 2 Orange-tip. Earlier from 12:04-12:08 had the male Honey-buzzard up over my local site, doing a rapid climb up at low altitude before doing a couple of celebratory rolls over the nest site itself, presumably to impress his mate. Continual activity over the site by the male once incubation has begun is usual, particularly while migration is still underway but it will decline as the need for secrecy increases. Here's some piccies 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 (9017). At 13:40 a male Honey-buzzard was picked up soaring at enormous height over Beaufront, viewed partially through the smoke from Egger's chimney (9018); soon after, totally mesmerised by tmeo!!! Over Frankham there was tremendous raptor activity with a pair of Honey-buzzard in full vigorous display at low altitude with the male and female diving down at each other and rearing up sharply from 16:13-16:18 1  2  3  4 (9019); they were accompanied by a pair of Red Kite, which were more placid but held their ground 5  6  7. At Warden from 15:30-16:50 had the first Hobby of season, a female looking in territory over Warden Hill at 15:51 before gliding off fast, losing height, to NW. Also had a Red Kite languidly landing in a tree to W of Warden Hill at 16:00 and a male Kestrel in territory at 16:05 but no Honey-buzzard seen at the Greenshaw Plain site (may be on eggs already!). Total at Warden for birds was 22 types including a male Yellow Wagtail on the South Tyne, a brood of 8 Long-tailed Tit, 3 singing Chiffchaff, 8 Sand Martin, 5 Swift, single Willow Warbler and Garden Warbler. Lepidoptera comprised 5 types: Orange-tip 3, Green-veined White 7, Small Tortoiseshell 1, Wall 3, Anthophila fabriciana 6. On walk back to car at level crossing had another Honey-buzzard, a male, gliding at 16:36 to SW, to NW of Hexham High Wood site (9020). There was a lot to report: 124 piccies: raptors were indeed good, particularly Honey-buzzard and Red Kite, plus 1st Hobby of season. Did make C4c4l and much later R&C4mr4s with A/M for good chat! See it's B9: movement 3 is so romantic: great conductor as well: sure it will be good!! Paper 'Composing Monads for a Musical Performance' has been formally accepted by the journal for publication in volume 7 issue 4: very pleased! Here's acceptance letter and final paper. 2moro it's T4c4c with M, trip out and G4g4t with B; may be having meal with P later but a bit up in the air! lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

May 20th: weather was better than expected, staying dry and mostly sunny until 16:00, cool 15C, almost calm. Made R @ B4m4l where had very interesting talk by a Saxon (Michael) on the Saxon Wilfrid, who was heavily involved in the foundation of Hexham Abbey in the 7th century. Like Michael: he's intelligent and fun! Below brought bird records up to 19/5 and elaborated a little on the great Aida performance. Straight after R went off to Stocksfield Mount where from 14:25-16:05 scanned the sky for raptors. Red Kite continue to expand their range with singles at Eltringham (new for year), Ovington and Styford (new site) and one later over Peth Foot near home at 16:22. So that's singles at 4 sites in an afternoon: Forkers must feel delighted: but they're not because it's not an environmental disaster! Common Buzzard were active close to the Mount with 3 seen, including 1 in low-level display, another large bird keeping close to the Tyne and another chased off by the large bird, which soared to an enormous height from 15:35-15:38 and was not seen to move off or to come back to ground again 1  2  3  4  5; wonder whether this last bird is an example of immature dispersal with the bird trying to find a spare slot, rather than a long-distance migrant; however the solid dark trailing bar on the secondaries and the wide subterminal band on the tail indicate this is an adult so behaviour is not clear at all; maybe it's just a territorial dispute by neighbours. Ringing returns support the short-range dispersal; populism supports the theory that all goes to Scandinavia. Did get 2 Honey-buzzard females but low-key: at 14:35 a brown female was up over land to NW of Ovington, soaring to moderate height and then coming down quickly (9015). A darker and heavier female Honey-buzzard was seen moving W at low altitude over E end of Short Wood from 14:52-14:53, moving into tops of trees: presumably going to Cottagebank 1  2  3  4 (9016). These birds were keen on feeding but they may well have displayed in the bright and sunny morning. Total for bird-types today was 20, including 15 Swift, 1 Nuthatch, 2 Bullfinch. Up to 5 Honey-buzzard sites now in study area: not bad! Made G4g4s with R for good crack; others at home with cocoa. This spring has been very rewarding so far: in all respects!! Take it as a yes: looking forward to it already!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!! 2moro it's C4c4l, trip out and maybe in evening as well.

3 more Honey-buzzard migrants today on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 31 May, 34 total for spring) plus Osprey at Whittle Dene and interesting series of Hobby records from Leinster:

20/05 17:26 Lancashire : European Honey Buzzard, Marshside RSPB one went north over the south end early evening (17:10)

20/05 15:47 Wexford : Eurasian Hobby, Tacumshin three at The Patches this afternoon

20/05 15:09 Northumberland : Western Osprey, Whittle Dene Reservoirs one this afternoon (15:00)

20/05 14:50 Waterford : Eurasian Hobby, Carrigavrantry one hawking over northern reedbed mid-afternoon

20/05 12:04 London : European Honey Buzzard, Alexandra Park possible heading northeast to north end of Wood Green Reservoir [?]

20/05 11:38 London : European Honey Buzzard, Richmond Park reported one pale morph flew over; then flew northeast (11:30) [R]

20/05 19:14 Wicklow : Eurasian Hobby, East Coast NR one still

May 19th: weather was cool, overcast, light NE breeze, damp in morning. No good for soaring and no Honey-buzzard action today in Ordley area. Did walk up closer to the site from 18:20-20:20 at 200m away but no activity noted; took 6 clips with enthusiastic Blackbird, Chaffinch, Chiffchaff songs but no background Honey-buzzard calls detected on playback on computer. Crows were still sitting on tree tops, suggesting birds are there on the valley floor: so secretive (or laid-back) when they choose to be - crow anxious  n of jungle 1  n of jungle 2 (9014)!! Total for evening trip was 19 bird-types. Including 1 Garden Warbler, 11 Swift, 9 Blackbird (adult carrying food), 3 Chiffchaff. Have finished analysis of Grand Tour records from 2/5-13/5 with summary of raptors and other birds below. Also sorted the records for 15/5 when the 4 Honey-buzzard from 2 sites were seen. So not lagging far behind! Did a lot of grass cutting and trimming late afternoon, doing front and middle part of back. Booked train NCL-BAN for 09:35 on 29/5, where N will pick me up; we're staying in a Premier Inn in Petersfield with targets of walks in the North Downs, trips to seaside and Winchester and of course Honey-buzzard, other raptors and insects: looking forward to it!! Have 3 more concerts b4 CFT at S: 25/5, 7/6, 15/6. Did make G4g4s where met the dommies gang and lively with E on, who's shortly going to Magaluf for a holiday: hope she comes back! Did study Weekend FT today – very cautious with all the populist problems, but the surprise Australian election result may cheer the commodity markets a little and oil has what they call geopolitical supply problems (war, blockades, sabotage, etc!). US markets are expensive on any measure but others offer what would have been regarded as good value in normal times. Hope 4Q goes well!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!! 2moro it's R @ B4m4l, trip out to the Mount, G4g4s!!

3 more Honey-buzzard migrants today on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 28 May, 31 total for spring)

19/05 07:15 East Sussex : European Honey Buzzard, Winchelsea one flew east along River Brede valley yesterday

19/05 09:43 Aberdeenshire : European Honey Buzzard, Bullers of Buchan one flew north

19/05 18:03 Cheshire : European Honey Buzzard, Hale one drifting North over Hale Village (17:40)

May 18th: finished adding records and piccies for 11/5 in Sidmouth area; will finish Honiton records tomorrow. Did make C4c4l; very good 2 c trhwso and such lovely service!! Made MP4m4t with N for good catch-up, including final prep for our next trip, the spring one, in 11 days time to Hampshire; could get a dynamic start a day earlier!! Onto S4con with ON performing Verdi's Aida. It did live up to its stunning reviews with great music, singing and drama: singing-wise thought Alessandra Volpe as Amneris (Princess of Egypt) was superb, really letting herself go in the finale of Act 2. I stayed in row L even though they lost a few rows and the acoustics were still perfect, even in the 'heavy' bits! End of Act 2 is the triumphant part of the opera as well-known in excerpts but the happiness soon fades as jealousy returns between Amneris and Aida for the love of captain Radames. At the end of Act 4 Radames and Aida are entombed alive and even Amneris is showing some remorse but no reprieve was forthcoming! The trumpet playing in the set pieces was superb, using some instruments prepared especially for the performance. The orchestra was enormous, performing well throughout and the large chorus perched up on level 3 sang with spirit. Conductor was Richard Armstrong, a magnificent veteran of opera in northern Britain. Passionate finish to day: she's the real *: love the X: lok2tgrf!!!!!!

6 more Honey-buzzard migrants in last 3 days on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 25 May, 28 total for spring), plus a Hobby in Borders:

16/05 15:54 East Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Spurn YWT probable flew south over the Humber this morning [?]

16/05 08:25 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Budby Common one flew north towards Welbeck

17/05 23:01 Borders : Eurasian Hobby, St. Boswells probable today [?]

17/05 15:46 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Faversham one flew west this afternoon

18/05 10:06 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest two [+1]

18/05 17:52 Derbyshire : European Honey Buzzard, Aston-on-Trent GPs one flew east then south this morning

18/05 21:00 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Badminston GP one over mid-afternoon then flew towards Badminston Common (15:10)

May 17th: submitted final version of monad/music paper to the publishers; waiting for all-clear on final changes. Sorted out 11/5 in Ottery St Mary area with 4 clips of the choir in action and 14 shots of the pair of displaying Honey-buzzard high up (9007). Will compile the bird-data tomorrow! Did some lawn cutting today: here's picture of mower, area cut and area uncut 1. Cowslips are lovely this year: here's area colonised by front gate 2 and an individual plant 3. Critics say it's an excuse to leave an area uncut! The big field (2 acres) is left uncut: wilderness 4! Could be converted back to pony pasture very quickly: do cut down invasive scrub. Saw the local male Honey-buzzard for 10 seconds today, up in the air S of the Devil's Water over pasture. The female, judging by the Crows, was in the nesting area for the first time so may well be progressing to next stage! Did finally sort out funds, calculating fall of 6k over last 3 weeks when markets have slid again on the madman's tariff battles! Portfolio is a lot more defensive now so fall is muted compared to what would have occurred in these circumstances last year. No more withdrawals so gain on year is 41k gross, 31k net. Made W4g4s with complete gang of 6 for good crack. Bar lass E was striking tonite, dyeing her hair red and wearing a head band with garlands around it. Just needed a spear, helmet and breast plate (quite a lot really!) to be Brünnhilde!! Did mention she looked very Nordic which went down well (attention-wise!). C from SS was also there!! Moth trapping tonite with damp air: good catch: it's now 03:38: time for bed: all will be released in the morning! 2moro it's C4c4l, CAL-NCL, MP4m4t at 17:00 with N. Reviews of Aida are very good so looking forward to it all!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

May 16th: weather still settled so bright sunshine but temperatures falling as wind went SE off North Sea, max 15C. Female Honey-buzzard was very conspicuous at home from 11:55-11:57 1  2  3  4  5  6 (9011) being seen before trip into Hexham for coffee and immediately afterwards at 13:55 1 (9013, habitat only). She appears browner in better light and thin neck was very much in view today. Fantastic action at the moment: they're so obvious: why is the species so difficult to survey: well wait for caution to set in as egg-laying begins!! Benefited from carrying gear into Hexham coffee trip, recording a pair of Honey-buzzard up to N of Hexham Hermitage from 13:08-13:15 with male climbing rather wildly into sky and diving before being joined by the female 1  2  3  4  5  6 (9012). Think sexual dimorphism is more marked in Honey-buzzard than is recorded in the literature at least from the perspective of field measurements: females are heavier with broader wings and proportionately shorter tails. Did make HASS production Encore in evening: all very good with the * showing off well and the school section from the Sele adding a lot of interest for some. Made B4rw4s and G4g4s after the event; good 2 c Hexham so lively!! Installed Acrobat DC today on both desktop and laptop for editing pdf files; cost £15 a month; it's essential for some electronic submissions now so good investment: 4 g a month is not a lot in the grand scheme of things! lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

May 15th: fine weather continued, 22C, sunny all day, hazy at times, light NE breeze, dry. Had an amazing sight from 13:51-14:01 of 4 Honey-buzzard up together to the NE from my house 1  2  3  4 (9010). First inkling was the local pair of Honey-buzzard, including the relatively heavy female, flapping steadily N from their valley and gaining height to meet up with the trespassing pair, believed to be from the NW at Dotland. The local pair moved under the visiting pair to keep them well up in the air but there wasn't any real aggravation. An enormous hatch of St Mark's Flies today made photography difficult on auto-focus! Their nest sites are 3.0km apart so well within regulations of 2.5-2.7km minimum spacing! Eventually the visiting pair drifted off high to NW and the local pair dived back to the ground. Later at 15:30 the male Honey-buzzard from Dotland once more appeared on the edge of the local pair's territory but this time he backed off, circling away to E. Suspect the Dotland pair have just arrived back and are 'renegotiating' their boundaries! So that's 2 sites in the 'Shire now! The incident also shows that no egg-laying has taken place yet as the local female was well away from the nesting area. Total for day at Ordley from 13:50-15:30 was 22 bird-types, including 4 Stock Dove, 2 Lapwing, 1 Curlew, 3 Swift, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Chiffchaff, 2 Song Thrush, 6 Tree Sparrow. A Grey Wagtail was at Letah Wood at 13:00. Had a good day in the garden, looking around (grass cutting can wait until it's cooler!). Consolidated the work done on the train and yesterday so have all piccies and records documented from Oxford and London (2/5-10/5) plus the day at Branscombe (12/5) in Devon. Hope to get the Sociology & Anthropology paper sent off tomorrow; ANPA are also looking for a new paper from us (Mike/I) for their 40th anniversary publication, maybe a 'summary' paper of work over past 10 years. Socially had 2 good chats meeting M again at T4c4t and B at G4g4t where good to have E on!! 2moro it's C4c4l, QH4con and G4g4s!! lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

4 more Honey-buzzard migrants today on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 19 May, 22 total for spring):

15/05 11:58 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Reighton Sands one flew SSW late morning (11:45)

15/05 14:57 Devon : European Honey Buzzard, Clayhidon one flying above Battle Street with c.10 Common Buzzards early afternoon (13:05)

15/05 15:25 Cornwall : European Honey Buzzard, Botallack one flew over this morning

15/05 22:31 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Harwood Dale male flew south over moor this evening

May 14th: brilliantly sunny day, 20C, light SE breeze. Consolidating paperwork after time away but expect to be out in the field 2moro. Made HoN4st4s with M for catch-up; A's not too well, in hospital with internal bleeds. 2moro it's T4c4c with M and G4g4t with B followed by Encore performed by HASS at QH on Thursday; last is a collection of songs from different musicals; as a patron I give HASS £60 for each production they do; it's good fun! Not sure what's happening on Friday but am at S4op on Saturday with N for Aida by ON!! Grand Tour was marvellous in all respects; besides the brilliant OMM met 15 relatives and 1 colleague for good catch-up; have applied to be a Friend of OMM; M was visibly buoyed by our meeting and late June may be good time to meet after The Ring. Piccie on FB is very expressive, almost wistful! Glow persists: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

From 29/4: Feeding areas piccies from Ordley are here for male 1 and female 1 Honey-buzzard (9002). Here's shot of my house, on the left, showing it's a more rural area than appears from shots from the road; the Scots Pine is ½ way down my field and my bedroom is at the end facing the camera: call in for a chat!! Also compiled clip and piccies from 30/4 at Ordley (below). From 2018 completed processing of Ordley moth records on 30/6, raising year total to 221 for all Lepidoptera. Added Black Park Honey-buzzard piccies (9006) to server; need to index them still.

An Osprey at Riding Mill (!) plus 6 more Honey-buzzard migrants in last 3 days on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 15 May, 18 total for spring) stretching all the way to Shetland:

12/05 11:02 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Dungeness NNR one drifting west over the Observatory

13/05 12:38 Northumberland : Western Osprey, Riding Mill flew west up River Tyne early afternoon

13/05 22:33 Cambridgeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Dog-in-a-Doublet one flew west (19:14)

13/05 17:36 Cambridgeshire : European Honey Buzzard, Dog-in-a-Doublet one flew north early evening

14/05 07:36 North Yorkshire : European Honey Buzzard, Wykeham Forest one from raptor viewpoint on Sunday [12/5 observation]

14/05 14:42 Devon : European Honey Buzzard, Aveton Gifford one flew up valley (13:40)

14/05 12:18 Shetland : European Honey Buzzard, Bressay one flew over Voe Head (10:30)

May 13th: long train journey but more or less on time except for minor hiccup at Durham. Weather was sunny all the way. Was dropped off at Honiton Station early as sis had golf match in morning; so had time to study a promising wood NW of Honiton where had a male Honey-buzzard low-down in territory at 10:32, soaring high over site before coming down again, a sure sign of a lonely male (9009)! He was again seen making a solo flight at 10:40 moving higher. Also here had 2 Raven. Around Reading picked up good numbers of Red Kite including just W of station (6), and the species continued to be noted up to N of Oxford (6 more), which was good to 'visit' again for all those memories!! Had a Common Buzzard SW of Leeds. Did masses of work on train including enriching captions on Sociology and Anthropology paper as requested by a reviewer, completing documentation of final Honey-buzzard site visit in 2018 and adding details to BirdTrack, writing final report for Honey-buzzard breeding season (½ way). If took a train to Australia might complete book on Honey-buzzard! Arrived feeling a little stiff but not really a problem!! Did dally: nite (and certainly not forgetting the morning!!) were gr8 for realising pent-up feelings: she's so gorgeous: lok2tgrf!!!!!!

Oxford/Reading 2/5-7/5, 13/5

London 7/5-10/5

Devon 10/5-13/5

Red Kite










Common Buzzard



















Table: OMM1. Counts of Raptors in Tour of southern England from 2/5-13/5 2019

For all bird-types there were 211 records for 57 species, 10 lists, 23 places.

May 12th: beautifully sunny again but little cooler at 18C max, light S breeze. More leisurely day, going for stroll around sis' house. At 11:02 did get the only Honey-buzzard sighting of the day, the male up at Bulverton, coming up for 10 secs and quickly dropping again (9008); on W end may well be nest building, a very strong instinct!! In Sidmouth N had 4 Raven, a displaying Common Buzzard and a female Kestrel. We went for lunch at Branscombe from 12:40-14:20 where there's a nice beach on the Jurassic Coast 1  2  3 (3 is most dramatic!) with a café/pub very close to it. Branscombe was where the container ship Napoli went aground in January 2007, the locals helping tremendously with the salvage effort, even keeping some of it safe in their houses for a while! We had good lunch. Added 2 Common Buzzard to the list in the area. Bird species recorded totalled 14, including a Cormorant 1s and 2 GBBG 1s, 10 Swallow.. Butterflies today comprised an Orange-tip female and a Holly Blue at Sidmouth N and a Peacock at Branscombe. Then back to watch the last proper day of the football season. Chorley and Woking were promoted to the National League in the play-offs, joining Torquay and Stockport. All Devon relatives (and Mike) are strongly pro-Brexit; all London relatives (and I) are strongly Remain. Keeping off the subject down here as feelings are running high. Finished compiling London records from recent visit and the indexing of the Wylam visit last year (8095). Tomorrow it's 10:55 HON-RDG, taking break before 14:45 ex RDG for NCL 20:02, via OXF for gr8 memories!! Might linger a bit, plenty of pent-up feeling: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

May 11th: sociable day making Ottery St Mary Parish Church just before service finished and meeting Mike/Liz outside. Mike was in better spirits than when I last saw him in December, a week before his heart attack, but still quite weak. As usual though he did show some insight into how to carry the monad/music work forward and we put a tentative meeting at Dartington Hall into the calendar for late June; it was lovely to see him again. He's not sure about ANPA at Liverpool in August. Weather was very sunny, warm at 23C, dry, light S breeze. So not too surprising that had a pair of Honey-buzzard when at the Church at 11:06 high-up to SSW at 1km-2km distance; they were involved in some lively gliding before the male was left up on his own to do some spectacular butterfly display ending at 11:12 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14 (9007). This is a new site for me. Total for all bird types was 19, including 2 singing Garden Warbler and a Great Spotted Woodpecker; butterflies comprised 3 Holly Blue and 4 Orange-tip. We moved onto Knightstone Manor for an excellent buffet lunch as guests of the Swedish Church and were then treated to some beautiful singing by the London Nordic Choir out in the sunshine in the courtyard where lunch was eaten; clips of choir singing 1  2  3  4, piccies of choir 1  2  3 and Ottery Church 1  2. Really enjoyed that; have some clips of the songs!! The choir had come down by bus in the morning and are appearing at Exeter Cathedral tomorrow morning. Quite a coup for the Swedish entrepreneur organising it all! Function finished at 15:00, said goodbye to Mike and Liz and drove the10km back to Sidmouth (in sis' car). Knightstone Manor has some good Honey-buzzard wooded habitat to E 1  2 (9007a). Had a Common Buzzard at Wiggaton at 15:05. As entered sis' estate at 15:15 picked up a male Honey-buzzard gliding at speed towards Bulverton Wood, a known site. He came down in the E area of the wood. Can view some of the wood from sis' patio so watched area over a cup of tea and at 16:02 a female Honey-buzzard was seen flying through the tops of the trees to W, before putting on a major turn of speed moving NW, along the same line her partner had used earlier 1  2  3  4  5  6  7 (9008); last 2 shots are of the wooded habitat. There may be an attraction such as a dung-heap at the end of this line, containing large grubs, or more likely the heathland at Core Hill! So that's 4 Honey-buzzard today at 2 sites and Grand Tour total reaches 8 birds at 5 sites: incredible! Evening was very lively, having dinner (2nd large meal of day!).with nephew Stuart, partner Jill, William (Jill's son) all over from Newton Abbot and Liz, David, last complaining that his wine cellar was under threat!! So bit of an indulgent and exciting day. Did remember before leaving this morning to update Memories page on the server; have played War Mother all the way through; it's very impressive!! Not sure what we're doing tomorrow but am sure of the next: really looking forward to it!! lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

3 more Honey-buzzard migrants in last 2 days on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 9 May, 12 total for spring):

11/05 15:45 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, flew inland over M3 services (15:34)

10/05 15:49 Dorset : European Honey Buzzard, Portland one flew north near the Observatory

10/05 15:20 Warwickshire : European Honey Buzzard, Ladywalk NR (PERMIT ONLY) possible flew west [?]

May 10th: journey went well, indeed so well that with an accelerated change made HON at 15:15. Had 2 Red Kite displaying at Mortimer W. Did get some work done: compiling bird records from Oxford, Ealing and Turnham Green from 7/5-8/5; writing a glossary for the monad paper, as requested by a reviewer; adding War Mother to Memories in the Festival page on my laptop (soon to be transferred to public pages!). Little sis Liz fetched me; HON also has a golf course where she plays and she'd just finished a game. Had a relaxing evening with sis and her partner David, who's a very good cook of professional standard. Received message at 19:00 from Google Calendar saying I should be in Hexham Abbey: sadly no, bet it was brilliant!! So firmly in Devon in SW England now at Sidmouth. Going to Swedish Church do at Ottery St Mary 2moro to meet Mike, my long-standing colleague. We've got lunch and Swedish folk dancing and singing in the afternoon at the very fine Knightstone Manor, owned by a Swedish entrepreneur. You might wonder why: Mike's wife is Swedish; but he was brought up in Devon like me. So looking forward to seeing them again. By tea-time should be back at sis's for dinner with them and Stuart's family, another nephew! Time spent here is same as in London: no favouritism! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

On tour from 2/5-10/5 have 51 bird species from 159 records, 7 complete lists, 11 places. Raptors are of 5 types: Red Kite 43 birds, 15 records, 7 sites; Honey-buzzard 4 birds, 3 records, 3 sites; Common Buzzard 2 birds, 2 records, 2 sites; Kestrel 2 birds, 2 records, 2 sites; Peregrine 1 bird, 1 record, 1 site. Red Kite are present in enormous numbers; it's interesting that Honey-buzzard is no.2. All added to BirdTrack by 15/5. Butterflies were very poor in same period: 3 Holly Blue, 1 Orange-tip.

May 9th: a gr8 day!! Weather was sunny with sky mainly clear except for a few cumulus clouds; cool /n breeze but warm in sunshine, 14C max. Made Black Park, near Slough, from 11:10-12:30 with big sis in morning and had a male Honey-buzzard up over the heathland, at 11:16 following a pair of Red Kite climbing in a thermal. A pair of Honey-buzzard then appeared at 11:41, at moderate height in the sky; the male moved rapidly S in power-glide at 11:42 before turning around at 11:43, climbing to a great height and doing 3 decisive butterfly display flights, diving rapidly with tightly furled wings before climbing rapidly, clapping wings at top of climb and sinking again 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14  15  16  17  18  19  20  21  22  23  24  25  26  27; 21-27 show the high altitude butterfly display (9006): marvellous spectacle!! They came up over the heathland where from previous observations think they are nesting in Scots Pine on the edge. Have many piccies. Total was 20 bird-types, including a Great Crested Grebe, 7 Red Kite, a female Kestrel, 1 singing Blackcap. Back to Ealing for lunch and Acton for tea, where met Ben and Emily again. Then tube Turnham Green – KGX where met son Alex at Rotunda, Kings Place, at 19:00 for meal. This is a major music centre, home to Aurora and much chamber music. Looking at future events see NC features prominently with KA to a smaller extent. We'll have to go to a concert here!! Son is going to a Stockhausen opera next week; his technique is supposed to be based on category theory: might be a paper there! Resisted temptation to catch last train back to NCL announced as moving to Piccadilly line. Very happy to receive a certain email: sentiment reciprocated!!! So back on the rails 2moro with 11:34 EAL-HON at 16:15 on 2 changes at RDG and BSK; might get some work done. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

May 8th: caught 65 bus from Ealing Broadway to Kingston, where met up with daughter Catherine's family at their house. We went round to the Nuffield Sports Centre for S's ballet class, which evidently is the highlight of the week! Granddaughters are looking very well: here's Sophia 1  2 4.25 years and Bella 3  4 2.70 years, not forgetting Snowy the cat 5 who's suffering from shock after falling off a tree in Richmond Park! We all had great reunion for 9 hours before back on the 65. Tomorrow seeing son whose property purchase in Hatfield area on 3rd attempt looks like going through after positive valuation report. Slight bridging problems evidently so giving him 3k for birthday present next month to celebrate the purchase! Weather was very wet this morning but mild and sunny by afternoon at 14C max with a few heavy showers still around. Did keep an eye on the birds on the edge of Richmond Park, getting 12 types from 13:55-18:00, including a Swift. Kew Bridge was interesting with a Grey Heron and an Egyptian Goose. lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!!

Great stuff: just heard that paper presented last year at Universal Logic in Vichy, Composing monads for a musical performance, has been accepted by the journal Sociology and Anthropology for publication, with minor corrections, mainly repeating explanations of symbols on each diagram; this I accept as each diagram should be self-standing. Publication is imminent! So satisfying … xx!! Thanks to all who contributed!

May 7th: weather was warmer as got to London, 15C, with sunny intervals. Train journey was fine, short and sweet; met by big sis Gill at EAL; we went round to Acton where fetched Ben (9) and Emily (7) from primary school. Had 2 Holly Blue in their garden. Soon joined by nephew John and wife Clare who ordered a meal on-line for us and we provided some white wine. Lost at Monopoly to Ben: he's a right capitalist though could complain that when I joined the game, nearly all the properties were already acquired by others: even better skills: rigged market! So we had good catch-up with much discussion on our joint trip coming up in August to the Dolomites! Ben is learning to play the violin and Emily the cello, latter following her Auntie Julie (my niece). On the train managed to start the labelling of the images and clip from Honey-buzzard site visit to Wylam on 11/07/2018 (8095) and later completed the job. So next stage is to index them. Can then write 2018 breeding report (for the Honey-buzzard, that is!). 2moro age of kids goes down to 4 and 2 and a ballet performance is on at pre-school: looking forward very much to that! As drifted away from Oxford added another property to fiancée below: WLM was the subject of the tie-break question to her suitors!! Great memories of the OMM: really inspiring in concept and in execution!!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!

1 Honey-buzzard migrant on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 6 May, 9 total for spring):

07/05 14:26 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Sandwich Bay one flew north over south side mid-afternoon (14:20)

May 6th: day 5 and finale of OMM. Really enjoyed Kaupo Kikkas's illustrated talk and the atmospheric music played by Amandine S, including Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel again. The talk by Ottoline Leyser Thinking like a vegetable; How plants decide what to do, was a little disappointing in that it didn't really live up to the title; quite a lot of information on how plants work was well presented but the title was a little OTT. The music finale was brilliant with Schubert's sophisticated octet D803 coming over well and Wolf-Ferrari's more boisterous Chamber Symphony opus 8 sending away the audience in good spirits!! Always love it when the players are so enthusiastic and competent. Lady in red was a *: looked good, very motivating, looking ahead!! Will miss her!! Will become a friend of the Festival: £200 gives you that status plus a festival pass: that is such good value!

Weather again cold for time of year: cool 11C max cloudy, light N breeze. It's just weather of course, not climate change: we're not heading for the next ice age! Had walk from 14:45-15:55 at Aston's Eyot near Festival venue. Highlight was another Honey-buzzard flushed at 50m from an ash tree, from which it fled at an incredible pace into the scrub behind, at 15:00; think it was a male with an overall grey-brown plumage (9005). This bird could have been a migrant though there is enough breeding habitat in the area where sighted and further to the W. Red Kite totalled 7 today with 5 at Blackbird Leys and singles at Cowley and Aston's Eyot. Had more variety in warblers today: 2 Blackcap, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Willow Warbler, but numbers seem low; 2 Swift overhead were the fist seen here and hirundines seem scarce. Blackbird with 15 seen is surely the commonest bird around, so there must be lots of worms in the grassy patches. But insects do seem scarce, with just 1 Bumblebee seen today, indicating pollution perhaps. Red Kite will readily eat worms. Running total for bird-types in Oxford is 46 as prepare to leave. Grand Tour resumes with OXF-EAL tomorrow at 12:01, just an hour by train, staying at big sis', with meal in evening at nephew J's!! lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!!

3 Honey-buzzard migrants, all in Norfolk (where N&I found some in breeding mode last May), on BirdGuides (count 3 April, 5 May, 8 total for spring):

06/05 12:17 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Wells-next-the-Sea one flew south (11:58)

06/05 14:21 Norfolk : European Honey Buzzard, Waxham two flew south this morning (08:55)

May 5th: day 4 of OMM. Having a gr8 time with music and birds!! Always like a bit of singing and this afternoon we had Mary Bevan, soprano, performing a wide range of music, including two by Ralph Williams – along the Field, Three Vocalises – which were restrained, almost ethereal. Holst's Four Songs was also on the quiet side and Arvo Pärt's My Heart's in the Highlands was mesmeric with the organ giving a repetitive accompaniment! The programme was well constructed as the contrast with Schubert's Der Hirt auf den Felsen was very striking and Mary sung very well! The again-informative talk was by Robin Grimes on Learning to live with our Defects. Evidently every material has defects, nothing is perfect; quite a number of processes rely on these defects such as getting materials to slide. I asked him about the worrying defects in castings for nuclear power plants; he said defects will always occur but the critical thing is whether radioactive exposure will make them critically worse. The evening music programme was also very varied; it was entitled In Memoriam but it didn't come over as that funereal. Paul Dean's Blue Ginger was highly emotional with a slow start to each movement being followed by a grand finale; this was for a quintet with good play by everyone and expertly led!! Yet another Arvo Pärt piece was included – Da Pacem Domine, continuing his melancholy theme but the players managed the sustained notes very capably. Also in this excellent part of the programme, we had a lively Smetana Piano Trio in G minor, a smooth Mozart Sonata in E minor, and a horn trio by Brahms, which rounded off the day perfectly! lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!!

Had a great day with the raptors. Weather was better, still cool at 11C max but dry and with some sunny intervals particularly around midday. Star was a male Honey-buzzard prospecting at 12:20 over the S side of the valley, S of Sandford, at Bagley Wood (9004), accessible in a moderate walk from my hotel from 11:30-13:15. He was keeping low, slowly moving over the copses, open areas and woodland, so on a reconnaissance tour, shortly after return from Africa. Red Kite were everywhere: 7 at Sandford, 3 Blackbird Leys, 2 Cowley, 2 Bagley Wood, 1 Aston's Eyot, total of 15. A Common Buzzard was at Sandford, a male Kestrel near Oxford Sewage Works and an adult male Peregrine over Aston's Eyot. So that's 19 raptors of 5 types: marvellous! Had 26 bird-types at Sandford, including singing Blackcap and Whitethroat, 15 Blackbird, 5 Stock Dove, 1 Little Egret. In later short walk at Aston's Eyot, neat Festival centre, from 16:15-17:15 had 2 Green Woodpecker yaffling, 2 singing Blackcap, a Jay. Running total for bird-types for trip is 36. Insects seem scarce everywhere, even allowing for the cool weather, with just a male Orange-tip today at Sandford and 8 Green Carpet at Aston's Eyot. Had just 1 butterfly earlier in the trip, a Holly Blue in Oxford SE on 3/5. Have noticed this in the S before: is the agriculture too intensive and/or is there too much hidden pollution in the atmosphere, for instance from vehicles? A lot of the 'countryside' is young roadside verges. Having just 4 insectivorous warblers today is an indication that all is not well.

Here's the piccies from 4/5 in Polstead Road. First the house no.2 1  2, the plaque (truly famous, Lawrence of Arabia, my fiancée said it was apt!!), my room (floor 1). Round the corner was the Anchor Inn 1  2 where used to indulge in a few beers, drunk quickly just before closing time; had a drinking mate and fellow Wagnerian Fred; we were not good influences on each other! The great majority of my stay in Oxford was in Polstead Road but started off in a pokey room in St John Street at no.15 1. Plaque on no.16 1 is to William Turner, artist. My fiancée Anna Franceska Makosch was ½ Polish through her father Johannes Makosch, Catholic, born in Devonport, eldest child of 3, blonde with Slav features, 5 years younger than me, lived with her family in Leeds when younger before moving back to Devon to Shaldon (other side of mouth of River Teign), obtained a BA in history from Lancaster University and a Dip Arch in archives management from Liverpool University, keen choir singer and amateur actress, initially engaged to David Cohen, a Jew, part of the Tesco family and a computing scientist, favourite composer Sibelius, passionate supporter of women's liberation movement. Good fodder for genealogists!!

May 4th: day 3 of OMM. Great stuff!! Wide-open space theme continued in the afternoon with some North American inspired/linked pieces, including Dvorák's SQ 12, Copland's Sextet for clarinet, SQ and piano, John Williams' Elegy and Korngold's Much Ado about Nothing. Loved the tuneful Dvorák and the energetic Copland! Scientific talk was by Simon Boxhall A Sea of Trouble: How Plastics are impacting our oceans, who was fairly relaxed about ugly large pieces of plastic in the sea but aghast at the micro-plastics which are now well incorporated into the food-chain. They've now been banned from cosmetic products such as tooth-paste and face-scouring products but much potential damage has already been done. Plastic straws were also heavily slated as they take 200 years to decompose so don't use them! Had good tea at Oxford Blue a very well-placed pub just round the corner; they looked after me well! Evening performance Austrian Brothers hit the heights with Mahler's Piano Quartet superbly led and Arvo Pärt's Fratres being very atmospheric with hidden treasure not revealed until end!! Also had 2 pieces by Mozart and Webern's Langsamer Satz. Very impressed by standard and enthusiasm!!! I think the Festival is an undoubted success this year.

In morning explored north of the city where used to work and live as a post-doc. Workplace for 4 years was 7 Keble Road in the Experimental Information Unit within the University of Oxford. It's still there; I used to work on floor 1; it's now OERC, Oxford e-Research Centre, with Computing Science around the corner and Keble College opposite. Did get me thinking about my move to Oxford from Hull. I did find it strange at first but eventually settled in well with many good colleagues after 4 years, and was part of a group regularly attending Wagner operas at the Coliseum in London (I used to drive them down), but other needs brought me back to the N!! I could have stayed but Newcastle's reputation in Computing Science was also very high, in the top 5 in the UK. Weather today was cool on moderate N breeze, hail showers, 11C max, 2C min. Did count the birds getting 17 types from 11:30-14:00 in Oxford City N; running total for raptors is 4 Red Kite, 1 Common Buzzard. Also this morning visited the 2 places in which I lived, both with plaques, but not to me!! Will sort the piccies out soon. I married within weeks of leaving Oxford for Haltwhistle: quite a change!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

May 3rd: day 2 of OMM. Really enjoyed today. Lunch was fabulous, plenty of Japanese food: quite an introduction, and gr8 company!! Andrew King's talk 'Brian Plasticity from Music to Hearing Loss' was so central to my research interests. He dealt with musical sound in the context of the human ear and brain, mentioning both sonograms and cochleagrams as representations of physical sound (in a collapse of the wave function, recording frequency, time and intensity, on a single picture). The cochleagrams are the spectrograms as recorded in the inner ear where the Cochlea hairs contain the nerves for hearing. People suffering hearing loss often have damaged or non-existent Cochlea hairs. I was a bit uncertain about the jazz by Phronesis: We Are All. It had a good theme of all of nature being interconnected (and interdependent) and I liked the varied and exciting rhythms; pleased I went.

Had a walk around parks of Blackbird Leys from 12:15-13:25 in cool, cloudy weather with heavy showers. Had a pair of Red Kite in territory with another pair seen later to SW of Iffley Road: good to see them ion the edge of the city. In total of 17 bird-types also had confirmed breeding for Starling and Blackbird, plus 9 Goldfinch. Here's some piccies of Holiday Inn 1 near Kassam Stadium where stayed for £345 for 5 nights, park in Blackbird Leys 1  2, St John the Evangelist (SJE Arts, Iffley Road, linked by James Street to Cowley Road) festival venue 1  2  3  4  5, Oxford Blue pub 1 round the corner from SJE (serves London Stout and red wine, spent £80 there on sundries!). Buses 1/5 connect Blackbird Leys to Iffley Road to Station at 6 minute interval for most of day, running from 4 in the morning to midnight, taking 25 min from Blackbird Leys to James Street and 45 min in all to the Station. Google Maps is useful for live plotting of the bus route with Windale Avenue being target for Holiday Inn.

Red Kite Milvus Milvus March 2019 entry in Northumberland and Tyneside Bird Club Bulletin. The massive increase well under way is finally recorded a little more accurately, matching numbers actually present in the county.

Three birds were at South Snods on 3rd (IFo) and at Carterway Heads on 26th (IFo). Two birds were noted at Snods Edge on 2nd (IFo), North Tyne Valley on 12th (AH per MH) and at Derwent Reservoir on 30th (IFo). Single birds were at Derwent Reservoir on 5th (IFo), Morpeth A1 bypass and Longhoughton on 13th (PG/JAR), Gosforth Park on 14th (MSH), Alnwick on 18th (per IK), Wallsend Swallow Pond on 21st (GDK), East Chevington and Howick on 23rd (MN/BS), Spindlestone (JSo/FSo) and St Cuthbert’s Cave (PG) on 24th, Snods Edge on 27th & 28th (IFo), and on the 29th birds were seen near Derwent Reservoir (PG), Eachwick (MNC), Harthope Valley (ADMc) and at Prestwick Carr (AA). On 31st a single bird was seen at Carterway Heads (RMH).

Another Honey-buzzard migrant on BirdGuides, (count 3 April, 2 May, 5 total for spring):

03/05 07:25 Nottinghamshire : European Honey Buzzard, Market Warsop flew north-northeast early morning (07:21)

2moro the pace increases with 3 events. Going to see old haunts in morning! lok2t gorgeous one!!!!!

May 2nd: up at 06:30 (early for me), caught 08:25 HEX-NCL and 09:35 NCL-OXF, arriving at 13:43, on time. Did get some decent work done on train, including indexing Kellas visit but nothing uploaded yet. Took bus 5 to Blackbird Leys on E extreme of the City, to check into HI, right next to Kassam Stadium, Oxford United's ground. Hotel is being refurbished, looking good! Had a Common Buzzard and a pair of Red Kite in area: it's got some leafy parkland. Made SJE for OMM off bus 1, arriving a little early. Talk by Tim Leighton on noise made by bubbles was very interesting: that's the technique used in ultrasound treatment to clean teeth and increasingly in anti-microbe warfare, keeping bugs that have been killing more and more people in hospital at bay. Concert went very well: Goldner String Quartet played Beethoven SQ 11 and Shostakovitch SQ 9 brilliantly, particularly the latter, which has some lovely dark moments. York Bowen's “Fantasy” Quintet was very well received: lots of panache by the players!! Paul Dean was a star on his various clarinets. And Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel was atmospheric. So pleased I came and much more to come: very warm welcome is gr8: looking forward to lunch!! xxxxxxxxxx!!!!!

May 1st: cooler and duller today at 12C max, 4C min with some light rain in morning. Did masses of work on last 2 Honey-buzzard site visits in 2018, even continuing in QH when cleaner S arrived. All the Kellas material including the processed clips is now on the server so just needs indexing through the 2018 NB. The Wylam material is not on the server yet but the video clip has been processed. So can complete these last 2 visits while concurrently writing up the account of breeding Honey-buzzard in 2018. Sent abstract for ANPA 40, to be held at Liverpool University in August:

Physical Sounds as Colimits in the Topos, Nick Rossiter and Michael Heather, Computer and Information Sciences, Pandon Building, Northumbria University, Newcastle NE2 1XE, UK

The topos is based on the idea of Aristotle for tackling a legal argument with the premises held within its structure and the logic returning true or false as the outcome. In category theory the classical topos as defined by Grothendiek and others is closed at both ends and the truth object or subobject classifier may be more complex, for instance based on the natural numbers. At the lower end there exist products of objects, connected by times X, and a limit. At the upper end there exist coproducts of objects, connected by sum +, and a colimit. If both limits and colimits do not exist, then the category is not a classical topos. Recent work by the authors has concentrated on the example of music in category theory with logical aspects such as players, scores and occasions, the last representing a co-ordinated sound by the performers. This paper will take the work forward by exploring how physical sounds are defined in terms of a topos, the conditions for colimits to exist, the boundaries of their existence in the context of an actual performance and how occasions relate to the `Now' of the philosopher Alfred North Whitehead. The result should advance our understanding of music in universal terms across both the logical and physical levels and feed back into category theory a better understanding of the formation of colimits.

One more Honey-buzzard migrant on BirdGuides, (count 3 April, 1 May, 4 total for spring):

01/05 10:03 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Benacre one over high up and drifting south (09:58)

So tomorrow will be exciting!! lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!!

April 30th: a little cooler today at 15C max and more cloud in afternoon but still very settled. Completed processing Oakpool nest visit 22/7 (8120) and started on last 2, processing the video as laptop is a little stretched in that area. Idea is to take the processed video with me to avoid that problem. Added the first Honey-buzzard sighting, a displaying pair, on my patch at Towsbank on 13/06/1993 to BirdTrack. Did watch out for Honey-buzzard today and was rewarded at 13:14 by the female coming out of her riverside haunt, where thought to be yesterday, doing a soar to moderate height and then abruptly backing out and diving back to ground. Here's clip 1 with derived stills of the dive 1  2  3  4 and stills taken in initial climb 1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8 (9003). The rapid halt to her climb and dive back to ground are captured in the video: the dive is very characteristic with the bird pushing the carpals (elbows) well forward and the head and neck into a narrow point so that the bird is very streamlined, in a triangular shape. Suspect she was disturbed, maybe seeing a person nearby. Her mate was clearly away on a feeding trip! A little to the W of Dukesfield at Steel Hall picked up pairs of Common Buzzard and Red Kite soaring. Did make C4c4l where more attractive setting and G4g4s where met M/A for good crack. Delighted to hear luncheon is on!!! 2moro it's QH4CT, G4g4t with B and sort-out!! lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!!

April 29th: here's complete list of my records for Honey-buzzard in UK in April going back to 2007: 16 in all, 17 birds (7 female, 10 male); male total slightly exceeds female total but the 4 earliest records from 17/4-21/4 are all female. So having birds returning in April is not unusual at favoured localities but only once before on 23/04/15 at Staward N has a pair been present this early. Need to think about adding my Honey-buzzard records from 1993-2006 to BirdTrack: would assist in the write-up. Number of records in the early years is quite small, held in personal annual reports in computer text files, but increasing in the early 2000s.















Bywell Cottagebank




Staward N




Staward N

female, male







Staward N




Staward S












Greenshaw Plain








Dipton Mill




Bywell Cottagebank




Staward N


Made solid progress on Oakpool visit 22/07/18 (8120) and added some url for reports on the Gulls' final game of the season (27/04/19), all on NB 2018. Hope to complete the analysis of the Oakpool visit tomorrow. Weather was beautiful today at 16C max, 8C min, continuous bright sunshine from mid-morning, dry, light S breeze. Made HEX for N4c4l, collection of train tickets, shopping at M&S for clothes and food, followed by another strenuous session with the mower. Did study the local pair of Honey-buzzard from 15:40-17:30 by moving closer to the nest and watching. Today was clearly a feeding day with the male c200m from my house in a linear small plantation and the female in larger timber by the Devil's Water, c500m away. How do I know? Well in both areas 2 Crow were perched on the very tops of the trees and the male was seen twice getting up in the air very briefly before coming quickly down again. Feeding areas piccies are here for male 1 and female 1 (9002). Here's shot of my house, on the left, showing it's a more rural area than appears from my shots from the road; the Scots Pine is ½ way down my field and my bedroom is at the end facing the camera. Much later made G4g4s where 6 of us out for good chat with A on!! 2moro it's C4c4l; not sure about evening!! lok2t gorgeous ones!!!!!

April 28th 2019: new Notice Board started for 2019 with exciting news that new season is under way. Analysis on Honey-buzzard nest visit to Oakpool on 22/7 (8120) remains in progress with 2 more visits (Wylam, Kellas) to analyse to complete the processing.

At 15:24 noticed a kite-like bird soaring from Devil's Water a little way to the W at 15:24. But it wasn't a Red Kite it was a male Honey-buzzard. At 16:15 noticed a female Honey-buzzard doing a low-down flap-flap-glide across the Devil's Water, moving S. As she soared there was another bird above her: the male seen earlier. They went into display mode with some mutual circling lower-down followed by follow-me higher-up as they studied their territory before the male moved N to do sky-diving to the N of Ordley. This display flight was captured on video clip 1 (9001). The clip has not been edited so is a bit chaotic but there is a long flight call at 29s (trisyllabic, thin, flutey), mutual circling from 39s to 1 min 30s (when had to be polite to passing couple and lost my place!), mainly follow-me from 3 min 0s to 4 min 56s and a dive right at the end as the male starts a little sky-diving, which continued after the clip-end on his own for another 1 min. The female returned to the nesting area. Some stills were also taken of the male 1  2  3 and the female 1  2  3. The male is more kite-like and the larger female more buzzard-like. Since they migrate and winter separately they will have not seen each other since end of last August – 8 months! But they are faithful to site (philopatry) and partner (loyal) and looked pleased to see each other though real s.xy interaction is perhaps 2 weeks away as they feed up to restore reserves after migration of 5500 km over 3-4 weeks. Will keep a close eye on them while I can! I think this pair is the regular one that's occupied the site for many years as they look the same as last year's and have returned early as usual; will check whether they've arrived any earlier in previous years. Weather was bright sunshine on light polar N breeze (perfect!) at 13C max 3C min and dry after yesterday's murk. Not unusually had 1st Swift N as the Honey-buzzard arrived plus 1st Cuckoo calling of the season.

Did a lot of grass cutting on 2 areas, not making Hexham until G4g4s when into dommies where lost 40p. Funds had another poor week losing much of the previous week's gain as well at -6k. The Brexit relief rally (at avoiding no-deal) has rapidly faded! Still yield on portfolio is now very high at over 6%. Have booked up trains for Grand Tour, costing £157.95 in all through CrossCountry, who have a good web site. May stop-over on 13/5!! 2moro should make C4c4l and G4g4s!! lok2t gorgeous ones and HB!!!!!

Reports from BirdGuides so far this spring (count 3 for month, 3 for year (spring)):

28/04 22:18 Gloucestershire : European Honey Buzzard, Nailsworth one reported over valley (13:00) [R]

Another Honey-buzzard claim (count 2), will have to start new NB soon!

24/04 12:23 Hampshire : European Honey Buzzard, Hill Head probable flew east mid-morning; also 2 Black Terns flew east at 06:40 and an adult Little Gull (09:00) [?]

Complacency about finishing last year's records before they come back was dispelled today by:

20/04 15:44 Suffolk : European Honey Buzzard, Saxmundham one soaring and circling over Saxon Road and slowly travelling south (15:00)

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