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This is the current blog for the 2023 season, updated daily, giving recent activity.
The main aim in the new season is to write a book on Honey-buzzard, using my experience in British Isles, continental Europe and Africa, dating from 1993. Field work in 2021 in Northumberland will complement this task, filling in gaps and reinforcing findings. Further lengthy trips in mind abroad for 2023 are Georgia (Tbilisi, Batumi) in August/September and Kenya (Masai Mara) in December. Broad headings for book are: Motivation, Historical Records, Rediscovery in Britain, Migration Patterns, Arrival and Display, Breeding Activity, Habitat, Dispersal, Wintering Grounds, Four Identification Models, Value of Field Experience, Further Studies, Bibliography. The initial costs of publishing the book in hard copy, running to perhaps 250pp, are well within my means. Some supplementary material may be published online.
December 1st: maximum 0C, minimum -5C, light E, sunny, bitterly cold. Started labelling Bywell 22/8 piccies, over half way through. Gas up to 65% this evening of UK's electricity supplies; without fossil fuels we'd have frozen to death; who's going to stop the COP madness. If carbon dioxide is indeed the only driver of climate change (which I very much doubt), we should have invested billions in low-carbon nuclear power to provide a back up for the inherently unreliable renewables. Also looked at other countries today on new url electricity maps : Germany and Poland are burning masses of coal, the Netherlands relies on gas like us and France, Belgium, Slovakia and Finland score well on low carbon with their nuclear power; Norway and Sweden are green on hydropower. It's very nice that all this is happening during COP! Made QHC4s4l where pleased to have S on!! Then QHL where did some work on Whitehead paper. Cleaner S came in afternoon and left her Xmas presents! So 2moro it's up to Marchmont Hall in Scotland for a Samling masterclass! Going to be very cold again. A sensuous day: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 30th: maximum 1C, minimum -3C, light NW, sunny, bit cloudier in afternoon but threatened snow showers did not arrive. Freezing again in evening but road gritted. Ordered more ovoids (smokeless coal) yesterday (50kg), getting quite low, arrived this afternoon -- good service. I have 2 bunkers, 1 has domestic coal, reducing steadily, which use for lighting fire, cannot get more of this as banned! Will use both bunkers for ovoids in a few months when domestic coal exhausted. Completed processing 12/8 Dukeshagg and started on 22/8, doing Ordley butterflies; next up is Stocksfield Mount visit that day; then just Towsbank 20/8 to do to finish season. For those following COP28, gas supplied 63% of UK's electricity today, wind 15%, solar 1%, as in the freezing cold, wind dropped, and solar intensity is very weak always, this close to solstice. So without fossil fuels, you would have frozen to death if electric-only! Of course main heating for homes is gas and for cars is petrol so of total energy use today, fossil fuels around 85%. A massive expansion of nuclear power is the only way forward for the human race. Completed id check for will at NP and paid them £330 for the will. Threw out 2 sacks of paper today onto compost heap behind the sheds; doing a major tidy-up. Made G4g4s with R/A/P 4 good chat with L/L on!! Car registered -5C as drove home near to base! Did make a certain payment to my favourite cause today: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! lok2tgrf xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 29th: maximum 1C, minimum -2C, light NW, sunny but cloudier later and light snow settling in evening. Finished labelling piccies from Dukeshagg 12/8, cropped all of them, uploaded them to server and indexed them all on this page so just need to add records to BirdTrack, leaving only 2 data sheets to add. Finished transcribing George's will and uploaded result to his profile on WikiTree; the Cider Press (in capitals indeed!) went to his son in law in the residue! Made NP at 13:15 for signing will, which was duly completed; need to go in tomorrow to complete id criteria but it's done! 2moro it's NP at 11:30, T 12:00 and much later G! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 28th: maximum 3C, minimum -2C, light W, sunny but becoming cloudy late afternoon, frosty in evening. Cold spell is going to continue, Tried a bit of twitching today after Waxwing in Hexham and Smew at Tyne Green and did a massive amount of walking (14k steps today) but did not catch up with either. However from 12:00-15:05 did have 3 Goldeneye (2 drake, 1 redhead), a drake Goosander, 2 Little Grebe, a Dipper, a calling Chiffchaff ,at Tyne Green plus a male Sparrowhawk hunting over Sele at 15:00, and feel better after the exercise; will count up the total tomorrow. It was 27 bird-types! Made QHC4s4l to keep me going and pleased to have S on! In evening made QH4con with Hexham Music Society and L to hear James Newby baritone with Joseph Middleton piano. Beautiful sounds with songs by Schubert, Beethoven and John Casken (present!) to keep us warm on a freezing night. Do wonder what Schubert would have achieved if he'd lived to just 50. Going to Samling at Marchmont House on Saturday as next musical treat! Made transcript of p.2 of George R's will and he's still excepting the Cider Press, one page to go. Labelled most of Dukeshagg 12/8, just a few Black Kite to do. Funds -2k wtd with more falls than rises but inevitable profit taking after recent rises. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 27th: maximum 5C, minimum 1C, light NE, light showers becoming heavy and frequent in evening, very raw. Cold spell is going to continue. R was busy again at lunchtime with 32 attending; CNT were very obliging, catering for someone whose bus was late. Talk on Carbon assumed we were all on the same hymn sheet so not much to say; insulating people's houses is obviously good provided it is cost effective but climate change devotees are seriously out of touch with ordinary voters! Lost a document (a will from 250 years ago) so cleared mound of papers on desk, putting many into a black sack! Did find will and am now making a transcript of it on the desktop This previously unpublished will is by George R (1709-c1778) a miller of Tiverton and 8 generations back from me; he seems to be trying to take his cider press with him but haven't finished it all yet! Completed processing of Ordley and Dipton Wood N for 19/8, leaving just 3 sheets to do. Relaxing end to day at G4g4s with R/P with L/L on!! 2moro concert by Hexham Music Society in evening and out in morning and for lunch with a walk. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 26th: maximum 4C, minimum -2C, light W, dry, very dull, damp and raw. Went for energetic walk down to the Devi's Water in afternoon; from 15:05-16:10 did over 6k steps. Not many birds to report, 13 types, including 114 Common Gull, 2 Herring Gull, 1 Fieldfare, 6 Blackbird, but later had 2 Barn Owl N of Linnels actively hunting at 23:45 plus a Brown Hare out on the verge. Good catch-up on August records completing 6/8 Warden and also doing Juniper 21/8, leaving just 4 data sheets to do for the summer; then can compile the season's results. Had chat with son on FB messenger by video at ttime: he's looking forward so much to our Kenya trip (like me!). Made G4g4s with A/R/P and good chat! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 25th: maximum 3C, minimum -3C, light W, dry, sunny, wind dropped so not feeling so cold. At Ordley a Pied Wagtail was seen early-on and a Tawny Owl coming back from the pub. Did a lot of catching up with various office tasks. Feeling like a good day's rest and had one, just going out to meet D/D at DoW4g4s where very quiet; first cold weather of the winter had put some people off: anyway we had good chat and A was very attentive!!
We have talk at R on Carbon this coming Monday; might have to bite my tongue! While I do believe the planet is currently in a warming phase, I am not convinced that carbon dioxide is the only factor in play. The climate of the planet is so complex and we are only in the early stages of understanding it. With a crop of papers from physicists [true scientists], rather than from modellers [often fake scientists], it is clear that in the Holocene period from the end of the last ice age (last 12,000 years) to now, the climate has varied substantially and only for the last variation, the recovery from the Little Ice Age c1650 depths, does carbon dioxide offer any sort of explanation, possibly a partial one. Other major variations occurred independent of carbon dioxide levels, suggesting other factors are at play. Furthermore, temperatures were significantly higher than now at times in the Holocene with carbon dioxide levels much lower. Solar forcing is implicated, something the carbon dioxide devotees deny! Carbon dioxide levels were at very low levels after the last ice age, threatening continuation of life on the planet. For some of these physics papers, see:
George H. Denton, Wibjörn Karlén, Holocene climatic variations—Their pattern and possible cause, Quaternary Research Volume 3, Issue 2, August 1973, Pages 155-174. link
Home Second Assessment of Climate Change for the Baltic Sea Basin Chapter, Climate Change During the Holocene (Past 12,000 Years), Irena Borzenkova, Eduardo Zorita, Olga Borisova, Laimdota Kalniņa, Dalia Kisielienė, Tiiu Koff, Denis Kuznetsov, Geoffrey Lemdahl, Tatyana Sapelko, Migle Stančikaitė & Dimitry Subetto (2015). link
Holocene climate variability, Published online by Cambridge University Press: 20 January 2017, Paul A. Mayewski, Eelco E. Rohling, J. Curt Stager, Wibjörn Karlén, Kirk A. Maasch, L. David Meeker, Eric A. Meyerson, Francoise Gasse, Shirley van Kreveld, and Karin Holmgren. link
Nature Unbound III: Holocene climate variability (Part A), Posted on April 30, 2017 by curryja [Judith Curry] | 335 Comments by Javie. link
There's plenty to play for! True science is never dull and certainly not settled: when the climate models can handle the whole of the Holocene, I'll start to believe in them!
November 24th: maximum 4C, minimum 0C, moderate N, dry, sunny, but really high wind-chill in morning. Had chat on Skype with N/D for an hour from 10; cleaner was due at 11:15 so then went out to Hexhamshire Common from 11:15-12:20 for a walk at Kings Law; it was 2.5C up there in very brisk N wind so serious wind-chill. Cold didn't worry the Red Grouse (9 flushed) or Common Gull (15 adult on edge of moor) or Crow (2 seen). Exciting find was 6 Common Crossbill chipping excitedly in a pine shelter belt. A Herring Gull was overhead calling. Mammals included 5 mole, a dead rabbit, a field vole. An adult male Kestrel was hunting near Viewley at 11:10. Then in Slaley R&C4m4l with A/A/M; we had good catch-up as colleagues in computing science from unn. On way back at 14:45 stopped by the pond at Steel where 300 Common Gull (5 1w), 10 BHG adult, 1 Lapwing, 10 Greylag Goose, a flock of 70 Linnet, much of which was disturbed by a hunting Red Kite adult. Back home for a bit then off to NCL on train to GH4con. Had a tuna sandwich for tea with M/S/L as had already had a big meal. Concert was good fare with Brahms PC2 in first half, quite a challenge with its 4 mv and 50 min playing time. But Sunwook Kim was up for it, with amazing stamina and varied style; evidently he won the Leeds piano competition when he was just 18; incredible technical skills. In the second half we had a Justé Januliyté piece Elongation of Nights which was beautifully tonal throughout slowly increasing in intensity then reducing again; one for those who think all modern music is repugnant! Final piece was Schumann 4, again showing how underrated this composer is; a vigorous romantic symphony. Audience was not that large but they did have level 2 open to encourage those who like sitting there to come. Had a drink afterwards with L in the downstairs bar. Then back on last train to find frost on car. Funds finished week on +10k, +7.4% on ytd. Signing will next Wednesday. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 23rd: maximum 11C, minimum 4C, moderate NW, dry, bright at times but cool wind dominated. Working on 6/8 Warden kites et al, labelling piccies and cropping some for web. Connected Rs in Tiverton to Thomas R (c1612-1691) of Rathmacknee, who led forcibly through the troubled times in Ireland in the 17th century. Made T4m4l with M 4 good chat and had walk around Sele afterwards. New black shoes arrived via Paver on web, fitted well and reasonable price (£40); want them for sturdy but smart wear in Kenya. Had 120 Feral Pigeon in Hexham and 25 Redwing at Newbiggin but wildlife getting less conspicuous as go into winter. Made G4g4s with A/P/R and M on!! Funds are at record +13k wtd; some oil shares at giveaway prices recovering. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 22nd: maximum 11C, minimum 7C, moderate W, almost dry, odd light shower, dull. A much quieter day, caught up on a number of tasks, including 4/8 Bywell birds all-finished; fetching 6/8 Warden birds from camera as not uploaded before; only 5 sheets to do after Warden done, all for August; adding John R Governor (c1635 - before 1685) of Rathmacknee, Wexford, Ireland, to WikiTree: he's back 10 generations from me; ordered Maloff an anti-malarial drug from Medicine MarketPlace for £40. Did buy 2 CD in L&P yesterday for £2, including Schubert's Death and the Maiden to remind me of the recent gr8 performance!! Did get out for a brisk walk 15:55-16:35 part of the way to Dotland, conditions were blustery but felt some exercise would be good; had 6 Yellowhammer, a calling Herring Gull adult and 2 Long-tailed Tit but few birds showing in the breeze (8 types) in the gathering gloom. 2moro seeing M at T4m4l and we're meeting again on Friday for lunch in Slaley with A/A at R&C4m4l b4 I go to see RNS in evening. Stimulated greatly by yesterday's events: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 21st: maximum 9C, minimum 5C, light NW, dry, dull. Was indeed a great day: parked car at Bank Foot as CAL full with some of park cordoned off for equipment. Made CT4c4c and after concert CT4s4ll: always feel welcome and at home there. Concert was brilliant with all 3 performers (S/Y/I) doing well. Particularly liked the Jerzy Fitelberg: 2 violins, which was full of different moods, including a dynamic folksy last mv. The Chopin Berceuse was played expressively. The pieces by Josima Feldscguh are a great discovery and the Laks piece was stimulating. A good choice of programme and a very good attendance. After CT made L&P, which is open into early evening now (20:00 today, normally 19:00). Outlined my thoughts on the phone's Notepad for the IWC paper. Then made LZ4m4s with 5 others; learnt a lot about A's philosophical feelings on tension between different people's perceived rights! Turkish meal was very good, been there before!! Company was superb: thought a lively discussion on Hm was in danger of getting a bit out of control but positive friendly atmosphere prevailed: liberal elites still don't seem to get it: Hm and its backers are inherently evil. T drove me back to BF, very nice of her, then drove back to HEX. Funds +5k wtd, climbing up a wall of fear, as they say. A was interested in Uranium shares, can give him a tip: LON:GCL (hold 124k) with caveat they've risen a lot already in the last few weeks. New Will sent to me today after a few corrections and is now ready to sign. Attraction is still there: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 20th: maximum 10C, minimum 5C, light NW, dry morning, then some drizzle. Busy with R lunch where all 38 turned up and we had lively speech from DG rector at the Abbey; we also got one new member today from an invited guest; we are a successful R club, when many are declining; friendly, welcoming culture was one reason why new member joined; I do try and act as a good Front of House, think I'm the only member who knows all of our 47 members by name and on sight. Did some more work on bird records, ANPA, Irish family history, b4 G4g4s where R/A/P out and L/L on! Next day is a big day: so looking forward to it!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 19th: maximum 11C, minimum 8C, light W, bright morning, then cloudy, few light showers. Hexham Abbey was not what I expected: it was a champagne celebration of the Hexham Abbey Music Festival to which R had given £200 as a donation. Hexham Music Society were there and suspect my support for regional music has permeated through; made to feel very welcome and did promise personal support donation-wise as well as more support from R with my influence there. Had walk around Sele afterwards, getting a warbling Blackcap and a calling Nuthatch, among 15 bird-types. A grey squirrel was at Loughbrow. Much later at Ordley a Barn Owl was perched on a fence at 23:40. Did some work on ANPA web site, labelled and cropped some Black Kite piccies from 4/8 Bywell, completed Kenya visa application and connected Thomas R of Tiverton (c1685-1741) to his postulated birth in Rathmacknee, Wexford, Ireland, a major step! Made G4g4s where 5 of us out for good chat!! Record attendance at R4l at Cnt 2moro of 38: let's hope it goes well! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 18th: maximum 11C, minimum 8C, light SW, cloudy, dry by day, heavy showers late-on. Had 2 Tawny Owl calling from SW and E at dusk, along with 10 noisy Blackbird going to roost. A Roe Deer was in a field near the road at Ordley on way back from pub. Finished completely processing 13/8 Studdon Park; now onto 4/8 Bywell where 2 family groups of Black Kite. Did 2 improvements to ANPA web site, adding our emblem from 2021 and transferring our constitution from a post to the bottom line of the home page. Spent some time on Samuel R and his family in Taunton; on the names he may be a spin-off of Edward R, son of Hugh, rather than Benaiah R. I may go back to my feelings in 2016 that the Tiverton Rs become wealthy so quickly that they are the successors of the Wexford Rs of Rathmacknee: Catholic gentry who lost their estates in the 1690s after 500 years of occupation dating from the Norman conquest of 1169 under Strongbow. It is rumoured that the Rs recovered significant value from their estates by an arrangement with the Kavanaghs. Made DoW4g4s with D/D 4 good chat! 2moro due in Hexham Abbey at 11:30 for an R youth do, not sure what it entails! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 17th: maximum 7C, minimum 3C, light SE, sunny morning, cool evening, cloudier, dry. Still 2 wasps around the flowering ivy with more flies generally around it in the sunshine. Had 2 Bullfinch around the garden still, feeding on berries, particularly hips. Had chat on Skype with N/D for an hour; D was in A&E in RVI last Friday with pneumonia, pretty serious; wonder whether people should mix more to improve immune system. Still we had good chat, brought back my memories of brief visit to RVI in January. Triage took 10 min in my case: obvious problem, quick fix by nurse and almost certainly will survive. D's took 90 min. Then a busy hour getting place ready for cleaner S, followed by QHC4s4l where gr8 to meet S again and 3 hours in QHL where getting to grips with my Whitehead paper for the IWC. No concert in evening. Did Ordley bird records for 13/8 and started on Studdon Park for same day. In family history taking a different approach to my difficult link around 1700, linking Benaiah Rossiter and Dorcas Soper, who had moved from Somerset to Cork, Ireland, with the Rossiter/Pinkstone allies of Tiverton. Benaiah slots into the main Combe St Nicholas Rossiter tree in one generation further back. Funds had a very good week at +32k to new record today. New buy LSE:ENOG (now hold 10k shares) with massive gas fields in the eastern Med reported yesterday that existing operations were unaffected by the war and rose about 5% today after results released with maintained dividend. The Israeli navy is super effective in protecting Israeli assets; at the start of the war on 7/10, Hamas tried a large amphibious assault on the Israeli coast N of Gaza but most of their craft were intercepted and destroyed, in spite of the surprise element. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 16th: maximum 7C, minimum 4C, light S, rather dull but dry. Went to Hackwood 4 lunch with M/B; M cooked me omelette, we had good chat! Main event of day was ANPA steering group meeting on Zoom from 17:00-18:00. We have our next meeting in Oxford in August 2024. Used screen share to go through the new web site at ANPA; they were very happy with the work to date; they also agreed that ANPA Chat should be disbanded as an expensive and heavy add-on to old site; we should use Google Chat as we have everyone's email addresses. My policy of moving away from posts and towards pages was accepted and I'm going to be sent updates to publications and some introductory blurb on what we do. So positive progress and tone of whole meeting was good! Much later made G4g4s with R/A/P 4 good chat with M on!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 15th: maximum 8C, minimum 5C, moderate W, heavy showers before dawn, then sunny morning followed by light rain in afternoon. Led trip to Vindolanda for R with 14 attending (-3 last minute cancel, +2 attending without notification, given up worrying about exact numbers). I paid them £168.75 for our trip and we had lead-man of the Vindolanda Trust Andrew B as host for the first hour; this went down really well with the troops! It was good to know that they have further excavations planned to 2029 fully-funded and good to see the outstanding quality of the exhibits in the Museum, particularly the footwear, the writing tablets and the way that excavations are done. Members also enjoyed the coffee and the lunch, not included in the admission price (£11.25), as one member thought! Animal bones were interesting, including Red Deer, Wolf, Crane, not found today in the area, from 200-500 AD. So very good trip, enjoyed by all apparently. Did take the opportunity to visit Grindon Lough before and after visit and found some interesting birds. Made Stalida4meze4s with G4g4t and G4g4s with A on at each end with P/A/R; very good time. 2moro sees important ANPA Zoom session at ttime, including discussion of new website. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Grindon Lough (full list, 19 bird-types): 405 Canada Goose, 5 Greylag Goose, 180 Wigeon, 13 Mallard, 115 Teal, 20 Tufted Duck, 5 Goldeneye (4 redhead, 1 drake), 160 Lapwing, 500 Golden Plover, 8 Black-headed Gull, 26 Common Gull, 3 Great Black-backed Gull (3 ad), 4 Herring Gull (2 ad, 2 2w), 3 Caspian Gull (ad, 2w, juv), 2 Lesser Black-backed Gull (2 ad), 1 Cormorant, 10 Jackdaw, 23 Rook, 7 Carrion Crow. Note the 6 species of gull. At Vindolanda from 10:00-11:30 had a Common Buzzard, 90 Fieldfare and 5 Redwing, among 8 bird-types. At Ordley had 30 Fieldfare at 15:00.
November 14th: maximum 8C, minimum 7C, moderate SW, heavy showers, no sun. Queen wasp spoiled my beauty sleep, buzzing by hall light outside my bedroom; decided could not leave it there so caught it in box and ejected to garden at 05:30. Tested 3/7 Thornborough piccie indexing, added records to BirdTrack, summarised July 2023 records from Scotland with daughter and family and summarised under 21/7, including family piccies. Next up is Munich piccies from late July. Have 8 visits in August in Northumberland to document, not yet clear how much is involved here, obviously crucial for Black Kite results, will start on these as well. Analysis of Georgia trip, for which all records compiled, is an exciting prospect, bit down the road though. All visits in Northumberland from September-November have been documented fully. Car sailed through MOT at BSM, no problems, just £45 to pay. Went to QHL for think about Munich paper while car was in garage and made QHC4s4l. Funds +23k wtd at new record with looming peak of interest rates giving some rises in commodities. 2moro it's Vindolanda visit led by yours truly for R in morning and meal in evening with the G gang at Greek restaurant Stalida, starting in G! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 13th: maximum 10C, minimum 6C, light W increasing to fresh W late afternoon and early evening, very wet in daytime, continuous rain early-on turning showery, Devil's Water raging. 1 wasp on ivy today. R lunchtime was quite busy with major business meeting but most things went fine; problems with an R video being too slow over the available Wi-Fi and one or two members forgetting their choice of meals! Completed testing Thornbrough 3/7 but still to add to BirdTrack -- 2moro surely! Funds +14k today at new record on some big rises in oil shares, which are at ridiculously low values; increasing disaster area of wind-farms investment-wise, particularly offshore, may be beginning to be noted! Made G4g4ds with R/A/P 4 gr8 chat. MOT on the car tomorrow -- its first at 3-years old. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 12th: maximum 6C, minimum 4C, light SE, sunny morning, cloudier later, rain by ttime, becoming heavier in evening. No wasps on ivy today. Processed Thornbrough 3/7 piccies today for web presentation, cropping or resizing; uploaded them to server; indexed them as below, but still to check and add to BirdTrack -- good progress though and then July is complete, though may want to add some Dumfries piccies, particularly of family, and produce a proper summary of the wildlife. Compiled serious agendas for ANPA and WikiTree on website (keep it simple!) and establishing Winifred R as significant emigrant to Massachusetts respectively. Made G4g4s with 6 of us out, including D/B/R/P/A with L on! Only 9 days to go: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 11th: maximum 6C, minimum 2C, light N, sunny morning, hazier later, dry, hard ground frost morning 12/11. Around 23:00 had 2 Roe Deer at Swallowship, 2 Badger at Lamb Shield; at 20:15 a Tawny Owl was over the A69 at Hexham NE. 5 wasps were on flowering ivy at Ordley with a young Kestrel watching my field. Did some hard work on websites today; putting in CD for sale on one and for ANPA finally sorting out the mess caused by making announcements with posts and failing to make the persistent data available subsequently as pages; so much of the key data is in an announcement rather than in conventional html web pages. WordPress tempts users to do this but it does have the structures to do it in a more formal way. Have ANPA Steering Group Zoom meeting on Thursday when we'll discuss among other things the web site; have put many hours into this and continued simplification in interface but expansion of content has to be the way forward if I'm going to keep the task of webmaster. Did make DoW4g4s with D/D for good break! Love the video: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 10th: maximum 8C, minimum 2C, light SW, sunny spells, dry, few showers, ground frost this morning, likely again by dawn 11/11. Had 2 Bullfinch at 11:00 and a Badger at Ordley much later. Quite a busy day! Did label Thornbrough 3/7 piccies. Made QHC4s4el to get fortified; then to T to collect for poppy day for R in collaboration with British Legion from 13:00-14:30; I was on with NW President and was amazed at such support for the cause; we have a card reader as well as cash boxes and reckon donations totalled 1.5-2k in our short period alone; quite an upsurge in patriotic zeal amidst all these wars. Then straight onto train from HEX to NCL for rehearsal. Got in after break for Beethoven 5 -- TZ is affable but has very definite ideas of how it should all sound! Then long t with pp b4 actual concert. Didn't realise TZ was so expert at composition: we heard Schubert 8 scherzo finished some more by TZ and Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for violin, viola, cello and orchestra, also completed by TZ. The Schubert sounded good; the Mozart was exquisite with TZ on viola, my partner MG on viola and EP on cello. We also heard in the first half Concerto funèbre by Hartmann, a modern piece which had a very slow start followed by a very wild middle section. Main piece of day was Beethoven 5, which was played at speed with great vigour, particularly m4, though m2 was taken slowly and expressively to provide good contrast; was totally absorbed and inspired throughout! Back on last train, delayed a little by chaos to main line trains following a land slip N of NCL. Funds were up 9k on week, not a bad performance in view of market's continued decline; am trading more now, see a small profit, take it, don't hang around! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 9th: maximum 8C, minimum 2C, light W, sunny spells, few showers; winter gets closer with ground frost likely by dawn 10/11. Had a Nuthatch and a Mistle Thrush in quick walk in the Sele at 14:00. Made T4m4l with N 4 very good chat and chuckle; gone off their quiche as rather lukewarm, so switched to fresh cheese and onion omelette -- very tasty. Quite a busy day on revived desktop, putting through most of Festival updates and getting onto FindMyPast during a free period over remembrance weekend; found the much-cited marriage between John Gilbert and Winifred Coombe at Whitestaunton, Somerset, on 29 April year-unknown; looked at Somerset Heritage's notes on the Bishop's Transcripts and found 1627?, meaning no year at top of folio but looks to be this year from educated guesswork on the content; so that's it -- pleased with that discovery! Also did a fair bit of Rotary admin. Finished with G4g4s with A/R 4 good crack with L on! 2moro is busy with indexing of Thornbrough 3/7, QHC4s4l, collecting at Tesco 4 poppy day 4 90 min, then straight into GHD for RNS rehearsal and concert, back on last train. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 8th: maximum 9C, minimum 4C, light W, sunny spells, rain in evening. Did go to Hello Dolly! at QH, written by Michael Stewart in 1964 with music and lyrics by Jerry Herman. Was opening night but was about 3/4 full, many Hexham people regard the opening night as the final dress rehearsal! Ellen Armstrong was very good in the role of Dolly, an exhausting part as you're on stage most of the time for the 2 hours 30 min performance. Everyone was very motivated, including the band directed with vigour by CA and including DG on clarinet. Met D/D there and we went to G later, for a change, where M/L were on! Earlier started on 3/7 Thornborough. Had a scare on main desktop computer with a crash, which took a few goes to reboot from. Did a complete backup of main files onto an external drive; do an incremental backup each day but if get a disaster, it's easier to recover from a complete backup. So pleased our minds have met on the current war: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 7th: maximum 9C, minimum 3C, light W, sunny spells, clear into evening, dry. Only engagement toady was R Council from 17:30-18:30 at President's house in HEX; all went smoothly, my Admin Team are putting in a competent show I feel with a lot of hard work. Completed 6/7 Dipton Wood N with distant Black Kite and Woodlark carrying food the highlights. Just one more trip to do for July -- 3/7 at Thornbrough, which will start tomorrow. There are quite a lot of sheets to do for August but not sure yet how much material needs to be processed. All other months are done. Once completed can do annual reports, which will be incomplete for late breeders (Honey-buzzard, Hobby) but not so bad for earlier ones, such as Black Kite. Had chat with son tonight on FB messenger video: we've completed our bookings for Kenya in December for flights, hotels and camps. He's coming up to the Festival for last weekend from Thursday, which is good news. Completed processing Winifred R and her daughter Joane C on WikiTree for now; not going to insert a third wife for John Gilbert, making Winifred his fourth wife, without a lot more discussion, which is supposed to be a strength of WikiTree through the open comments section: we shall see! Going to Hello Dolly! at QH by HASS 2moro evening with D/D: should make a good change! Funds +3k wtd, one good rise in LSE:RSE, quite a lot of small falls: win some: lose some! Have put 41k into LSE:ENOG and building; think crisis is abating whatever so-called liberals in the west think. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 6th: maximum 9C, minimum 7C, light W, sunny spells, clear into evening, dry. Had a good attendance of 33 at R, Cnt very pleased with our custom I feel; speaker was on Hong Kong police force, a little bent! Made G4g4s with A/R/P 4 good chat with L on!! Completed 24/7 Hexham NE in all respects; next up is 6/7 Dipton Wood N. Went for walk at dusk from 16:3-17:30 out of house up to past Close House; good for the constitution. Had 13 Greylag Goose to W, 95 Common Gull, 6 Blackbird, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 Wren, 4 Pheasant, 4 Canada Goose, 1 Tawny Owl, 1 Woodcock. Earlier in day at 12:00 had a Jay at Loughbrow and 7 Fieldfare at Letah Wood. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 5th: maximum 8C, minimum 5C, light W, sunny all day and clear into evening, dry. A very productive day: processed all Osprey piccies for 24/7 and uploaded the cropped images to server; indexing them is next before adding to BirdTrack. Restarted family history on WikiTree bringing Winifred R (1592-1663, puritan, emigrated to Massachusetts in 1635) to the fore and updating Anna R (1629-1685, baptist, married to sergeant in Cromwell's model army, a way with money and babies unlike her siblings); as said before the women have been very neglected by the older generation of genealogists, some of which verge on misogyny. Had 6 Lesser Redpoll and 10 LTT in garden, plus a flock of 5 Pied Wagtail yesterday; no wasps or butterflies on ivy blossom in spite of the sunshine. Have done gardening work for now and the new generation of rabbits are good at keeping the grass down! Rabbits have increased since I got rid of the rats by putting no food out for birds and using a sonic blaster in the kitchen. Ready for more Festival updates: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 4th: maximum 8C, minimum 6C, light SE, gloomy, dry by daytime. Highlight of day was going to TR to see Purcell's Behind the Masque by Opera North. Very absorbing production and fascinated by all the different characters, performed brilliantly with ON's typical thoroughness. More to follow ... This piece is the highlight of ON's green season. They bring in Purcell's worries about climate change but not sure they get it right. In Purcells' time in the late 17th century, we were at the low point of the Little Ice Age, the coldest period since the last ice age proper 12,000 years ago, and there must have been worries we were going into another full ice age. Indeed up to the 1970s an ice age was thought to be more of a threat than warming. Shouldn't have got me started! Will look at the text carefully! Made VctCmt4g4s to finish the day. Northern excelled themselves putting on 4 coaches on last train: bus strike, NCL football game early evening vs Arsenal (won 1-0!), Arena do, gave lots of travellers. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 3rd: maximum 9C, minimum 4C, moderate W, some bright spells, dry, welcome interlude from rain. At Ordley had 9 Brambling W at 11:00 and at Hexham S had 2 Redwing W at 14:45. Did have chat with N/D on Skype from 10-11, did say 1 hour was about right, hope message got through, good to chat again! My old acer laptop has been rejuvenated; it's been plagued by shortage of disk space; finally found an unbelievable 17GB held under ProgramData by Adobe, which promptly deleted. Made QH4s4l a little late after being delayed by a cock-up; but in time for real food by 10 min! Good to have S on. Worked on Munich presentation, which will update on the web tomorrow with more informative headings and sharper treatment of eternal objects. Got home and had t, then out to DoW4g4s with D/D for gr8 conversation. Funds +10k on week, just 16k short of recent record on hopes that interest rates in US have peaked. A stimulating day: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 2nd: maximum 9C, minimum 6C, moderate NW, heavy rain in morning on a fresh storm, eased off during day but everywhere drenched. Back on 10:46 NCL to HEX, all very efficient for £2.30 single. Had quick T4c4l with M as he had some workmen in his house. Then back home where caught up on some websites but only partially; did compile records for yesterday at Whitley Bay and 24/7 the Black Kite records for Dukeshouse. Working on Osprey piccies for 24/7. Was a lovely break in NCL, opera does stimulate the senses in such a satisfying way; got another one on Saturday but just in for evening. Made G4g4s with A/P/R for usual good chat with M/E calling in! Resuming Skype chat with N/D tomorrow morning but I'm restricting the session to one hour as so much to do including getting place ready for cleaner and making QH to get some work done on Whitehead; have been invited formally to submit a paper for the February's Process Ontology publication which is good news! xxxxx XXX!!!!!! lok2tgrf xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
November 1st: maximum 12C, minimum 8C, moderate SW, very brief bright intervals, bit milder, dry after heavy rain in night. Had usual good breakfast in hotel, then did some active dealing, making way for purchase of shares in LSE:ENOG, an Israeli company with massive gas interests in eastern Med off Israel, Lebanon and Egypt with forthcoming developments off Italy; they’re down 35% on the war but doubt Lebanon for instance will jeopardise their large royalties due. Caught Metro to Whitley Bay and went for walk from 12:30-15:00 along seafront, very stimulating in mild weather. Commonest birds were Starling (140) and Feral Pigeon (111). Most interesting birds were a 1w/female Long-tailed Duck just offshore and a 1w/female Brambling at bird feeding station on road between Metro station and seafront. Seabirds included a Cormorant adult, 2 Shag adults, 4 Gannet S (2 ad, 2 juv). Waders included 2 Oystercatcher and a Redshank on rocks. Gulls were of 4 types, including 3 Common Gull ad S. Total for bird-types was 21.Made Panis4m4s with L, very good chat and good meal, b4 making TR4op with La Rondine, Opera North’s production of Puccini’s romantic opera. Quite romping in places with moving arias, great dancing scenes but the main message was: don’t make your affair too serious as it may turn sour: Magda (Galina Averina) is Rambaldo’s mistress and ‘elopes’ with Ruggero (Sébastien Gueze), all good fun until he promises marriage, babies and mother’s approval; she promptly leaves him for unknown destination. Lisette, Magda‘s maid, is played brilliantly by Claire Lees. It’s had good reviews and can see why: incidentally La Rondine is a bird, a swallow, suggesting in the plot a longing to fly away to the south, enjoy the sunshine and live happily ever after; swallows are in the family of hirundines, so an obvious connection. Had drink with L in interval. After concert made VctCmt4g4s, seeing NCL demolish Man U 3-0 in cup match, then back to base where rw4s. A gr8 day!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 31st: maximum 8C, minimum 6C, light NE, cloudy, cool. Had a Goldcrest in garden this morning. On train into NCL at dusk had 2 Mute Swan adult and 20 Wigeon at Merryshields GP. Checked into hotel for 2 nites which has a lot of memories!!! Made Falstaff from ON at 18:00 from 18:15 reception in Michael Harrison room (full of panto pictures). Falstaff has been sharpened up since saw it on opening night in Leeds. It was a very witty performance with undoubted stars: Henry Waddington in title role and Helen Ã‰vora as Meg Page. Had a Mac afterwards to give a bit of balance and called into Br4g4s for refreshing liquor! Took L to ON reception and delighted sheâ€™s now become a bronze patron. Funds -3k on wtd: poor figures out of China and POO falling back a bit on perceived calming situation in the Middle East. 2moro birdwatching on the coast. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 30th: maximum 8C, minimum 6C, light NE, bright intervals, cool. Processing 24/7 records -- very interesting day, particularly for Osprey on the Tyne and 2 Black Kite sites. Hope to finish the Ordley birds on the morning of 24/7 and the Black Kite at Dukeswood in the afternoon of 24/7 very soon. Had good walk from 16:00-17:00 out of home with plenty of birds around, indeed 21 bird-types, including 2 Goldcrest, 19 Fieldfare, 9 Redwing, 28 LTT, 1 Jay. On way back from pub at 23:45 had an urban Fox at Hackwood and a Barn Owl and Hare at Ordley. R was very demanding, pushing club visits to Vindolanda and Scarborough, collecting the money on PoS machine and helping the speaker team to get a PowerPoint presentation going, including pressing the magic F4 function to share screen with the data projector; a cheer went up when portrait artist Andrew Festing finally got underway! Much later made G4g4s with A/P/R 4 good chat with L on!! P's off to Amsterdam and back on the ferry from Tuesday-Thursday, promises to be really rough coming back but he's a good sailor; I shall be relaxing at the opera with ON! So next 2 days will be dedicated to culture! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 29th: maximum 9C, minimum 6C, light NE, heavy rain all day and well into evening, gloomy, roads covered in run-off, Tyne at high levels almost topping Tyne Green. Sunrise 07:06, sunset 16:38, after clocks went back. Started processing 24/7 records. including Black Kite at Dukeswood, Hexham. An adult male Blackcap was found freshly dead outside front door, presumed to have hit glass. A Barn Owl was hunting at Ordley at 17:15 and a Tawny Owl was seen on going to pub at 21:50. Cleaner S came at 15:00 so went out to SB4c4t in HEX N where could work on laptop. At 16:10 went to Tyne Bridge to look at Tyne in full spate, very impressive. Not many birds seen in the gloom but did have roosts of Jackdaw 770 and Feral Pigeon 30. Also seen 1 Crow, 3 Rook, 6 Mallard. Day finished with R/P at G4g4s 4 lively chat! Driving today was like being in a boat -- how much wetter can it get? xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 28th: maximum 9C, minimum 8C, light E, cloudy all day, drizzle much of time, gloomy. A quiet day, time to recover! Up to date on recent records including from moorland walk and completed 29/6 records in all respects, now on 24/7 Hexham NE, one of 4 still to do July record-sheets (all before Munich trip). Had 270 Fieldfare at Ordley at 12:00 with 30 Redwing. Made DoW4g4s with D/D (again!) for good chat with A on! Made rapid change to a certain website!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 27th: maximum 11C, minimum 8C, light SE, cloudy all day, drizzle much of time, gloomy. Big day for car, in for 3-year service at local HEX garage BSM. Had to have replaced front discs and pads, front tyres and cleaning of emission control, costing extra £389 to service for which already paid by monthly instalments (£220). But cannot argue with importance of having those vital parts in good order; MOT is in about 4 weeks; should get through that. So took car in at 9, went QHL, told about extra work on car at 11, so stayed at QHL until 16:30, including a very welcome lunch-break at QHC4s4l where pleased to meet S again! Picked up car at 16:45, had quick t, then out to QH again with D/D to hear a concert by Fairport Convention -- not a tribute band but the originals, now in their 70s: a good sound -- easy on the ear and plenty of wit and humour -- enjoyed it. Had a rw in the interval but went SH, resisting a few invitations to the G! 2moro with D/D going to DoW. Having been rebuffed by Air Baltic on claim for refund on cancelled flight from Batumi to Riga on spurious weather grounds, have put matter in hands of Flightright, a German company who specialise in reclaiming compensation (for a fee of about 30%). Funds are roughly unchanged on the week, final figure tomorrow; commodities have been resilient while many other areas, such as banks, have been under selling pressure. Interested in US sending another aircraft carrier (Eisenhower) to the Gulf; looks as if they may be interested, with the Israeli Air Force, in clipping the wings of Iran, surely the source of much evil in the area. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 26th: maximum 9C, minimum 7C, light SE, cloudy all day, drizzle generally with spells of heavy rain, gloomy. Did go on R walk from 10:00-13:00 doing 15k steps (c12km), over the moors at the Chimneys near Allendale, moving down to Mount Pleasant and across to Hawkwell. very wet underfoot and with heavy rain in two spells quite wet on top as well! Had 34 Red Grouse, 10 Golden Plover and one Black Grouse on the high moors, with a Raven and 12 Grey Partridge at Hawksteel, 200 Fieldfare at Yarridge and a Kestrel at Nubbock. Total was 14 bird-types, including 22 Redwing. PT struggled a bit near the end and found myself as backmarker helping him along; didn't expect that, stragglers should be looked after, he was very grateful for my support. Had lunch at Emma's Café in Allendale. where had tuna melt -- very tasty. Got home with everything so wet, some put in washing machine, others left on pegs above storage heater. Much later made G4g4s with P/R for good chat. Publicised R weekend away in April 2024 in Scarborough and looks like a popular response. 2moro it's car service at 09:00 in BSM, keeping up maintenance drive of everything. Did index Black Kite piccies from 29/6, just need to check them now. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 25th: maximum 9C, minimum 7C, light NE, cloudy all day, occasional light rain, gloomy. Compiled 22/10 bird, butterfly and mammal records -- what a marvellous late autumn day that was in the sunshine, with 26 bird-types, 2 butterfly-types and 3 mammal-types. Finished cropping the 28 images of Black Kite from 29/6 at Bywell and uploaded them to server; just indexing to do and adding records to BirdTrack. Today's 'fun' was at the dentist in Corbridge where had hygiene treatment, followed by dentist inspection, taking an hour. All's well but my crown on bottom-right has a little gap on outside of it, causing food to collect. Advice was to leave it, keep it clean as far as possible and look at it again in 6 months. I'm on a private-dental plan so no charge for today. 2moro out on the moors in morning for walk with R, finishing with lunch in Allendale. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 24th: maximum 10C, minimum 7C, light NW, cloudy all day, heavy rain showers particularly lunchtime. Started work on 29/6 Bywell in catch-up on raptor reports and records; had some superb Black Kite records this day which labelled; hope to add them to web site and BirdTrack tomorrow. Spent more time sorting out our R 'weekend away' as team members squabbled about exact procedure with club members; think I've sorted it now with email plus attachment going out Thursday. Updated will at NP in Hexham through solicitor MF this afternoon: not long to take effect, needs modifying existing one and signing. Updated Bequests to Charities to reflect my interests: British Trust for Ornithology £30,000; Marie Curie Hospice £20,000; Glasshouse (was Sage), North Music Trust £30,000; Royal Society for Protection Birds £20,000; St Helen's Church of Whitley Chapel £10,000; Woodland Trust £30,000; Brundibár Arts Festival £30,000; Opera North £30,000; Northumberland Wildlife Trust £30,000; Salvation Army £10,000; Total £240,000. Also giving £20k to each granddaughter (total 40k), residue to son and daughter equally. This is a busy week: dentist tomorrow at 12:00: have to go after cancelling two appointments in August/September with Georgia trip starting earlier and finishing later than expected. No known problems! Have R walk on the moors on Thursday and car service on Friday b4 intruder alarm check next Monday. Then it's the Opera North season! Funds +1k wtd. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 23rd: maximum 10C, minimum 8C, light E, cloudy all day, some mist, dry. As usual Monday is dominated by R, organising lunch attendance and meal choices, chairing Admin Team meeting where we finalised plans for 'weekend away' in mid-April, actually weekdays as cheaper. Quite a posh hotel Wrea Head near Scarborough, costing about £400 for double room, 2 days bed, breakfast, dinner, not a bad negotiation! Went for brisk walk at ttime, up to Dotland, at dusk, getting a Tawny Owl and Common Buzzard, final prep for R walk on Thursday on the moors; am concentrating on walking faster with longer strides for longer periods! Auction lots arrived, dumped on doorstep by FedEx as out for lunch; still I've got them! Exciting uplifting events do indeed happen: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Made G4g4s with R/A for good chat with L on!
October 22nd: maximum 10C, minimum 2C, light SW, sunny all day. Went for good walk around Peth Foot from 11:15-12:50, seeing amazing numbers of Red Admiral butterflies (13) with a single Comma, nearly all on ivy blossom, where many flies and wasps. Bird-types numbered 26, including 42 Redwing (21 W), 3 Brambling W, 1 Fieldfare, 11 Blackbird, 10 Tree Sparrow, 7 Robin, 2 Goldcrest, 1 Meadow Pipit, 1 mewing Common Buzzard. Mammals numbered 3 types: 4 Rabbit, 4 Mole, 1 Bank Vole. Got my walking boots back on to check they're still comfortable and covered them with silicone wax for next outing to soften and waterproof them. Got lift in with L to GH4con4aft where Samling were doing an afternoon concert; very glamorous and singing was superb; went to reception afterwards and then L drove me back to HEX. Much later made G4g4s where 5 of us out: D/B/R/P/me, with A missing for some reason. Highlight of day was compiling last day's results from Georgia with yet another amazing raptor passage at Batumi along the coast. So:
Provisional list for Georgia 24/8-12/9: 90 of 90 species from 246 records, 22 complete lists, 27 places, with 17 species of raptor and 6 of gull.
2moro sees Cnt4m4l with R, including meeting afterwards to finalise our weekend away in Yorkshire in April. Feel quite aroused: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 21st: maximum 10C, minimum 8C, light N, sunny intervals, very little further rain. Did some gardening, cutting back cotoneaster near front door, which was collapsing to some extent in the strong winds. Later at 23:00 had a Fox and 2 Rabbit on the road near home. Met D/D at Dow4g4s for good chat. Started catching up on bird records from the summer, compiling those for Ljind (NW Amsterdam) where put up by KLM end-July at the Plaza, getting as many as 17 bird-types, as it had water channels around it. Main achievement was working through the piccies from Batumi for 12/9 and getting raptor totals for the day; impressive numbers were seen of Black Kite and Honey-buzzard coasting to S plus some eagles, harriers and a hawk. All will be documented tomorrow under 12/9; the Ljind records are already highlighted under 30/7 and 31/7. Funds were -15k on week after the worst week for equities in 3 months, on ever higher bond yields, with even oil stocks suffering. Chatted with son for an hour on messenger, mainly on his work and on our Kenya adventure coming up. An uplifting day: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 20th: maximum 9C, minimum 6C, fresh E, cloudy, mist, heavy driving rain all day, particularly in afternoon. Storm Babet was indeed very rough. Made QH4s4l where very pleased with the service! Then spent some time in QHL doing some research. At 16:30 train service was collapsing in the rain and decided to get Stagecoach 685 at 16:44 into NCL; this bus was almost on time and got into Eldon Square in about an hour; then Metro Monument to GHD which was running smoothly though some areas near coast were closed due to flooding and high seas. Once inside GH found all train services cancelled and Go North East were on strike; Stagecoach service finishes at 19:55 so no late bus back. L offered me a lift to HEX which was a great help; once inside could also have got a lift from BH/LH, R members. So tucked into pasta and chicken with large rw (latter £9.50!) and enjoyed the concert. The first half was Chorus of RNS only, singing pieces by Joanna Ward, Roderick Williams, Oliver Tarney, Kerensa Briggs and Jonathan Dove, Was creative throughout though thought I could detect a bit of Steve Reich's Different Trains in the piece by the last named. Main piece was Mozart's Requiem which was immaculately sung and moving in places. Nice to be driven home through the easing flood water; L taking me in again on Sunday to see Samling.
October 19th: maximum 14C, minimum 9C, light E, cloudy, mist, occasional rain. Had a Song Thrush near Letah Wood at 14:00 and a Barn Owl at Ordley at 18:30. Highlight of day was talk by Conrad Dickinson at Forum Cinema, Hexham, in evening, an event set-up by R for disaster recovery funds; it was a packed event with 150 there plus plenty of wine, raffle tickets and prints sold. So should have raised a lot! Show was stunning pictures of birds and other wildlife with many RSPB members, easily outnumbering R members. Earlier made T4m4l with M/B; must say food (quiche) here could be fresher, might go for omelette next time. After Forum talk, went to G4g4s where met A for good chat, finishing on ginger beer after earlier rw. Will catch-up 2moro morning on exciting weather and concert for 20/10. lok2tgrf xxx XXXXX!!!!!!
October 18th: maximum 12C, minimum 9C, moderate E, bright morning becoming cloudy with wind increasing later as red-listed storm Babet approaches. Cleaned up and oiled grass mower for storage in shed in winter. Did some trimming with shears in back, tidying up a few areas. Ordered 5 bags of smokeless ovoids for solid-fuel fire. Booked in car Friday week for annual service. Agreed to go on moorland walk with Rotary next Thursday. Made appointment with MF for update of will at HEX solicitors NP next Tuesday. Of the 3 settees put out to rot, the newer 2 are already beginning to look pretty tatty; the oldest one, I think predating the revised fire regulations is still looking immaculate as probably much more synthetic. A group is clearing the old Teignmouth cemetery including the graves; they've found graves of Ebenezer Rossiter (gt-grandfather1888) and William Joseph Norton (husband of gt-aunt Rose Rossiter 1928). What's more they've added images of WJN and family's grave and added comments to the two WikiTree pages, managed by me, and promised image of ER's grave; all great collaboration, which is the object of WikiTree. My gt-grandmother Ebenezer's wife Sarah married again in 1895 to Samuel Poole who's celebrated as a pioneer Victorian photographer Samuel Poole and Victorian Photography WordPress. Watched late nite film on Film 4: Midsommar, which I've seen b4 at TC; it's a 'lovely' pagan film; Florence Pugh is brilliant as she becomes the sole survivor of the 5 visitors, watching her partner burning to death after she earlier had watched him making love to one of the coven. Her tears turn to smiles at the end: she's joined the dark side! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 17th: maximum 10C, minimum 0C, light E, bright morning after early ground frost, becoming cloudier through afternoon. Went for good walk to Dotland from 16:00-18:00, doing 7k steps fairly briskly. In total of 22 bird-types, had a Common Buzzard, 26 Redwing (5 E, 15 SW, 6 rest), 20 Long-tailed Tit, 18 Blue Tit, 2 Goldcrest, 11 Blackbird, 1 Stock Dove, 262 Common Gull (nearly all adult); mammals were of 3 types: single Rabbit, Mole and Bank Vole; no butterflies. Did attend the Ag auction at Lawrence in Somerset on Auctionet this morning with full-on web bidding. Bought 2 items from James I era: 2 bodkins and a latten spoon; and one from William & Mary: trefid spoon; total cost 0.7k; quite exciting; the latten spoon was probably dug up, maybe from a latrine! Did send off revised abstract to Human Affairs, part of IWC 2023, need to submit full paper by February 2024, which will be a revised ANPA paper, steered towards social aspects. Good to have a more human side!! Funds are +1k wtd. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 16th: maximum 11C, minimum 1C, light SW, sunny all day but feeling cool, ground frost on car at 21:45. Such a backlog of tasks: booking intruder alarm maintenance, ordering various things such as W order. R meeting was as demanding as usual but data projector set-up, under my responsibility, worked well as usual; meal review put off to April with members' consent, don't want piecemeal changes; need to find a President-Elect to follow me. Did resume light gardening: sweeping up beech and leylandii cuttings. 2moro morning it's elder sis' birthday and Lawrence Ag sale in Somerset, with web bidding! Plan to get revised Munich abstract off tomorrow for consideration for Process Ontology publication. Had good relaxation at G4g4s with A/R and the dynamic E on! A Tawny Owl was calling at 23:50 on return from pub. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 15th: maximum 9C, minimum 4C, moderate W, sunny all day but feeling cool. Brought recent records up to 5/10 for birds and other animals, including Challaborough in Devon on 22/9. but still a backlog from earlier for Georgia and end of Black Kite season. Feeling a bit stiff today but not all bad!! Made G4g4s with B/D/R/A for great Sunday nite chat with E/L on! Did a bit of R business in preparation for dining at lunchtime tomorrow. An amazing passage of 260 Pink-footed Goose W at 18:38 in 2 skeins as went to fetch coal in at dusk. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 14th: maximum 9C, minimum -1C, moderate W becoming light W, sunny all day but max below 10C and min below 0C indicating that winter is approaching. Great triumph today was taking crown off Leylandii hedge at 4m high with extendible hedge trimmer. The trimmer is heavy but gives a nice finish and needed a number of breaks, including lunch, over 3 hours to take little walks and flex back and shoulders. So basic gardening done now! Made QH4con4s, where opening night of Hexham Music Society's season with Pocket Sinfonia. First half had Fanny Mendelssohn's Overture in C major, followed by Felix Mendelssohn's Midsummer Night's Dream -- overture, nocturne, scherzo. All neatly done, flautist Rosie Bowker was superb. Later made DoW4g4s to meet D/D for great chat with A on!! Frost on way as came home. Funds were +22k on week, mainly on rise in oil stocks of which hold quite a few. xxxxx XXX!!!!!! lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 13th: maximum 10C, minimum 5C, light W, becoming moderate in afternoon, cloudy morning with some light rain, brighter later. Had another rest day from gardening, quite indulgent really but deserved I feel. Made QHC4s4l where good to meet S again, then into NCL by train for reception at 15:30 with NH pouring the tea and RNS rehearsal at 16:15, led competently by MW. Then GH4m+rw4t followed by concert. Thought this might be a low-key affair but it was ecstatic. Highlight was the Mozart Sinfonia Concertante for Viola, Viola & Orchestra, with Maria on violin and Timothy Ridout on viola, natural fodder for the RNS but it was performed as such a team effort with all players feeding oof each other's enthusiasm; the soloists were superb; great applause and they played an encore from Bach's Inventions. The opening piece was Sogno di Stabat Mater by Lera Auerbach, which featured 3 soloists: M and TR as above plus Delia Stephens on vibraphone. This was written in 2005 and first performed in 2009; it had some nice atmospheric passages. Second half saw Schubert's masterpiece Death and the Maiden, transcribed by Mahler, for sinfonia. I prefer the quartet, its original scoring, as performed at Kirkharle last week, with its sharper sound. But it was great to see MG excelling on the viola with his experience of the piece. IB played violin 2 to match her role at Kirkharle and GW was enthusiastically on cello as usual. Just missing someone!! Made Br4g4s to complete the day's hedonistic tendencies b4 getting last train to HEX. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 12th: maximum 11C, minimum 8C, light W, sunny all day. Had a rest day from gardening. Made T4m4l to meet M for good catch-up; we had long chat on web site technology; WordPress is an example of a Content Management System, massive overkill for many applications, where a bit of simple html would suffice. But to use WordPress effectively you need to know some php, html and sql, far beyond the capability of your average amateur; so you have to pay a consultant to get it working. Quite a lot of interesting birds in last 3 days: 9/10 at Ordley -- 1 Chiffchaff, 6 Brambling, plus 6 Red Admiral; yesterday at Ordley - 2 Goldcrest, 10 Blue Tit, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 House Sparrow, 1 singing Mistle Thrush, 7 Goldfinch, 7 Redwing dropping out of sky, plus a Red Admiral butterfly; today at Ordley - 20 Redwing W low-down plus 13 dropping out of sky, 12 Long-tailed Tit, 1 Woodcock out of field W at dusk at 18:20, plus a Red Admiral and Small White; today at Elvaston -- 2 Goldcrest, 2 Common Buzzard adult mewing, plus butterflies on ivy flowers: 1 Comma, 2 Red Admiral. Note 3 types of butterfly today -- pretty amazing for mid-October. Have labelled piccies taken at Challaborough, Devon, on 22/9 so close to wrapping up that visit. Made G4g4s with A/R for good chat with A/L on! The far left's support for HAMAS is incomprehensible: excused as anti-Zionism rather than anti-Semitism but totally unacceptable. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 11th: maximum 10C, minimum 5C, light W, cloudy all day bit brighter early evening. Maximum temperature sliding towards the dreaded sub 10C, which to me marks the onset of early winter; they're expected to do this over the weekend. Continued very active hedge trimming on beech and leylandii, now just the crown of the leylandii to do at 4m high; have a long-reach trimmer which means I can cut that from bottom rungs of steps but it's heavy so may leave it until Saturday when have more spare time to take it steadily. Booked the flights from Nairobi Wilson to Mara North return for myself and son; cost $US784 but it's so exciting arriving on the small plane like in the films of Kenya! So family has now got all flights and safari accommodation arranged: going to be a very exciting trip! Son and I have almost a week after safari to explore, probably on the coast. Did some web updates for the Festival and much admin for R. Have booked another ticket. Think have now conquered garden after such a difficult year, so relieved that fitness has returned; now going to look for raptors again, for a change! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 10th: maximum 18C, minimum 9C, moderate SW, dull morning, brighter later, very mild for time of year. Fine autumn spell continues. Did masses of hedge-trimming on front garden from 10:30-16:00, even extending to lower slopes of leylandii; reduced one Cotoneaster simonsii to a few small branches to clear the walls of the house. It's looking a lot more kempt, in particular the area around the house. Had 2 Red Admiral and a Chiffchaff in garden plus a Common Buzzard mewing over Peth Foot.. Last night had a Barn Owl at Ordley on way back from pub. Funds are +10k wtd, so recovering a little of last week's losses. Have booked my ticket for no.1!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 9th: maximum 17C, minimum 13C, moderate SW, dull morning, brighter later, very mild for time of year. Completed hedge trimming around back gate, clearing the ivy completely from the house walls, which I certainly don't want it to climb and clearing scrub from the verge with daffodils below. Made R at Cnt4m4l: all went smoothly after initial problems with content on memory stick; our typical attendance is 30, which is healthy for a membership of 45. Completed login/logout/register buttons for ANPA; just one problem now, shielding copyright material other than to members for which Anton, immediate past webmaster, has kindly sent me a fix. Had 6 Red Admiral around garden, mainly on rose hips, and there's been a hatch in last few days of Common Marbled Carpet moths. Had 6 Brambling on the far hedge and a Chiffchaff near pony shelters. Reviewed son's application for promotion and made a few suggestions. Made G4g4s where just A out for good chat. Complete solidarity with Israel: find murder of 260 young people at the music festival near the Gaza border totally barbaric. Biden has been very lax in allowing Iran to expand its oil exports: sanctions need to be reimposed. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 8th: maximum 17C, minimum 14C, light W, dull morning, brighter later, very mild for time of year. Did some very energetic gardening, taking the clippers and the hedge trimmer to the shrub overgrowth by the windows of daughter's room (mainly ivy, berberis), clearing much of it to make house wall free of the ivy and room for air to circulate; will complete job on roadside tomorrow. More work on ANPA web site, all content available now, working on login system tomorrow. Site is up to 50MB compressed in backup. Had 30 Redwing W, coming down nearby, first of season, plus 3 Nuthatch, a Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Bullfinch and a Chiffchaff. Watched with horror on Sky News Hamas' despicable attack on Israel. Made G4g4s with A/R for great chat, with E on. Going to make a codicil to will this week to reflect increased funds over last few years since 2016 when will was made. Notwithstanding last week was not good: -31k but in context over last 5 weeks not so bad! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 7th: maximum 18C, minimum 10C, moderate N, periods of rain, feeling damp throughout. Recovery day after yesterday's exertions. New watch strap finally arrived for Runmifit so got watch back on; it had been delivered in error to a place in Juniper and nice lady drove up with parcel to deliver it personally (so grateful). Had big delivery from W, £95; filling up the shelves and freezer again. Finished basic build for ANPA website at ANPA; not quite complete and sure there will be plenty of suggestions for material to add but quite a relief to get it sorted: tested my SQL and HTML skills! Made DoW4g4s with D/D; good evening out! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 6th: maximum 17C, minimum 14C, moderate W, dry morning, light rain afternoon becoming heavy in evening. Completed grass cutting with 8 bales taken off area by pony shelters; more than expected with some patches of grass quite tough. Had 3 Red Admiral (on rose hips) and 2 Chiffchaff in garden. At 22:00 in heavy rain saw a frog hopping across road and a dead Grey Squirrel at Loughbrow. Will start on hedge trimming soon, maybe tomorrow. First job is to clean the Bosch grass mower and spray with WD40 to keep it fresh for next spring: no more mowing this season, if it grows that's more for the rabbits! Felt a bit flat today but did rouse myself, getting place ready for cleaner S (after gardening) and making QHC4s4l with tuna sandwich, followed by QHL4study where annotated Munich Powerpoint presentation and updated one paragraph in abstract to reflect useful comments on eternal objects at the conference. Then into NCL by train where had meal at GH with partners L/M/S. Concert was by CBSO: looked for details on GH web site after concert but already deleted! But did find identical concert on bachtrack. Conductor was the effervescent Kazuki Yamada. The programme included in the first half Prokofiev's compelling Classical Symphony, Saint-Saëns,PC2 with well known mv2 and dramatic mv3, played fantastically well by Hisako Kawamura, and in second half Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade, taking full advantage of the large orchestra c80 strong. Scheherazade has some moving passages and some of the solo violin playing by the leader was superb but actually preferred the first half. Made Br4g4s (walked HLB both ways) in pouring rain b4 catching last train home at 22:53. Subscribed to Hexham Music Society's 2023-2024 season with 6 concerts arranged, mainly SQ, cost £90. Funds are down this week after massive panic early-on over soaring bond yields. After 5 weeks of gains of over 80k in total, expecting some retrace, maybe 1/3 of the gains; still to work out exact figure. Was a great few days: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
5th: maximum 14C, minimum 14C, fresh SW, cloudy, few showers.
Completed grass cutting in orchard, path in main field and strip to
front of crab apple trees, another 6 bales. Just the strip by the
pony shelters to do, really good progress, then start on hedge
trimming. A Golden-ringed Dragonfly (large yellow) was over my
remnant pond at Ordley at 12:00. Heavily involved in migration of
ANPA website, up to 03:00 this morning, cracked it this morning after
breakfast importing the whole database, then installed some WordPress
plug-ins, few residual database errors and formatting issues but
looking promising. Concert to raise money for Festival was brilliant:
amazing piece by Josima Feldscguh for piano,
written when she was just 9; followed by Volodymyr Runchak: Let’s
Fantasise together, very emotionally charged; Alexander Tansman:
Melodie and Caprice, sweet section, then a rhythmic one; Bacewicz,
Polish Caprice, very challenging piece, played with great verve; Noah
Max: Fearful Symmetry, good taster for the Child in Striped Pyjamas.
After the Interval: Laks: trois pieces de concert, Romance, Mouvement
perpetual, more mixture of sweet harmonies and wild rhythms; Frederic
Chopin: Nocturne, not a Holocaust piece but obviously Polish
credentials and elegantly played; Karol Rathaus: Trio for clarinet,
violin & piano, a dark piece, quite deep with mv 1 being quite
scratchy, later mv high emotions. All the performers did
brilliantly!! Overwhelming memory is of the great variety in each
piece with sweet harmonies contrasting with wild passages. Got back
to HEX just in time for quickie G4g+0.0h4s. A great day!! xxxxx
October 4th: maximum 14C, minimum 11C, moderate W, weak sunshine, dry by day, rain in evening. Train strike so in to NCL by car to CAL and then 2 Metro. Such a great lunch with vivacious company and spicy food; taken aback at one revelation!! Plenty of support promised: it's a great cause! Decided to try and crack the transfer of the ANPA database today: spent 4 hours trying to get the import done of the 36MB of SQL data; WordPress uses MySQL for data management, including the texts posted. Understand how it works now (SQL was one of my specialities at NCL/UNN) but stuck with a problem showing a conflict in Namecheap's documentation so I've sent therm a chat: they've just replied asking for more credentials. What we call in the trade: all possible help short of actual assistance! Think in constructing my query I've more or less answered the problem: delete their tables, rely on creation of tables in the export file. This is all one-off work for importing the current website. Have one important engagement 2moro: concert at Fenham in evening!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 3rd: maximum 13C, minimum 10C, moderate W, mainly sunny but cool, particularly when odd cloud came over. Cut another 7 bales of grass in overgrown patch mid morning, clearing the lot, flushing a Bank Vole: great progress! Main business of day was making Kirkharle Courtyard and Church for fantastic concert by SQ, including 2 Weinberg opus and Schubert's Death and the Maiden SQ 14. The Weinberg aria (second one played) was very moving. The Schubert piece is one of his best works and as said in the introduction what would Schubert have achieved if he'd lived even to 50, instead of 31. It was played in such an inspired manner and came over really well: some of the best music I've witnessed all year; the last movement was played with stylish verve. Church was packed and had great chat afterwards with the quartet and organisers! If only every day was like this!! Had a Red Admiral at Kirkharle at 13:00. Back to HEX for R council meeting from 17:30-18:30 where presented Admin Team report in constructive discussions. 2moro it's Turk-style!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!! The gorgeous one is so much on my mind: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 2nd: maximum 13C, minimum 10C, light W, cloudy, damp and cool. Cut another 6 bales of grass in overgrown patch midday; maybe 2 cuts to go to clear this wild area. Gardening is improving my fitness and grass cuttings are used to speed up the rotting of old furniture. R was very demanding today; we had talk from Macmillan cancer care, complete with video over WiFi, which all worked well. then Admin Team meeting from 2-3 of which I'm chair; a full discussion on many issues including planning future events; altogether tied up from 12:00-15:00. Much later made G4g4s with P/A for good chat. Looking forward very much to next 3 days, even if there is R council at 17:30 tomorrow!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
October 1st: maximum 16C, minimum 10C, light W, mainly sunny. Cut another 6 bales of grass in overgrown patch midday; maybe 3 cuts to go to clear this wild area; may well let it grow long again next spring. Made G4g4s with the full gang plus D/B so good turnout; we had a very good nite! In the sunshine had a family party of 4 Common Buzzard up over Peth Foot from 13:20-13:40 plus a juvenile Honey-buzzard up over the nest site from 13:31-13:33 climbing fairly high (13310), probably a Scottish bird, a juvenile Red Kite up briefly at 13:23, a Swallow S, 8 Lesser Redpoll, 4 Siskin, 10 Blue Tit, 1 White Wagtail, in total of 22 bird-types, plus 3 types of butterfly: 4 Red Admiral, 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Small White.
September 30th: maximum 14C, minimum 11C, light S, cloudy morning, then light rain, drier by mid-evening and clear night, much better than forecast. Cut 6 bales of grass mid-morning to get in before it started to rain; cut a patch adjacent to neighbour's for customer relations! Wildlife was keeping a low profile with rain in the offing. Booked up flights to Kenya for 2 weeks in December, LHR-NBO and MBA-LHR, all for £583 with £20 voucher, looks a good price to me; son going for same period. Booked Samling's two autumn concerts at GH in late October and at Marchmont, Borders, Scotland, in early December, latter with a minibus return from Berwick to Marchmont. Made DoW4g4s with D/D for good chat. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 29th: maximum 15C, minimum 8C, moderate SW, sunny intervals. Got back on time from Leeds after leisurely breakfast at Ibis; in HEX made QHC4m4l having my favourite tuna salad. Then did some work on the Munich paper in response to some suggestions for handling eternal objects more cleanly, so can resubmit the abstract by 20/10. Back into NCL by train to make GH4c with RNS playing; good to meet partners again; main piece was B4, which was beautifully played. This is one of my favourite Beethoven symphonies, particularly the evocative m2, which I feel must have influenced the young Wagner, along with B3 Eroica. Leader M was very exuberant and all players seemed switched-on. We also had a new piece Con Brio by Jörg Widmann, which had some interesting sounds and Tchaikovsky's Variations on a Rococo Theme, which was in effect a cello concerto with Bruno Philiippe the star. He was so pleased with his reception that he gave 2 encores, the second because he loved playing to us! The conductor was the effervescent Jaume Santonja. The GH has relabelled its doors on L1 from numbers to letters but the tickets still give a door number! Stopped off at Br4g4s (walked HLB both ways, masses of walking today in Leeds and Hexham as well) b4 getting last train back to HEX. Funds were +12k on week, reaching new peak on Thursday, after 1.5k withdrawals this week and a very difficult quarter for most investments, as higher interest rates look likely to stay longer than expected. Having cut my investment teeth in the inflationary 1970s, feel that being invested in commodities and their associated equities is the best policy. Inflation always persists much more than people expect once it becomes engrained as now. Had a redhead Goosander at Wylam E and 2 Canada Goose at Bywell on the way in at 17:30. Cleaner S was at house in afternoon so return home was at 23:45. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 28th: maximum 17C minimum 12C, light S, cloudy. Made T4m4l with M/B 4 gr8 chat. Then off to LDS. Falstaff by Verdi is a strange opera: a witty comedy rather than an opera with great arias or building tension. But ON got it to work, with a team making the most of the comedy score. Falstaff is an old fool but they brought out a slightly gentler side, even though ridicule was his ultimate fate. The libretto was interesting being in English after a round trip from Shakespeare's c1600 text of The Merry Wives of Windsor and Henry IV to Verdi's c1890 Italian and back to English via Amanda Holden. That's an interesting structure in category theory with the unit and counit of adjunction measuring the difference between Shakespeare's and Amanda's texts. Very good evening with receptions at 18:15, 20:15 and 21:30, Talked to a lot of people including the conductor, lighting director, movement director, and the staff who manage the donations. Thinking of becoming a gold patron, £300 a month, to help promote opera in the north of England. Don’t get the same buzz for the Sage (GH) as for ON or indeed other grand causes. Funds reached a new record today, +12k on previous peak, as oil prices continued to firm; this in the context of very weak world markets overall, partly because of higher oil prices prolonging high inflation. Of course oil ranks alongside crack cocaine, heroin and tobacco in ESG rankings; should hang my head in shame!! Had 4 types of raptor: Durham – York: single Common Buzzard, Red Kite, Kestrel, Honey-buzzard juvenile S; not bad! Back 2moro, indeed with concert at S in evening. Looking forward to next week. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 27th: maximum 15C, minimum 12C, cloudy, heavy rain in afternoon on fresh S breeze, drier by evening. Did manage some grass cutting mid-morning with another 6 bales cut at the back; always satisfying to beat the rain! Still catching up on masses of diverse work. Have got WordPress site on NC set-up, ready for importing the XML export from the current ANPA site. It's T4m4l 2moro followed by train HEX-LDS and Falstaff in a very hedonistic evening with ON in LDS, staying at Ibis Styles, close to the Grand Theatre. Chatted to son at ttime: he's looking very well, got his weight down to simply overweight; we had good chat about Georgia and Kenya, latter with extension to beach at Mombasa after safari. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 26th: maximum 17C, minimum 10C, moderate SW, mainly sunny with occasional cloudy spells. A good showing of 8 Red Admiral, on rose hips, some freshly emerged, plus 2 Speckled Wood. 2 Chiffchaff were seen and heard and 2 Common Buzzard adult were calling. Did a lot more grass cutting, producing 6 bales before calling it a day; grass looks long but as usual in autumn is not as substantive as spring growth. Booked ticket for KH next week, will need to cancel insight event at ON but couldn't make that anyway as have R council meeting at 17:30; have missed last 2 councils, cannot miss another! Anyway having big day at ON this Thursday. Had a big shop delivered from W (£75). Ordered ticket for Hello Dolly! in November by HASS (Hexham Amateur Stage Society) and donated £60 (plus £19 for ticket). Lots of other catch-ups done including setting up of new Domain on NC and reading about transfer mechanisms; the driver is to be WordPress. Will write 2moro! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 25th: maximum 17C, minimum 10C, moderate SW, sunny, pleasant autumn day. Had some butterflies in front yard in morning: 2 Red Admiral, 2 Speckled Wood, 1 Comma, 1 Small White, plus a Rabbit and 6 Silver Y moths. Got quickly down to garden recovery, cutting grass in front. Afterwards from 17:00-19:00 chilled out in the back, looking for birds. Had 17 types, including 2 Treecreeper, 8 Long-tailed Tit, 2 Tawny Owl calling. Funds made a new record last Wednesday but slipped back a little since then. Talk at R on Uganda township by BH/JH went well; whole lunchtime went well. Met P/A at G4g4s for good chat, R still ill. Busy with concerts on Thursday (Opera North opening night, staying over in LDS), Friday (B4 at Glasshouse), and 2 important ones next week! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 24th: maximum 16C, minimum 12C, cloudy, heavy rain at times, moderate SW increasing fresh SW in evening with may small branches blown off ash, from past disease ash die-back. Getting place organised again, both physically and on the desktop. Transferred over various files, uploaded piccies from camera from Devon, checked financial records. Not happy with North Music Trust: set up a DD with them to pay 2.5k a year in quarterly payments of 625 for my pp; late last week almost went over o/d limit as they took an unexpected 625, having treated such payments inexplicably as monthly; cancelled DD and complained; cannot understand at all how they've set-up such a sloppy DD; I like finance to be properly organised! Did make G4g4s with P/A; R has gone down with Covid, did wonder if that was my bug last week as had strange cough; last Covid jab was April 2022 and I'm not having any more. Updated Festival website. Looked at starting another website on NameCheap for ANPA. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 23rd: maximum 18C, minimum 14C, light S, mainly sunny day with a few showers, much calmer. Caught train at TOT at 11:53, CC to NCL, arriving on time at 18:33; expected train NCL-HEX was cancelled but next one ran at 19:20 (giving time for shopping at S in NCL), getting in at 20:06 and driving straight to DoW4g4s with D/D for good catch-up. Nice to be back! Some Little Egret were on Teign Estuary (5) with a lone Shelduck and 12 Mute Swan adult. On the lower Exe Estuary there were 4 Little Egret, 80 Wigeon, 2 Common Tern and a Reed Bunting. On the upper Exe Estuary there were 15 d-b Brent Goose. A Common Buzzard was at Curload after Taunton and a Red Admiral near Bristol Temple Meads. Might do some work tomorrow on various desirable projects! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 22nd: maximum 16C, minimum 10C, moderate NW, mainly sunny day with few heavy showers, cool breeze. Out for a short walk in morning from 10:00-11:30 to Challaborough Bay Beach, a little to the W of Bigbury. Had a purple patch looking at higher ground to N with a male 2w Hen Harrier hunting from 10:45-11:09, a Honey-buzzard juvenile flying W at 11:09 using a large stoop followed by rearing up to progress (13300), an adult male Kestrel hunting at 11:10 and 4 Common Buzzard up after two birds (ad, juv) had soared very high earlier. Swallow passage W was prominent (36) with also a few House Martin (7). Also saw a large Linnet flock (170), 2 Cirl Bunting, 2 Stonechat, 4 Gannet juvenile W, 2 Goldfinch W, 1 Raven. Bird-types totalled 22. Then nephew S arrived with wife J (now married after 22 years as partners) and son W, so very sociable time at lunch and into afternoon with walk to Burgh Island and another quickie at the Pilchard! They left early evening: lovely to see them again. 2Moro it’s back to base with no further immediate trips planned. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 21st: maximum 16C, minimum 10C, moderate SW, mainly sunny day with heavy shower in evening, cool breeze. Nephew R and partner C arrived for lunch, which we laid on; very sociable. Followed by ANPA Executive Group Zoom meeting from 17:00-17:50; good positive chat and have been appointed web manager to develop our profile more actively and to hold preliminary publications. Received invite to submit an abstract for Process Ontology, following presentation in Munich in July; they’ve short-listed selected papers, so good news. Limited bird observations today: flock of 10 Linnet fairly close, the male juv Peregrine up at 12:00, a male ad Kestrel up at 11:30 and 14:00 plus many butterflies 20 Small White, 1 Large White. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 20th: maximum 18C, minimum 14C, fresh SW, torrential driving rain in morning, sea rough, dry interlude after lunch, then rain again before dry with a little brightness in early evening. Amazing day, weather-wise, so wild! We made Journey’s End at Ringmore for lunch where had f&c and ic with a couple of g; all very appetising and chatty. Went for walk along cliff top to E early evening, seeing 10 Shag (9 perched on rock to E at dusk towards Thurlestone), 4 d-b Brent Goose (2 W, 2 around Burgh Island at dusk), a Rock Pipit on the Island, a House Martin W, and much else, including 85 Starling, was good exercise and great views! Had 17 bird-types and one butterfly, a Speckled Wood. Quiet evening enjoying each other’s company. Next 2 days we have visits here from 2 nephews R and S in turn! I’ve got a Zoom session at 17:00 as part of ANPA executive group, with one item on agenda NR taking over our web site! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 19th: maximum 18C, minimum 17C, fresh SW, heavy rain in morning, dry afternoon, dull, wet again by evening. Younger sis and I went for walk in afternoon from our house in Bigbury on Sea to Burgh Island summit (48m high!). Had great views from the top out to the Channel to S and along the coast towards Plymouth to W and Start Point to E. Weather was wild, quite atmospheric. We had a pint of local ale in the pub the Pilchard Inn on the Island, a very popular place with Agatha Christie Burgh Island. Star birds of the day were an immature male Peregrine up over N end of channel hanging in breeze at 12:06 and 13:33, a female/immature Kestrel out hovering over cliff edge at 15:19, a Raven at S side of Burgh Island, 5 species of gull: 6 LBBG juv, 100 HG, 4 GBBG (1 ad, 3 juv), 14 BHG (1 juv W, 13 ad), 6 Kittiwake ad W, plus an Oystercatcher, 4 Gannet ad (2 W, 2 E, new species for year), 25 Starling, 1 House Martin W, in total of 19 bird-types. Had good supper of chicken curry and rw, all cooked by sisters. I put the rubbish out in the pouring rain! Funds are -5k wtd, expecting some profit taking this week. Thrilled to hear from someone. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 18th: maximum 18C, minimum 14C, moderate SW, sunny spells, mainly dry. Another long sleep and throat still sore, but got final stages for R lunch organised and turned up from 12-2 to oversee matters. All went well, a very successful lunch. We've got two special events organised next year, a Burns Night in January and a green-themed event in May. Caught train 14:25 HEX-,NCL and 15:39 NCL-TOT, on time as write at DRB at 18:37. It's a good opportunity for a rest! Finally, after passing through ancestry places of Taunton, Tiverton, Dawlish and Teignmouth, in at 23:17 (3 minutes late!). Sisters fetched me in car to take me to rented house at Bigbury on Sea, which we made at 00:10, great to see them again and in glorious Devon, no less. Think appetite is restored. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
17th: maximum 16C, minimum 9C, light NE, dull, some light showers.
After another long sleep, felt better and got on with some essential
tasks. But felt grotty again by evening with sore throat. Had 2-hours
lie-down before out to G4g4s where had good time with R/A/P. Voice a
bit croaky so again to bed early. Still not analysed last day's
piccies at Batumi.
September 16th: maximum 11C, minimum 9C, moderate NE, very dull, dry. Have got a cold, feeling weak, no appetite, snuffles, cough; stayed in bed until 13:00. Did make the Glasshouse (Sage) for a meal in the Brasserie with L, couldn't have been worse timed, as didn't eat much but felt cancellation would have been terrible. We had good catch-up, continuing to a reception in NR for supporters: very well attended. Star was Elisabeth Leonskaja, 'the Russian pianist born in Tbilisi' [programme], so she was Georgian! In Georgia, she was named Priestess of Art in 2016, this country’s highest artistic honour. She played Beethoven 5 PC, one of my favourite concertos, in grand style, bold in the strident passages and tender in the romantic adagio, excellent start to the new season. In the second half we had Cassandra Miller's Swim (World Premiere), which had some lovely tones but didn't conjure up the notion of swimming; the composer was there. The final piece was Schumann 3 ‘Rhenish’ which was quite a forceful piece, not really what I expected from the composer who is normally associated with a lyrical style, but it was impressive and earned massive applause from the audience, who seem to be taking to the RNS conductor Dinis Sousa, who's taken on greater national significance, deputising for John Gardiner in recent concerts, after JG, aged 80, got involved in a punch-up!. Dinis is also closely involved with the Monteverdi Choir and Orchestra, so growing in stature, which is good to see. Funds were +45k gross on week, +41k net after birthday present; a good week for commodities on looming China recovery, but is this such good news for the western economies as it threatens to push inflation up again. Result was an all-time high on Friday, ytd +141k gross, before 35.6k withdrawals. Have claimed compensation of €400 from Air Baltic, not including any accommodation or meals; really just claiming the EU-compensation for extra costs in getting home, including an Air Baltic flight Riga - LGW. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Piccies taken in Georgia, now uploaded to desktop are:
1,065 Files, 21 Folders, 5.89 GB on Nikon (still to add some from 'phone, which found useful in very poor light, such as cave, and in personal settings)
September 15th: maximum 12C, minimum 10C, light NE, continuous moderate rain. Feeling so cold, going down with something, I'm sure! Continued sorting out stuff from the long trip. Did make DoW4g4s with D/D after long gap: very good catch-up!
September 14th: maximum 17C, minimum 11C, light W, sunny spells, dry. No fieldwork today, really have to abandon any hope of a complete Honey-buzzard juvenile survey this year but have done a complete job on Black Kite and have to vary the routine. Made T4m4l with M/B for good chat; B has now moved to HEX near where P lives. Did a little shopping at T and picked up regular prescription at B. Unpacking and sorting out clothes and records is going to take some time. Am organising next R lunch meeting on Monday but then may be away again for a few days. Then aiming for being home-based until December when have a week (at least) in the Masai Mara, Kenya, on safari with daughter and family and son. Isabella is 7 today, sent her an ecard and 4k. Made G4g4s where had good chat with R/A; L was on! Funds are at record high tonight! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 13th: maximum 18C, minimum 11C, light N, sunny spells, dry. Riga. A busy day, up at 02:15 after getting to bed at 21:00 (12/9). Got taxi at 02:40 to Batumi Airport BUS (driver was very chatty) where had some breakfast. Flight with Air Baltic was on time, leaving at 05:30 for RIX and arriving at 08:45 (Riga time, BUS-1) so flight was 4 hour 15 min; it was inspiring flying W along the Black Sea at dawn on the Turkish coast before turning N over Romania, western Ukraine, Belarus and Lithuania. The distance is 2,975 km, compared to the direct 2,116 km flying over Crimea and the east of Ukraine (not recommended!). Riga has long-standing connections with Batumi: many Russians were moved forcibly into Latvia and many of the indigenous population were transferred elsewhere; Riga's population is about half Russian ethnically. The Russians like Crimea and Georgia for beach holidays. Many menus in Batumi are in Georgian, Russian and English. I didn't get the impression the Russians were disliked in Georgia; they are important economically (holidays, trade, property investors) but there's anxiety about what the Russians will do to Georgia if the Ukraine conflict is resolved in Russia's favour. So I had about 6 hours in Riga until my flight at 15:45 to Gatwick; did some work on laptop but not that wide awake. Noted 2 Hooded Crow and 2 Steppe Buzzard. Have seen the whole of Wagner's Ring cycle in Riga in 2013, with son, very inspired performance in an intimate theatre. This flight also left on time but the trip started going downhill as we approached the dysfunctional UK. Coming into Gatwick, the plane was just 50 feet off the ground and on time, when suddenly, the engines were put into full thrust, the cone was raised and we went roaring back into the sky at full power. We had to come round again, took 15 min and then landed OK. The pilot explained he had been given the alert 'Traffic, Traffic' meaning danger of collision with another plane and then told to abort landing, suggesting there was a plane on our runway ahead! Well they are having problems with ATC at Gatwick! This flight took about 2 hours 45 min so it was now 16:30 BST (18:30, Riga time). Everything else at Gatwick was smooth: passport, baggage, and the railway station is nicely integrated. But the trains were in chaos. Eventually caught a train running 30 min late to St Pancras on Thameslink; it went so slowly and was packed. Got to KGX at 18:40, nicely in time for the 19:00 to NCL and I bought an advance single. Well there had been a knife attack at Hadley, which had brought all rail traffic to a stop, including many cancellations. Eventually we boarded at 19:10, left at 19:20 and got later and later, getting into NCL at 23:30, 1 hour 40 min late. Had to join a taxi queue as lots of people missed their last services; eventually got going and back home at 00:30, cost £80 including tip. Taxi driver revived my spirits a lot; he was a Serb (living in UK for 20 years), fascinated with my trip to SE Europe, and reminded me of my late father in law Hans Makosch; laughing a little at the English but enjoying his life here. So time for travel was from 02:40 BUS (BST+3) to HEX at 00:30, that's 24 hours 50 min! Had had a lot of naps on the way so not that sleepy, indeed got up at 08:30 the next morning. Trip has been marvellous: such an interesting country and culture, and of course it has the fantastic Batumi raptor bottleneck. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Provisional list for Georgia 24/8-12/9: 90 of 90 species from 246 records, 22 complete lists, 27 places with 17 species of raptor and 6 of gull.
September 12th: maximum 22C, minimum 17C, light SW, sunny intervals in morning, becoming cloudier in afternoon with very heavy shower at ttime from 15:33, low cloud over mountains throughout and poor visibility there. Another great day for raptor migration along the coast (1,200+) as seen from the apartment balcony with a number of kettles and long glides; added two more raptor-types during the day. It appears they’re checking in at Riga on outward bound leg so cautiously optimistic; have taxi for 02:50 (23:50 BST) to take me to the Airport (BUS), take-off 05:30 and hope to get a taxi from NCL railway station to HEX at 22:00, arriving 22:45 BST, that’s 23 hours travel with time zone differences. Funds +12k wtd on strong oil prices and recovering mega-miners. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Watch from apartment in Batumi City Centre was from 12:10-17:10. The first burst of migrants was noted from 12:40-12:55 with c460 noted passing to E, comprising 280 Black Kite, 180 Honey-buzzard, 1 Lesser Spotted Eagle, with 4 Greylag Goose S, a male Sparrowhawk flying low in hunting model at 12:50 and a Hawfinch and a Song Thrush flying into local bushes; the raptors were kettling S over edge of overcast mountains using thermals generated on the coast. From 13:05-14:11 had 10 Sand Martin S, 1 Swallow S, 1 LBBG fuscus juvenile S. Around 14:40 had 22 Black Kite, 11 Honey-buzzard, 5 Steppe Buzzard and 2 Montagu's Harrier ringtails moving S. From 14:50-15:03 had 131 Black Kite and 60 Honey-buzzard gliding S, possibly using orographic lift but more likely at the end of their soar-glide mode of operation, plus 6 Sand Martin and a Swallow S. Passage picked up as the weather deteriorated. From 15:06-15:24 370 Black Kite and 110 Honey-buzzard were kettling to S, with 5 Booted Eagle, 2 Lesser Spotted Eagle, 1 Montagu's Harrier ringtail plus 5 Bee-eater. Raptor passage then came to a halt with just one Booted Eagle seen diving out of the sky at 15:30 as rain started in earnest at 15:33. Crude raptor passage totals were 803 Black Kite (rounded 810), 361 Honey-buzzard (rounded 370), 6 Booted Eagle, 5 Steppe Buzzard, 3 Lesser Spotted Eagle, 3 Montagu's Harrier ringtails. Passage of non-raptors S after 15:24 comprised 29 Sand Martin, 7 Swallow, 2 Bee-eater. Other birds noted during day were 150 Caspian Gull S, 2 Hooded Crow, 3 Feral Pigeon, 4 House Sparrow, in total of 17 types. Another great day!
September 11th: maximum 23C, minimum 18C, light SW, sunny morning, more cloud later, dry. Another walk along the prom from 16:00-19:30. This time added 2 species to the list: a Water Pipit flying along the pebble beach and a Common Rosefinch female/juvenile perched on a structure near the shore. Also had 6 Feral Pigeon, 5 Hooded Crow, 8 House Sparrow and 29 Caspian Gull. The Georgians are a very attractive lot, with obvious influence from Iran, Russia and Turkey. Did a lot of work on the Festival website, partly to do something constructive against the worries of the travel situation and a need to beautify the world!
BirdTrack running total up to today: 85 of 85 species from 229 records, 21 complete lists, 27 places. 4 dove, 1 wader, 6 gull, 2 tern, 5 heron, 15 raptor, 2 woodpecker, 3 lark, 3 pipit, 2 shrike, 4 crow, 4 hirundine, 4 warbler, 2 nuthatch, 3 finch.
September 10th: maximum 23C, minimum 17C, light SW, cool and misty start but afternoon and evening sunny and warm, dry throughout. Have presented full account of yesterday’s major movement on the Black Sea coast. Update on today later. Spent much of today sorting out various issues with late return, such as dentist appointment, Rotary admin, automatic prescriptions, booking alternative flight from Riga, to London, also with Air Baltic, so covered if they fail to deliver from Batumi, looking at train travel from Gatwick to Newcastle, etc. Long shot if flight again cancelled on Wednesday is cancelling whole return trip with Air Baltic, securing refunds and going back via Istanbul or Dubai. Had stroll on the Prom from 16:10-18:30 seeing a few birds: 8 Hooded Crow, 19 Feral Pigeon, 15 House Sparrow, 1 Bee-eater, 27 Caspian Gull. From the flat at 08:00 had 10 Swallow S and 5 Bee-eater around as legacy from yesterday’s marvellous action. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 9th: maximum 24C, minimum 19C, moderate SW, monsoon continued from dawn with incredibly heavy rain in bursts from swirling clouds of all hues, easing from 16:00, becoming dry but still with swirling cloud cover, moving a little higher. A most amazing day raptor-wise: report in progress. Monsoon continues and it’s a fantastic day for coastal passage, right over my balcony, confirming one of my long-held Honey-buzzard migration hypotheses. Flight back cancelled by airline Air Baltic – rearranged 3 days later. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Raptor passage over the coast to E was first noted at 13:43 with a lone dark-phase Honey-buzzard juvenile flying over my apartment onto the seafront. Main movement began at 15:04 with 18 Honey-buzzard kettling to E; 123-155 Honey-buzzard were captured in kettles from 15:19-15:28 with just small numbers of Black Kite; 75-230 Black Kite were noted at 15:29-15:30 with about 30-120 Honey-buzzard; 50 Honey-buzzard noted at 15:32. The kettling was not in thermals but in response to orographic lift from the moderate onshore wind. The birds were passing along the coast to the E of Batumi city centre and then continued coasting to the S. A few birds around 15:30 moved over my apartment moving to the seafront of Batumi; these comprised 23 Honey-buzzard adult and 9 Black Kite. Total raptor passage was thought to be 1,400 from visual counts, about ¼ Black Kite, but inspection of the photos has raised the total to 1,980 comprising 1,290 Honey-buzzard and 690 Black Kite (35%). So in foul weather with onshore winds, a substantial part of the movement had moved to the coast: they hadn’t crossed the Black Sea, they were coasting to avoid poor visibility inland. The movement may have been underestimated. I kept a watch from 12:50-18:50 but there could have been earlier movements and the poor visibility made it difficult to be sure birds had not passed undetected. Other raptors seen were an Osprey S in isolation at 13:22, an Egyptian Vulture juvenile S at 15:30 with the large group and 30 Montagu’s Harrier S (probably containing a few Pallid), also at 15:30.
Many other migrants were seen to S: total of about 400 Caspian Gull (continuous, mainly juveniles, estimated total), 4 LBBG fuscus (2 ad, 2 juv, singles), 54 Grey Heron (one flock 14:02), 6 Night Heron (1 group, rested around apartment blocks for a little while, 16:30), 1 Woodlark (13:43), 1 Meadow Pipit (16:07). The most conspicuous birds though were the Hirundines: 3,300 Sand Martin (continuous), 300 Swallow (mainly later in afternoon), 70 House Martin (one late burst at 17:26), plus Bee-eater, throughout, total 170 with some landing on trees and wires in the city. The regulars, Hooded Crow, House Sparrow and Feral Pigeon, remained visible. So an amazing day.
BirdTrack running total up to today: 83 of 83 species from 215 records, 19 complete lists, 27 places. 4 dove, 1 wader, 6 gull, 2 tern, 5 heron, 15 raptor, 2 woodpecker, 3 lark, 2 pipit, 2 shrike, 4 crow, 4 hirundine, 4 warbler, 2 nuthatch. Note the fantastic 15 types of raptor!
September 8th: maximum 26C, minimum 22C, light S, glimpses of sun in morning but monsoon continued with very heavy conditions, multiple layers of swirling cloud and mist in almost calm conditions, light rain early afternoon becoming torrential by tea time, drier evening. Had 4 Sand Martin feeding at a river and an adult Cormorant on the sea at 13:20 at Batumi NE. Made Sakhalvasho from 13:30-17:00. Very little raptor migration today, though did have one kettle of 70 Honey-buzzard, 5 Black Kite, plus 2 Booted Eagle, setting off from a mountain to the N in a brighter interlude at 14:25 but not sure where glide took them as lost to sight. Some Montagu’s Harrier ringtails were fairly regular (total 5: 1 14:15, 2 15:00, 1 15:44, 1 15:50), neatly climbing just over the ridge and disappearing to S. A Montagu’s Harrier male was flying along the ridge at 15:57. Also had good numbers of Bee-eater (137), some Roller (20), many Swallow (4 local, 14 S) and Sand Martin (49 S), and some Turtle Dove. (4 S at 14:20). Had further interesting records of Honey-buzzard: a male out on own over hillside to N at 14:47 in territorial flight and at 14:51 entering into display mode with diving and rearing and looking below as if young present; at 16:12 2 dark Honey-buzzard were flushed off the road I was walking back down on in an area of dense vegetation; they flew off silently sidewise together keeping a very low profile. In quieter raptor passage, picked out more in the way of other birds, seeing 3 Chiffchaff, a Mountain Chiffchaff (singing), an Icterine Warbler perched in tree, 1 Blue Tit, 5 Great Tit, 5 Chaffinch, 1 White Wagtail, 7 Hooded Crow, 1 Jay. Funds finished week at +8k.
BirdTrack running total up to today: 78 of 78 species from 198 records, 18 complete lists, 27 places. 4 dove, 1 wader, 6 gull, 2 tern, 4 heron, 13 raptor, 2 woodpecker, 2 shrike, 4 crow, 4 hirundine, 4 warbler, 2 nuthatch.
September 7th: maximum 26C, minimum 22C, light SW, sunny morning, dull afternoon, turning into heavy rain (cloudburst) by early evening. Took it easy today as weather deteriorated. Finally took the plunge to walk to the seafront, light rain started shortly afterwards and then there was a cloudburst while at furthest point, so soaked! Did have a White Wagtail on the beach before the heavens opened. Had dinner at a Trattoria, very tasty, just 90 GEL for 2 courses and some drinks. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
BirdTrack running total up to today: 74 of 74 species from 178 records, 17 complete lists, 27 places. 4 dove, 1 wader, 6 gull, 2 tern, 4 heron, 13 raptor, 2 woodpecker, 2 shrike, 4 crow, 4 hirundine, 1 warbler, 2 nuthatch.
September 6th: maximum 27C, minimum 23C, light W, sunny all day with some cloud on mountains. Made Sakhalvasho from 14:45-17:20 in another fantastic day in the Batumi Raptor count area with almost 100k Honey-buzzard noted across the wider area. When arrived they were everywhere, coming in low-down at the end of the glide phase and then immediately forming a kettle to keep their movement going; I counted 3,200. Black Kite numbers increased to 140 and also saw Booted Eagle (4), Pallid Harrier male (1), Montagu’s Harrier ringtail (3), Bee-eater (55), Black Stork (1), Peregrine adult female (1), Turtle Dove. (1). Had a few beers and supper in evening in a bar popular with the Russian contingent, spent 50 GEL! Will add totals later. Taking a rest tomorrow after 4 solid afternoons out in the field, back out there on Friday, going to have a rest on the seafront. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
My BirdTrack entries at Sakhalvasho today (all moving S):
1 Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur): 1 S at 16:20
1 Black Stork (Ciconia nigra): mixed up with a flock of Honey-buzzard at 15:34
3200 Honey-buzzard (Pernis apivorus): A few juvenile were picked up in the piccies, looking less streamlined than the adults, but keeping up with them. Counts were 1380 14:45-15:15, 1125 15:15-15:45, 450 15:45-16:15, 235 1615-16:45, 20 16:45-end. On arrival the birds were low-down over the Counting Station at the bottom of their glide; they immediately set upon finding a thermal (to form a kettle), no time wasted. There was no hesitancy in direction at any point. Towards the end though a few birds were flying low with less impetus, clearly looking for a resting place for the night.
4 Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus): 2 as singles on edge of main flocks; 2 took off from wood to N and then joined raptor stream
1 Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus): in the main Honey-buzzard stream at 15:27
1 Pallid Harrier (Circus macrourus): 1 adult male S with Honey-buzzard at 15:27
3 Montagu's Harrier (Circus pygargus): 3 ringtail small harrier S at 16:10 in middle of Honey-buzzard/Black Kite flock
140 Black Kite (Milvus migrans): mainly seen later in the afternoon; again a number were flying lower than the main Honey-buzzard stream.
60 Bee-eater (Merops apiaster): one flock of 30 landed all around me, catching insects, before resuming journey.
1 Peregrine (Falco peregrinus): at 15:27, adult female appeared for a moment under the raptor stream
September 5th: maximum 28C, minimum 24C, light SW, sunny all day with some cloud on mountains. Had Khachapuri for breakfast at local cafe, that’s a classical Georgian dish with bread made in various shapes with cheese lining and optional poached egg in middle, which I had. So set up with that made Batumi Raptor Count at Sakhalvasho seeing an incredible 4,800 Honey-buzzard pass S in 2 hours – official total for whole day here was an incredible 41055 (see https://www.batumiraptorcount.org/data), the pride of Russia, moving to Africa for the winter. Got many photos of the flocks and singles. Also saw personally 70 Black Kite, 4 Booted Eagle, 1 Marsh Harrier, plus a Krüper’s Nuthatch, a Blackcap. Fantastic day! Funds +15k wtd on oil price rise. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
My BirdTrack entries at Sakhalvasho today (the W extreme of the migrant stream, all moving S):
4,800 Honey-buzzard (Pernis apivorus): all adult as far as could see; typical kettle and glide strategy, the kettle used for soaring on a thermal and the glide to make economical use of the height gained; c1500 from 14:30-15:00; c700 from 15:00-15:30; c1300 from 15:30-16:00; c1300 from 16:00-16:29 when stream seemed to slow markedly.
4 Booted Eagle (Hieraaetus pennatus): flying singly, slightly below in altitude the main Honey-buzzard stream
1 Marsh Harrier (Circus aeruginosus)
70 Black Kite (Milvus migrans): mixture of adult and juvenile; tended to fly lower altitude below the Honey-buzzard flocks; 6 projecting primary tips on juveniles
6 Bee-eater (Merops apiaster)
Summary to today: 67 of 67 species from 156 records, 15 complete lists, 26 places. 3 dove, 1 wader, 6 gull, 1 tern, 4 heron, 11 raptor, 2 woodpecker, 2 shrike, 4 crow, 3 hirundine, 1 warbler, 2 nuthatch
September 4th: maximum 28C, minimum 23C, light SW, cloudy but dry morning, sunny afternoon and evening. Again made Batumi Botanical Gardens, from 13:20-18:00: it’s a beautiful setting, giving great views over the sea and the surrounding hills, with plenty of flowers and some enormous trees. Had very close-up views of a Honey-buzzard adult female at 15:52, coming down into the trees for the night. At 14:50 had a Hobby adult female flying S over the hill low-down. Main find of day was 6 Krüper's Nuthatch in an old tall tree: a new species for me; this one is only found in Turkey and the Caucasus. Also had a few more Bee-eater in the trees and added Sand Martin, Greenfinch, Goldcrest and Common Redstart to the list. Other migrants included 17 Swallow S, 2 House Martin S. Went out for good meal in the evening. Settled in well to the lively city of Batumi! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
BirdTrack up to 2/9 now complete: 52 of 52 species from 113 records, 12 complete lists, 24 places. 3 dove, 1 wader, 6 gull, 1 tern, 4 heron, 6 raptor, 2 woodpecker, 2 shrike, 4 crow, 3 hirundine, 1 warbler, 2 nuthatch
September 3rd: maximum 29C, minimum 24C, light W, a wet day, heavy rain in morning and evening, afternoon was dry and muggy, hardly any sun. Did make the Batumi Botanical Gardens from 14:00-17:30 just as the rain finished and a pause set in. The Honey-buzzard were very impatient and some had obviously been force-landed into the ample large trees in the Gardens, driving the Hooded Crow mad. Had 9 Honey-buzzard migrating over the top of the Gardens (1 14:38, 1 14:47, 6 14:58, 1 15:09), the singles in the lower levels of the mist gliding S, the 6 going higher, quite full of energy, even a few dives at each other. Cannot discount that these 6 are breeding birds, need to check my piccies for any juveniles. Also had a ringtail Hen Harrier moving S low-down over the trees at 14:42 and an adult male Peregrine briefly circling over top of Gardens at 15:34. Then all went quiet raptor-wise. Other migrants were Bee-eater (few calling), Swallow (11 S) and Tree Pipit (group 5 S). Residents added to list were 1 Wren, 1 Robin, plus a Jay heard and 2 Chaffinch seen. The Gardens are good exercise, moderately steep ascents. Had a Ring-necked Parakeet in Batumi near my apartment. Used Bolt for taxis to do the 8km to the Gardens – cost c14 GEL each way plus 20 GEL admission, giving cost for trip of £15. In evening made Tavioli for tuna salad, cheesecake, 2 glasses rw, coffee, all for 88 GEL (£23). xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Quick check on trip total up to 2/9: 46 of 46 species from 97 records, 11 complete lists, 23 places. Still excludes Tbilisi Botanical Gardens, but about to do that so fuller update tomorrow.
September 2nd: maximum 30C, minimum 25C, light E, hot, dry. with sunshine all day, some murk over mountains. Visited the beach area early afternoon getting some interesting sightings: a Honey-buzzard adult at 15:13 floating very high-up over Batumi moving S; in the park a Mute Swan adult and 2 Ruddy Shelduck, a Swallow, another Shag ad, and 2 Yelkouan Shearwater, far out to sea. We had early meal at a Pizza place Brioche – massive modern place. Son leaves at 02:50 tomorrow morning flying with Air Baltic to Riga from Batumi and then onto Gatwick in afternoon – I’ll be around to help with any last minute problems in getting away from the flat. It’s been a great holiday together! I’m planning to make the Botanical Gardens tomorrow, near the raptor flyway. Got a spare bed now: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
September 1st: maximum 30C, minimum 24C, light W, hot, dry. with sunshine all day, some high cloud over coast, some murk over mountains. Decided to walk the prom today, making the immediate beach 700m away and then going N to the tip of the prom. All very exhilarating! Two large ships offshore (container, bulk carrier) may have been waiting for clearance to go further N in the Black Sea towards the war zone. Met son half-way through: he’s been for a dip in the Black Sea and hired a bike. In the evening we went for last dinner together at the Old Boulevard, a marvellous Georgian restaurant with live music (violin, guitar, piano). We had 3 courses there, I had lovely local red wine and coffee. Cost was 203 GEL (£61); in London would have coast over £200. Earlier I used the numerous beach cafes to keep hydrated and fed, on ice cream and fizz, like a kid! Had 1st Shag (ad) and 4 Cormorant (3 ad, 1 juv) plus numerous gulls, nearly all Caspian but certainly one Med YLG juvenile and maybe others to look for in many piccies taken of trawler with numerous gulls around it: yes indeed, added LBBG juv (race not known) and 3 Mediterranean Gull adult plus another Med YLG juvenile. Had a Ruddy Shelduck in a park, don’t think it’s wild! A dead Caspian Gull adult there may well have been a recent victim of avian flu. Funds finished week +20k, best for a while with commodities on rise, particularly oil. Think there’s structural inflation here with growing shortages because of recent underinvestment and Net Zero demands. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Running total for Georgia trip: 40 of 40 species from 85 records, 9 complete lists, 21 places. From BirdTrack. Still to add: 27/8 Botanical Gardens, Tbilisi; 30/8 some records from canyon trip from Kutaisi. Total of 40 types so far includes: 3 doves, 1 wader, 6 gulls, 1 tern, 3 herons, 4 raptors, 2 shrikes, 3 hirundines.
August 31st: maximum 32C, minimum 24C, light W, hot, dry. with sunshine all day. Now in the hedonistic second city of Georgia, Batumi, set on the Black Sea and with a long tradition of being a favourite for Russian visitors. Train journey was smooth (1 hour 40 min), catching train via taxi (50GEL) from Kutaisi Airport Railway Station. Had a Bimaculated Lark (new species) and 15 Hooded Crow near the Station with 3 Starling near Japana. Took taxi from Railway Station to our premium apartment, where greeted by L, who showed us how to get in and out and took our money 3250 GEL (c£1k), including 100 deposit for breakages. I looked at the local birds in the afternoon from our balcony: 3 Hooded Crow, 1 Swallow, 1 Chaffinch, 13 House Sparrow, 4 Feral Pigeon, plus masses of Caspian Gull 121 (65 ad, 14 2s, 42 juvenile). We had dinner at a Trattoria nearby, with menu in Georgian, English and Russian. Then went for stroll along the harbour front and the new dramatic tall buildings, making it look a bit like a mini-Dubai! All very impressive: going to enjoy the city while son is here, before exploring the raptor route for my further stay. Have updated the Festival web site for contact details, improving the maintainability by having a single file which is accessed by all the pages. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 30th: maximum 33C, minimum 24C, light E, much hotter today, dry. with sunshine all day. Feeling a lot brighter and we went on long private day trip, first to Gelati Museum, where son went yesterday, then onto a series of scenic points before making Martvili canyon, where we were transferred to a jeep for final move to the canyon, where we had lunch and a stroll. Highlight of day was the Caves of Prometheus where we walked over a km through a cave system, before getting a boat though an underwater inlet to the outside again: very spectacular. We finished with the Wine Monastery at Martvili Municipality. A good day out: 10 hours in all, cost 230 GEL to driver, 150 GEL for jeep and 80 GEL for lunch, plus a few extras for admission, so total cost £130. Birds included Long-legged Buzzard (2 birds, an adult and juvenile, at 1 site), a Steppe Buzzard (agitated at one site), a Raven, 2 lots of migrating Bee-eater, a Black Redstart, a Short-toed Lark, 2 Chaffinch, a Grey Wagtail, 2 Black Kite (1 bird in territory, 1 bird S) and a few others still being considered. At breakfast at Kutaisi hotel had 38 Caspian Gull on stones on river (34 ad, 2 2s, 2 juv) and at 09:20 a Short-toed Eagle ad moving S at moderate altitude. 2moro it’s Batumi by the seaside! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 29th: maximum 28C, minimum 20C, light E, violent thunderstorm at breakfast time, heavy rain, short power cut, then cloudy, but becoming brighter as day wore on. Not a lot done today; son went off on private trip to Gelati Monastery, dating from 11th century. I stayed local feeling a little fragile. Feeling brighter by evening and caught up with most of bird records in Georgia to date. Had an Ortolan Bunting on wires over the river. Funds are +17k wtd, maybe the gain will hold this time but there’s a lot of conflicting views at the moment on direction of markets.
August 28th: maximum 30C, minimum 20C, light NE, sunny all day, dry. Took 3 hours 40 mins train journey departing 08:40 from Tbilisi to Kutaisi, where booked into the Sanapiro Hotel by the River Rioni, a distance of 180km. We then got a local bus into the bus station at Kutaisi and then a taxi to our hotel. My room is overlooking the river so that’s quite a bonus: it’s the longest river in Georgia, draining the whole western Transcaucasus into the Black Sea. Train tickets are cheap even for business class, which we enjoyed. We had late lunch at the Museum Bar, which I’d recommend.: quite arty, big menu, plenty of fresh food, not expensive. The train route was very scenic in the middle, crossing well-wooded hills and quite steep inclines. Not feeling so good in the evening, but fortunately had stocked up with Imodium at DUS. First stop was Gori, birthplace of Joseph Stalin, with several statues intended, not sure of current status. Birds from train included a Kestrel (juvenile) and a Lesser Grey Shrike at Tbilisi N at 08:50; a Red-backed Shrike at Kvakhvreli at 09:35; 6 Cattle Egret at Shida Kartli at 09:45; a Grey Wagtail at Shorapani at 11:38; 10 Mistle Thrush at Zestafoni at 11:44; all recorded directly on mobile phone using GPS tracking from BirdTrack. By the river at Kutaisi, around 14:00-16:00 had 18 Caspian Gull (16 ad, 2 juv), 4 Hooded Crow, a Common Sandpiper and 3 Feral Pigeon. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 27th: maximum 26C, minimum 20C, light NE, hazy sunshine all day, shower in evening. Made Tbilisi Botanical Gardens today from 11:50-17:00 – such gardens used to be common in England but not any more. This one is very special with enormous range of plants. The enormous range and numbers of insects suggests that they don’t overuse pesticides and herbicides: butterflies were everywhere on their flower beds. Also saw the menacing looking Oriental Hornets. Had 2 raptors moving S: a female adult Honey-buzzard above a Steppe Buzzard at 14:20. A few Steppe Buzzard, maybe 3 birds, were in the trees on the edge of the Gardens, calling from time to time. Three small parties of Bee-eater (5,15, 5, total 25) moved S. Also had 19 Woodpigeon, a Middle Spotted Woodpecker (seen close-up on tree), 2 Green Woodpecker (both yaffling), 3 Jay (seen and heard), 5 Hooded Crow, 1 Raven (heard), 4 Blue Tit, 2 Great Tit, 3 Crag Martin, 4 Blackbird, 1 Dunnock, 2 Chaffinch, 20 Feral Pigeon, in total of 16 species. More to follow on the tremendous butterflies and a large squirrel. On the river at 18:00 moving W, a Little Bittern. We had dinner in the hotel (130 GEL). Train is at 08:40 tomorrow for Kutaisi. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 26th: maximum 30C, minimum 20C, moderate NW, sunny all day, no clouds, dry. Exciting trip today to oldest surviving buildings of Orthodox Georgian culture. We organised a driver for $80US to takes us on a half-day excursion. First we made the Jvari Monastery in Mtskheta S, dating from the 6th century, then the Svetitskhoveli Cathedral, dating from the 11th century also in Mtskheta S c9km NW of Tbilisi. We have plenty of piccies and our guide took some of us – will publish soon. Both buildings were presented very well, looking amazing in view of their age. Our guide was very informative about their history and looked after us well. We gave him a 10% bonus on return. Not what I anticipated but waterbirds were the stars today, particularly where the Kura River splits, giving a few sandbanks. Here from 11:00-12:15 had 3 types of gull – Caspian (much the commonest, total 47, 46 ad, 1 juv), Armenian (two adults, a new gull species for me, something to celebrate), a Pallas’s juvenile (seen before in Egypt), plus 8 Little Egret, 1 Cormorant, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 Grey Heron. Driving out of Tbilisi to NW at 10:30 along the river, we had 4 White-winged Black Tern, and many Caspian Gull. (29 total, 27 ad, 2 juv), plus a Hooded crow, a Feral Pigeon and a Swallow. Raptors comprised just two birds but very interesting ones: Raptors comprised just two birds but very interesting ones: 2 Honey-buzzard adult coming out of some trees to N of the Cathedral at 12:23 in agitated fashion. Looked like a pair in breeding territory. Also here from 12;15-13:45 had 6 Feral Pigeon, 8 Swallow, 4 House Martin and 20 House Sparrow. Had siesta on return, getting out again at 16:00 for walk to river where took many piccies of Caspian Gull (10 ad) around 16:30; also here had 9 Hooded Crow, 2 Swallow, 1 Laughing Dove, 4 Feral Pigeon, 6 House Sparrow. Had a couple of beers in a bar and then met son at Cafe Leila, a Georgian vegetarian restaurant in the old town: very tasty food and lovely setting. Russians are everywhere: over 100k young men came here to escape conscription and they are anyway welcomed for their Trans Caucasus trade. In Batumi they are buying up quite a lot of property, as in Dubai, and make up a good proportion of the visitors. Must say they look attractive, the women that is!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 25th: maximum 28C, minimum 20C, light N, cloudy, light rain in afternoon. Lazy morning, breakfast at 11:00. We then visited the Georgian National Museum, where a very good biodiversity section showing the extensive wildlife left, including Brown Bear and Spotted Hyena. There was also detailed coverage of Dmanisi, an area of Georgia with archaeological remains from occupation c1.7m years ago, when the lower Caucasus became more humid and warmer and more Africa-like encouraging many animals, including early man, to cross from Africa into the Caucasus. We also spent some time on the floor showing the horrors of the invasions of the Bolsheviks and later Soviets; Georgia lost 5% of its population of 4m to shootings and removals. Did find some birds from 12:00-17:00 in parks or along the main river. Highlight was a Western Rock Nuthatch in a ravine where a stream goes through the town. Also had 12 Caspian Gull (10 ad, 2 juv) on the river and 2 Swallow (chestnut below) and 16 breeding House Martin in the river area. 4 Laughing Dove were scattered around bits of waste ground. House Sparrow (30) and Feral Pigeon (16) were the most widespread. So total of 7 types in the city. Walked 10k steps today, son must have done 15k. Had good dinner in Hotel again. There’s a marvellous atmosphere about Georgia as East meets West. Tomorrow we’ve got a drive to a rural monastery in a private taxi and the sun is going to shine. Funds finished week +7k. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 24th: maximum 33C, minimum 22C, light N, sunny, dry. Well I had gentle stroll 2km from Ibis to DUS, complete with suitcase, getting some exercise and avoiding extortionate taxi fares. Added Carrion Crow and 4 Feral Pigeon to list. Caught SkyTrain for final bit into the terminal. Son had a more frantic morning with his EW flight from LHR taking off an hour late. Fortunately there were c20 passengers going to TBS so they held our EW flight for 30 min. The cost of putting up that many disgruntled passengers overnight must have encouraged them to delay our flight. Son fortuitously sitting one seat behind me! He’s brought 2 different guide books so could study one on the plane. There’s masses to do. Flight was 3 hours 40 min, landing just 10 min late. Got taxi into centre (GEL170, £50) and checked into Shota Hotel, very comfortable. Had dinner there (GEL109). We went for a walk around the block. In the Airport area at dusk had a Raven and a Laughing Dove. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 23rd: maximum 19C, minimum 16C, light SW, sunny, dry. Now in DUS, got taxi from home to NCL; had a Great Spotted Woodpecker flying over the A69 near Horsley; EW had problems checking us in, clearly problems in downloading passenger list so took off 40 min late. Got taxi to Ibis Airport Hotel €25, then dined and watered at Novotel nearby. Hoping to meet son here 2moro before travelling on to TBS. May be a little ambitious! Hope his flight’s not late like mine. Went for walk at dusk, finding 2 Robin and a Blackbird. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 22nd: maximum 18C, minimum 13C, moderate SW, sunny spells, dry. Another breezy day. At Ordley had 6 types of butterfly: 5 Peacock, 3 Red Admiral, 3 Small White, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Wall, 1 Large White. Made Stocksfield Mount from 12:20-14:30. Started slowly in the breeze but in the end kept very busy almost like Towsbank. It's very subtle when you get the suppression of activity in a moderate breeze rather than spectacular activity; suspect it's the strength of the sun that matters: if the sun is strong in the bright intervals that encourages birds to get up and if the sun is weak, the birds are discouraged. Sounds too obvious!! Today had in provisional figures at Cottagebank: 3 Honey-buzzard (male up frequently, keen to get off, female, one juvenile (could be more)), 2-4 Black Kite (ad, juv, most frequently seen raptor), 2 Red Kite (ad, juv), 2 Common Buzzard juv, so 4 types of raptor here. At Ovingham: 3 Red Kite (ad, 2 juv). At the Mount: 2 Common Buzzard ad. So 14-16 birds of 4 types overall -- not up to Towsbank standards where have much material to go through but suspect total there will be c30 raptors. More to follow ... Busy getting ready! Sorting out some affairs. Booked up autumn season with Opera North at TR in NCL (3 operas) and booked with ON Patrons' Initiative their opening night of Falstaff in Leeds at the end of September, an insight event in early October and their reception at TR in NCL at the end of October. Sent ANPA printed proceedings to Noel H, Mike's brother. Funds better wtd at +12k; pessimism was very strong last week. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 21st: maximum 19C, minimum 15C, moderate SW, sunny spells, dry. Late out for my walk from 16:30-18:30 up the 'Shire towards Dotland. Plenty of interests but after yesterday's feast no raptors: perhaps just a bit too breezy and too late in the afternoon. Had 21 bird-types, including 27 Common Gull (to S 13 adult 1 1s, feeding 13 ad 1 2 3), 13 Blue Tit, 9 Swallow, 6 LTT, 4 Chiffchaff, 2 Goldcrest, 47 Linnet (with flock 35), 20 Yellowhammer (flock of 12), plus a Holly Blue and a dead Brown Hare. Tied up with R in morning and over lunch time. We had a very successful meeting at the County with 34 attending and a good talk by TP on use of e-bikes and support teams for encouraging older people to take more exercise. Made G4g4s with A/R, P fell asleep at home! We had good crack with L on. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 20th: maximum 19C, minimum 14C, moderate SW, sunny, dry, ideal conditions for raptors. What an afternoon at Towsbank from 14:50-17:40: good practice for Batumi with 7 raptor types noted, including Common Buzzard, Kestrel, Red Kite, Honey-buzzard, Black Kite, Hobby, Sparrowhawk. Masses of piccies to go through: a very pleasant task, to confirm breeding for the first five in the list. Much more to follow ... On the road had a Common Buzzard juvenile at West Wood, Hexham, on way back. Made G4g4s with R/P/A for usual great chat. A Hedgehog was alive on the road outside my front gate at 21:45. Have updated web site for Festival: feeling weary as go to bed: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 19th: maximum 19C, minimum 14C, fresh SW, sunny most of day, dry after heavy, overnight rain, very breezy with Ash shedding rotten twigs from earlier dieback, now recovering. A strange day but ultimately very successful after run of poor days with stagnant weather. At Ordley had 10 types of butterfly, a record I think: 13 Peacock, 8 Speckled Wood, 5 Large White, 5 Small White, 2 Red Admiral, 2 Comma, 2 Holly Blue, single Wall, Green-veined White, Small Tortoiseshell. That's 40 individuals! Lovely to see them all, mainly on buddleia in sheltered front yard but also in sheltered spots in back, where trees are becoming mature. Cut some more grass, 6 collection boxes full from coarse long grass abutting neighbour's posh garden! At 13:54 had a Black Kite juvenile floating off nest site to SE and landing in a tree in distance; at 16:00 this bird was up again to SE; think it's safe to conclude just one juvenile fledged here in view of number of sightings and no 2nd bird up. Also at 16:00 had 4 Red Kite up in usual area to SE, diving and close-quartering in pairs, each of an adult and juvenile; so one adult takes one juvenile and the other adult takes the other juvenile for hunting and flying practice, A juvenile Kestrel was flying W low-down up valley at 13:20; not thought to be locally fledged. Other birds were 5 Swallow, 1 Chiffchaff, 1 House Martin. Had to wait in for delivery of new suitcase, at 77cm, a bit bigger than current one for next trip; arrived at 16:00, cost £75 from Argos. Then went out to Dipton Wood N from 16:20-17:25 in keen search for a Black Kite at Dukeshouse; at 16:54 had a juvenile flying W, do a rearing-up over nest site before diving down 1 2: marvellous, think this is just a 1 as well; it's been a hell of a summer but great to see them battling through with some reward. Ants were a nuisance here; everywhere I stood ants were crawling up my ankles and legs and was wearing shorts: they didn't bite or sting so just part of nature! Back at Ordley at 17:35 had a male Honey-buzzard arriving from the SE through the tree tops, approaching the nest site area, he also reared up to some height and then dived towards the nest. Still no sign of young, very late; the Crows have not created a fuss yet so young still not fledged but at least the site is still going. Also in garden had a Bank Vole and a Grey Squirrel was at Letah Wood yesterday. No butterflies were at Dipton Wood, showing what a sheltered garden can do; my mixed-shrub hedge on W side of field, planted by me 25 years ago and never cut, is now 6 metres high, giving great protection over whole site. Had dinner out at DoW with D/D; very nice occasion, plenty of good chat; cost £41 including tip. Delighted to hear from someone; will help: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 18th: maximum 16C, minimum 15C, moderate E, no sun, just drizzle, mist and dull, up to 23:00 when rain started. No fieldwork today! Had hair trim with Jd at JG: she was amazed how much hair had grown, others have said I was getting scruffy (again!). Anyway all done for £26 including bonus. She identified hairdresser T as TC, used to work with her: it's a small world! Chatted with N on Skype from 10:30-12: good to catch up. Then QHC4s4l for usual good food, then into QHL where did some work on ANPA paper to follow on from this year's conference proceedings. Expanded Husserl's work: it's relevant as he's really an early proponent of anticipatory systems, so support for Rosen's approach. Funds had a bad week as expected at -26k net with a further -2k on withdrawal for recent conferences, so a bit more than 1% down. Worries are continued interest rate rises, slowdown in China and poor outlook for UK economy. Did do some trading this afternoon, moving some funds from zero-yield securities to high-yielding ones. Did a little more mowing at the back near dusk: 3 collection-boxes full. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 17th: maximum 18C, minimum 12C, light to moderate SE, cloudy, dry. Did a lot more gardening early evening on back grass, clearing another 6 collection-boxes of grass. At 18:00 heard a Common Buzzard adult calling so went on roadside to see if I could spot it. No was the answer but did have 205 Common Gull (nearly all adult) moving towards roost at Derwent Reservoir. 2 Chiffchaff and best of all a juvenile Black Kite slipping away at 18:00 from nesting area to NE to forage. A Common Toad was in the long grass. Earlier a Comma was very lethargic in the dull weather and a Spotted Flycatcher was on a wire near Lea Fields. A Barn Owl was on a fence at 21:50. Made T4m4l with M/B/R for great catch-up and G4g4s with P/A/R for usual good company. Going to catch-up with someone special tomorrow: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 16th: maximum 19C, minimum 14C, light E, cloudy, few bright intervals, dry. Mystery time! Made Haltwhistle, edge of North Wood, from 15:00-17:15; no raptors seen at all there, or on way, or at home. It was dull and winds were light. So no further forward on the scene there: may fit it in, in a run to Towsbank, for a further check over the next few days. total at Haltwhistle was 17 bird-types, including 2 Oystercatcher, a Common Gull adult flying SW, 4 LBBG ad W, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker (one calling, one in flight), 11 Swallow including fledged young and 1 SW, 2 Stock Dove, 1 Grey Heron, 1 Chiffchaff. Butterflies were just 2 types:2 Small White, 2 Peacock, but there were 14 Rabbit out feeding in one field. At Houtley at 14:30 had 20 Swallow, 12 House Sparrow, both groups with fledged young. At Ordley at 13:00 despite the sun being only partially out, had 9 butterfly types: 3 Large White, 6 Small White, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Holly Blue, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 8 Peacock, 2 Comma, 2 Speckled Wood. The Holly Blue are notable. Think the effect of my wild field (for breeding) and buddleia bushes in sheltered front yard (for adults feeding) is working well; many people forget you need both. Did the front garden last Sunday and this evening did some determined mowing at the back on the longest grass. Throwing the grass cuttings on the old furniture to hasten its demise. Chatted with son at 18:00 on FB Video to confirm arrangements for forthcoming trip to Georgia. He's very busy with the Proms at the moment, enjoying Ligeti's moments there on the 100th anniversary of his birth. Son is excited about Africa trip, wondering what we can add to it. Not out tonite: will be 2moro! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 15th: maximum 19C, minimum 13C, light SW, cloudy, few bright intervals, dry. Lit coal fire in evening. Attended Bill W's funeral at Beltingham. Church: sad day to lose a friend over many years, indeed last of the triumvirate who ran Hexham Middle School around 2005 (Bill, David B, late wife). He was almost 4 years younger than me. The tributes and eulogies did emphasise his love of music and his skills as a pianist and organist. The wake was at Bowes Inn in Bardon Mill. Four of us (S/J/J/me) hired a taxi (mate of S) to take us to the church from Hexham and onto the pub (cost £50 split 4 ways). We had a couple at the Bowes, then went back to the Anchor in Haydon Bridge for another, driven there by T, Bill's hairdresser! We then got another lift back to HEX with SC; at this point exited from the drinking, walking to the station where my car was parked and did 3 hours birdwatching from 14:45-17:50 over Hexham NE before driving home. Did not see any Osprey. But did have 2 weak-flying juvenile Black Kite up at 17:19, a male Hobby in spectacular dive over the Tyne at 17:14 and a Red Kite floating around to the N at 17:31. A Hobby was also seen at Hexham NE in the spring, so breeding there is probable. Bird-types totalled 22, including locally-fledged LBBG (1) and Herring Gull (4), a Common Gull adult W, 4 House Martin W, a single Bullfinch and Chiffchaff, 50 Mallard, a Grey Heron. Butterflies were of 5 types, including 10 Small White, 5 Peacock, one Large White, a Comma and a Holly Blue (becoming more regular in Tyne Valley). Some salmon were running in the high water. Markets remain very depressed, -8k wtd; weak recovery in China is proving a drag; the long lockdown there seems to have ossified the economy. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 14th: maximum 16C, minimum 13C, light E, heavy rain all day and evening. Very wet day! No fieldwork. Made R at Cnt4m4l; busy time for me, collecting money, giving Admin Team report to club and leading Admin Team meeting after the meal. Latter was good: plenty of ideas! Then back home where processed 3/8 and 5/8 records, and produced minutes of Admin Team meeting earlier; not sent the minutes yet. will review them 2moro. It's Bill Wilson's funeral tomorrow; meeting a few other mourners at County at 09:45 where we're going to get a taxi to the church and onto the wake in Bardon Mill. Tonight made G4g4s where A/R/P out for good chat, with L on. Had a Brown Hare at Ordley on way back, plus 2 Common Frog road-hopping. Chatting to son about our trip E later this week on FB video. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 13th: maximum 18C, minimum 12C, moderate SW, heavy rain early morning, sunny intervals with few light showers, breezy. Did some serious gardening today, cutting the front grass and paths, trimming some shrubs; kept a watchful eye on the nearby Black Kite site where had a juvenile low-down over the site 1 2 3, then moving higher to E to forage, from 13:31-13:35. An adult Common Buzzard was calling to E. Had 8 types of butterfly, mainly on the buddleia, including a Wall 1 on the verge, second of year. After receiving delivery of groceries from W and having lunch, went out to Allendale late afternoon, where had a Common Buzzard juvenile hanging over W end of wood on long straight into town at 15:35. At Studdon Park from 15:35-17:05 located Black Kite at 15:56 (adult and juvenile low-down over large wood to NW of Studdon Park 1) and 16:20 (juvenile up on own 2 3) . Here's piccies of the site 4 5. At 15:56 a male Hobby glided to W right over Studdon Park at moderate height 1 2 . Amazingly as returned to car in the pull-in at 17:05 a Honey-buzzard (presumed male) gave several alarm calls, confirming successful breeding here. So another great day in the field but not all questions answered! Had 20 bird-types in Allendale area, including 2 Curlew, 4 Stock Dove, 1 Tree Pipit, a Common Gull adult W, 3 LBBG adult, 2 Great Spotted Woodpecker, a Raven. Only one butterfly here: a Green-veined White. However, on Black Kite have 9/11 sites verified and hoping to make Haltwhistle after R tomorrow afternoon to check on remaining 2. Funds were down 16k last week: markets remaining depressed with profit takers selling a few recent gainers. Made G4g4s for good chat with 5 of us out: R/A/P/D/B; winding down after recent conferences. Had a Badger cross the road at Letah Wood at 23:50. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 12th: maximum 19C, minimum 13C, moderate SW, showers am, drier afternoon more sun but breezy. Main visit of day was Prudhoe S at Dukeshagg from 14:10-15:35 where had some good show of raptors in the breeze, including adult Red Kite (1), Honey-buzzard (2), a juvenile Common Buzzard and 3 Black Kite (ad, 2 juv). The Red Kite adult was hanging over the hill to the E at 14:55 1 2 3 4 5 6 7; the Black Kite sightings involved an adult returning from the east at 14:19 and a little later 2 juvenile were up over their nest site from 14:26-15:12 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 with some interaction with the Red Kite at 14:56 8 and the Honey-buzzard later; the Honey-buzzard were an adult pair soaring high at 15:04 1 2 with the male seen later returning low-down from the NE towards the nest site at 15:08 3 4 and the female earlier also coming in from NE at 14:54 5 (13075); the Common Buzzard was a juvenile up low-down to NE at 15:12 1. 16 bird-types included 11 Herring Gull SW, 2 LBBG (ad, juv), a Chiffchaff, an agitated Bullfinch. Six types of butterfly included a Wall, first of year. On way back stopped at Swallowship from 15:55-16:20 and had another Black Kite adult up briefly and strongly over its nest site at 16:00. Made DoW4g4s with D/D, good catch-up. Black Kite sites are now up to 11 and fledged juveniles stands at 11 at 8 sites; need to urgently check the 2 sites not visited recently for continued occupancy and the site discovered recently W of Haltwhistle: 1 in Allen, 2 in Haltwhistle area. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 11th: maximum 20C, minimum 14C, light SW, dry, sunny. Stayed at conference until just before very last talk at 15:30 when set-off for station as had heard night before that Trans-Pennine had cancelled my 16:12 from Liverpool to Glasgow. So caught 16:15 re-timed to 16:25 to Wigan and then picked up Avanti service to CAR; missed the intended connection at CAR so 90 mins late into HEX at 21:00 but could have been worse! Really enjoyed the ANPA conference, have increased my interest and commitment; look forward to next year's, which almost certainly will not be in Liverpool. Had some gr8 company on train to Wigan: local lasses are very vivacious!! Tried to catch-up on routine matters at home, including grocery order from W, clothes washing, R meal list for Monday, piccies taken on Monday, file upload from laptop to desktop with a Tawny Owl also calling here. But still a few things to do. Hope to be out looking for kites in next few days. Had a Kestrel and Common Buzzard near Gilsland at 20:35 and a juvenile Barn Owl at Ordley (to add to adult seen here last Sunday) at 21:20; also 2 Tawny Owl calling. Will be winding back research to the 1/2 day a week in QHL; amazing how well that has worked out! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 10th: maximum 27C, minimum 18C, light SE, dry, sunny throughout, very warm! Day 3/4 at ANPA conference with some good talks in the morning. Did not have to give individual eulogy: GC gave a generic eulogy for all 5 deceased. We had AGM today and volunteered to take over our ANPA website from AV who’s taken a bit of a minimalist approach. I’ve also been placed on our Steering Group so going up in the world. We had conference dinner tonight at the Pen Factory in Hope Street: very tasty food, a few beers and good company. Back to HEX tomorrow evening! Reckon conferences in Munich and Liverpool have cost c2.5k but money well spent to continue academic interest. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 9th: maximum 21C, minimum 18C, light NW, dry, sunny throughout, what a change! Busy day at conference. Was chair of session from 10:00-14:30, with no significant break. Sorted out a few technical problems (not sure that’s my job!) on Zoom, uploading of files, displaying files, but may know more than most attendees in these respects. Anyway all went well with good presentations, plenty of q&a and good humour. I carried on as leader, suggesting we all went for late lunch to Caffe Nero on campus, which has a large table, accommodating some of us and plenty of restorative food and drink! Not out tonite, having a g and dinner in the hotel, and chilling out a bit. There’s a substantial quote of our earlier work in the latest ANPA proceedings 43 in the Editorial, which is cited below:
Heather, Michael, & Rossiter, Nick, Really Really Real Numbers, ANPA 2021, 12-14 August (2021). abstract pdf, presentation by Zoom pdf, paper pdf, panel of possible types of universe, quoted in Editorial, Barbara Gabrys and Divyamann Sahoo, p. v11 ANPA 43 Universum (2023).
Tomorrow is a full day with 5 eulogies in one hour in afternoon, including one for Mike H, given by me. Scientists are popularly portrayed as cold but we do have a high feeling of empathy for each other, particularly those we respect or with:whom we work: will be a poignant session. This pace of research will not last: other interests will come to the fore again!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 8th: maximum 18C, minimum 15C, light NW, dry, mainly cloudy, sunny spells. Gave talk at ANPA, all went well, can see the current publication as well as the next! Moro I’m chair for morning session so no rest! Plus eulogy on Thursday afternoon. Update on publication with presentation is:
Rossiter, Nick, A Formal Basis for Metabiology, ANPA 44, Liverpool University, 7 August-11 August 2023 abstract pdf presentation pdf (2023).
Conference was very interesting on day 1. Had a relaxing few drinks with my drinking partner GC at The Vines in the centre of Liverpool, getting taxi (£9) back to the hotel at midnight! Funds are -8k wtd but not unduly worried: we’re bumping along the bottom. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 7th: maximum 18C, minimum 10C, moderate W, almost dry, mainly cloudy,,sunny spells, little warmer. Organised R lunch: usual ‘success’ with a few no shows counterbalanced by people showing up without warning! Had 30 mins birdwatching from Hexham station where picked up at least 3 Black Kite low-down over nest site at Hexham NE at 14:40 (two adult and a juvenile), plus two Osprey at 14:30-14:35: an adult persistently high-up and a weak-flying juvenile in the tree tops below but up in the air low-down once. Also here had 10 Swift W and 2 House Martin W, and an adult Cormorant. On train had another Black Kite W of Haltwhistle at 15:30 on Blenkinsopp side, probably a new site. Connections were tight in the end – 3 min at Carlisle (earlier train cancelled) and 5 min at Wigan but made whole journey in a little over 3 hours. Checked into Novotel near Liverpool University – 4*, upgraded by them to studio, cost is £386 for 4 nights with breakfast. Completed paper during train journey (I hope!). Booked 5-night safari in Masai Mara, Kenya, with family, staying at a lodge in tents by the river Mara in December, might stay longer, before they arrive at Nairobi National Park. Talking tomorrow morning., wish me luck! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 6th: maximum 16C, minimum 11C, light W, dry, mainly cloudy, a few sunny spells. Made R garden party at lunchtime, courtesy of BH, immediate past president, in Hexham at Allendale Road. Quite refined, good attendance, plenty of good chat and it remained dry. Afterwards went straight to Warden from 15:45-17:20, a new Black Kite site this year and was treated to one juvenile flitting around above the treetops at 15:59 1 2 3 4, another juvenile making a little flight over the nest site in a practice run at 16:54 5 6 7 8 9 with site at 10 and an adult soaring high to the N of the nest site at 16:43 11 12. So in August now 5 sites occupied, minimum 6 juveniles raised at 4 sites. Also had a family group of Common Buzzard (1 adult, 2 juvenile at 16:00 1 2) and single Sparrowhawk, male and female 1 2 3 4 5 6, hunting. Some more piccies were taken of ash trees recovering from dieback 1 2. Bird-types totalled 21, including 11 Mallard, 1 Moorhen, 2 calling Curlew, 1 Grey Heron, 5 LBBG ad (1 W), 9 Common Gull (8 ad W, 1 1s W), 17 Sand Martin, 14 Swallow. Just 2 butterflies seen at Warden: 1 Peacock, 1 Small White, plus a Rabbit. Had 7 types of butterfly at Ordley, including 4 Small Tortoiseshell. Made G4g4s with A/R/P; very pleased to meet CC again, who is now directing HASS' new production of Hello Dolly! for November staging!! Getting close to a booking for Masai Mara, Kenya, in December for 5 nights; daughter has identified a tent place by the River Mara! Finished talk in sense that could give current slides with a bit of ad libbing; hope to polish on train 2moro evening. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 5th: maximum 13C, minimum 9C, light NW, rain all day, mainly in pulses, some heavy, really cool day, lit fire yesterday and will do so again tonight. Terrible weather: no fieldwork today, except for 20 min looking at the Thornborough Black Kite site from the A69 lay-by near it at 20:00 where nothing seen. A Badger crossed the road at Newbiggin at 23:00. Had great chat with D/D at DoW; also chatted with N/D over Skype for 90 min yesterday after a few weeks absence. Completed Rosen part of talk for Tuesday; need to angle Whitehead towards biology. New printer arrived from Argos. Spent about an hour installing it. It's a Canon MG3600 series, much the same as previous one, except it has WiFi connection, meaning can connect to it directly from laptops and Android phone. Funds finished a difficult week (on US debt downgrade) -9k after 0.5k withdrawal and a 14k hit on partially realising an unquoted investment. PoO is looking good! After this next busy week, can relax a bit as research is rested for a while. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 4th: maximum 17C, minimum 12C, light S, dry, gloomy morning, bright and sunny intervals in afternoon, dark clouds did not produce any rain. Went to Bywell in mid-afternoon from 15:30-17:00 as weather brightened up and cleaner S approached! What a sight: 7 Black Kite in a kettle over the nesting site (3-4 birds captured at once 1 2 3 4; 2 birds 5; 1 adult 6 7; 1 juvenile 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15; site 16). First two adults got up (pair Bywell). joined by one juvenile, then another (making 4 high-up in air), then joined by 3 more birds, assumed to be the pair and juvenile from Styford. They all displayed vigorously with a few dives at each other for 20 min, before they started returning to the woods, one by one. Shows they can breed up here even in the rough weather of the last few weeks. Have plenty of piccies from yesterday and today. The merging of family parties is what happened at Marciac in France last July, c3 weeks earlier than up here. So in August have minimum of 4 juveniles fledged at 3 sites with another site occupied still, 5 sites still to find evidence. Also at Bywell had 2 Common Buzzard calling and seen to NE at 15:43 (adult, juvenile 1 2) and from time-to-time Red Kite juvenile hunger calls to N from 16:23-16:47 plus a female adult Hobby briefly up at 16:01 1 and an adult male Kestrel perched in a tree at 16:48 1 2. Total for bird-types was 22, including the 5 types of raptor, 4 types of gull, 30 Swallow, some fledged with 4 S, a Chiffchaff, 6 Linnet, plus 3 Rabbit and 3 types of butterfly: 5 Large White, 4 Small White, 1 Red Admiral. Stopped at Swallowship on way back from 17:20-17:45, no kite seen but did have 3 very noisy Common Buzzard (2 adult, 1 juvenile), a family group of 4 Woodlark over a stubble field and a Chiffchaff. A Comma and a Speckled Wood were also seen here. A Tawny Owl was calling at Ordley in the evening. Did masses of work on Liverpool paper, completing (almost) the Rosen section. Booked tickets for Liverpool via Carlisle from Hexham return, cost £47, not risking Trans Pennine via NCL. Son did indeed book up a few days between Tbilisi and Batumi in a hotel by a river: looks good. Printer has got a P7 error: it's about 12 years old so ditching it; new one arrives tomorrow; don't print much these days. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 3rd: maximum 18C, minimum 12C, light W, dry until evening when some rain, not much sun but a bright day. Day started with appointment with GP to review CV situation: bp is now a normal 138-82 so no additional treatment needed beyond current medication; next health check will be in January 2024 by a nurse as part of routine annual review; good news indeed! Had major success with the Black Kite: single juvenile up briefly at 10:03 over nest-site at Corbridge Thornbrough and another juvenile flapping to a prominent perch at Ordley at 17:45 where it remained until at least 18:15, thus sitting for 30 min; an adult was high over this site twice around 17:43. At Thornbrough also had a Common Buzzard adult + juvenile up at 09:56 and a Red Kite adult gliding slowly past to S of A69 at 10:49. total was 16 bird-types in the Corbridge area, including 14 Swallow, 3 Tree Sparrow, a Common Gull adult W, 3 Yellowhammer. Butterflies were of 5 types, including 2 Red Admiral. At Ordley had a female Honey-buzzard mobbed by a male Sparrowhawk as it flew W at 17:18 and seen on its own at 17:40 and 2 Common Buzzard juveniles up high over trees to E at 17:35. Total for bird-types for Ordley was 15, including 4 Swallow and a Chiffchaff; butterflies were of 4 types including a Peacock. So total for day was 10 birds of 5 species of raptor: 4 Common Buzzard, 3 Black Kite, 1 Red Kite, 1 Honey-buzzard female, 1 Sparrowhawk male. Had a Humming-bird Hawk-moth hovering in front garden over buddleia. Made T4m4l with M/B; M was amazingly aggressive against use of category theory by people who are not pure mathematicians; I pointed out that much of science, including climate science, relies on models that are not provable. And that Einstein was a creative scientist rather than a slave to proofs. Much later made G4g4s with the lads: A/R/P -- for good chat. Had video chat with son on messenger early evening; he's going to book the middle part of trip in a town between Tbilisi and Batumi: all looking good for major expedition to Georgia!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 2nd: maximum 14C, minimum 11C, light E, rain all day, heavy at times. Very cool; lit coal fire for second evening in a row with all doors open to air house. Made QHC4s4l, back on tuna again, staff pleased to see me again after my absences. It was very busy, visitors escaping the rain. Then spent 3 hours in QHL on ANPA talk next week -- good progress on Rosen but can see it going right up to the wire: typical academic! No fieldwork today but plan to start 2moro again with slightly better weather. Have check-up with GP at 08:50 on my bp and meeting M4l at 12:00 and G4g4s at 22:00, but plenty of time in between. Gave £50 plus gift-aid to Woodland Trust for wildlife appeal and same to Northumberland Wildlife Trust (NWT) for Whittle Dene wood extension, a Honey-buzzard site, must be good! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
August 1st: maximum 17C, minimum 12C, light W, cloudy, no rain until evening, a few brighter spells but very little sunshine. Made Beaufront S in last look for Osprey but no signs; read this as fledged and moved out, maybe towards Derwent Reservoir. At 15:17 had a juvenile Kestrel looking to hunt; at 15:49 a juvenile Common Buzzard flying across a field; at 16:05 a Black Kite adult soaring quickly to W at Hexham NE, going into low cloud base. A Curlew was heard. Butterflies were good today in spite of it being gloomy with 6 types at Ordley, including a Comma and a Peacock, and 2 more (out of 5 total), a Small Skipper and a Ringlet, at Beaufront, giving 8 types in all. Had a planned phone call at 11:30 from my urology consultant TP at Nuffield; just a chat to see everything was OK, which it is; he's very friendly; think call is closure on past treatment and invitation to return to him if problems in future. Had phone chat with two presenters at ANPA next week, they were seeking advice on some category theory principles. ANPA proceedings for 2022 are published with contents; our paper (38pp) is first in line! There are 5 obituaries: Thursday afternoon will be a poignant occasion as we honour them. Have ordered 2 copies: one for Mike's family. Hope to have good session on Liverpool presentation 2moro in QHL. Heavy rain will aid concentration! Funds are +2k wtd: underlying rise is c16k but have redeemed some BML (Irish property) at a loss on book value but at a good gain on my original purchase: giving me almost 13k€. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 31st: maximum 15C, minimum 13C, light SW, cloudy, steady rain most of day (heavy rain in Amsterdam in morning). At Ljind (NW Amsterdam) additionally had a Grey Heron, 4 Mallard, an Oystercatcher and 2 Ring-necked Parakeet (making 17 bird-types in all). Well not the best of trips by KLM -- arrived 18 hours late at 11:00 in NCL. Today got up at 05:45, for 06:15 airport shuttle from hotel; had a tasty bacon and egg butty for breakfast, courtesy of KLM's €15 voucher for use at Schipol. Plane was a little delayed when arrived at Schipol but, after waiting ages for a refuel, eventually took off at 10:45 CEST (2 hours 10 min late). At NCL got out quickly and car park ticket, valid until 11:31 BST today, was used without incident at 11:28. KLM used to keep a few seats spare for travellers who missed their connections through late arriving planes. They now seem to book up fully, making their city hopper business model hazardous for travellers. The 2 next flights around 22:00 and 06:00 (AMS-NCL) were both fully booked. I'm going to claim compensation as I feel I've been a sacrificial victim of their new model. They've presumably calculated that the occasional very-late traveller costs them less money than selling all seats! Arrived at R at 12:05 JIT but had already emailed table of attendees to V who did an excellent job collecting the money. Talk was by an Army colonel who gave a detailed assessment of the risk from Russia. Made G4g4s with R/P/A for gr8 chat. On way in had a Brown Hare at Loughbrow; on way back had a Long-eared Owl, a Tawny Owl and a Badger at Ordley. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 30th: maximum 20C, minimum 17C, moderate W, cloudy, cool (Amsterdam). Flight MUN-AMS was late, missed connection, next flight AMS-NCL was full so spending night at Park Plaza Hotel in AMS, near Schipol, with full board, courtesy of KLM. Booked on 08:35 tomorrow so should be back in time for R. In a comfortable hotel by the side of a waterway, with good buffet meal and Groschel beer, so no hardship but a little frustrating!! Have added quite a few species to my Amsterdam list. At Ljind (NW Amsterdam) had 4 species of gull, 2 Great Crested Grebe, 9 Coot, 8 Greylag Goose, in total of 13 species with quite a few channels around the hotel. At Munich Airport had a Common Buzzard and a Common Kestrel juvenile at the end of the runway. After meal did some work on ‘meta’ definitions for the ANPA talk. Early to bed as have to be up at 05:45 to be in time for shuttle!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 29th: maximum 26C, minimum 16C, light W, sunny spells in morning, persistent light rain in afternoon. Became a tourist today, visiting Marienplatz, the central place in the city., and the Munich Residenz, the home of earlier rulers. Weather was not so good but savoured the atmosphere and the many grand buildings in the Bavarian capital. The architecture, style and expression, are all on a grand scale; much must have been rebuilt since WW2 as damage from bombing was extensive. Munich is Germany’s third largest city, after Berlin and Hamburg. Back home tomorrow, have a very tight connection at AMS but whatever should be on late flight at worst. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Decided to consolidate, in a list, recent publications, with a view to updating my Process web page, when I return to base. The first two are this summer’s work; the third is obituary for Mike and the last two are recent publications in progress (both accepted) of joint work; the ANPA 43 paper is a substantial contribution at 40pp. Pressing work is writing the presentation for ANPA 44, where talking on Tuesday 8/8; also on Thursday 10/8 giving the eulogy for Mike. ANPA is the Alternative Natural Philosophy Association. Another conference in spring 2024 should be realised. Here’s the list:
Rossiter, Nick, A Formal Basis for Metabiology, ANPA 44, Liverpool University, 7 August-11 August 2023 abstract pdf (2023).
Rossiter, Nick, Whitehead’s Category of the Ultimate as Lawvere’s Topos in Category Theory, 13th International Whitehead Conference (IWC), Hochschule für Philosophie, University of Munich, 24 July-29 July 2023 abstract pdf presentation pdf (2023).
Mike Heather 1940-2022, Obituary by Nick Rossiter, ANPA 43, Universum, xxxi-xxxiv, pdf (2023).
Heather, Michael, & Rossiter, Nick, Whitehead’s ‘Big Science’ of Process, Critical Edition of Whitehead Conference: Whitehead’s Harvard Lectures, 1925–1927, Virtual conference: 16–17 September 2022, Joseph Petek (ed), 11pp (2022).paper pdf.
Rossiter, Nick, & Heather, Michael, Logic and Emotion: Whitehead’s Category of the Ultimate, ANPA 43, Universum, Barbara Gabrys and Divyamann Sahoo (edd.), Liverpool University 8-12 August 2022, 1-38, abstract pdf presentation pdf paper pdf .
July 28th: maximum 25C, minimum 16C, light W, mainly cloudy, muggy, some showers with heavy raindrops. A more aesthetic day today! Attended Whitehead and Aesthetics session at the conference today, where learnt about the difference between implicit and explicit aesthetics in some animated discussions. In evening attended Konzert du Johann Sebastian Bach 273. Todestag, at Prinzregententheater, with the Munich Bach-Choir and Munich Bach-Orchestra with director Hans Jörg Albrecht, performing Bach’s Magnificat plus two Kantate (BWV 11, BWV 34) with Sibelius’ Concerto in D, Pater Noster and Ave Maria. Had a seat in row 2, which cost me €69. Atmosphere and performance were ecstatic: whole event very moving. More to follow …. Walked 15k steps today. Had a look at the River Isar in late afternoon, where found a brood of Goosander (female + 4 fully grown juvenile), 2 Mediterranean Yellow-legged Gull (ad, 3s), a Black-headed Gull adult, a Cormorant adult, plus 10 Swift, 21 House Martin and 4 Swallow. A Green Woodpecker was calling earlier in the park near the University. Wasps seem quite plentiful, one Large White was seen, and a Mouse was on a pavement. Booked a taxi to take me back to the Airport (€71). Funds shaded a bit near the end of the week, finishing +5k on week as a whole, with new peak on Tuesday. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 27th: maximum 21C, minimum 14C, light SW, bright but little clear sun, muggy, one shower at ttime. Busy still at conference; maths/physics session continued until 17:00, but then end of line; will have to join other themes tomorrow.; have asked a lot of questions, at least one per talk; quite a number of interesting presentations today with category theory continuing to advance in application interest: good to see! Less walking today but still 9.2k steps so keeping fit. Had a walk in the park at lunchtime – typical city centre pondlife, with 10 Greylag Goose (fledged), 40 Mallard (1 brood 2 chicks), 3 Coot (1 juvenile), 2 Mute Swan adult, plus 12 Carrion Crow (fledged), 1 calling Chiffchaff and (not wild) 13 Bar-headed Goose and a Barnacle Goose. Had some more King Ludwig Dunkel in evening – the Bavarian answer to g. It’s the Bach concert 273 tomorrow evening; could do with some artistic culture! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 26th: maximum 18C, minimum 8C, light W, sunny intervals with heavy showers. Bit of a busy day! Arrived at conference at 08:50 to register, finding that I was speaking at 11:15 instead of 12 tomorrow. So back to hotel to fetch laptop to deliver presentation. Was planning to trim talk as too many slides at 60+ for 45 min so couldn’t do that and had an ad hoc trimming! All went OK, good attendance, plenty of interest and just about finished on time! Then back to hotel with laptop as didn’t want to carry it to conference dinner. Having very interesting chats with colleagues on metabiology, my talk topic at ANPA in Liverpool on Tuesday week. Conferences are invaluable for chatting about speculative ideas, giving an amazing increase in creativity. Munich is very orderly and green but service at the conference dinner at Max Emanuel Brauerei, a classic Bavarian pub, was not so good; the food though was very wholesome and enjoyable. Walked 17k steps today, bringing daily average over last 30 days to 5125. xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Below are results of today’s work:
Rossiter, Nick, Whitehead’s Category of the Ultimate as Lawvere’s Topos in Category Theory, 13th International Whitehead Conference, Munich 24 July-29 July 2023 abstract pdf presentation pdf (2023).
July 25th: maximum 20C, minimum 11C, light W, cloudy with heavy showers (Munich). Right in the deep S of Germany, weather more like England! Made MUN via AMS from NCL: all went well: left NCL at 13:55, making AMS at 16:00 (CEST) and then MUN at 20:15. Bit of a test as first continental trip this year but no problems: KLM looked after me very well and had free taxi to Adria Hotel through booking.com as spent over €800 on the hotel. (but gave hospitable driver €10 bonus). So all ready for conference tomorrow with dinner in evening and my talk next day. Had 4 Swift, a Herring Gull and a Carrion Crow at Schipol. Earlier had a Comma at Ordley. Funds are +9k wtd on strong rise in mining heavyweights, so at new high! Thought of someone gorgeous during the journey: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 24th: maximum 15C, minimum 10C, light W, cloudy with brightish spells, dry. Did not light fire. Decided on a busy day of fieldwork with sessions at Ordley 10:20-11:20 and Hexham NE 14:25-16:25. Common Buzzard had fledged young, hunger calling, at both sites, with 1 at Ordley at 10:27 and 2 juveniles at Hexham NE at 15:27. Black Kite were still secretive, at Ordley and Dukeshouse, but good to see they've survived the cool patch of weather. At Ordley a Black Kite adult flew out from its nest site at 11:12 to SE flying just over the tree tops. At Dukeshouse a single Black Kite was seen at 14:36 and 14:57 low over the trees and flying high 1 2 3. The Osprey site on the Tyne was active with 2 birds seen, the second showing clearly 4 projecting primary tips. The first bird was seen coming in high from the S slowly descending over woodland to E at 15:30 1 2 3 4. The second bird, missing a tail feather, came out from the site at 16:01, keeping low down over the Tyne until 16:02 5 6 7 8 9. It then climbed higher, keeping over the site, until 16:04 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 when it disappeared into the thin haze. An adult male Kestrel was at Hexham NE at 14:32 and a male Hobby was mobbing an Osprey 11 at 16:02. A Black Kite was high up over Dilston E at 16:01, probably from same site as seen earlier. So 5 types of raptor -- marvellous. Total of 24 bird-types included 14 adult Common Gull, 15 Swallow (fledged), 1 Willow Warbler, 13 Goldfinch (fledged). Butterflies totalled 5 types: 2 Small White, 1 Meadow Brown, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Small tortoiseshell, 1 Comma. Many ash trees are fighting back against dieback: here's an example from Hexham NE 1.Earlier at Ordley 14 species were noted including 10 Swallow, 1 Swift occupying a nest, a Yellowhammer. Common Gull passage was striking with 62 W (26 ad, 13 1s, 23 unaged). No butterflies were seen here. R went well with 34 in for lunch and a good speaker CB on Trees Please! Also made G4g4s with all the gang, which was very chatty. Main business in evening was getting ready for trip to Munich via Amsterdam with KLM. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 23rd: maximum 13C, minimum 9C, rained all day, heavy at times, moderate NE breeze. Lit coal fire again. They had a fraught start to their journey to London with 09:40 HEX-NCL running 40 min late; haven't heard end result but think they've got there! Did quite a lot of clearing up at home and in car; garden work and fieldwork limited severely by weather but on way back at 00:10 had a Tawny Owl and Long-eared Owl lurking near road at Ordley. G4g4s was good with 5 of us out: A/R/P/D and me, for friendly meeting. Have prepared piccies for Scotland, added them to server but not indexed them yet. Quite a few are of family. Hope to publish tomorrow. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
We are in the second Dark Ages. Nobel Prize-winning scientist Dr. John Clauser — who recently declared climate science a ‘pseudoscience’ — has his IMF talk abruptly cancelled.
Nobel Laureate (Physics 2022) Dr. John Clauser was to present a seminar on climate models to the IMF on Thursday and now his talk has been summarily cancelled. According to an email he received last evening, the Director of the Independent Evaluation Office of the International Monetary Fund, Pablo Moreno, had read the flyer for John’s July 25 zoom talk and summarily and immediately cancelled the talk. Technically, it was “postponed.” Dr. Clauser had previously criticized the awarding of the 2021 Nobel Prize for work in the development of computer models predicting global warming and told President Biden that he disagreed with his climate policies. Dr. Clauser has developed a climate model that adds a new significant dominant process to existing models. The process involves the visible light reflected by cumulus clouds that cover, on average, half of the Earth. Existing models greatly underestimate this cloud feedback, which provides a very powerful, dominant thermostatic control of the Earth’s temperature. More recently, he addressed the Korea Quantum Conference where he stated, “I don’t believe there is a climate crisis” and expressed his belief that “key processes are exaggerated and misunderstood by approximately 200 times.” Dr. Clauser, who is recognized as a climate change sceptic, also became a member of the board of directors of the CO2 Coalition last month, an organization that argues that carbon dioxide emissions are beneficial to life on Earth. https://co2coalition.org/news/nobel-laureate-silenced/
July 22nd: maximum 15C, minimum 13C, wet morning turning to drizzle, wet setting back again in evening, moderate NE breeze. Dreadful spell of weather in the Borders, continuing tomorrow without a break. Lit coal fire tonight for first time in July for a while: global cooling! Spent day socialising with family, while they get ready for journey S tomorrow to London. Had a training session with granddaughters on use of Publisher/Impress; their IT skills are way ahead of the average Rotary member! We had final good meal at Vercelli, having 3 courses, cost overall £92, including £8 tip, all paid by yours truly. Many people are going abroad for sunshine: good for them: alarmist weather forecasts from European Space Agency are disgraceful: they are grossly misleading as refer to surface rather than the normal air temperatures c1.5m off the ground. Anyone who's walked on sun-scorched areas bare-footed knows how hot the ground is, compared to the air around your head. In Dubai you cannot walk a dog in the sunniest part of the day. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 21st: maximum 16C, minimum 11C, damp with frequent heavy showers, mainly cloudy, light E breeze. But was sunny as we left Dumfries. Daughter drove us home in good style, leaving at 09:45 and making good time to HEX, where we had a snack in T while getting a few more supplies. Weather got worse in drive, the closer we got to the Tyne Valley. The girls romped around in the spacious living room, in the absence of solid furniture, at home. I went out in evening to meet D/D 4 gr8 chat at DoW. Had a Common Buzzard in Dumfries from the car near Sweetheart Abbey. At Colvend had a Green Woodpecker, a Bullfinch, a Willow Warbler and a Nuthatch, in the sunshine. Break in Scotland turned out well. Funds were +23k this week after 1k withdrawal, just 4k off all-time high. We're at Vercelli again tomorrow evening for farewell meal. Weather forecast for weekend is dire. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Have completed processing Scottish records with final position:
First here's piccies of family in Sandhills with beach and chalet: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 (1 Isabella, 2,6 Sophia, 7 me). BirdTrack totals were 48 of 48 species from 94 records, 2 complete lists, 14 places; raptor totals were for 4 types: Red Kite 4 birds at 3 localities, Sparrowhawk 1 bird at 1 site, Common Buzzard 6 birds at 6 sites, Tawny Owl 1 bird at 1 site; butterflies were of 10 types and dragonflies 2 types.
July 20th: maximum 16C, minimum 12C, sunny intervals, mainly cloudy, light W breeze. Today made Creetown to the Gem Museum there; very interesting, lots of ores and gems from all over the world; good cafe and of course a shop where bought an onyx pot and a couple of stones of Unakite, very beautiful IMHO. We then returned to the beach at Sandhills, just missing high tide and sea was already far out! Had dinner at Luigi’s in Dalbeattie, £82, pretty typical Italian, tasty and good for the girls! Had 3 Common Buzzard and a Red Kite on the road, plus 2 Swift at Creetown. On the beach at Sandhills 1 2 had 3 Sandwich Tern, a pair of Gadwall 1 and 2 Reed Bunting, plus 10 Oystercatcher, a Red Kite soaring to W 1, and a Raven flying inland. Scottish adventure ends soon: it’s been very successful. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 19th: maximum 19C, minimum 11C, murky start, then hot, bright sunshine with low cloud amounts, moderate W breeze. Added 23/6 records from Hexham NE to BirdTrack; still to add summary to this page. Today we went down to beach at Sandhills but the sea was nowhere to be seen, 2km in the distance at low tide! The girls made some castles and we had a relaxing morning before we went off to the Chocolate Factory near Kirkcudbright – sounded sinister to me but was all above board. I went off to Kirkcudbright itself (pronounced KirCuBree) to get some petrol, found one station empty another with just one pump working so filled up quickly! Then off to the estuary for a bit of bird watching before meeting them at the Cafe of the Factory for a scone and a tea. They had had a fantastic time, particularly on the slide. Then back home, doing some shopping in Dalbeattie, with daughter cooking. We’ll be out again to a hotel tomorrow. Wildlife highlights today were 3 Red Kite, including 1 at 17:45 on way back from trip to W, flying low, hunting at Colvend NE, a Common Buzzard seen from the Chocolate Factory and a Sparrowhawk male in the estuary. We had a Badger at 22:30 by chalet. Butterflies at Colvend were great in the sunshine – 9 types: 1 Large White, 1 Small White, 3 Green-veined White, 1 Common Blue, 4 Red Admiral, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Comma 1, 1 Speckled Wood, 3 Meadow Brown. Had a Painted Lady at Kirkcudbright, making 10 types for the day. Totals for butterflies for Kirkcudbright Bay were 11 Small White, 2 Meadow Brown, 1 Red Admiral, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Large White. Birds here included 2 Little Egret, 2 Ringed Plover, 4 Curlew, 1 Oystercatcher. A Common Hawker dragonfly was at Twynholm E and a Broad-bodied Chaser 1 at Colvend. Funds +19k wtd, on greater optimism that inflation has peaked, just 8k off all-time high. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 18th: maximum 16C, minimum 10C, rain all day with some heavy pulses; clearer in evening. Drive was a bit of a struggle in the weather with tractors slowing down the pace, making some long-distance journeys on every route! Near the destination a tree was coming down over electric cables: the final challenge! We had a good lunch in Dumfries at Deliziose (£31); a few young gulls (LBBG, Herring) were walking the pavements. We found the chalet after a bit of research into Sandyhills layout; it’s very nice, 3 bedrooms, well appointed, in a scrubby forest setting with the beach 500m away. We went for dinner in Kippford at the Anchor; very efficient service, good food and not too expensive (£60). Kippford was a favourite haunt of my late wife’s parents; obvious to see why, it’s like Shaldon in Devon where they lived! Had 11 Little Egret and a Greenshank there. Had 2 Tawny Owl calling at the chalet at 23:45. Strangest records of day were 3 single Common Buzzard around Hexham in a slight interlude to weather: desperate parents trying to find food for just about fledged young. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 17th: maximum 18C, minimum 12C, moderate W, sunny spells, dry. Finished processing piccies for Hexham 23/6 and uploaded them to server. R was main activity today, organising lunch for 3rd time at CNT: all went well and getting good rapport with staff there. Met A in the car park!! Otherwise a good day with family, plenty of company with the granddaughters, getting ready for Scottish adventure! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 16th: maximum 16C, minimum 11C, moderate to fresh W, sunny intervals, squally showers, not much resemblance to summer! Started processing piccies for Hexham 23/6. We managed to eject 2 large sofas into the field to clear space for new furniture and give some breeding space for animals! Great sight of 2 Roe Deer fawns (medium dog size) creeping out of the field into the orchard so can add Roe Deer to Brown Hare on the mammal breeding list this year. Son left mid-morning back to Welwyn -- great of him to come. Rest of family are still here for another week: they're more on UK time now! We've had to change our Scottish booking venue to one in Sandhills as the first one was cancelled. Made G4g4s with D/R/P/A for good chat. Added the flutist! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 15th: maximum 18C, minimum 13C, light SE becoming moderate SW, dull but dry morning, heavy persistent rain later. Completed processing 7/6 Haltwhistle. Weather was too bad for coast so we stayed local with trip to Roman Wall, making Twice Brewed for excellent lunch, costing £129 for the 5 of us, treated by me. Then onto Carvoran, the remains of a large Roman fort Magnis, where we went to the museum with an exhibition I've not seen before. It was very good with a cinema, plenty of displays and a holographic schoolmaster, so up to date presentation -- appreciated by all. Then out for walk to edge of the Wall, past the flooded quarry. Had 9 types of bird here, including Moorhen (1 adult, 4 chick), 1 Mallard, 4 Swallow (nesting), 1 Swift, 2 Oystercatcher. On way back had a Common Buzzard crossing the road at Melkridge W and on way there had 12 Swallow (fledged) at Houtley and 2 Bullfinch at Twice Brewed. There were 8 Common Spotted Orchid at Carvoran (and there's been 1 in my field at Ordley as well). So good day out. Quiet evening: everyone going to sleep! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 14th: maximum 18C, minimum 13C, light SE, dull but dry morning, heavy persistent rain later. Not a good day if you're on holiday. Family went shopping in T in HEX for a couple of hours and made good progress on Haltwhistle 7/6, processing large number of piccies, but still need to index them on this page and add the records to BirdTrack; this will then complete the Honey-buzzard display phase up to 16/6 this year; have 2 visits to process for second half of June and one for July, so almost up to date! Have identified Anne R (1629-1685), daughter of Nicholas R, as wife (marrying 1645, Wells) of Sergeant Anthony Smith, presumably an officer in Cromwell's army in the Civil War. She left a PCC will in 1685 (downloaded): she passed away in Frome, Somerset, some 22 years after her husband's death in Wells. Anne went to Massachusetts in 1630, aged 1, returning in 1635 and married in 1645, when just 16. The 5 daughters of Nicholas R have been completely neglected but the 4 studied to date (by me), by their marriages, have all been keenly involved in the Puritan struggles. Son arrived on time at 21:06 at HEX; lovely to see him again; so full family sleeping here over next 2 nights!! We're going to the seaside tomorrow for a day out. Funds are +20k on week with commodity prices rising as US inflation drops to 3%. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 13th: maximum 18C, minimum 12C, light to moderate SW, mainly sunny, fresh in morning, dry. More exercise: mowed the path into the field so now restored all accesses on the property: satisfying as need to get round it to see what's going on. Daughter and granddaughters went horse riding again at Sinderhope: bracing they said but enjoyed by all. I stayed home and sorted out some junk for recycling, which later took down to Waste Transfer Station; bought a new charger and cable at T for my Samsung phone. While out daughter and family removed one sofa from her bedroom to the back of the stables -- amazing action! We had supper at Vercelli in Priestpopple, Hexham, all very good: £74+£5 tip. They then went to sleep and I made G4g4s to meet R/P for good catch-up! Son arrives tomorrow evening. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 12th: maximum 16C, minimum 11C, moderate SW, cool day with frequent showers and bright interludes, heavier rain in evening. One Long-eared Owl at 21:30 was flushed from conifer trees on NW of my field, flying behind row of trees on N side to new perch: marvellous record, wonder where they are breeding nearby. Also had 2 Common Gull 1s overhead. Not much birdwatching today though! Did mow a wide path into the orchard which involved a lot of work but there are some apples there! Also refilling nearest pond to house now have access to it again. Think old sofas are on the way out: daughter has condemned them! We're going to carry them both out on Saturday with son to back of stables where they can be dismantled at leisure. New lighter ones will be ordered. We've booked a chalet in Dumfries, Scotland, for a few days next week as a break -- just £330 for all of us. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 11th: maximum 18C, minimum 12C, moderate SW, bright day with fast-moving clouds and light showers, frequent at lunchtime. Girls went horse-riding at Sinderhope so I drove them there and had watches from Sinderhope and Studdon Park from 14:50-16:35 looking for raptors. Saw none in blustery conditions but did have a Common Buzzard hovering near Catton (on S side) on way back at 16:45. Total of 14 bird-types at Sinderhope included a Grey Partridge, 6 Curlew, 4 Oystercatcher, 6 Swallow, a Meadow Pipit, plus a migrant Chiffchaff. No butterflies were seen but 2 Rabbit were noted (1 dead on road). At Studdon Park had 17 bird-types including 3 Curlew, 6 Black-headed Gull juvenile, 8 Goldfinch (fledged), 7 Swallow (fledged), 3 Mistle Thrush (fledged), 1 agitated Great Spotted Woodpecker, plus a dead Rabbit and a live Brown Hare. Granddaughters had a good ride evidently, probably going again next week. A Common Gull adult flew SW at Ordley at 11:00, an ominous sign of autumn approaching! In morning did masses of grass cutting near stables to reclaim most of this area from the long grass. they were out at Whitley Chapel playground. In evening we went out to Stalida Greek Taverna in Hexham for big meal out. We had Meze and the girls had a lamb chop each and chips. Very good meal and atmosphere: cost £77+£7 tip. Funds are -1k wtd: some signs of life in PoO! Always happy to help out quickly: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 10th: maximum 19C, minimum 13C, light SE, bright morning, cloudy afternoon, heavy rain in evening, humid throughout. Processed 5/6 March Burn, leaving just one trip to do -- Haltwhistle 7/6 -- to complete Honey-buzzard display phase for 2023. Another critical lunch for R at the CNT, our second, most things worked out well, including the talk with a data projector, but the coffee was slow to arrive, delaying us for 5 minutes and knocking time off the talk. Family were up at 06:00 (still on Dubai time) and went for walk down to Peth Foot, seeing a Frog (rare now). Later they went to Metrocentre by train for big shop as things cheaper here than in the Dubai malls. We again ate in in evening as most restaurants closed on Monday but have Greek and Italian lined up for the next 2 evenings. Enjoying their company!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Black Kite records since 18/6 on BirdGuides, good numbers for main breeding season (113 reports for ytd now):
13:55 08/07 Black Kite Buckinghamshire Bletchley 11:40 possible in flight briefly
22:34 06/07 Black Kite Norfolk Snettisham (village) 20:45 probable inadvertently flushed from roost in mature trees along River Ingol and lost to view
10:32 04/07 Black Kite Kent Conyer one drifted south towards Teynham late morning
19:51 02/07 Black Kite Oxfordshire Bampton one reportedly flew over St Mary's Church
16:34 02/07 Black Kite Devon Woodbury Salterton one flew over
14:21 02/07 Black Kite Devon Halberton 14:05 one reported west over Halberton Court Farm Shop
13:19 29/06 Black Kite Kent Gillingham 13:00 still drifting north-west over Lower Rainham
12:52 29/06 Black Kite Kent Gillingham 12:48 possible flew NNE over Rainham
18:47 24/06 Black Kite Norfolk Garvestone 18:05 unconfirmed report of one over field north of B1135 at c 52.6167, 1.0103 (reported from moving car)
09:55 24/06 Black Kite Kent St Margaret's at Cliffe still over field at Station Road/Nelson Park Road
09:03 24/06 Black Kite Kent St Margaret's at Cliffe 09:03 again over the monument at Bockhill Farm moving towards St Margaret's
08:34 24/06 Black Kite Kent St Margaret's at Cliffe 08:31 one flew north over Bockhill Farm towards Deal
13:59 22/06 Black Kite Somerset & Bristol Ham Wall RSPB one reported in flight late morning
08:40 22/06 Black Kite North Yorkshire Elvington 08:35 still over Cheescake Farm (53.9043, -0.9467); as viewed distantly from Bank Island
07:23 22/06 Black Kite North Yorkshire Elvington 05:55 still in third field east of Wheldrake Lane viewed looking south from footpath running from Wheldrake Lane to Elvington. Park carefully elsewhere and walk to view, do not block access gates
21:07 21/06 Black Kite North Yorkshire Elvington 21:05 still perched in willow tree east of Wheldrake Lane at c 53.9170, -0.9469; view looking south from footpath running from Wheldrake Lane to Elvington. Park carefully elsewhere and walk to view, do not block access gates
19:07 21/06 Black Kite North Yorkshire Elvington 18:55 still in third field east of Wheldrake Lane viewed looking south from footpath running from Wheldrake Lane to Elvington. Park carefully elsewhere and walk to view, do not block access gates
18:43 21/06 Black Kite North Yorkshire Elvington 18:42 still in cut hay field east of Wheldrake Lane at c 53.9215, -0.9520
18:10 21/06 Black Kite North Yorkshire Elvington 18:10 one over cut hay field east of Wheldrake Lane at c 53.9215, -0.9520
One more Osprey record from Tyne 10/6-10/7 on BirdGuides:
14:54 29/06 Osprey Northumberland Stocksfield one circled over then flew south mid-afternoon
July 9th: maximum 21C, minimum 12C, light SW, some sunny periods up to ttime, then heavy rain showers, humid. Processed 3/6 Warden. Today at Ordley had a Jay, a family group of 4 Magpie, a Grey Heron, a Curlew, plus butterflies: 1 Small White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Ringlet, 2 Meadow Brown. Main event of day was meeting Dubai flight to NCL EKO35 at 12:10 to fetch daughter and granddaughters; it was 12 min early, they had masses of luggage, which just managed to fit in car! Great to see them all again: we had afternoon in garden: they made lots of 'drinks' with the mint and rose petals, which they really got stuck into: never would have forecast that! They all went to sleep by 20:00 so did make G4g4s with D/B/A/R 4 lively chat! When got back at 23:25, visitors all still asleep. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 8th: maximum 24C, minimum 15C, light SE, some sunny intervals in morning, heavy showers later and longer spell of heavy rain into night. Much effort today directed towards getting things ready for arrival of family tomorrow. Sainsbury and Waitrose delivered on time -- great help. Made DoW4g+b4s with D/D for great chat. Did do a bit on web: finished adding Matathias R to Wikitree -- he received a pardon for his part in the Monmouth Rebellion of 1685 against the Catholic king James II, escaping death or being enslaved abroad, probably by paying a bribe! Also for wildlife processed Dukeshouse trip yesterday and a few casual records over last few days. Added the commission star to the artists and settled the hosting fee. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 7th: maximum 24C, minimum 15C, light SE, slightly hazy, sunny, warm, dry. Received proofs 2 days ago of 2 ANPA publications for this coming August -- the 40-page Whitehead paper and the 4 -page obituary for Mike. So went to QHL to read them this afternoon, finding just one typo in the paper, which already notified to the editor. So that's very pleasing. Before library made QHC4s4l (usual tuna sandwich and salad). Skipped Skype session with N/D, just too much to do and think they should be joining us in the DoW, not festering on the Internet. After library from 17:05-18:40 made Dukeshouse Wood for maybe a closer look at the Black Kite; you soon find out the meaning of the expression "can't see the wood for the trees"; visibility is often restricted and need to be some distance away for good chance of views of the birds. Habitat is very good: tall Scots Pine, Larch and Douglas Fir. Indeed saw no raptors at all in the heat and only 10 bird-types, including 8 Chiffchaff (fledged), 2 Blackcap (fledged), 4 Linnet (fledged), 3 Robin (fledged), but 5 types of butterfly was good, including first Small Skipper of year (4 seen), plus 16 Meadow Brown, 5 Ringlet, 2 Red Admiral, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Small White. Mammals comprised a Mole and a Grey Squirrel. At 13:00 had a Holly Blue at the bottom of Elvaston, Hexham. At Ordley had 7 displaying Swift over home area, a singing Song Thrush and 3 Silver Y noted in front yard, maybe fresh arrivals. Booked up Novotel in Liverpool, near the University, for the 2023 ANPA meeting. Terrible week again for markets with ftse 100 off 2.6%; sentiment is very bad; own funds -20k, took some profits on tech stocks, moving some proceeds into miners, which should be a good long-term hedge against inflation, which I expect to persist while net zero is the passion. Awaiting 2 deliveries tomorrow morning: Sainsbury via daughter at 09:30 and Waitrose mine at 12. Fridge is going to be rather full! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 6th: maximum 17C, minimum 15C, moderate SW, cloudy morning, occasional bright intervals in afternoon, light rain showers in evening. Very active today -- 8k steps, bringing average to almost 5k a day. Made T4m4l on own as M away, then visited Dipton Wood N from 15:10-16:25 to scan area for Black Kite: at Dukeshouse, at 15:34 had a pair displaying high up 1 2 3 and at 15:40 a single was seen climbing to some height and disappearing to N. So that confirms all 9 sites are occupied at the rearing stage -- marvellous! A juvenile Kestrel was up at 15:49. Also had a Woodlark perched in a tree carrying food 1 2 with another flying with 3 Linnet, of which many around (29 total), 4 Tree Pipit (one carrying food) 1 2, 4 Meadow Pipit, 3 Bullfinch and 2 Chiffchaff. So the Woodlark are breeding in this clearing and there are plenty of further clearings available nearby. Bird-types totalled 14. Mammals comprised a Mole and a Roe Deer (latter from droppings). Butterflies comprised 3 types: 4 Ringlet, 7 Meadow Brown, 1 Small White. At Ordley had an adult male Sparrowhawk hunting through the garden at 19:00 and a Tawny Owl calling at dusk, and at Hexham at 23:30 a few Oystercatcher (perhaps 4) were very noisy. Continued gardening, doing second assault on front garden with mower and trimmer: looking quite kempt now. Had supper and went to sleep, only just waking up in time for G4g4s where had good chat with P/R. Did add to WikiTree Naomi R (c1655-1693) as sister to Matathias, Edward and Benaiah. Edward is the interesting one: has children, one called Samuel R who died young, but he may have had another Samuel who was the Mr Samuel R of Tiverton marring Sarah Pingstone at Tiverton; one generation down my direct line Thomas R marries Mary Pingstone. 2moro it's QHC4s4l and QHL for study; have received proofs of ANPA 2023 paper and of Mike's obit.
July 5th: maximum 16C, minimum 12C, moderate W, sunny intervals to lunchtime, then cloudy, dry, cool. Processed Stocksfield 2/6 and Warden 3/6 is well under way with piccies done. Did masses of grass cutting today, clearing the W boundary of lawn right up to the field; the orchids and cowslips are being mown gently around so they're being given a competitive advantage over the grass and docks. Added to WikiTree Benaiah R's 2 marriages in 1676 in Devon and 1688 in Cork, Ireland. He had a family but don't know their names nor whether they stayed in Ireland or came back to Somerset and Devon. Next up is Naomi R - Puritans through and through! My genetic relation to US presidents from WikiTree: closest is 22 degrees (connections) from John Kennedy, furthest is 32 degrees from Donald Trump; not unhappy with that. Put the red pen through artists not in this year's Festival. Ash die-back seems to be on the wane in the Tyne Valley area. There's very little sign of fresh infections and infected trees are sprouting healthy re-growths. Out of my 40 ash trees in the field, 32 unaffected, 4 have died, other 4 are showing healthy regrowths. But too early to be complacent! Old trees are most resistant, young trees 10-20 years are more vulnerable. Will post some piccies. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Amazing number of Honey-buzzard reports on BirdGuides from 25/5-17/6, quite a few of course from established breeding localities such as Wykeham Forest and Welbeck.
12:41 17/06 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Swanton Novers watchpoint one again over Great Wood from raptor watchpoint on Fulmodeston Road; view only from the watchpoint, do not park along the road and do not enter the woods or surrounding agricultural land
17:03 16/06 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Swanton Novers watchpoint 16:42 male again from raptor watchpoint on Fulmodeston Road; view only from the watchpoint, do not park along the road and do not enter the woods or surrounding agricultural land
12:03 16/06 European Honey Buzzard Kent Kennington one flew north-west
08:56 14/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 08:20 one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
09:56 13/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
09:56 13/06 European Honey Buzzard Lincolnshire Langtoft 09:31 female flew south over East End
22:23 12/06 European Honey Buzzard Isle of Wight Brading Marshes RSPB 18:16 one flew over towards Nettlestone/Puckpool
18:30 12/06 European Honey Buzzard Nottinghamshire Welbeck watchpoint 16:34 one again briefly
15:11 12/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 14:15 one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
10:36 12/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 09:35 one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
10:28 11/06 European Honey Buzzard Shetland Bressay 10:20 one flew north-east over Gorie
16:41 10/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
14:05 10/06 European Honey Buzzard Kent Wickhambreaux 13:45 one flew north
09:31 10/06 European Honey Buzzard Kent Ham Fen one flew north
09:19 10/06 European Honey Buzzard Kent Kingsdown one flew north
09:14 10/06 European Honey Buzzard Kent Ash one flew west over Weddington
15:46 09/06 European Honey Buzzard Nottinghamshire Welbeck watchpoint12:30 one again early afternoon
09:28 09/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 09:24 one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
17:37 08/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 17:34 pale-morph male again from raptor viewpoint; also Northern Goshawk again. From A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
08:42 08/06 European Honey Buzzard Wiltshire Everleigh 08:37 adult flew over high north
21:20 07/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Eastfield one flew east over Upper Deepdale early afternoon
12:47 07/06 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Eccles on Sea12:30 one circled low overhead then flew south
12:14 07/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 11:59 one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
13:27 06/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest one again from raptor viewpoint this morning; also Northern Goshawk again. From A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
18:39 05/06 European Honey Buzzard Nottinghamshire Welbeck watchpoint 18:27 one again flew south-east over watchpoint
16:11 05/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 16:01 one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
15:20 05/06 European Honey Buzzard Nottinghamshire Welbeck watchpoint one again
12:32 04/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 12:05 male again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
19:21 03/06 European Honey Buzzard Nottinghamshire Welbeck watchpoint adult male again this afternoon; also Osprey and Northern Goshawk again
15:02 03/06 European Honey Buzzard Oxfordshire Otmoor RSPB 14:21 one flew south-east over Charlton
14:14 03/06 European Honey Buzzard West Sussex Arundel 13:55 one flew north over Sherwood Rough
11:29 03/06 European Honey Buzzard Suffolk Aldeburgh female flew north over golf course
10:09 03/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 10:04 three (two males) again showing well from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Details Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
21:52 02/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest two again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
11:05 02/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 11:00 one again briefly from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
09:30 02/06 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 01/06 two (one male) again from raptor viewpoint yesterday; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
12:02 01/06 European Honey Buzzard Dorset Portland 11:00 one flew north past Church Ope Cove
20:09 31/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest three (two males) again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
11:38 31/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 11:30 two (one male) again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
10:51 31/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 10:30 one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
07:17 31/05 European Honey Buzzard Nottinghamshire Welbeck watchpoint 30/05 two yesterday
15:22 30/05 European Honey Buzzard Lothian Edinburgh 11:09 male flew over Whinny Hill late morning
14:30 30/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 14:28
three (two males) again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
10:57 30/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 10:55 male again from raptor viewpoint; also 4 Northern Goshawks. From A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
14:45 29/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 14:35 one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
12:58 29/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest male again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
20:53 28/05 European Honey Buzzard Cornwall Black Head 16:00 one flew over
12:46 28/05 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Cantley Marshes RSPB 11:25 one flew west and lost to view towards Buckenham
11:48 28/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 11:46 one again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
11:46 28/05 European Honey Buzzard Nottinghamshire Welbeck watchpoint 15:20 27/05
one again yesterday afternoon; also Osprey again briefly yesterday early morning
11:11 28/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 10:45
three again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
08:36 28/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 08:00
two again from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
17:27 27/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 17:05
one still from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
15:15 27/05 European Honey Buzzard Cornwall Falmouth 15:05 one flew NNE towards Mylor
11:15 27/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest two (one male) from raptor viewpoint; also 2 Northern Goshawks again. From A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
10:44 27/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 10:42
male displaying from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
15:07 26/05 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Swanton Novers watchpoint 14:50
one again from raptor watchpoint on Fulmodeston Road; also Northern Goshawk. View only from the watchpoint, do not park along the road and do not enter the woods or surrounding agricultural land
14:33 26/05 European Honey Buzzard Cornwall Hayle Estuary 14:25 one drifted east over Wheal Alfred Road
14:31 26/05 European Honey Buzzard Somerset & Bristol Sutton Bingham Reservoir 13:10 one briefly then lost to view
14:08 26/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest14:01
four from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
14:03 26/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 14:00
three from raptor viewpoint; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
12:45 26/05 European Honey Buzzard Isles of Scilly St Mary's 12:35 possible flew over Airfield towards Porth Hellick
12:43 26/05 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Swanton Novers watchpoint 11:30 male from raptor watchpoint on Fulmodeston Road late morning; also 4 Northern Goshawks. View only from the watchpoint, do not park along the road and do not enter the woods or surrounding agricultural land
09:40 26/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 09:31 two (one pale morph male) from raptor viewpoint this morning; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
15:26 25/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 15:19 one still from raptor viewpoint this afternoon; from A170 at Wykeham take minor road north to Highwood Brow for 6.4km to T-junction then left for 500m to car park at 54.2861, -0.5637
15:05 25/05 European Honey Buzzard Gloucestershire Frampton-on-Severn one flew high north-east over Frampton Pools
08:30 25/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Wykeham Forest 24/05 adult male yesterday
July 4th: maximum 16C, minimum 10C, moderate W, sunny intervals to mid-afternoon, then heavy showers, cool. Started processing Stocksfield 2/6, completing piccies; have just 3 more to do for Honey-buzzard display phase. Added some more details on Hugh R (c1615-1680) and added his son Benaiah R who went to Cork to live; he had 2 marriages, one in Exeter, other in Ross, Cork (near Roscarbery, Cork, where used to stay). Added daughter to car insurance so we can be more independent when she's over (cost with LV £18.70). Set-up new Festival site for 2024. Attended first Council meeting for quite a while and presented Admin Team report; all OK, particularly as move to CNT went well. Booked up week in South Devon in cottage with sisters for just after mid-September. Did moderate amount of grass cutting, not far off having main part in order. Had a Badger and Hedgehog yesterday evening on return from G near house and the Brown Rat was around the patio this lunch-time, getting quite tame! Funds +4k wtd. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 3rd: maximum 15C, minimum 9C, moderate to fresh W, sunny periods, very blustery, few showers, quite cool. Processed 13/6 Dukeshagg. Completed two important tasks -- Edward R (1628->1695) compilation on WikiTree and events page. First day at CNT4m4l went very well with E doing superbly in setting it all up; I had f&c+mp and so did 13 other members; presented with ribbon and medal for President-Elect! Made Thornborough NE of Corbridge overlooking A69 in very breezy conditions and from 17:05-18:25 confirmed occupation by Black Kite, another new site from last year; this time doing rather more and finding 4 Black Kite present (2 ad, 2 juv); not known them nest this early before, just one piccie of the family party at 18:15 1, but many of birds in the area from 17:57-18:15 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 (18 shows very clearly the 6 projecting primary tips), plus a Common Buzzard out of same wood at 18:06 and 18:13 1 2 and a distant Osprey to W at 17:57 1 2, approaching the Hexham NE area. Ash trees were also showing resilience in this area 1 2. Also in the fresh breeze with total of 15 bird-types had a Tree Sparrow carrying food, 4 agitated Whitethroat, a singing Blackcap, 5 Swallow, a LBBG adult, plus one butterfly: a Meadow Brown. Much later made G4g4s on own as 3 others all occupied elsewhere or asleep! Had good chat with bar lass! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 2nd: maximum 15C, minimum 9C, moderate to fresh W, sunny intervals, very blustery, few showers, quite cool. Started processing Prudhoe 13/6, doing the piccies. Made some additions to Edward R (1628-) on his dedication to the Presbyterian cause. Added artists to the programme for the Festival. Main event of day was performance of La Cenerentola (Cinderella) at the Sage by Nevill Hoult and RNS. It was the familiar plot with stirring music by Rossini and very good patter and movement by the cast, including the chorus who had many inventive patterns. The ugly sisters were actually quite good looking and the title-role was plainer -- modern trends! The orchestra played well throughout getting the excitement of Rossini's climaxes just right! Opera lasted a little over 3 hours, including one interval and then made Br4rw4t for a quickie before return on train. Met L there for good catch-up. Paid £665 to Box Office while there for next season's package tickets. Much later made G4g4s with R/A for good chat. 2moro is tense with Cnt4m4l with R for 1st time; will be more relaxed later once this out the way! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
July 1st: maximum 17C, minimum 10C, moderate to fresh W, sunny intervals, very blustery, few showers. Processed Ordley 19/6. Much work with Rotary on new lunch venue on Monday. Added Jane R (c1635-1667) as daughter of Nicholas R on WikiTree; am moving towards linking Taunton family (main line) to my Tiverton one; ordered copy of large Chancery (civil court in 18th century) case document from 1719 for £136 from National Archives involving R and Pingstone in Tiverton. Updated home draft page for Festival, altering CSS, so needs force-refresh; uploaded to server. Did masses of gardening again -- too wild for raptors -- so cut a lot of grass, regaining control over large garden as fitness continues to improve. Made DoW4g+bck4s with D/D for great chat! Funds recovered much of last week's losses at +26k on gains in tech stocks, making ytd at 1/2 way point +101k gross. 2moro it's Cinderella at S with NH and RNS. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 30th: maximum 16C, minimum 11C, moderate W, dry cloudy morning, showers in afternoon becoming wetter by evening, dull throughout. Chatted to N/D on Skype from 10:00-11:40, then a little work on desktop Cleaner S arriving at 15:00 so out on train HEX-SUN, would you believe it non-digital tickets; stopped off at NCL to have an hour at L&P where read a very interesting bar by bar analysis of Wagner's Rheingold. Then onto SUN where amazed at lack of signage for anything, including the Fire Station, and on return the railway station. Do they not get any visitors? Anyway found FS where had a rw before performance 'Nuc in Sunderland'. We had 2 warm-up acts: Peter Brewis in first half and Ross Millard & Faye MacCalman in second half, interesting use of digital acoustics! The main performers were the Ligeti Quartet, who played Different Trains (1988) by Steve Reich in the first half; love this minimalist piece, such rhythms and the voices add drama; the middle movement deals with trains in the Holocaust and is poignant particularly at the end where the survivors mention the smoke. The Quartet, complete with feeds from the strings to mixers, played items from their Anna Meredith Nuc (album) (2023) in the second half. All very lively and creative and it was a reasonable audience both in size and in enthusiasm. Train back, last one at 22:29, was straight through to HEX -- very convenient.
June 29th: maximum 17C, minimum 11C, moderate W, sunny spells, dry. Good raptor weather with breeze and sunshine. Made Bywell from 16:35-17:55 getting good views of a pair of Black Kite from 17:14-17:19 over their site with some combat with a Common Buzzard from 16:53-17:18 . Got a series of great piccies. Here's combat with Common Buzzard 1 2, the pair in action 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10, a single bird up 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26, a single with a Common Buzzard 27. Also had 2 Common Buzzard up at Styford N from 16:46-16:50 with singles at wood near A69 from 17:16-17:45 and 2 at Cottagebank, making 5 in visit, plus 2 over Ordley site at 15:30. A male Hobby was up briefly over Bywell at 17:19 1. Total for bird-types was 17, including 11 Swallow, 4 Stock Dove and a Whitethroat. Highlight of day was recovering full gardening fitness, using hedge trimmer to hack back overgrown shrubs at the back and the mower to cut 10 bales of grass from the most dense area. Let's hope I'm fit tomorrow morning! Made T4m4l with M/B for good chat and G4g4s with P/A/R for good company. Getting Munich presentation done early is a great bonus: it enables me to start drafting my ANPA slides for the August talk, which is demanding as it breaks a lot of new ground. It's taking shape: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 28th: maximum 19C, minimum 10C, light W, dull all day, heavy showers with drizzle in between. Processed Styford and Shilford 26/6. Next up is 19/6 Ordley, already looked at piccies. No fieldwork today. Took advantage of the poor weather to make QHC4s4l and QHL in afternoon. Completed presentation for Munich conference but it's 65 slides, quite a lot: better to have too much material than too little! Booked up for a concert in Munich at the Prinzregententheater to hear Bach 273rd anniversary with some Bach and Sibelius, latter Concerto in D (1946): ticket was €68, looking forward to it; it's a day after my talk so can relax! More sociable day 2moro with lunch at T and g at G4s. Think the weather will improve a little. Think need to do some gardening! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 27th: maximum 17C, minimum 16C, light S, rain all day and dull into evening. No fieldwork though did spot a Common Shrew busily eating insects in front area. Tuesday is normally my stay-at-home day, so bad weather fitted in quite well, sorting out some stock positions, thinking about Rotary procedures, doing draft for Festival, processed Wylam 10/6 and getting ready to process Styford 26/6. Achieved a lot today but doesn't look too much! Funds steadied at -2k wtd. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 26th: maximum 17C, minimum 12C, moderate W, mostly sunny with fine-weather cumulus, still humid, dry. Made Styford from 14:55-16:20 where had 2 Honey-buzzard males (to S at Shilford floating above the trees 1 (13065) and to N at Styford N, maybe coming into feed in area 1 (13066) probably from Bywell), a Common Buzzard up at 15:10 (close to Styford Hall), a female Kestrel up at 15:41 (Styford N), a Black Kite (high up twice at 15:15 and 15:54 over Styford N). The birds were enjoying the fresh breeze. In 23 bird-types had 2 Siskin, 3 Oystercatcher, 1 adult Cormorant, 4 Sand Martin, 9 Swallow. There were 2 Grey Squirrel and butterflies comprised 2 Red Admiral and 2 Meadow Brown. Made R at B4m4s for last time, we're in the Cnt next week, some members looking forward to their popular battered fish, chips and mushy peas! Came home for quick run on desktop before out to G4g4s with A/P and good chat. Exciting nite: bumped into someone passionate!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 25th: maximum 25C, minimum 12C, moderate SE moving SW, mostly cloudy morning, very humid and warm afternoon, heavy rain moving in at ttime, then drier again. Made edge of Hexhamshire Common at Kings Law from 14:00-15:35 where had superb late season show of moorland species: 52 Curlew, 84 Lapwing, 11 Oystercatcher, 2 Golden Plover, 6 Meadow Pipit, 1 Stonechat, 2 Skylark, Red Grouse (1 calling, 1 with cheeping brood), Black Grouse (1 Greyhen 1 2 3 4 with hidden brood), 3 Stock Dove, plus a Common Buzzard coming off moors, in total of 24 bird-types. A Red Admiral was seen with 3 dead Rabbit and a dead Brown Hare on road. Satisfying to just beat the rain! Made G4g4s for good chat with D/A. Getting on with computer work in morning on the Taunton and Tiverton Rs, the Festival and recent crepuscular visits. Bought tickets for the Ligeti Quartet at Sunderland FS next Friday (£20) and bought up the Bruckner package for next March (£71 for 5 concerts) both including donations. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 24th: maximum 22C, minimum 16C, moderate SW, mostly cloudy morning, more sun afternoon, humid, dry. Headlines in the News section on the Honey-buzzard home page:
24/06/23: Black Kite numbers maintained: display period 20/4-31/5: 7 sites occupied; 2 with pairs seen: total 9 adults seen.
Made DoW4g4s with D/D for great chat. Did another crepuscular visit after pub making Eastwood Common from 22:50-23:20 getting 2 agitated Tawny Owl plus one on a post, a Nightjar calling guik and swooping down near me at 23:01, frightening 2 Blackbird, who probably thought it was a Sparrowhawk, a roding Woodcock at 23:12. Then made Dipton Wood S from 23:30-23:40 getting 4 agitated Tawny Owl at 2 sites, a calling Grey Heron, a roding Woodcock, a Brown Hare, a Rabbit but no Nightjar. Butterflies at Ordley earlier included 1 Large White, 2 Red Admiral, 5 Meadow Brown, 6 Ringlet. Birds included a singing Chiffchaff, 6 Swift around neighbour's house, 1 singing Curlew. Russia's internal bickering is surely good news for Ukraine; may need to hold firm for a while though. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 23rd: maximum 19C, minimum 16C, light W, mostly cloudy and humid, few light showers, sunny intervals. Headlines in the News section on the Honey-buzzard home page:
23/06/23: Honey-buzzard numbers maintained with successful spring survey in the settled weather: display period 30/4-16/6: 27 sites occupied, 38 adults seen - 24 male, 14 female.
23/06/23: Osprey site occupied on the Tyne near Hexham -- first breeding on a river system in Northumberland in recent times.
This was an exciting day with an Osprey site found on the Tyne near Hexham. This is not unexpected as there are a number of records on BirdGuides on the Tyne this year:
15:15 09/06 Osprey Northumberland Riding Mill one moving slowly west along River Tyne mid-afternoon
16:48 08/06 Osprey Northumberland Hexham 16:45 one flew east over Tesco
17:56 27/05 Osprey Northumberland Riding Mill 17:51 one flew west
16:36 23/05 Osprey Northumberland Hexham 14:30 one flew north
10:33 23/05 Osprey Northumberland Hexham one flew north
17:20 16/05 Osprey Northumberland Stocksfield 17:20
13:39 30/04 Osprey Northumberland Stocksfield 13:33 one flew north over east side
18:01 20/04 Osprey Northumberland Melkridge two over River South Tyne late afternoon
Had chat with N/D on Skype at 10:00 for 90 min, then straight into Hexham to meet M/B at T4m4l for great chat. Made Tyne at Hexham from 14:15-16:30 (whole visit to Hexham was 11:55-17:15 with SB4c4t while S was making house immaculate!). Osprey 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 (2 with Black Kite) made 2 fishing trips at 14:55 and 15:55 and got up for a third time at 16:01 to interact with a Black Kite 1 2 3 4 5 6 7, which was also active from 15:22-15:38 and from 15:55-15:58. A female Honey-buzzard was up briefly at 15:37 1 2 (13063) and a Red Kite was also up briefly at 16:01 1 2. Fortunately took the large camera with me today, the Nikon, to record the action. Finished processing Dotland 30/5 and went though the 7 data sheets and photo folders up to 16/6 not yet completely processed to verify the raptor sightings. Markets had a terrible week, worst for 3 months, as Central Banks everywhere either put up interest rates or made hawkish comments. Main indices lost gains for ytd and own funds were -35k gross, -33k net, with 2k withdrawal to pay off final medical expenses associated with the op, that I'd put on a credit card. Not selling anything, think we're bumping along the bottom of the by now quite-long bear market. Looked up results of recent blood tests following take up of low-dose statins: lipids (cholesterol) have come down significantly from edge of area of concern but are still a little above ideal target range; liver function is normal in all respects. 2moro will get started on another web site! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 22nd: maximum 21C, minimum 12C, light SW, strong sunshine. Incidentally solstice means stationary sun -- like a pendulum, it appears to be briefly stationary at each end of its motion. Had a Ringlet, 5 Meadow Brown, 1 Speckled Wood, 2 Red Admiral in garden. Waitrose deliverer said: isn't your garden marvellous, such a buzz. The front yard is really humming at the moment with so many flowers out, no herbicides, no pesticides. Not going to Cornwall in mid-August -- hope it's postponed to late September when will have more time and space. Processing 30/5 Dotland, almost completed, will finish tomorrow; it was a Caspian Gull adult! Will return to normal daytime fieldwork tomorrow but may do another crepuscular in evening. Today's crepuscular was G4g4s with A (R/P away). Very gloomy outlook for UK economy after today's large interest rate hike: only have 1 holding, one housebuilder PSN, in UK but there is a spillover into other markets, in short-term at least. Delighted to hear from someone: will do of course!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 21st: maximum 20C, minimum 12C, moderate W, sunny with some fair-weather cumulus clouds, wind dropping in evening. Sunrise 04:30, sunset 21:51, daylight 17 hours 21 mins. Solstice was at 14:58 UTC (15:58 BST) today, day-length differences measured in seconds over few days around the solstice. Every day for the next 6 months is shorter than the one before! Made another crepuscular visit, this time to Dipton Wood Main from 21:55-23:00, finding 8 bird-types, same as last night: a Robin, 3 singing Blackbird, 1 singing Woodpigeon, 2 adult Black-headed Gull, 1 Crow, 2 roding Woodcock starting 22:23, finishing 22:50, 2 Tawny Owl calling at 22:38, (best of all) a Nightjar churring continuously from 22:22-23:00 in NW of clearing with a guik call at 22:45 from middle (a pair). Had a Roe Deer as drove out. At Lamb Shield at 23:05 had 2 agitated Tawny Owl, a Grey Heron calling and a Brown Hare. At Ordley at 23:15 had 2 Tawny Owl calling and a Rabbit. Love these late dusk trips, so restful hearing the sounds of nature in the lingering daylight around 22:30-23:00. Earlier made QHC4s4l (lovely tuna again) and QHL where spent 3 hours on Munich presentation and 30 min on ANPA 2023 abstract which I've now submitted. Sisters want me to go to Falmouth with them on 12/8 for a week in a cottage at £2000 between us (rip-off!). Said would do it in late September but would be major strain in mid-August coming between ANPA meeting, finishing 11/8, and Georgia trip. Falmouth is 485 miles from Hexham and train takes10 hours with 4 changes! Cornwall in August is maniac: not my scene! Also the Black Kite and Honey-buzzard are fledging in my study area up here! Son is coming up for a few days in mid-July when daughter is here: marvellous -- complete family reunion!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 20th: maximum 17C, minimum 13C, light W, heavy rain all day, clearer by evening. Birdwatching today was a crepuscular visit 21:55-23:15 to Dipton Wood N, getting 8 bird-types 1 Nightjar (calling guik from NW of clearing at 22:55), 1 Woodpigeon, 3 Woodcock (3 roding birds from start to finish), 1 Black-headed Gull (adult), 1 Tawny Owl (calling briefly at 22:35), 3 Carrion Crow, 1 Blackbird, 1 Robin. Makes a change, plenty of bats around. Processed quite a few records today: Studdon Park 11/6, Sinderhope 8/6, Catton 11/6, Norfolk trip 14/6-15/6. Also did more work on Hugh R's relatives. 2moro getting out more, making QH4l and study. Funds -4k wtd, continuing start of week malaise. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 19th: maximum 21C, minimum 13C, moderate SW, sunny periods with fair-weather cumulus. Busy time at Rotary, penultimate meal at B with move to C in 2 weeks, which I'm overseeing. Went with NW to C in afternoon to meet E, floor manager, for discussions on the final arrangements. Processing Studdon Park 11/6, will finish this tomorrow and maybe one or two more as extensive rain is forecast. Had some sightings at Ordley from 16:55-17:20 in quick watch to S. Had a Black Kite sneaking out to NE from nest site at 17:05, returning at 17:08 high to S, where putting up lots of Corvids. The Honey-buzzard male came in from the E at 17:16 before dropping slowly towards his nest site 1 2 3 (13060). Also had 4 displaying Swift, a Yellowhammer, 2 Black-headed Gull adult, a pair of Linnet and 5 Swallow. A Red Admiral was also seen. Made G4g4s with A/R -- P is away sailing on a ship. Did a lot of work on Hugh R (1615-1680) and seeking a document on Samuel R and the Pingstones of Tiverton from National Archives, which might shed some light on the relationship between the Taunton and Tiverton families. So catch-up in progress, a quiet week. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 18th: maximum 20C, minimum 14C, moderate E, sunny intervals in morning, cloudy later, very humid. Near the summer solstice: sunrise 04:29, sunset 21:50, daylight 17 hours 21 mins. Heavy rain drops started arriving at 18:00, building up to heavy rain at 22:00 but really not as bad as forecast. First significant rain since 8/5. Processed Staward 16/6 but a lot to catch-up on. In a sunny spell in morning had 2 Common Blue, 2 Meadow Brown, a Speckled Wood and a Small Tortoiseshell larva on nettle in garden, plus Garden Warbler still singing. Number of Northern Marsh Orchid reached 13. Cut some grass today in two short spells; no reaction. Had long chat with son and daughter on Zoom; daughter says Dubai is good but for the heat from early morning to early evening and the maniac traffic. But everyone is settling in. She and daughters are coming to here for 2 weeks from 9/7 to escape the heat and enjoy the cool of England. Son went to see A on Saturday at KP: disappointed not to see someone! Son can join us for part of second week so that's great! Made G4g4s with R/A for good chat. Funds were unchanged on week at net level, -4k gross after birthday present to son. On ytd it's +108k gross, +84k net (+3.8%) after 24k of withdrawals. Bit of a grinding performance; strength of £ in spite of the UK's dismal economy because of interest rates going ever higher is a drag; commodities have also been soft with lack lustre world economy; ending war in Ukraine and admissions that inflation is going to persist with the over-ambitious Net Zero programmes and high government spending would help portfolio considerably. Change in funds is in line with main indices ytd: ftse 100 (UK international) +2.5%, ftse 250 (UK domestic) +0.9%, Dow (US main) +3.4%, but below bitcoin (+58.7%) and NASDAQ (US tech) +30.7%, both of which are still substantially down over 2 years. Do have significant investments in US tech (210k) but appreciation of £ has dented returns. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Black Kite records since 24/5, good numbers for main breeding season (94 reports for ytd now):
13:40 18/06 Black Kite Nottinghamshire Bennerley Marsh 12:55 unconfirmed report of one flying east towards Cossall
16:37 17/06 Black Kite Derbyshire Langwith possible flew north-east late afternoon
14:06 17/06 Black Kite Nottinghamshire Bingham 13:50 one flew over Margidunum Island then east towards A52 over fields behind the town
20:27 16/06 Black Kite Kent North Foreland 15:50 one circled for ten minutes then drifted south-west
13:39 07/06 Black Kite Argyll Ardtun, Mull 10:50 30/05 belated news of adult on 30 May
21:37 05/06 Black Kite Cornwall Kilkhampton 02/06 one flew over A39 c 1.6km north of town on Friday
13:01 03/06 Black Kite Cornwall Wadebridge one flew east early afternoon
23:00 31/05 Black Kite Cornwall Three Burrows one flew over A30 at Chiverton Cross
18:49 27/05 Black Kite Cornwall Gwithian 18:38 one flew east towards Godrevy
18:47 27/05 Black Kite Cornwall Hayle possible over Guildford Road this afternoon
11:56 27/05 Black Kite Cornwall Rosewall Hill 10:15 one flew over towards St Ives
08:38 27/05 Black Kite Isles of Scilly St Mary's 08:36 possible drifting towards Longstone
11:09 25/05 Black Kite Kent Stodmarsh NNR 24/05 adult photographed yesterday
June 17th: maximum 21C, minimum 12C, light SE, cloudy nearly all of day, few raindrops in Gateshead at 17:00. Decided to close display phase yesterday as originally planned after sun disappeared. Will now concentrate on tabulation of results. Today on way home had a Roe Deer at Loughbrow and a Barn Owl at Ordley, around 23:30. Last train to HEX was packed with attendees of Corbridge Beer Festival. all in good spirits! OC a player at Tyndale RFC sat next to me for this last bit. Main business of day was the Pearl Fishers at S with ON, starting with reception at 18:15 and performance from 19:00-21:30 with another reception in interval; took L along to both receptions to meet the ON team (RoM/EK). ON high-spirited after their General Director RiM was knighted today by the King. So nice to be back with live opera: it was a concert performance, with orchestra on stage, the 4 star singers in front of them and the Chorus in the heights behind. Really enjoyed it; a bit Wagnerian in places with the pervasive tune from the well-known duet occurring throughout. 7k steps today as walked back past the Br4rw4s. More to follow .... It's 01:55, sleepy, sweet dreams await: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 16th: maximum 23C, minimum 11C, light to moderate SE, sunny all day, warm. Fine spell continues but some breakdown forecast for Sunday evening. Today chatted to N/D on Skype from 10:00-11:30; suggesting more forcefully to N that he should get out more! Met M at T4m4l for good chat. Cleaner S came later in afternoon and made out W, making Staward from 15:10-16:30 where had a male Honey-buzzard up briefly 1.5 km to E and foraging briefly 0.5km to NE at 16:13 (13055), both attributed to the Staward N site. Also up in this area were a Common Buzzard and Red Kite at 15:54 with a Common Buzzard far to N at Muckle Moss at16:08. Amazing find was a pair of Spotted Flycatcher in a copse; they've become so rare. Also had a Raven (flying in from N to crags), 3 fledged Goldcrest, a Stock Dove, 5 Chaffinch. Went on to N Allendale from 16:40-17:15, still looking for elusive site, from Oakpool direction. No birds seen but can see a number of shelter belts on the edge of Hexhamshire Common W which could be used by Honey-buzzard; indeed think I've had a couple of sightings in this area which attributed to far-ranging Oakpool birds. Had a Red Admiral at Oakpool. Had a male Kestrel hovering over West Stublick Moor at 17:20, making it 4 species of raptor on trip and 28 bird-types in all. Much later made DoW4g+b4s with D/D for great chat. Not much reaction to previous day's exertions which is pleasing. Had a Common Blue in front garden -- wild grasslands may be paying dividends! May make Wylam tomorrow afternoon for really the last search in this year's Honey-buzzard display phase. It's Bizet's Pearl Fishers tomorrow evening by ON with reception at 18:15: really looking forward to this. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 15th: maximum 23C, minimum 9C, light SE, sunny all day, warm. Special day put on today by BTO on their flagship scheme Breeding Bird Survey for members who have left them significant legacies. After enormous breakfast in local cafe, caught train from Brandon to Thetford and walked to BTO at The Nunnery past the Dad's Army Museum (this is Thetford's main claim to fame and my mates thought I was really going away for this!) and over the 3 narrow hump-backed bridges across the Little Ouse to their HQ. We had some talks in morning by Sam, John and Juliet with Dawn also as active host. Then walk across part of reserve as a field trip from 13:30-15:00, seeing a staked-out Stone-Curlew 1 (through the long grass), a singing Cetti's Warbler, single soaring Common Buzzard and Sparrowhawk, 2 singing Goldcrest, 4 Chiffchaff, a juvenile Coot, 3 juv Greylag Goose with adults, 3 Tufted Duck, plus 3 Banded Demoiselle, a Pyramidal Orchid, 4 Meadow Brown and a Speckled Wood. Very pleased to meet T&M again after all these years; T took over from me as Regional Rep for BTO in N. Feeling knackered after this (11k steps today so far) and grateful for lift from Dawn to Thetford Station where started return at 16:00 with again 3 changes. On way back had single Common Buzzard at Ely and Manea around 17:00. Into Newcastle at 20:31 -- as came into Central Station from S over Tyne saw an adult male Peregrine with prey on the muddy banks of the Tyne. Made Hexham at 22:07. Made G4g4s at 22:15 for good chat with A/R/P with E on. 13,300 steps by end of day. Made great strides on Munich presentation on train journeys. Final day of display phase for Honey-buzzard tomorrow! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 14th: maximum 20C, minimum 8C, light SE, sunny all day, warm. Today was first trip away since op, down to BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) in Thetford, Norfolk, stopping off in Brandon, Suffolk, for my accommodation, the Bell Inn. Journey from Hexham took 5 hours 30 min by 4 separate trains (3 changes at Newcastle, Peterborough, Ely) so as long as flight to Dubai from Newcastle. Did have a look at Ely at the local birds, adding a calling Whimbrel to the year-list. Two Marsh Harrier between Ely and Brandon at 18:15 were also first for year in Lakenheath Fen area. Bell Inn was not bad price-wise £60 but no meals, either dinner or breakfast. Found nowhere open for sit-in meals so in the end bought £3.75 of groceries in Aldi and ate those in my room. Wondered how much Brexit is affecting restaurants. Did 10k steps today and pretty tired at end, long sleep ahead in comfortable room. Gave son 4k for his birthday, well received: he's booked Tbilisi hotel; we may have 3-day trip into the mountains in between Tbilisi and Batumi. Funds were +1k on wtd yesterday.
June 13th: maximum 23C, minimum 11C, light SE, sunny all day, warm. Processed 12/6 Lilswood and Riddlehamhope. Caught up with some other tasks on the computer but spent some time sunbathing in garden, dreaming of the world's delights! Delayed fieldwork until after 16:00 as quite warm again. Made Prudhoe Dukeshagg from 16:45-18:00 where appeared to time it well with a Black Kite high flying over last year's site at 17:06 and lurking to E of site at 17:22. A female Honey-buzzard was up in prolonged high soaring over site from 17:12-17:20 1 2 3 4 (13048); this is another new site for the year. So mission accomplished with Black Kite looking settled and Honey-buzzard doing final high soaring by alone bird of the display stage of the season. Also in total of 23 bird-types had 4 Herring Gull (ad, 3 1s), 4 Skylark, 5 Swallow, 8 House Martin, 5 Willow Warbler, 1 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Grey Wagtail. Butterflies comprised 4 Large Skipper 1 2, 4 Small Copper 1, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Red Admiral. Also had single Red Admiral at Letah Wood and Loughbrow. Using lighter camera is necessary in current circumstances, even if capability is a little less. Booked up full programme of classics at Sage for next season -- cost £670! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 12th: maximum 26C, minimum 13C, light SE, cloudy early-on with a few heavy raindrops, sunny rest of day, humid, very warm. Made Lilswood up top of 'Shire from 16:35-18:10. Was looking for a new Honey-buzzard site in scrub above Slaley Forest but none found. Did though have a male Honey-buzzard up over Riddlehamhope at the top of the Derwent watershed 1 at 17:55 for a few minutes, soaring high and fast 2 over his sparse wooded territory (13045). So that's yet another new site for the year but visibility dropping as we move towards rearing phase. Was about to give up for the day. Also plenty of waders with agitated 6 Curlew, 5 Oystercatcher, 4 Lapwing in small area, and 4 Red-legged Partridge, 4 Pheasant, both with young . confirmed breeding for Great Spotted Woodpecker, Blackbird, Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Wren, and singing Willow Warbler and Garden Warbler, in total of 24 bird-types for trip. Had 7 Rabbit and single Green-veined White, Small White and Small Heath (first for year). Team meeting at R was well-attended -- entire team there -- and we had purposeful chat about handling new venue and other matters. I gave a short presentation to the Club as team leader -- all went well. We're moving to C from B on 3/7. Made G4h+g4s with everyone out for good chat. Had a Barn Owl flushed from fence at Letah Wood at 21:50. Yesterday had a Tawny Owl at Ordley as went out, same time, and night before had a live hedgehog on the road at Loughbrow. Pains and aches going as get fitter: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 11th: maximum 23C, minimum 13C, light SE, cloudy morning, sunny afternoon, cloudy evening, light showers but with very heavy raindrops, much more humid. Processed 4/6 Throckley N and 31/5 West Dipton. Today made East Allendale again checking on move of Black Kite. Spent 15:05-15:45 at Catton S, looking for the missing Honey-buzzard site in the gap but no luck. In 14 bird-types here, did have 7 Curlew, 5 Oystercatcher, 11 Swallow, 1 Grey Heron. Then onto Studdon Park from 15:50-17:00 where had a male Honey-buzzard and a Black Kite in vigorous opposition at 16:04 1 2 3 (13042). So that's brilliant picking up on the move of Black Kite; the Honey-buzzard was seen on 8/6 from Sinderhope in contention with a Hobby; he likes combat! Birds totalled 18 types, including 3 singing Willow Warbler, 2 Oystercatcher, 5 Lapwing, 6 Curlew, plus 5 Rabbit, 1 Roe Deer and 6 Green-veined White. Switched cameras back to Panasonic from Nikon; it's much lighter and may help with rehabilitation. Cleaner S arrived late afternoon and chatted to son on Messenger Video for an hour; his health is stable after recent tests, which is good news; he's going to Aurora at KP this Saturday. Finally made G4h+g4s with A/R: P whacked after long walk! Display part of Honey-buzzard season finishes on Friday 16/6 when will start catch-up. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 10th: maximum 21C, minimum 11C, light SE, cloudy early morning, sunny rest of day, dry; felt quite tropical! Made Wylam Bridge from 15:30-16:45 where had 3 raptors: a male Sparrowhawk soaring over Wylam village at 15:50; a pair of Honey-buzzard in display over the Stanley Burn (Prudhoe E) at 15:56 (13041) and a male adult Goshawk up about 400m to the W hunting at 16:25. So very pleased with that haul. Also in total of 25 bird-types had 6 Mallard (female + 3 small chicks, 2 other adults), 4 Mute Swan on Tyne (3 ad, 1 1s), 1 Moorhen, 1 Common Sandpiper, 1 GBBG 1s, 7 LBBG (6 ad, 1 2s), 2 Cormorant 1s, 11 displaying Sand Martin, 1 Blackcap, 1 Grey Wagtail, 6 Goldfinch. Butterflies comprised 1 Small White, 1 Red Admiral. Made RNS season finale with brasserie tasting session at 18:30 and reception in Foundation Hall at 21:30. All very good and sociable, chatting to partners and musicians MG, IB and KH. Not forgetting the music: Martinů suite for 2 orchestras, Brahms Clarinet Concerto and Dvořák 7. The Martinů was very interesting, never heard it before but very stimulating. The Clarinet Concerto was originally written as a sonata by Brahms and arranged for orchestra by Berio: played very precisely by Andreas Ottensamer of Berlin Phil but found the piece rather insipid. The Dvořák was performed by a super large orchestra and Dinis Sousa did a superb job in coordinating them. Walked 7.5km, driving to CAL and walking from GHD to S. Whole evening was very encouraging. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 9th: maximum 16C, minimum 8C, light E, cloudy early morning, sunny rest of day, dry; felt a little warmer as breeze slackened. Made QHC4s4l and spent rest of afternoon up to 17:00 in QHL reviewing talk for Munich. Amazed at improvement from Liverpool talk last August to final paper for ANPA 2022 so updating presentation with structure and diagrams from the paper; confident that will get it all ready by late July for Munich; will do some more work for it on the train journeys next week. Not so sure about delivering ANPA 2023 abstract at Liverpool in August; think will be a challenge like last year but that's the way to progress and ANPA is a sympathetic audience. Met D/D at DoW4b+g4s where had a g and a Beck's non-a; went down well and we had good chat! 2moro have finale for season at S with receptions before and after, should be good but don't think we'll match the concerts at the football stadia. Funds +6k on week, quite satisfactory in view of markets down for 3rd week in a row; decision to ditch most UK housebuilders has been vindicated. Trust the gorgeous one's keeping fit: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 8th: maximum 13C, minimum 8C, moderate E, cloudy morning, patchy sunshine in afternoon. dry. Very cool again. Made Sinderhope today in the East Allen, checking on last Black Kite site from 15:35-17:10. Had some success with Honey-buzzard: a male up at Studdon Park at 15:58 with a male Hobby mobbing it 1 2 (13037), a male flying off the high moors to W at 16:44, flying into the site at Sinderhope N and then joining the female at 16:48 for a display flight over hill to E 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (13038). A male Kestrel was hunting over Stublick and a female was up over the hill to E of Sinderhope N at 15:09. No Black Kite were seen at Sinderhope but a dynamic kite-type bird was up in Studdon Park area a few times so need to investigate this, perhaps tied-in with trying to locate any Honey-buzzards in the gap around Allendale Town, thrown up by the habitat survey. Note added 11/6: this was a Black Kite up from 15:36 on subsequent fieldwork. Total for trip was 21 bird-types, including 31 Curlew (with flock 20 feeding on in-bye), an Oystercatcher, a Stock Dove, a Grey Heron, 6 House Martin. Made T4m4l with M for good catch-up after his absence through Covid and G4h+g4s with the lads A/P/R for further chat, still having 1/2 drinks non-alcoholic and decaf coffee and tea. 4.5k steps today. 2moro it's QHC and QHL -- having a break from fieldwork to start sorting Munich presentation! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 7th: maximum 16C, minimum 9C, moderate E, cloudy morning, patchy sunshine in afternoon. dry (at Haltwhistle); Hexham Race Course was max 13C min 8C, sun hardly out at all. So cold lit coal fire in evening and not just for a little comfort, needed to warm house through. But Haltwhistle just 22km further W was much pleasanter and could see even further W was unbroken sunshine. This was a brilliant day. Processed data from Prospect Hill 6/6. Woken up by Green Woodpecker alarm calls at 07:00 and found 9 Northern Marsh Orchid in overgrown lawn in evening. Waited until early afternoon before arriving at Haltwhistle site at 14:45 and staying until 16:50; weather-wise we were on the edge between murk to the E and continual sunshine to the W. Raptors were good: a male Honey-buzzard crossing the A69 mobbed by Corvids on the way at 14:45 at Langley (13023); a Common Buzzard up over SW of square at 15:18; a Sparrowhawk male up over N of square at 15:35; a Honey-buzzard male up over SW of square at 15:40 in lengthy patrol 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 (13024); a Honey-buzzard male up over Blenkinsopp at 15:47 and 15:55 14 15 16 17 (13025); a Common Buzzard up over North Wood at 16:24 1 2 3 with a Black Kite, which glided off rapidly to E 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11; at 16:28 the Black Kite was seen patrolling over the A69 to W, perhaps showing where they get most of their food (road-kill). So that's 3 Honey-buzzard (3 new sites for the year), 2 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk, 1 Black Kite (new site for the year). Other birds in total of 28 types included a Common Sandpiper 1 2, a Curlew, 4 Oystercatcher, 4 Swift, 2 Sand Martin, 9 Swallow, 1 Willow Warbler, 1 Garden Warbler; no butterflies were seen but there were 2 Rabbit. Had letter from consultant informing me of the result of the biopsy on my prostate: no cancer detected at all. Was a bit apprehensive as both my grandfathers have prostate cancer on their death certificates (father died aged 61 so maybe too young to tell) and the consultant had told me after the op that the prostate had become a bit distorted, which he suspected (rightly!) was due to damage from the catheter as I kept up my exercise. I think he was relieved as well! So that's a great outcome! Biopsies are done routinely on all HoLEP patients. Delighted that my best friends and relatives were so happy to receive the news. Did have routine blood test at GPs today for effect of low-dose statins on liver function and cholesterol. 4.2k steps today. Booked up Batumi apartment for £970 for 11 days; it's quite luxurious and has 2 proper bedrooms. I'll pick up this item as son is only staying there for a few days, leaving me to look at one of the biggest raptor passages in the world. lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 6th: maximum 14C, minimum 7C, light NE, cloudy morning, patchy weak sunshine in afternoon. dry. Finished processing Whitley Chapel 29/5 and labelled piccies from last 3 visits including today, find this really useful when returning to do final documentation at a later date. Today went to Prospect Hill from 15:50-17:10 and completed all core sites in 'Shire and Tyne Valley W at 15:58 when a male Honey-buzzard soared high over the heath in the March Burn site 1 (13035), where I'd been yesterday but it does pay sometimes to stand back! Also saw the male Honey-buzzard at Prospect Hill again, floating off E to forage at 16:41 1 (13036). A female Kestrel was hovering on N edge of site on leaving at 17:10. The weather is so favourable this year to the Honey-buzzard survey in the display period. I'm seeing mostly males now as the females are sitting on eggs and the males are doing aerial displays, often high up, to declare that the territory is taken. Today's bird total for trip was 25 types, including 13 Linnet (recovering), 3 Goldfinch, 5 Swallow, 2 Skylark, 5 Chaffinch. About 3k steps today. Did some light trimming of shrubs with hand shears in evening in garden; keeping the heavy hedge-trimmer in the shed for the time being and grass cutting still off limits. Funds +7k wtd on little more optimism over commodities. I feel that governments in the west are running large fiscal deficits and persisting in very expensive energy transition spending; this is obviously inflationary and relying on high interest rates as the only solution is not going to work. We're going to be in an inflationary environment for quite a while, so invest in real assets (commodities or tech), not bonds or fixed-interest. Next week mid-week I'm making first trip away since op, going to a meeting at BTO (British Trust for Ornithology) in Thetford, Norfolk, put on for members who have left them significant legacies in their wills (25k in my case). Looking forward to it! This Saturday is RNS season Finale with reception at 18:30. Listened to Alexander Nevsky https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGqVogrLEE4 this evening (15:15 in for the exciting Battle of the Ice and 28:20 for the sorrowful Field of the Dead, sung by mezzo-soprano soloist). Think this is very under-rated music in the history of films but of course the theme is regarded as toxic: Russian patriotism and defiance in the face of Teutonic aggression! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 5th: maximum 16C, minimum 8C, light NE, cloudy early morning, sunny late morning and afternoon. dry. Had a great trip out in the March Burn, seeing 5 Honey-buzzard but none in the March Burn itself. This quite often happens: the birds don't like soaring if you're too close but the distant birds are quite happy to rise. So from 12:35-14:05 had 4 birds (2 pairs) up together from 12:45-13:17 at Kellas 1 2 3 4 5 (13031) and Slaley Forest Trygill 6 7 (13032), both to S, and a male up at 13:11 at Prospect Hill (Farnley site) to N 7 8 9 (13033). No other raptors seen but plenty of heathland birds from edge of Eastwood Common. Birds were of 23 types, including 28 Linnet, 4 Yellowhammer, 3 Chiffchaff, 3 Whitethroat, 2 Garden Warbler, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Curlew. Butterflies were of 5 types: 1 Large Skipper, 4 Small White, 1 Orange-tip male, 1 Green-veined White, 1 Small Tortoiseshell. Getting behind on processing visits but feel it's more important to take advantage of the lovely soaring weather than to write things up. So 2moro it's trip to Prospect Hill with view over March Burn to S. Did do bit of work on computer, adding Henry Irish's PCC will 1625 to Wiki. He leaves the residue to his wife Anne (Neads) Irish who then proceeds to marry Nicholas R at age 26 by license in 1627, an heiress! She goes to Massachusetts in 1630 with Nicholas, and a son and a daughter. Pleased to have sorted her background, which was not known before. Made R @ B4m4s where wore new blazer and trousers, sat on top table and had a good social time; it was Young Employee award time. I become officially VP next Monday at Club Assembly. also made G4h+g4s where met the gang R/A/P for good relaxing chat. Thinking of last night's concert: Ravel was most likely the inspiration for the piano concerto and Prokofiev (Alexander Nevsky) that for the symphonies. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 4th: maximum 16C, minimum 6C, light E, cloudy morning, sunny afternoon. dry. Very good day. Leisurely morning, catching up on some paperwork and buying another Ag trefid spoon from 1700 on Ebay for 0.2k. Drove to CAL as no way back by train on Sunday evening after concert finishes. Stopped off at Throckley North from 15:40-16:55 and looked out for Honey-buzzard: not long to wait before a female was seen quite close at 16:03 in hunting mode over fields 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 with the male up in the same area a little later at 16:13 11 12 13 14 15 and near end the female soaring very high over the nest site in the wood at 16:37 16 (13030). Also in total of 15 bird-types had a Sedge Warbler (in thick area of brambles, first for year), a singing Garden Warbler and an anxious Chiffchaff. Only butterfly was a Large White. Earlier at 14:30 had a pair of displaying Common Buzzard at Ordley and at 15:10 had a Red Kite floating over Hexham NE. Made S well before concert off Metro to GHD and had tea (chicken curry) there plus a medium rw. Later had 1/2 a lager so being pretty moderate, but no after effects. Concert was remarkable with all of hall opened, even level 3, and AP said 70% of attendees were first time for Sage. I was in row D, 2nd from the front. No partners in sight, I was only one there, I think. RNS was enormous, bolstered by extra cello, double bass, percussion and brass. Effect was quite stunning: very much like dramatic film music but with pulsating rhythms in the cello and double bass, dramatic effects in the percussion and climaxes in the brass. The line-up was: Eckehard Stier conductor, Mischa Cheung piano, Nobuo Uematsu In a Roundabout Way – Fanfare; Nobuo Uematsu Final Fantasy VI – Symphonic Poem (Born with the Gift of Magic); Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu Final Fantasy X – Piano Concerto; Nobuo Uematsu Final Fantasy VII – Symphony in Three Movements. The piano concerto was in conventional form but quite jazzy, almost Ravel-like in its style. We had an encore by the confident and talented pianist and two more encores at the end of the concert after a standing ovation. If you like film music (as I do), this was a great concert, probably not otherwise! Plenty of people walking to GHD Metro from the concert: normally I'm on my own. Drove home from CAL -- too late back for G so straight home. Dipped on reception for North-East Gaming Association at the Sage: no real pretext to attend! Walked 7.5k steps, most for a while. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 3rd: maximum 16C, minimum 8C, light E, sunny all day, dry. Amazingly settled spell persists, not hot but very sunny. Made Warden from 13:20-14:35, where 3 Honey-buzzard sites in view. Had success at two of them with single males patrolling over their territories, at Warden at 13:44 just over the trees 1 2 3 4 5 (13028) and at Hexham High Wood at 13:59 and 14:06 moving higher before returning to the trees in a dive 1 2 (13029). Also had a Black Kite over Warden Hill (new site) gliding around briefly at 13:37 1 2. Other birds included a female Mallard with 7 ducklings 1 2 3. Total was 22 bird-types, including 9 Swallow, 6 Sand Martin, 1 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 4 Oystercatcher. 3 Banded Demoiselle were by the riverside at Warden 1. Butterflies comprised 3 Small White, 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Green-veined White, 2 Orange-tip male. On way back had a Common Buzzard at new hot spot for raptors: Loughbrow at 14:45. Watched FA Cup final on BBC1 when got back: the best team won! Met D/D at DoW4non-a+g4s for great chat. Did some more work on Neads/Irish families around 1600-1625: all getting sorted! Back to culture 2moro with Final Fantasy at S with RNS in evening: looking forward to it! Hope the gorgeous one is keeping well: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 2nd: maximum 16C, minimum 4C, light E, sunny all day, dry. Made Stocksfield Mount from 15:25-17:30. Conditions were good but activity was not high as birds settle to breed. Had a Red Kite up over Short Wood E at least twice at 15:44 and 16:50. A male Kestrel was up over the Mount at 16:14 1 2 3 4 5. Single male Honey-buzzard were up over Short Wood E at 15:52 and 16:30 1 2 3 (13025) and over Cottagebank at 15:59 4 (13026). The bird at Short Wood E is presumed to be from the site in the Ovington/Eltringham area so a new site for the year. Total of 22 bird-types included 8 Chiffchaff (some fledged), 7 displaying Swift, 1 Curlew, 1 Blackcap, 1 Garden Warbler, 1 Nuthatch, 1 Grey Heron, 1 GBBG 1s. Had good chat with N/D on Skype from 10:00-11:40. Then got house ready for cleaner S and went to QHC4s4l (tuna as usual) before getting in 90 min in QHL where progressed ANPA 2023 abstract by opening up more areas for literature review in metabiology; think can submit it in a few days after reviewing; going to be a lot of new work, maybe over ambitious, but Munich presentation is more a consolidation of last year's ANPA paper, now formally accepted for publication, so hopefully will not take too long. Passed another stress point with healing process with scabs on wound coming off in debris without incident. Walked 4.0k steps today and much the same the day before so up to target but 16 days of rest for op have reduced monthly average to 2.8k steps a day; relaxed about this as fitness trend is up! Funds ended up plus again after strong rally today. Each week seems to start poorly as investors reflect on the risks and then finish on a high as they see the potential rewards. Gain on week was 11k, meaning now just 21k off all-time high. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
June 1st: maximum 13C, minimum 5C, moderate NE, dull and cloudy all day with murk off the North Sea, lit coal fire in evening. Only wildlife reports today are 2 Grey Squirrel at Loughbrow (1 dead) at 13:00 and a Roe Deer on the road at Ordley at 23:55 (beware, collisions are bad for both animal and vehicle). Processed 19/5 Ordley and 27/5 Juniper, so now just 29/5-31/5 to do for May. M/B still testing +ve for Covid so again made T4m4l on own but nice to get out. W shopping delivered later -- cost £92. Did make G4h+g4s where met A/P for good chat with L on; 1st drink was non-alcoholic Heineken, 2nd drink was g; weaning myself back in there! Next concert is Final Fantasy on Sunday, with all the games fans, performed by RNS! 2moro it's N/D for Skype chat in morning, followed by QHC4s4l, QHL and walk at Bywell. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 31st: maximum 16C, minimum 8C, moderate E, sunny afternoon. felt cooler in stronger breeze. Processed 24/5 Styford. Did indeed make West Dipton from 15:25-17:10 and found a new Honey-buzzard site for the 'Shire as suspected from the movement further down the valley. As arrived at 15:25 two Common Buzzard were calling loudly and up in the air was a male Honey-buzzard who made a spectacular dive into the trees below. Also had 2 Red Kite, one again at the Dotland site at 16:40 1 and another at a new site in a copse S of Loadman Farm at 16:30 1. So the 'Shire is heaving with Red Kite: will explore further. May look at upstream of the Viewley site for Honey-buzzard as well as Red Kite. Also today in total of 27 bird-types had 4 Curlew, 2 Lapwing, 10 Linnet, 2 singing Garden Warbler, 10 Swallow, 1 Stock Dove, 5 Blackbird (1 juvenile), 4 Song Thrush (2 juvenile), 2 singing Skylark. One butterfly: a Large Skipper (first for year) 1 and one mammal: a Brown Hare. Daughter's family have closed deal on new house in Dubai; here's a few piccies 1 2 3; in 1 you can see elder granddaughter following daughter into house, younger one is probably already in! Had to outcompete a few Russians who are very active in Dubai at the moment! Plenty of room to stay! My new spoon arrived: a piece worthy of a Museum, indeed the exact same spoon is in Kent's Westcountry Ag Spoons and their Makers 1550-1750. Markets are fragile with ftse 100 lowest for 2 months on fears of just about everything; funds are -5k wtd, helped by rise in net asset value of my not insignificant Irish property holdings in BML but gain here outweighed by falls in commodity stocks. Tech stocks are much steadier. Walked 3.4k steps today, no gardening to avoid hematuria, at least 2 mates have gone down with Covid, wonder if that affected me last Saturday, fitness slowly improving but quite a few aches as stretch muscles again. Going to persevere: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 30th: maximum 16C, minimum 5C, light E, sunny all day. Processed 21/5 Ordley and 25/5 Dipton Wood N today, bringing year total to 99. Made Dotland at 15:50-17:30 from different angle and scored, finding a male Honey-buzzard up from 16:09-16:11 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (13021), a Common Buzzard at 15:59 1 2 and a Red Kite at 15:58 1, all soaring fairly low-down; so all 6 sites in the 'Shire now occupied but notice that the West Dipton birds are more to the E than usual; going to check the West Dipton Burn further up tomorrow to see whether there's a new pair there; the habitat has improved in this area over the last few years with more woodland spreading out from the deep-cutting burn. Over Loughbrow at 17:00 had a Red Kite in contention with a male Honey-buzzard at 17:00 1 2 and a female Honey-buzzard up on her own at 17:13 1 2 3 4 5, the bulky bird that has nested in West Dipton for a number of years (13022). Also had some interesting large gulls on cut silage field, which checking for Caspian Gull, found a convincing adult 1 2. Other gulls were 32 Black-headed Gull adult, 2 Common Gull 1s, 6 LBBG (3 ad, 3 2s), 39 Herring Gull (4 ad, 11 2s, 24 1s). Also in total of 26 bird-types for trip had 3 Chiffchaff, single Oystercatcher and Curlew, 2 Song Thrush (fledged). Butterflies were of 4 types: 3 Orange-tip male, 2 Green-veined White, 1 Small White, 1 Speckled Wood. At West Dipton had a Jay at 17:35 on way out. A Grey Heron was in flight over Dipton Wood S. So good late afternoon out. Did do some grass mowing at the back, clearing area around patio, but taking it easy. Still a bit of hematuria (not unusual at 3 weeks post-op) but feeling brighter mentally today, so catching up on bird records. Did 3.6k steps today, which is probably about right. Booked up hotel in Munich in late July for 5 days for Whitehead conference at Hotel Adria, close to park and university, for €840 including breakfast and taxi on arrival from Airport. Completed W order for Thursday -- £92, including some cleaning materials. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 29th: maximum 18C, minimum 5C, light E, sunny all day. Almost finished 25/5 compilation, just need to index piccies. Made Whitley Chapel to see whether Dotland site was occupied. No Honey-buzzard seen there yet but the pair at Dipton Wood S did get up for display from 16:29-16:35 as just leaving, with the male soaring first followed by the female, which was very satisfying 1 2 3 4 5 6 (13019). Also had a male Goshawk up at 16:35 with some Corvids and 2 Red Kite, one at Dotland at 15:40 1, other over Whitley Chapel from 15:45-15:52 1 2, a Common Buzzard just N of Whitley Chapel and a pair up further W at 16:11 at Rowley Burn. So good raptor list from 15:15-16:40. Have found occupancy at 5 out of 6 'Shire sites, just the Dotland one to go; they may have not returned yet or were on the N side of the site in West Dipton. Other birds today included a Common Redstart at Juniper on the roadside. Fields with grass cut for silage are popular with raptors (Red Kite and Common Buzzard) and gulls, looking for mice or big slugs. Total for trip was 26 bird-types, including a Raven calling overhead, 2 Curlew, 2 Lapwing, 15 Swallow, 1 Blackcap, 3 LBBG (ad, 2s, 1s). A Holly Blue butterfly was seen on the trip, so looks as if this species is becoming commoner in south Northumberland; also had 2 Large White, 2 Small White, 4 male Orange-tip, plus 2 Rabbit. AH made Tyne Green today and he said an enormous 'buzzard' was flying over the Tyne before turning N, think this will be the female Honey-buzzard from the site in Hexham N; also a female Goosander and 6 1/2 grown young on the Tyne. Had good chat with son for an hour on FB video; he's doing well. Made G4non-a4s with again P/A/R and great chat, keeping to the Heineken 0.0. Interesting day, rapidly recovering libido is main feature of health: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 28th: maximum 14C, minimum 4C, light E, sunny all day, some high-level cloud, dry, cooler with change in wind direction. Working on trip to Dipton Wood N/Swallowship on 26/5; will finish processing tomorrow. Concentrated on garden today, cutting grass in front and clipping weeds and shrubs, all went well, no reaction. Feeing well after yesterday's abstinence: think must keep to that for a while! Blazer arrived from Charles Tyrwhitt: very smart! Made G4non-a4s where met R/A/P for good chat. Very busy with bank holiday tomorrow (for recuperation), bringing the locals out! Had Heineken 0.0 -- quite a good taste -- went down well and only £3.65 a pint as less duty. Had long phone chat with big sis -- 45 min -- she's very supportive! Will give gardening a rest tomorrow -- no-mow May at the back! xxxxx XXX!!!!!! lok2tgrf: XXX!!!!!
May 27th: maximum 16C, minimum 7C, light W, sunny all day, some high-level cloud, dry. Did a walk from house towards Dotland over lunchtime from 11:30-13:15, another 4k steps. Had a few Honey-buzzard and enjoyed the walk but felt weak in afternoon when got home with irritated bladder and didn't really revive until going out to DoW4non-a4s. Honey-buzzard comprised a single female travelling at 12:15 from Swallowship area through W edge of Dipton Wood before turning slightly SW into Ordley site; she was recognisable by missing primary on her left wing 1 2 3 4 5 (13016); she had flown 5km on a feeding trip through 2 other Honey-buzzard territories. A male Honey-buzzard was up briefly over Loughbrow at 12:44 1 (13018). The resident male Honey-buzzard was hanging over W part of Dipton Wood, presumed from site a little to S at 12:32 and 12:54 1 2 (13017). So total of three Honey-buzzard from 3 sites. In high total of 34 bird-types also had a Common Gull 1s, a GBBG 1s, 3 LBBG ad, 3 singing Skylark, 11 Swallow, 3 Chiffchaff, 2 singing Garden Warbler. Butterflies were of 5 types: 1 Red Admiral (first for year), 6 Orange-tip (5 male, 1 female), 2 Speckled Wood, single Small White and Green-veined White. Alcohol is not so good at present I think (confirmed in their guidance) and am going to abstain totally for at least another 10-14 days. Tonight had a rose lemonade and 2 non-alcoholic lager Beck's and felt better for it. Had great chat with D/D and I paid for everyone as some recompense for their kindness in giving me lifts on TWOC day. Exercise is going well. May try a little lawn mowing tomorrow with emphasis on little! Very pleased to communicate with the special one: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Bought Ag spoon Exeter 1700 on Ebay under best offer scheme for k0.85. Funds actually were +9k gross, +7k net, last week, position helped with rally in US tech stocks of which hold £200k now. Only 1/4 of UK housebuilders retained: have had a decent run but feel that interest rates going to 6% is going to hold back their recovery. Have 88k cash.
May 26th: maximum 18C, minimum 7C, light W, sunny morning, some high-level cloud, dry. Did make the S for concert, driving to HEX station and going in by train to NCL with Metro to GHD. We had rehearsal, intro to new season and performance -- very stimulating. Olli Mustonen was the effervescent conductor and soloist in Grieg PC. We also had Nielsen 1, ending in a thunderous climax, and Sibelius 7, with moving passages by the brass. Was great to meet fellow partners again and they were pleased I was recovering fast, so very warm reception. Had tea there and a couple of rw; yesterday the alcohol was a shock to the system after 2.5 weeks abstinence; today's went down better and walked back to NCL, stopping at Br4rw4s after usual after-show drink with L. Caught last train to HEX. Walked 8k steps today so trying hard to regain fitness! Will catch-up over long weekend. Funds rallied well and sold most of UK housebuilders as think we're a basket case so plenty of cash in hand. Final result could show a small gain, still being worked out. Think next milestone will be on Wednesday 31/5: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 25th: maximum 17C, minimum 11C, light W, sunny morning, cloudier later, dry. Another active successful day, making Dipton Wood N from 11:20-13:00, seeing both Honey-buzzard and Black Kite over Swallowship area and many heathland passerines. The Honey-buzzard were a pair with female first up at 11:23 1 2 3 (13015), joined by male at 11:40 and a Black Kite together 4 soaring very high together. The Black Kite were also a pair but were up more briefly around 11:40 maybe in response to the Honey-buzzard display 1. Passerines included a Cuckoo calling, first of year. 4 Tree Pipit 1 2 (2 singing), 3 Meadow Pipit displaying, a pair of agitated Stonechat, 13 Linnet, 4 singing Willow Warbler, an agitated Bullfinch, plus 2 Greylag Goose heard nearby. Total was 20 bird-types. No Green Hairstreak were seen, must have dipped on these while being treated; only butterfly was a Green-veined White, interesting moth was a Wood Tiger. Then made T4m4l -- no M, B as B has got Covid -- but good to be back there and did stick with decaff, as doing at home. Caught up on quite a few tasks in afternoon and early evening before making G4g4s where met the gang R/P/A, very good to see them again, did have a couple of g, all OK. Feeling very tired at end of day but did do 4.5k steps today. Sponsored NYO for £12 a month, ordered a new indigo-blue blazer from Charles Tyrwhitt for £200 and paid €200 to Whitehead Conference for fee at Munich in late July. Think will take it easy tomorrow morning before trip to S for RNS rehearsal, next season publicity and concert. Thinking of someone: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 24th: maximum 16C, minimum 8C, light NW, sunny morning, cloudier afternoon. dry. Out today for first fieldwork away from home since 7/5. Went out to Styford where could walk a bit but not too much to vantage points. Plenty to see: a Black Kite over Bywell N at 11:55 floating low-down over the trees 1, another Black Kite high-flying over the Styford site from 12:55-12:57 2 3 4 5 6. Honey-buzzard comprised a male up over Bywell several times low-down from 11:48-12:03 1 2 3 4 followed by full display of the pair around 12:11 5 6 (13012). A male Honey-buzzard was up briefly over Shilford close to the nest site at 12:04 7 (13013). So that's 2 Honey-buzzard sites, both new for the year, and 2 Black Kite sites, one new for the year. This trip was from 11:40-13:10, finding 17 bird-types and 4 types of butterfly: 2 Green-veined White and single Orange-tip (male), Small White, Large White. . Then into Hexham to collect regular automatic prescriptions from Boots, have lunch at QHC where staff pleased to see me again and 2 hours in QHL where looked at ANPA 2023 abstract for this August in Liverpool; made some progress, need to balance ambition with past achievements! Then drove home, feeling fine for meal; walked 4.2k steps today. So good first day out. Indeed improved habits put far less stress on going out than before. N replied on my RNS pp sub; have raised this voluntarily to 2.5k a year, still with MG! Terrible day for markets today as US debt ceiling worries and persistent UK inflation weighed on markets. On the bright side the Bollywood tricksters paid today a substantial chunk of interest on their distressed bonds (13.5k), not a gain as in my accounts already as arrears but satisfying! My web stats recording system was down for much of day from 06:30-14:00. Fantastic raptor passage below. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
After 10/5-16/5 with no Black Kite records, a sudden influx on BirdGuides from 17/5:
19:29 24/05 Black Kite Staffordshire Morridge 16:20 one between Boarsgrove and Mermaid Pool then drifted west
19:22 22/05 Black Kite Cambridgeshire Wimpole Hall Park 18:30 one flew north over over avenue reedbed
07:26 22/05 Black Kite Dorset Stanpit Marsh 21/05 one flew north-west yesterday morning
18:50 21/05 Black Kite Cornwall Stithians Reservoir 16:30 one flew west
10:51 21/05 Black Kite Cornwall Lizard (village) one flew high east over Lizard Downs with Red Kites
10:42 21/05 Black Kite Cornwall Carnyorth Common 08:20 one flew SSW towards St Just
22:43 20/05 Black Kite Clwyd Minera 19:50 one over Esclusham Mountain at c 53.0494, -3.1099 viewed from road to World's End
15:21 20/05 Black Kite Pembrokeshire Pembroke 13:00 one flew over
13:54 20/05 Black Kite Hampshire Wilverley Plain one reported at Wilvery Inclosure
22:24 18/05 Black Kite Dorset Poole 17/05 individual in Poole Park yesterday afternoon was an escape (called Robin) from Liberty's Owl & Raptor Centre Ringwood
12:40 18/05 Black Kite Cornwall Carharrack 09:15 probable flew over
11:11 18/05 Black Kite Cornwall Perranwell 09:15 one flew over
11:10 18/05 Black Kite Cornwall Perranarworthal 07:30 one flew towards Bissoe
20:24 17/05 Black Kite Dorset Poole one in Poole Park this afternoon
And what a haul on BirdGuides of Honey-buzzard since 14/5 (28 sightings of which 14 in last 2 days!):
21:57 24/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent Broadstairs one flew over seafront
21:34 24/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent Canterbury 20:50 one flew north over Nackington Road
12:56 24/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent South Foreland 12:55 second individual flew low north over upper valley
12:53 24/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent Edenbridge 12:51 one circling over fields to south-west of Edenbridge with 8 Common Buzzards
11:45 24/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent South Foreland one flew low north over valley
10:15 24/05 European Honey Buzzard Somerset & Bristol High Littleton 09:01 one flew north-west over Stephen’s Wood
08:46 24/05 European Honey Buzzard Dorset Swanage 23/05 one flew north yesterday
16:15 23/05 European Honey Buzzard Warwickshire Frankton 13:40 one flew north-west over Highfield Farm
14:06 23/05 European Honey Buzzard Worcestershire Wassell Grove 14:00 adult flew low north over Wassell Grove Pools
13:08 23/05 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Titchwell RSPB 12:50 one reported low south-east over car park
09:32 23/05 European Honey Buzzard Nottinghamshire Welbeck watchpoint 22/05 adult male yesterday
11:37 22/05 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Kelling 11:25 one flew south
09:38 22/05 European Honey Buzzard Jersey Sorel Point one flew north-east
07:57 22/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent Dungeness RSPB 20/05 one flew over on Saturday afternoon
21:09 21/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent Maidstone 19:30 probable flew low over A249 at Detling Hill (viewed from moving car) this evening
19:49 21/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent New Romney 15:00 20/05 one flew east yesterday afternoon
11:39 21/05 European Honey Buzzard Isles of Scilly Gugh 11:00 one flew north
10:53 21/05 European Honey Buzzard Isles of Scilly St Mary's 10:50 one flew towards Buzza Hill
15:00 19/05 European Honey Buzzard Cambridgeshire Grafham Water 14:44 one circled over dam between 14:35 and 14:44 then flew north-west over Savages Creek
12:49 18/05 European Honey Buzzard Cornwall Polgigga 12:45 one flew east
07:56 18/05 European Honey Buzzard Isles of Scilly St Mary's 06:45 probable flew east over Buzza Tower
21:24 17/05 European Honey Buzzard North Yorkshire Burniston dark morph flew south mid-afternoon
14:55 17/05 European Honey Buzzard Wiltshire Bradford-on-Avon 14:55 one flew north-west
13:54 17/05 European Honey Buzzard Gloucestershire Purton 13:48 one circled overhead then flew high NNW towards Severn Estuary
12:15 17/05 European Honey Buzzard Northumberland Holy Island 12:10 one reported south over The Snook
14:54 16/05 European Honey Buzzard Norfolk Swanton Novers watchpoint 10/05 one reported from raptor watchpoint on Fulmodeston Road last Wednesday; view only from the watchpoint, do not park along the road and do not enter the woods or surrounding agricultural land
08:51 16/05 European Honey Buzzard Nottinghamshire Budby 08:40 one over Hazel Gap then flew north
22:05 15/05 European Honey Buzzard Dorset Bere Regis one flew north over Wild Woodbury
May 23rd: maximum 16C, minimum 8C, light NW, sunny morning, then bright with some high cloud. dry. Today had usual walk to crossroads, seeing a Grey Heron, single Bullfinch, Greenfinch, Siskin, an occupied Starling nest, 2 Magpie, 2 House Martin building nest at neighbours, an alarm-calling Green Woodpecker, an agitated Common Buzzard. Butterflies comprised 3 types: 5 Orange-tip (4 male, 1 female), 2 Speckled Wood, 3 Green-veined White (becoming commoner). Quiet day, keeping calm before tomorrow! Funds -12k wtd: US debt ceiling is latest market worry: always some unfolding tragedy in end of bear market! Have made great progress on the passengers on the 1630 trip to Massachusetts, identifying Nicholas R's wife as passenger born Anne Neads 1601 in Somerset, married Henry Irish 1622, he died, married Nicholas R 1627 by license, which I discovered. Previously she was Ann ?. They went with 2 young children, Edward R aged 2 and Ann R a few months old. So making an impression on the Puritan migration folks! As said before, think the women have been poorly studied compared to the men. So wish me luck tomorrow as start driving again and my re-assimilation into the Hexham community: giving priority to social life but wildlife not far behind! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 22nd: maximum 16C, minimum 8C, light E, sunny morning, then cloudy, few spots of rain. Not much sitting outside today. Did over 2.3k steps around lane outside, finding 3 Grey Heron as a 2 and a 1, must be nesting in valley, 2 Tree Sparrow as a pair, 1 Pied Wagtail on roof again and a Dipper flying near my house at low altitude going W, if following line of Devil's Water. Received delivery from W for £79 of groceries and new shovel at last arrived for handling fuel. Feeling better today and hematuria has stopped, even woke up feeling in the mood, only 9 days to go: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Paper accepted for International Whitehead Conference in Munich in late July; booked flights with KLM from NCL via Amsterdam, cost £355. Need to pay conference fee in next few days (€200) and book hotel (Ibis?). RNS let my principal partner standing order lapse: sent them reminder; think charge per quarter will rise to £750 with new contract as elevated to supporting section leader (MG). Planning Wednesday out in field and at QH, Thursday at T and G, Friday at S for rehearsal/concert, Saturday at DoW. So planning to come back with a swing! There will be fieldwork on the other days as well and will start some gentle gardening. Want to get up to 4-5k steps a day. If hematuria returns have to rest immediately.
May 21st: maximum 17C, minimum 6C, light NW, sunny all day, dry. A brilliant spring day and enjoying being outside in shorts. Completed processing recent records and piccies up to 17/5 so not lagging too badly. Updated Honey-buzzard totals on seasonal spreadsheet, for 2023, and in spite of restrictions have 4 sites, 3 male, 3 female, so far, 3 of which are visible from my house. Black Kite have been found at 5 sites, 4 occupied last year and one new one (Ordley!) with 6 birds seen; only one site is visible from my house. Raptors today comprised a female Honey-buzzard up at 12:00 with the male up separately at 12:30, both quite flighty, 2 Common Buzzard calling from the site nearest to the Honey-buzzard one; a pair of Red Kite circling over Blackhall Mill Wood, one bird later moving S to forage. Other birds included 2 Yellowhammer male, a pair of Linnet, 12 Jackdaw in ash trees with young calling from nest, 2 singing Garden Warbler, 2 singing Chiffchaff. Butterflies today were of 5 types: 1 Peacock, 8 Orange-tip (5 male, 3 female), 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Small Tortoiseshell. 1 Small White. Mammals comprised 5 Brown Hare (bred in my field, adult and 4 young out on cereal field, lovely sight) and 14 Rabbit. P paid a visit: good to see him! Not out from base today and same for next 2 days, where have declined 2 Rotary events and 2 G sessions: evidently driving can damage repairing tissue if you have to make a sudden turn and your ability to control the car may be affected by pain/discomfort so have followed what the consultant said! Wednesday is freedom day, from which will gradually work up activity. Increased exercise to 2k steps a day in last 2 days and will maintain this level over next 2 days. Doesn't sound a lot but it's double what I was doing a week ago. Hope it all went brilliantly: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 20th: maximum 16C, minimum 7C, light NW, sunny all day, dry. A brilliant spring day and enjoying being outside in shorts. Only two raptors today, a Red Kite over Blackhall Mill wood near Juniper, seen after a little amble down the lane to a new vantage point (for the week) and a Common Buzzard calling from Peth Foot. Swift numbers remain at 4, giving great spectacle as they wheel around Lee Grange screaming. There are 2 Garden Warbler sites and a singing Yellowhammer and a Linnet in flight added 2 types to my convalescence list. Butterflies species-wise are good but not happy with the numbers: had a Peacock yesterday and today had 5 types: 2 Holly Blue (well-established it seems on the ivy by the road), 6 Orange-tip (all male), 2 Speckled Wood, 2 Small Tortoiseshell, 2 Small White (first for year). All very good wishes for tomorrow: do have a ticket but building for the future and following my consultant's commands!! Am doing some genealogy these 2 weeks: analysing the 6 children of Nicholas R in the 17th century in Somerset. These 6 children are 5 daughters, one son; the son has been studied exhaustively as a Presbyterian preacher and total non-conformist (fitting in with the Puritan movement and my relations that went to found a colony in Massachusetts) and the daughters completely neglected. Have found in the last 2 days that Martha R (1639-1703) married Matthew Warren, a prominent Presbyterian preacher, gentleman (he had money or maybe hers!) and founder of a Dissenting Academy at Taunton in Somerset, England. So Martha R was indeed also quite radical! Looking forward to researching the other four! Son left at 1pm for Stevenage, by taxi to HEX initially as still not driving. Really grateful for his practical and moral support over the last 5 days. Thinking of the gorgeous one as distance narrows: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 19th: maximum 15C, minimum 6C, light W, showers early morning, sunny midday and afternoon. Did some watching over the Devil's Water and from 16:40-16:50 had a male Honey-buzzard up for 10 min in display 1 2 3 4 5 (13010) just after a Common Buzzard 1 2 had been forced back to ground by two aggressive Crow. Also from around 16:00 had a Lapwing calling, an Oystercatcher, a Great-Spotted Woodpecker, 5 Swallow displaying. Butterflies comprised 3 types: 1 Peacock, 2 Orange-tip (male, female), 1 Speckled Wood. Feeling brighter and have taken off compression stockings after 10 days so as to make legs move more freely and can now wear shorts: great bonus! Son leaves tomorrow afternoon: he's been a great help, cooking and helping with heavy items. Cleaner S arrived with son and did a great job of restoring order. Had relaxing bath at end of day: another re-found pleasure. Funds were +16k this week with UK housebuilders and US tech leading the way. So in 5 days will be driving again and hopefully getting out a bit more. In 12 days can resume stimulating activities!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 18th: maximum 15C, minimum 10C, light W, mainly overcast, few bright intervals, dry. A petulant display by 6 Common Buzzard 1 over Peth Foot this morning as soon as it brightened up a bit at 13:00; they were high up, frequent calling and looked like a show of strength for the benefit of the summer visitors (Honey-buzzard, Black Kite); went on for 10 min and presumably they were all off their nests; 10 Crow were in the trees below, marvelling at the display and maybe seeing if they'd get a chance for a Buzzard egg! Later did a watch from the road but no raptors seen, so maybe all scared witless! Pleased that local Swift numbers increased to 4; 3 is never a good number! Also had singing Blackcap, Garden Warbler, Chiffchaff (all singles), a Nuthatch (nesting in my garden area for first time). Butterflies comprised a Holly Blue (different individual on underside spots 1 2 3 4) and a male Orange-tip. Bit more active today, still progressing with no setbacks but keeping to consultant's advice which is to keep pulse rate and BP down for 2 weeks to avoid bleeding. Looking forward to next Wednesday when can drive and start engagements again. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 17th: maximum 16C, minimum 10C, light W, sunny periods, cloudier by late afternoon, dry. Added 7/5 Hexham to BirdTrack as well as 15/5 and 16/5, leaving 14/5 in backlog. Nicer day, did a bit more birdwatching, mainly over the Devil's Water and Slaley Forest. Had good views of a Red Kite to S 1 2 3, a Honey-buzzard male quickly lifting off the burn area and moving W 1 (13008), plus a few more raptor sightings, over Slaley forest to SW (Rawgreen) around 13:30 with a Red Kite up high and a pair of Honey-buzzard in active display, including the classical chase, diving towards the trees: this is the 4th Honey-buzzard site for season now. The 3 returning Swift were in great form, screaming as they flew low over my head, very inspiring! Noted a Nuthatch, a Grey Heron, a singing Whitethroat again, persistent Garden Warbler song, a Long-tailed Tit nesting in front garden, 2 Lesser Redpoll, a Swallow. Butterflies comprised 4 Orange-tip (3 male, 1 female), 1 Speckled Wood, 1 Green-veined White (first for year). M came around early afternoon for chat, to replace our usual trip to T tomorrow. Had quiche, jacket potato and broccoli for supper, cooked by son, excellent. Feeling brighter today and infection seems to have gone: she's gorgeous: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 16th: maximum 15C, minimum 7C, light NW, sunny intervals, mainly dry. Completed processing of piccies 7/5 Hexham and will add records to BirdTrack tomorrow. Had pork stir-fry with masses of veg for meal tonight, cooked by son, very tasty! Daughter sent an orchid in a pot and a high-class tea from M&S! Antibiotics finished today so keeping a careful watch for any resurgence of UTI. Feeling OK, no better, no worse! No great walks today. Had a Brown Rat in the garden, a Holly Blue laying eggs on my ivy bush 1 2 3 4 5 6 7, 4 Orange-tip (3 male, 1 female), a Siskin bouncing through the trees, a singing Chiffchaff. Funds +3k wtd. So fortified by my friends: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Interested to see that the real cause of decline in nature in Europe has been scientifically established as intensive farming with pesticides and herbicides. Always thought the previous attribution to climate change was glib (and very misleading). Of course the climate is warming slowly so we are seeing some northern species move yet further N and some southern species moving N to the UK. But the climate has moved up and down by a few degrees at regular intervals since the last ice age, so many species will adapt to some extent. Loss of farmland birds is 56.8% since 1980 -- absolutely staggering. With the spread of dilute 'renewable' energy into many remaining wild areas, hope is fading for wildlife in Europe. England is now the most densely populated part of Europe, overtaking Holland, but at least in Northumberland we have a relatively sparse population. England also has the lowest forest cover in Europe. https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2023/may/15/intensive-farming-is-biggest-cause-of-bird-decline-in-europe-study-says .Source: Stanislas Rigal, Vasilis Dakos, Hany Alonso, Vincent Devictor, Farmland practices are driving bird population decline across Europe, PNAS vol 120 no.21 https://www.pnas.org/doi/full/10.1073/pnas.2216573120 with Significance:
Using the most recent and largest empirical dataset ever assembled for Europe to investigate the effect of anthropogenic pressures, we highlighted the predominant detrimental impact of agriculture intensification on avian biodiversity at a continental scale over climate change, urbanization, and forest cover changes. Our results do not simply quantify correlations, but our analytical design is meant to strive for more quasicausal responses of bird populations to global change drivers. This paper contributes to the highest political and technical challenge faced by agricultural policy in Europe, struggling to balance high productivity from intensive agricultural practices with environmental protection, and the results are therefore crucial to policymakers, scientists, and the general public concerned for biodiversity and global change issues.
May 15th: maximum 13C, minimum 5C, light W, sunny intervals, mainly dry. Working on 7/5 Hexham just before op, processing piccies. Very little birdwatching today, taking it very easy. Did hear a Whitethroat in my roadside hedge. Son duly arrived at 17:45, and did me proud by bringing in coal (not supposed to be carrying loads) and cooking a nourishing dinner from scratch (spag bol). So very pleased at his arrival! He can WFH up here: brought up his work laptop. Rested all day, haematuria has gone but still feeling a little weak. Still wearing post-op stockings. Much as tempted, have to stop raising BP by getting excited as this causes bleeding: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 14th: maximum 15C, minimum 4C, light W, hazy sunshine in morning, becoming cloudy with a little rain in late afternoon. Not nearly as fine as yesterday but raptors much more obvious, a brilliant blue sky can sometimes be disappointing in terms of results. Star event of day was return of 3 Swift to my neighbour's house, wheeling excitedly around it at 19:00, just back from Africa. But a very good show was put on from 11:30-13:30 by the Honey-buzzard and Black Kite: the former displaying as a pair and floating around the territory (13006) 1 2 3; the latter as a pair 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 liking to circle with the male Honey-buzzard and is surely nesting in the vicinity. A Common Buzzard was overseeing the action 1 2 3 4 5 6. Did a supplementary count to yesterday, not another complete one, adding the two preceding raptors, 3 Common Buzzard (keen to nest and keep low but disturbed by the other raptors' display), the 3 Swift, a Goosander female flying over Devil's Water coming down in the trees (probably nesting there), a singing Great Tit, 2 Black-headed Gull adult, 2 Long-tailed Tit with nest. In the distance in Slaley Forest slightly SE (Trygill) picked up a male Honey-buzzard flying low through the trees at 13:40 (13007): that's site no. 3 for the year. Butterflies included this Orange-tip female 1 2 3, plus a male. Record-wise completed processing 6/5 so catching up a bit! One more to do pre-op 7/5 at Hexham. I was too pessimistic on funds: actual fall on week was relatively slight at 6k in both net and gross. Paul asked me out to G but declined; think already overdid it today (2k steps) as slight haematuria again, must continue to rest as consultant said. On the plus side having baths again which really enjoy. Son is coming up tomorrow for a few days to provide some support. Had big delivery from W today -- £108, after asking him for a shopping list! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Two Honey-buzzard reported today on BirdGuides:
09:45 14/05 European Honey Buzzard Dorset one flew over
08:34 14/05 European Honey Buzzard Isle of Wight 17:00 13/05 one flew north yesterday (13/05 17:00)
May 13th: maximum 16C, minimum 5C, light E, sunny all day. Out in garden at Ordley quite a lot for my short walks. Had 26 types of bird, including a female Sparrowhawk displaying, single singing Garden Warbler and Chiffchaff, a Jay, a singing Curlew, a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker, 2 Tree Sparrow holding territory, plus 3 types of butterfly: 3 Orange-tip (2 male,1 female), 3 Speckled Wood, 1 Holly Blue (exceptional!), and 1 mammal: 2 Rabbit. In weather like this, not minding my confinement! Phoned by N about UTI, worried by their analysis pre-op; said taking antibiotic trimethoprim prescribed by N; she said go to GP immediately after course finishes if still infected; think it's down at a low ebb now and have 3 days left of pills. Hope trip to my homeland went well: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 12th: maximum 11C, minimum 6C, light NE, murky all day. Hopefully end of health saga today as passed TWOC with flying colours -- distinction! Nurse was very empathetic and encouraging. D (drinking pal at DoW) drove me in at 08:00 and did errands around Tyneside while I was at the N from 08:50-12:30, and then drove me home. That was so helpful. So from 23/5 can become more active and drive again. Friends have been marvellous! Will continue to do what the medics say. Feeling better as suspect UTI is being knocked out by the antibiotics but it's not gone yet. Have added piccies for 1/5-3/5, leaving just 6/5 and 7/5 to do. Will then present early season summary. Certainly been a down week for funds but not calculated damage yet! US debt ceiling is latest worry: in bear markets, investors always look on the dark side. Don't think we're into a bull market yet, except in perhaps some US tech stocks and UK housebuilders, of which hold quite a few. Undervalued investment trusts of which also own a few remain just that! Lovely to chat to someone gorgeous again: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Four Honey-buzzard on BirdGuides today:
20:59 12/05 European Honey Buzzard Surrey Banstead Downs 09:45 pale morph flew over
20:10 12/05 European Honey Buzzard Surrey Guildford 20:04 one from moving car on A3 this evening
16:22 12/05 European Honey Buzzard West Sussex Worthing 15:02 one flew north over Heene Road
13:06 12/05 European Honey Buzzard Surrey Dorking adult male flew over
May 11th: maximum 14C, minimum 8C, light SW, sunny morning, cloudy midday. Three days out of my life: admitted 9/5 at N in J at 12:00, op started at 16:30, came round in recovery room at 18:45, taken back to my room 19:30, meal 20:30, very shallow sleep. Anaesthetic was without ceremony, just while talking about my university life. Test showed I'd got a UTI on arrival (high nitrites and leukocytes, but negative glucose, ketone, protein): antibiotics prescribed. Staff were very friendly, caring and efficient. 10/5: saw consultant at 07:30, said all good; P drove me home at 11:30, feeling weak but appetite good and drinking a lot of water and fruit juice as recommended. Have post-op stockings, hematuria (expected), post-op pain (expected, treated by paracetamol) and fatigue but good appetite. 11/5: all symptoms better but still feeling weak and a little sore, not socialising but plenty of good wishes on Internet and eating well. 12/5: interim checks at N again as outpatient; D is driving me in and I'll get a taxi back.
None of my own fieldwork! Updates for Black Kite and Honey-buzzard from BirdGuides:
18:43 09/05 Black Kite Orkney Langskaill Plantation, Mainland earlier reported individual has been re-identified from photographs as a Common Buzzard
17:18 09/05 Black Kite Essex Chelmsford 17:00 possible flew west over Chelmer Park
13:00 09/05 Black Kite Orkney Langskaill Plantation, Mainland probable flew over early afternoon
07:59 11/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent Dungeness NNR 10:40 10/05 one flew north over Dungeness Point yesterday
15:21 09/05 European Honey Buzzard Durham Darlington adult flew east over town centre
Son is coming up next week on Monday. Very happy with support from friends, particularly the very special one, and relations. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 8th: maximum 15C, minimum 10C, light E, heavy rain all day. No fieldwork today, indeed taking it very easy! Added to BirdTrack records from 1/5 and 2/5 and processed piccies for both days. Have located the original marriage license and bond for Nicholas R dated 17 Apr 1627: his bride was called Anne Arishe, an unusual name, eastern. Taking comfort from support from best friends and family!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 7th: maximum 17C, minimum 10C, light SE, misty at times, basically sunny, still warmer, forecast fortunately not right. Made Hexham by Tyne this afternoon from 14:30-15:55 and had some good raptor sightings in the improving conditions: a female Honey-buzzard up repeatedly over Hexham NE 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 (13005), a Red Kite soaring high once over Hexham N 1, 2 Common Buzzard up briefly at Hexham NE, annoyed by Honey-buzzard over-flying them, a Black Kite up briefly over Hexham N 1, a male Hobby over Tyne, seen once briefly 1. So 5 types of raptors -- very productive. Also in total of 28 bird-types had a Swift, a singing Blackcap, 6 Sand Martin. 2 Grey Heron, 2 Oystercatcher, 1 Mistle Thrush, 2 singing Chiffchaff, 2 Greenfinch. Butterflies in Hexham comprised 3 Orange-tip males. Had 2 Common Buzzard up at Ordley, just before coming out. Made Cnt4g4s with P, with R/A away, for good chat. He's taking me in to N and fetching me next day so that will be a great help. W shopping arrived today, up to £82 by end; includes decaf tea and coffee strongly recommended by consultant and no booze. Spoke to son, he's probably coming up in week 2. Special thanks to someone gorgeous for keeping me calm: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Here's reports in May for the top raptors of interest [BirdGuides]:
!3:35 07/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent Dungeness RSPB 13:35 one flew low north tover ARC Pit
15:30 05/05 European Honey Buzzard Hampshire Fareham female flew east over Catisfield
11:56 05/05 European Honey Buzzard Kent Grove Ferry NNR 11:15 probable flew north-west
10:52 05/05 European Honey Buzzard Argyll Coll 04/05 one reported over Arinagour yesterday evening
10:52 04/05 European Honey Buzzard Dorset Portland 10:38 one flew in off at the Bill and continued north along West Cliff
18:08 02/05 European Honey Buzzard Leicestershire and Rutland Great Easton 15:40 dark morph flew over
12:04 02/05 European Honey Buzzard Guernsey St Peter Port one flew north over Vauvert
22:24 07/05 Black Kite Caithness Nybster one flew over this afternoon
13:33 07/05 Black Kite Northamptonshire Lyveden New Bield 11:45 one reported north over Bearshank Wood
19:55 04/05 Black Kite Powys Caersws 10:47 adult reported this morning
11:52 04/05 Black Kite North Yorkshire Rillington 11:45 one flew east
17:36 03/05 Black Kite East Sussex Darvell one reported low north late afternoon
13:35 01/05 Black Kite Dorset Bincombe Hill 10:05 one flew east over Coombe Valley
May 6th: maximum 15C, minimum 8C, light E, hazy sunshine, warm again. Got out for a walk mid-afternoon just to N of home from 15:50-16:55, where had to E a male Honey-buzzard1 2 (13004) and a Black Kite 1 2 3, soaring from time to time but mainly much closer to the ground. Also in total of 23 bird-types had a singing Willow Warbler, a bubbling Curlew, 6 Swallow, 5 displaying Mallard, plus 2 types of butterfly: 3 Orange-tip (2 male, 1 female), 1 Speckled Wood. On way to pub at Newton at 20:15 had another Black Kite over fields on the hill between Corbridge and Styford at Thornborough; it was flapping and gliding over A69, moving S, maybe back to Dilston site or to Farnley Good social day: chatting to D/D at DoW4g4s and someone very special: xxxxx XXX!!!!!
May 5th: maximum 15C, minimum 7C, light SE, hazy sunshine, felt much warmer. Sorting out various affairs in morning, including Skype chat with N/D, before making QHC4s4l and QHL for more work on ANPA 2023 abstract; reading recent book on metabiology, giving broader introduction before launching into Whitehead's work on feelings. Did some more work on Nicholas R (1599-1650) this evening, adapting the format to that preferred by the Great Migration Project for the early Puritans on Wikitree. Am keeping active before the big day but avoiding crowds; steps average up to 4.3k now a day. Ordered shopping from W for home delivery c£70 on Sunday lunchtime. Gave cleaner S holiday bonus as she goes to Portugal for a week. Paid all bills at Nuffield, almost 8.5k in all. Funds finished week -1k net, -7k gross, after 6k of withdrawals. As so often recently week starts badly for stocks but people are more confident by Friday. It's good to chat: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 4th: maximum 9C, minimum 6C, moderate E, dull all day, quite raw, very poor weather for early May. No fieldwork today. Met M at T4m4l and P at G4g4s so decent social life today. Opened BACS account to Nuffield, paying 0.5k, and with same mechanism also paid £240 for the consultation; main payments tomorrow morning, have extended overdraft facility to 2k to give more flexibility. Report on consultation was interesting, confirming benign but definitely on the large size (BPH), quite a lot of trimming to do - HoLEP only option. Cancelled two appointments at Freeman for 9/5; took 20 min with 4 indirections but they were very grateful for info and pleased I was getting the procedure. For light relief, added to WikiTree, PCC will for my namesake Nicholas R. who went to Massachusetts in 1630, in a total of 13 puritan Rs led by his father Edward R getting 50 acres of land each in Dorchester (part of Boston today) from the Massachusetts Bay Company. Value today? However Nicholas came back to Combe St Nicholas in Somerset c1635 to mange the significant residuary but indebted estates of his father in England. Nicholas died in the Civil War and his son Edward was reported dead in 1650 at the admon but he returned alive to become a prominent Presbyterian in Taunton. Strangely the son who stayed in Boston and made a go of it was called Bryan or Bray, my first name. My lot peeled off the Combe St Nicholas family about 70 years earlier; think they were still puritans but more earthy!! Glad to hear from someone: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 3rd: maximum 15C, minimum 5C, light E, sunny most of time but little hazy, a warm day compared with some recent ones. At Ordley first Garden Warbler returned and singing persistently with Willow Warbler still singing. Highlight was a hornet, on the flowering, prickly berberis, first one I've seen well in the garden, lingering on the flowers, where it goes for other feeding insects as well as nectar; this one is a queen 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11. I see an Asian Hornet has been sighted in April in Northumberland: this one at Ordley is a European Hornet. Honey-buzzard (including the eastern variant) attack nests of all hornet species across the world to eat the grubs inside! On train had 5 Mute Swan from Bywell to Scotswood, 3 Goosander drake at Ovingham and Wylam, and a pair of Shelduck at Derwenthaugh. In Jesmond had 2 singing Blackcap and a singing Chiffchaff. Had early start, up at 7, making the assessment at 10, lasting until 11:30 with ECG, blood samples, BP, BMI, groin skin sample, arm skin swab, urine sample; looks like the die is cast with many documents received, including bill for £8234, which intending to pay on Friday. One change is they insisted on me giving a contact, who will pick me up, take me home and remain in attendance or in close contact for 24 hours, instead of my more casual approach. Think it's a discharge requirement so have agreed to it. Saw 2 nurses, one doing the samples and collecting the data, the other going through a long questionnaire; all very friendly and nice atmosphere, putting me more at ease. Feeling pretty listless for rest of day: not much achieved other than sitting in garden and texting mates: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Funds are -7k wtd: masses of uncertainty as interest rates continue to climb but UK housebuilders are a bright spot.
May 2nd: maximum 10C, minimum 6C, light E, little brightness, mostly murky. Went for walk around Close House from 16:15-17:15. Again saw the female Honey-buzzard at 16:45, this time moving N towards Lee, circling fairly low looking for food, accompanied by the Black Kite1 2 3 (13003), which seems to have adopted her as a motherly figure! Or maybe he's keeping an eye on where she goes, looking for where the food is. Also had 2 Common Gull (ad, 2s), 2 Oystercatcher, 3 Lapwing, 1 Curlew. Dinner with P at B was satisfying. Up early tomorrow for another check! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
May 1st: maximum 13C, minimum 3C, light W, some sunshine in morning up to around 14:30 then murk and rain returned, mild but hardly warm. Again did some raptor watching locally from 13:30-15:00, seeing the pair of Honey-buzzard again, with female particularly prominent 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 (13002), a Common Buzzard 1 and the Black Kite, much more obvious today, and now have a pair present 1 2 3 4 5. Had a Swift N (first for year) and 2 House Martin N plus 8 of the latter feeding over the Devil's Water. A Goldfinch flew N yesterday and had 3 around home on 2/5. A Blackcap was singing at Peth Foot. 3 Song Thrush were singing in area and a Nuthatch was still prominent. Have added piccies to yesterday's parade! Made G4g4s to meet P for good chat. Meeting him for dinner at B tomorrow if schedule permits. Both A/R are away. Soothed greatly by chatting to the fancied one: she's very supportive and helpful: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 30th: maximum 13C, minimum 8C, light SW, murky, wet morning, drier as wind turned SW from E but still dull, milder. Dramatic change in weather mid-afternoon around 4pm with temperature rise, causing an explosion of raptors around the Devil's Water at Ordley. Highlight was a pair of Honey-buzzard in active display 1 2 3 4, first seen this season, looking very fit and enjoying life back here, doing extensive forays over countryside, seeing what's changed and what's stayed the same; here's male 5 6 7 and female 8 9 10 11 12 13 on their own (13001). Had a single Red Kite up for some time, in reconnaissance over area to SSE and a Common Buzzard up from local site, annoyed at all the activity from the Honey-buzzard. Star bird though was a Black Kite up near the end 1, a bit to W of Red Kite site, and being mobbed by 3-4 Rook 2 3 4 5 6 as obviously something out of the ordinary; expecting them to settle here this year as been seen here fairly regularly over last 3 years. So 5 raptors of 4 types! There were 2 sightings of Black Kite nationally [BirdGuides], both in Yorkshire:
19:26 30/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Helmsley reported again to the north late morning
18:00 30/04 Black Kite South Yorkshire Burbage Valley17:54 one flew over Higger Tor
Had a quiet day, catching up with things. Not out to G tonite but will be there tomorrow. lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 29th: maximum 9C, minimum 6C, light NE, murky but dry all day until evening when heavy rain, cold for time of year. No fieldwork today in the poor weather but did have 2 Grey Heron over A69 at Beaufront S at dusk as drove to DoW4g4s to meet D/D for good chat. Completed Honey-buzzard habitat survey for Barhaugh Hall, making 4th done for upper South Tyne; hope to do upper Barhaugh Burn tomorrow from same trip on 18/4. Sent package of diagrams and adjusted text to ANPA 2022 editors; next step is abstract for ANPA 2023 using metabiology as the theme. Funds rose 1k last week with rapid positive turnround in last 2 days. Looks much more positive for activities planned from July onwards, which is very encouraging! Spring fieldwork is going to be limited. Music and nature are the great healers: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Two recent Black Kite reports, one in Ireland, other in North Yorkshire favoured area [BirdGuides]:
11:41 28/04 Black Kite Wexford Lady's Island Lake 11:15 one circled overhead then flew east
09:26 30/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Helmsley 29/04 again photographed in area yesterday
April 28th: maximum 12C, minimum 6C, light E, wet morning becoming drier but still overcast, continuing cool. Very busy day: chat with N/D on Skype for 80 min from 10:00, car fill with E10 petrol £57, W4bigshop £77 midday, Sele surgery to collect prescription for 20mg statin, Boots for the chemicals, QHC4l4s. Then QHL where made adjustments to now accepted ANPA 2022 paper to convert all diagrams to jpeg and to redraw a Leinster diagram to avoid copyright problems. Had very welcome telephone call at 16:00. Then into NCL, where walked across HLB, stopping at Br4g4t before having meal at S with T/L and meeting S/M a little later. Concert was fantastic with Sarah Connolly singing Mahler's Rückert-Lieder, such poignant movements particularly the last one and the third where she took on the vast orchestra's power. More to follow on this .... Stayed for drink with L/M/S and then got taxi back to NCL for last train to HEX. Have done 24k steps in last 3 days, improving fitness, in spite of the discomfort. Started taking statin tonight. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 27th: maximum 10C, minimum 5C, light SE, murky, continuing cool. Yesterday was a good day medically with BP 142-82, down a bit as measured by GP; she's putting me on statins to try and reduce cardiovascular risk further; problem in prescribing them means I haven's started yet! Attended Nuffield in evening at Jesmond for consultation with TP, who's put me on list for HoLEP with op in 4-6 weeks, cost 8.3k plus a few extras including consultation today at £240 for 30 min. Very pleased at positive outcome, including digital rectum exam again indicating BPH. Before op need pre-op a week before. Op is full anaesthetic for 2 hours, no need for overnight stay often but in 3 weeks afterwards there are strict limits on exercise, no driving for a week and one to two return visits for checks; after that full recovery in nearly all cases and no return of retention. So must keep going in resolve to see it through: aided a lot by phone call with close friend today: was lovely to hear her voice again!! Still think booking into a convalescence centre for a week will make sense but consultant doubted that: will think hard about this. Son is planning to come up, which will be great support but he cannot drive; we could use taxis but I think we would be happier in Newcastle and happy to pay. One interesting aspect was that TP didn't want me to have a Covid jab before the operation: indeed he said the op would be postponed if I did. Sorted all the kindling out today, to make way clearing the shed of some cardboard into the far hedge of the field. Used just 3 bits to light the fire -- it's good stuff! Ordered a book on metabiology from Amazon to provide a bit of an overview to my Liverpool paper in August 2023. Made T4m4l with M/B and C&H4g4s: A and R away for 3 weeks each: P didn't make it, but plenty of good football chat with refugees from the G (still closed!). xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 26th: maximum 9C, minimum 3C, light W, sunny spells, more cloud than yesterday, cool polar air. Still good conditions for raptors. Day was dominated by medical activity after long hiatus, all positive but will leave details until discussed with best friends!! Did get out for some fieldwork in Dipton Wood N near Dilston from 11:00-13:35. More raptors: 3 Red Kite (all soaring, 2 to W, 1 to E) and 3 Common Buzzard (2 to NW, 1 to N, all soaring). Was looking for Woodlark and Green Hairstreak on heather/bilberry with sapling conifers/birch but none seen. Did have, in total of 15 bird-types, 12 Linnet, 4 singing Willow Warbler, 6 Meadow Pipit, 1 Yellowhammer, 6 Siskin, 4 Swallow W. A Peacock butterfly was sitting on my car and an Orange-tip male was at Linnels Bridge. Still got to check piccies. Had a Kestrel hunting at Blaydon on way into Jesmond, making 6 types of raptor in last 2 days. Didn't linger on Tyneside. Had 40 large bags of kiln-dried kindling delivered from Newcastle by Logs Direct; cost £155 on Amazon including £20 for delivery. Never bought kindling this way before but getting hold of bags in garages has become ridiculously expensive at £10 a small bag and not that convenient; can store all this in my large garden shed and should last a year or more; also cannot get domestic coal after 1/5 so need more kindling to get smokeless alight; can see supplies getting short for dry kindling nationwide. Time for bed: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 25th: maximum 6C, minimum 0C, light NW, sunny spells, fair weather cumulus, cool polar air. Perfect conditions for raptors. Made Bywell from 13:25-15:10. Plenty of raptors as expected, including 10 Common Buzzard (6 in air together at one site), 3 Sparrowhawk (2 male, 1 female), 1 Red Kite, 1 Goshawk (male): so 15 birds of 4 types here. Increase in hirundines with 8 Swallow and 3 House Martin. Also found a Whitethroat, a Lapwing high to E, a Song Thrush. One Black Kite was seen, rather subdued over normal wood at 13:51, 14:19, 14:47 and 15:02, probably arrived very recently. Had views of 2 sites so main arrival is awaited (2 birds at 4 sites checked).Need to finish analysis. Total was 28 bird-types. Had 7 House Martin N at Ordley. Black Kite might have left Yorkshire (Northumberland bound!):
17:17 25/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park no sign of adult since 12:30
Funds -11k wtd, gloom prevails in commodities but good news about the Falkland oil investments. Critical day tomorrow. Going to bed early after quiet day: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 24th: maximum 6C, minimum 0C, light N, sunny intervals, mainly cloudy with showers, cold. Just how much colder can it get for late April. Made R at B4m4s and met A/R at C&H4g4s, all good social life. Sensation is R are being thrown out of B, thank goodness it's before my time as VP, what a problem as not many places that are big enough to take us regularly. Think the B have lost the plot through staff shortages sapping their morale and sense; come November and January to March, they'll miss the regular income; tonight they took c1k on meals alone from the 40 attendees. Did find that past president M is having HoLEP at Nuffield in Jesmond tomorrow; he's about 6 weeks ahead of me from same original incident; says NHS waiting list is 6-12 months. He says it's now just a one-day stay in the hospital with no nights. Traffic on Black Kite page on web site reduced to 40 users today. Brought bird records up to date, still lagging in a few areas. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 23rd: maximum 9C, minimum 3C, light N, sunny intervals in morning, cloudy afternoon ending in heavy showers. Anticipated weather well today, making Hexham site from 11:35-13:10 in mild, sunny conditions, before deterioration in afternoon. Had 6 Common Buzzard soaring to N (2 groups of 3), a pair of Red Kite soaring to N together and a female Sparrowhawk soaring to NE, but not a hint of a Black Kite. North Yorkshire sightings continued at the one site:
19:02 23/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 18:55 adult again over National Bird of Prey Centre from B1257 lay-by although distant [last of 8 records for the day on BirdGuides]
Black Kite migration N looks stalled on EuroBirdPortal map for 18/4 as April 2023 turns out to be a very cool month for western Europe. Had 116 user sessions on web site today with continued interest in Black Kite pages. Chatted to son on FB messenger at ttime and met mates at B4g4s late-on (G still closed). A gr8 idea: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 22nd: maximum 9C, minimum 4C, light W, heavy rain much of day with misty interludes. Hopeless weather for raptors. A Sand Martin over Tyne Bridge at Hexham was noted. Made Kirkharle for lovely concert by IB/MG, well attended, quite a few from Newcastle. Refreshments at end -- tea and scones with cream/jam appreciated. Good chat to players. They played: Bach 2 part inventions arr violin and viola; Bach E major prélude for solo violin from partita no 3; Toccata and fugue in D minor arr. violin; Chaconne from D minor partita for viola solo; Ysaÿe solo sonata no 3 Ballade for violin; Bartók Romanian folk dances arr violin and viola; Handel Halvorsen Passacaglia for violin and viola' Limerock for violin and viola by Mark O Connor. Ysaÿe brought back great memories, the Bach were so difficult, the Bartók evocative and the Limerock an inspirational end-piece! Black Kite still well watched at Duncombe Park [BirdGuides]:
20:04 22/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 16:30 adult again from B1257 lay-by
15:53 22/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 15:50 adult still over walled garden then lost to view high to the west
15:33 22/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 15:31 adult again distantly over walled garden viewed from B1257
10:05 22/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 09:45 adult perched in tree by approach road as viewed distantly from B1257 then dropped out of view
09:32 22/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 09:29 adult again
and first Honey-buzzard of year appeared, in Kent:
22/04 10:19 Kent : European Honey Buzzard, Teynham one reported over Teynham Station (09:30) [R]
Interest in Black Kite page of mine continued with 305 users accessing site today, most to this page. With average 5 page views per user, that makes 1.5k page views today. Met D/D in DoW4g4s for good chat. M's relatives very impressed with his obituary so will submit to the ANPA editors very soon. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 21st: maximum 10C, minimum 6C, light to moderate E, dry, hazy sunshine all day. Intense interest by birders in Black Kite at the moment. On BirdGuides today, 7 sightings at the North Yorkshire site:
16:13 21/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 16:08 adult again viewed distantly from B1257
14:15 21/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 14:13 adult again over National Bird of Prey Centre
12:14 21/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 12:12 adult again showing well over National Bird of Prey Centre
12:13 21/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 11:20 adult again over A170
10:01 21/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 09:55 adult again over National Bird of Prey Centre viewed distantly from B1257
07:30 21/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 07:20 adult again flew east over National Bird of Prey Centre viewed distantly from B1257
07:00 21/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 06:51 adult flew north over Duncombe House towards Helmsley
Also about 200 accesses to my Black Kite page today. The interest of course is: do we have a new breeding species for Britain? I'm taking things easy: will cover another site tomorrow if weather OK. Today completed in QHL Mike's obituary for submission to ANPA. Will send it to his relations tomorrow to check things over and then forward to ANPA editors. Earlier met M at T4m4l for good chat, particularly about the 1930s stars in mathematics who set up the Bletchley Bombe for decoding Nazi messages and ultimately shortening the war by 2 years, on some estimates. Church, Turing and Gödel were 3 we highlighted with von Neumann as a vital contributor to computing architectures around the end of the war. Funds tailed off during week finishing at -3k: using cash from heavy miner's sales to pick up some cheap stock! 2moro afternoon going to Kirkharle to hear IB/MG in concert! The last concert there was very inspiring: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 20th: maximum 11C, minimum 4C, light to moderate E, dry, sunny all day after misty early-on. Had a Large White butterfly at Ordley. Made the Prudhoe site from 14:10-15:45 and we're off with a single Black Kite adult rising up from last year's nesting area at 15:06 and moving off SE to feed 1; have one piccie plus another of a kite interaction: Red Kite on another kite, possibly a hybrid 2, which needs further analysis. This showed a Red Kite and a Black Kite in attack mode; the bold white flash on the base of the primaries is common in Black Kite. Have put down Black Kite total as one but there could have been 2 birds present. Also another Red Kite (making the pair, seen later soaring together), 4 Common Buzzard and a Kestrel were seen. So that's a very interesting start to the Black Kite season. In total of 22 bird-types also had 3 Skylark singing, 2 Willow Warbler singing, a Chiffchaff, a Nuthatch, 6 Linnet, 5 Greenfinch, plus single Peacock and Small Tortoiseshell butterfly, and a Grey Squirrel. National records for Black Kite are interesting with 2 sites at least temporarily occupied in North Yorkshire and another noted in Notts [BirdGuides]:
22:31 20/04 Black Kite Nottinghamshire Cottam 15:10 one reportedly flew low north-west between River Trent and cooling towers at power station, viewed from bank of River Trent
19:20 20/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 19:19 adult still over south side of the park viewed distantly from B1257
16:38 20/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 16:35 adult again over Duncombe Hall
13:22 20/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 13:15 adult again east of Duncombe Hall then flew towards Helmsley
11:55 20/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Helmsley 11:37 adult again south of B1257 lay-by then flew low west over trees and lost to view
08:26 20/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 08:25 adult again over south side at 54.2330, -1.0771 then flew towards Helmsley
07:08 20/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Helmsley 06:51 adult again flew west over B1257 and lost to view
All 3 sites look reasonable breeding habitat. No time to sort the records out. Made W4bigshop (£77, exceptionals included detergent, dishwasher salt) and not long before out to Greek restaurant Stalida Greek Taverna , next to G, for full meal and ww at 19:00. We had loads of meze, a dessert Galaktoboureko, Greek coffee and a Raki on the house; all for £35 a head, including bonus! Went with P/A/R for good evening out, making Tap4g4s to finish off with A/R. About 5k steps today, keeping active in spite of some discomfort! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 19th: maximum 12C, minimum 4C, light E, dry, misty morning, sunny afternoon. Had R executive meeting in C&H4g4t where discussed how we are going to run the club next year (from 1/7). I'm VP elect, setting myself up for head of admin committee and member of Council. Did some more work on Cullompton family on WikiTree, where also added a research section on my direct ancestor Thomas R, doubting the view by some that he was born in North Petherton, Somerset. Still need to sort records from grand tour of the Alston area yesterday and do the detailed analysis with Google Earth of Barhaugh Hall area. Starting to clear decks for new season, setting up new season summary for 2023 for Honey-buzzard and archiving, with a link, the season summary for 2021. Indeed Black Kite arrival is surely imminent, looking at below, so need to archive News for 2022 with a link and set up blank News for 2023 on home page. Delighted to hear from someone: she is a great comfort: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Black Kite arrival is more pronounced with 3 new arrivals and an interesting 5 sightings at the site in North Yorkshire [BirdGuides]:
19:37 19/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 19:30 adult still over National Bird of Prey Centre
19:06 19/04 Black Kite Kent Worth Marsh 19:02 one over Great Wood then appeared to drop towards Fowlmead
18:38 19/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 18:35 adult again showing well over valley north of National Bird of Prey Centre viewed from B1257
18:01 19/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 16:45 again over National Bird of Prey Centre
16:23 19/04 Black Kite Leicestershire and Rutland Birstall one flew WNW over Castle Hill Country Park this morning
15:19 19/04 Black Kite Dorset Portland 15:15 possible flew north over Culverwell
14:58 19/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 14:51 again mobbing captive Steller's Sea Eagle over National Bird of Prey Centre
13:02 19/04 Black Kite North Yorkshire Duncombe Park 12:58 apparent wild individual still at National Bird of Prey Centre then drifted north
April 18th: maximum 12C, minimum 4C, light to moderate E, dry, sunny all day. Went out W, going to Alston via Whitfield, moving on to Barhaugh for Honey-buzzard habitat fieldwork before returning same way. Did fieldwork from 14:00-15:05 on top of Whitfield Moor, 15:15-15:45 at Gilderdale Burn, 15:50-17:30 at Barhaugh Hall and Williamston S. So quite long trip: 13:30-18:30 including travel out there. Raptors comprised a female Kestrel hunting over Whitfield Moor, a Common Buzzard and a Red Kite at Gilderdale, 2 Common Buzzard at Barhaugh. Also have got habitat info for Kirkside and Horseshoe Wood at upper Barhaugh Burn, so may get 3 habitat survey sites from the one visit; much of the work in upland areas can be done from Google Earth alone as no arable and the moorland shows up clearly on the digital map so just need to do tree types in the small amount of wooded area. Funds +12k on wtd: broad-based slow tick-up, normally a good sign! No QH 2moro: it's a staff training day and librarian said Friday would be better this week. So hope for major catch-up tomorrow: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Black Kite seen again in North Yorkshire:
18/04 20:17 North Yorkshire : Black Kite, Duncombe Park apparent wild individual again at National Bird of Prey Centre
Total for whole trip was 29 bird-types, including raptors as above plus waders -- 19 Lapwing, 18 Oystercatcher, 8 Curlew; game birds -- 12 Pheasant, 9 Red Grouse, 4 Grey Partridge, 1 Black Grouse; moorland passerines -- 18 Meadow Pipit, 1 Skylark; other moorland breeders -- 4 Stock Dove, 4 LBBG adult, 6 Black-headed Gull adult, woodland -- 2 Nuthatch (2 sites); 1 Swallow migrant. Also 2 Small Tortoiseshell and a Grey Squirrel.
April 17th: maximum 14C, minimum 4C, light E, dry, misty. Made R @ B4m4l, AGM, air of achievement, gave £50 to our Hadrian's Wall walk appeal. Had walk around Sele afterwards to increase walking distance. Much later at 23:30 had 2 Curlew W over Hexham. Interesting late afternoon: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Good to keep in flow!! Much later made Tap4g4s with R/A/P for good chat and change of scenery, across the road. We're all going out for a Greek meal on Thursday evening. Completed habitat survey for Honey-buzzard for Haltwhistle North Wood. Out to Barhaugh area tomorrow to do more habitat work. Another Black Kite, this time in North Yorkshire:
17/04 19:07 North Yorkshire : Black Kite, Duncombe Park apparent wild individual over National Bird of Prey Centre with two Red Kites (confirmed as not from NBPC by staff on site) (16:40)
April 16th: maximum 13C, minimum 9C, light W, dry, early sunshine, feeling warmer; reduced heating further, down to 2 storage heaters on but did light fire last night (wood/coal/ovoids). Did a lot of trimming around garden, and field mostly of brambles and rose looking to run away as it gets warmer. Spring flowers are beautiful: primrose, cowslip, daffodil, snowflake, hellebore, blackthorn (sloe), forsythia, flowering currant, pyracantha, flowering cherry, dandelion, celandine! Stopped bird feeding about 2 weeks ago; keen to get rid of Grey Squirrel who were becoming very aggressive, even towards me! While doing the trimming had 4 Tree Sparrow in blackthorn copse, a Willow Warbler singing (first of year), 4 LBBG adult W, many bumble bees feeding on nectar and prospecting for nest holes, a Peacock butterfly (first of year), a Rabbit, a pair of Bullfinch in far hedge. Made G4g4s to meet B/D/R/A/P for good social; G is closing for 10 days, landlord's holiday and ladies loo refit!! Further study of Kent, decided to re-catalogue early Ag spoons with it to enhance attributions. Added George R to WikiTree as 1st of the tailoring trio from west Somerset, settling in Cullompton, Devon, in 1670. Hope gorgeous one is fit: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Another Black Kite, quite scarce so far this spring:
16/04 20:12 Hampshire : Black Kite, Hedge End possible flew over Hedge End Club [?].
April 15th: maximum 12C, minimum 8C, light SW, dry, late sunshine, milder. A quieter day. Reading intently my new Ag book, which took one day to arrive from Oxfam: very well researched for the period I'm interested in: 1650-1750. Made DoW4g4s with D/D for good chat.
April 14th: maximum 8C, minimum 2C, moderate W, heavy showers, very cool. Highlight of day was concert at S with RNS, starring Hyeyoon Park violin, Benjamin Grosvenor piano, and Sheku Kanneh-Mason cello, in Beethoven's triple concerto, written about the same time as one of my favourite symphonies, the Eroica. HP was standing in for Nicola Benedetti, who was ill. She's the perfect performer: highly accomplished, slightly nervous, strong concentration, warm reception to applause. The cellist SK-M was also very good, featuring strongly in the numerous passages where the cello takes the lead. BG didn't have such a conspicuous place on stage but of course he did everything that was asked of him. It was a brilliant performance of an undervalued piece, looking like a talented piano trio, playing in front of an orchestra, inspired by their company. We clapped after m1 but m2 goes straight into m3 so had to keep quiet there. Very good reception at end and the trio played Danny Boy as their encore: quite a surprise! In the second half we had Mendelssohn's Symphony 4, which the RNS obviously loved playing and we loved listening to it! Was a good social evening: had meal before with AS/RS/TS, with good chat about A's (sold) business and what he thinks of current prospects. Chatted afterwards with other partners: MR/SR/L/T in downstairs bar. Had to rush back to station for last train NCL-HEX at 22:53. Walked over 10k steps today. Made T4m4l with M and Br4g4t b4 arriving at S. Funds bounced back well at +33k; think £ will stop appreciating soon, good for my overseas stocks and commodities priced in $. Also current rapid interest rate rises are doing significant harm to many businesses, particularly property, so cannot see these continuing whatever inflation is doing. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 13th: maximum 7C, minimum 2C, moderate W, heavy showers, few bright spells, particularly further W, very cool. First Swallow today: 1 N at Ordley at 10:35 and 2 at Haltwhistle later. Had hair-cut well by the bubbly Jd at JG (£20+5 bonus); 2-months intervals are working out fine! Then W4bigshop £63 and out to Haltwhistle in car to do Honey-buzzard habitat survey from 13:10-14:40; all done quite quickly. Also at Haltwhistle had 2 Common Buzzard displaying, at separate sites, a singing Chiffchaff, a Lapwing, a Stock Dove, 3 Oystercatcher. Total was 15 bird-types. A Common Buzzard was displaying over Hexham Westwood as came back into Hexham at 15:00. Then back home where later chatted to son for an hour. Finished up at G4g4s with R/A/P 4 good chat. 2moro is busy as well: will catch up on important matters on Saturday: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 12th: maximum 8C, minimum 3C, moderate W, bright morning, cloudy afternoon with light rain, heavy rain in evening, not very spring-like; am still running 3 storage heaters on low and lighting fire almost every night. Made QHL for good progress on Mike's obituary, aiming for 2 ANPA pages, done 3/4 of it with much help from his brother N on his early days; a poignant activity, reliving earlier moments of happy collaboration. Started in QHC for my usual tasty tuna sandwich with salad. Eat sardines now with salad every 3rd lunch at home, alternating with boiled egg and blue cheese (Danish or Stilton), each with salad. So plenty of oily fish! Also reducing alcohol to the 3 late evening sessions in the G each week at 2 pints of g a time plus whatever is consumed on music nights. So not far off 14 units a week. Tomorrow it's hair-cut with Jd at JG at 11, then out to Haltwhistle for Honey-buzzard habitat survey, W4bigshop, chat on FB messenger with son at 18:00 and G4g4s with mates. So busy day: Tuesday is my quietest day of the week. Violinist Nicola B has pulled out of S concerts in Beethoven's triple concerto this Friday and Saturday (with illness) to be replaced by Hyeyoon Park; I'm going on Friday evening. Resumed some genealogy this evening, starting to add to WikiTree children of Thomas R (born 1611, a litigious tailor of Oake, Somerset) born 1630-1645, forming the tailoring group of 3 brothers (George, Nicholas, Thomas) who all moved to Cullompton in Devon to trade from 1670; my lot were millers of Tiverton in Devon. Funds are +11k wtd so hopefully a more positive week as inflation looks to be subsiding across much of the world. Bought Kent's authoritative Westcountry Spoons (1992) by mail order from Oxfam shop for £100 plus donation £10; this is 1/2 the normal price as popular with collectors and original issue sold out. Still glowing: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 11th: maximum 11C, minimum 2C, moderate SE becoming fresh SE in evening, sunny morning, cloudy afternoon, heavy rain in evening; wild weather by midnight. Completed Honey-buzzard habitat for Softley, no.34 overall and no.2 for upper South Tyne. Started on North Wood, Haltwhistle, by generating Google Earth map for mark-up in the field survey. Got some very useful information for M's obituary from his bro N. Quiet day after such a sensuous morning!!! 2moro will do some work and have lunch in QH, hopefully with walk around Sele. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 10th: maximum 11C, minimum 4C, moderate W, heavy showers, sunny intervals. Increase in Red Kite sightings, with at 14:40: single up over Dukesfield soaring high and another up over Slaley Forest due S, both within Dukesfield tetrad. That makes 34 bird-types at Ordley this long weekend. Got the large Nikon camera out of the cupboard for the new season. Pleased that suggested improvements to ANPA paper from my refereeing have been incorporated into it. Writing obituary for Mike for ANPA: asked his sons and brother for some info on his life around graduation time and immediately afterwards. Working hard on Softley Honey-buzzard habitat: should complete tomorrow with much re-used from nearby Towsbank; next up is North Wood, Haltwhistle, priority as also a Black Kite site. Decided to write special page for Gibraltar 2021 rather than tag it onto Tarifa as plenty to note and it's rather disrespectful! So started on that. Got some relaxation at G4g4s with P/A/R: good company! Had c10 Curlew passing W over Hexham as came out the pub at 23:30 and a Brown Hare at Ordley on way home. Here's piccie of granddaughters on 1st day at school in Dubai, only got there on Wednesday: look confident; family are renting a flat until house built; cat and dog have settled instantly after their flight there. Gr8 to hear from someone gorgeous: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 9th: maximum 12C, minimum 9C, light SE, misty at best in brightness, gloomier later on, cool without sun. Completed Towsbank habitat survey for Honey-buzzard with Google Earth; that makes 33 sites now, first in upper South Tyne, Softley next from same site visit as very close. Did a lot of grass cutting today, 4.5k steps but a lot of these working moderately hard with the mower, so getting fitter, essential for the tests ahead I feel. Last year was in Crete for much of April so more time at home this spring. Made G4g4s, maniac, packed, Easter Sunday is like a busy bank holiday in the pubs now as people don't work the next day. Was with D/B/R/A for good company with P retreating with the busy crowd. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 8th: maximum 12C, minimum 4C, light E, sunny all day, warmer. Another great spring day. Spent daytime at home, enjoying the weather and watching the wildlife! Started season's grass-cutting doing front area; mowing machine and mower both started-up well! Much later made DoW4g4s to meet D/D for usual great chat; it had been very busy there today, best since New Year. Yesterday had 34 bird-types in upper South Tyne, including 4 waders -- 28 Oystercatcher, 22 Lapwing, 22 Curlew, 3 Snipe; 2 raptors -- 3 Common Buzzard, 1 Sparrowhawk; 1 Raven, 2 Red Grouse, 2 Skylark, 2 Nuthatch; plus 30 Rabbit, some Mole, and a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly. Hope someone's fit: lok2tgrf: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
At Ordley today had 33 bird-types, including 3 Lapwing, 1 Curlew, 342 Common Gull (1 NE, 335 going to roost at Derwent), 5 LBBG (4 ad NE, 1 1s), 4 Common Buzzard (displaying pairs at Peth Foot and Linnels), 1 Tawny Owl calling, 11 Blue Tit, 8 Sand Martin N, 2 Chiffchaff (1 singing), 2 Nuthatch, 2 Tree Sparrow, 2 Bullfinch, 2 Greenfinch. Plus 4 mammal-types: Rabbit, Mole, 1 Brown Hare, 1 Badger (road casualty). So doing well for nature out here!
April 7th: maximum 10C, minimum 5C, light NE, sunny spells, cloudier in afternoon, cool. In Haltwhistle maximum 12C and sunny all time -- better in the W as so often is the case at this time of year, away from the North Sea. Had good chat with N/D on Skype from 10:00-11:40. Glorious spring day in the west as made Eals in upper South Tyne for walk from 14:30-17:30 and quick visit to Coanwood Pond until 18:00. Marvellous atmosphere with waders all over the place, from Oystercatcher and Curlew on the lowland fields to Lapwing, Curlew and Snipe on the moorland edge. The waders were very excited -- pairing up, displaying, calling, bubbling, getting ready to breed. Was doing Honey-buzzard habitat survey at Towsbank and also did survey for nearby Softley: habitat is much simpler in these upland squares than in the mosaic lowland squares such as in Tyne Valley from Hexham downstream to Ryton. Met N&TB C stalwart MJC and family on a walk: very friendly chat! Could actually complete upper South Tyne habitat before season begins at the end of April. There's been a lot of felling of mature conifers, replaced by sapling deciduous trees, good in the long run; birch and oak prevail in this valley. Did 5.5k steps today, not enormous but getting better. Full report 2moro. Funds finished week -16k, continuing yo-yo movement! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 6th: maximum 9C, minimum 2C, light NE, sunny spells, cloudier in afternoon, cool. Made T4m4l with M, for good catch-up. On way in had 6 Goosander drake at Wylam E and 280 Kittiwake adult on Gateshead side of Tyne. Later out to S for Bach concert by Monteverdi Choir, meeting Li in cafe at S where prices have just risen c25%, even more for rw! Concert was Bach B minor Mass, with renowned conductor Sir John Eliot Gardiner and the combined choirs and orchestra, making up the Monteverdi Choir & Orchestras (MCO), with 6 soloists: Hilary Cronin soprano, Sarah Denbee mezzo-soprano, Bethany Horak-Hallett mezzo-soprano, Reginald Mobley countertenor, Nick Pritchard tenor, Dingle Yandell bass-baritone. So pretty impressive line-up! Sage was packed with Levels 1 and 2 full. The work has a strange origin, not composed as a single coherent work by JSB but compiled later by a publisher and various musicians, keen to see it played more. It's vintage Bach though and we had a splendid two hours, without a break, absorbing his mastery. It was a professional production of the highest order with conductor, soloists, choruses and orchestra all gelling well to provide the masterpiece, well applauded at the end. Walked across HLB to Br4g4s to rehydrate! And caught last train back to HEX at 22:53, which seems to be more reliable again. So good night out! Did almost 10k steps -- best for a while -- am comfortably meeting target average of 4k steps daily to keep fit. Four-day junior doctors' strike next week in NHS is going to cause chaos; mustn't get ill while they're off and will it affect urology schedules at Freeman; don't think it will affect Nuffield where consultation remains 26/4.
April 5th: maximum 10C, minimum 8C, light E, wet all day with some heavy outbreaks of rain. Good day for library (QHL, QHC4s4l), shopping (W4bigshop, just £47) and further study at home in evening. Prepared draft abstract for ANPA 2023:
Feelings as Process Categories for Metabiology -- Nick Rossiter, Computer and Information Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle NE1 8ST, UK . http://www.nickrossiter.org.uk/process/
Biology has always been the poor relation of physics when it comes to mathematical constructions. This is partly due to the perceived difficulty of describing the complex organisms and their transitions that underpin biology. But another important factor has been the lack of tools at the appropriate conceptual level. Whitehead's process as defined in his book Process & Reality has been discussed at previous ANPA and International Whitehead Conferences in terms of category theory. There is empathy between the single substance approaches taken in Whitehead's philosophy as the process and that in category theory as the arrow. In this paper we explore the feelings, developed in Whitehead's work as a mechanism for organisms to evolve through conceptual prehension and concrescence, in terms of category theory as a formal basis for metabiology. The feelings develop from conceptual prehension, involving eternal objects which possess sensory qualities and aesthetic valuations. The extent to which Whitehead's ideas can be taken forward and formalised in category theory will be examined, with a view to developing metabiological constructions, analogous to those in metaphysics.
Black Kite spring migration appeared to start today nationally:
22:56 05/04 Black Kite East Sussex Beachy Head one reported over between 10:00 and 13:00
16:32 05/04 Black Kite Kent Ramsgate 14:15 one flew north over Manston Road
11:46 05/04 Black Kite Cornwall Hayle 11:40 one flew south-east over Wheal Alfred
Here's the EuroBirdPortal position for Black Kite and Honey-buzzard from March 26 - April 1, showing Black Kite migrating at high levels through Spain and southern/mid France in W Europe and through Israel to the E. Honey-buzzard have not started arriving yet in any numbers. Batumi, Georgia, where going in late summer for raptor migration is due N of Israel on the E side of the Black Sea, between Turkey and Russia. It's sees one of the biggest raptor passages in the World.
Am finding that studying hard takes my mind off things. Also completed today Honey-buzzard habitat survey for March Burn in Tyne Valley W, with all of that area done now. Next up is upper South Tyne with Towsbank where the colonisation began and North Wood as that's also a Black Kite site. So this will be good activity for the Easter weekend, which starts in style with the Bach concert tomorrow evening. Wish somebody was here: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 4th: maximum 13C, minimum 5C, light SW, very sunny, warmer. Here's update from home page:
4th April 2023: Added Trip Report for Tarifa, Spain, visit in September 2021 (Tarifa 2021).
04/04/23: Honey-buzzard Migration at Tarifa, Spain: in a trip in September 2021 to study raptor migration over the Straits of Gibraltar. See Tarifa 2021 for details.
Out of Area 2021:
Tarifa, Spain (4/9-14/9): migration counts: 5/9: 29 S over W (Los Alcornocales), 6 S over Tarifa port; 6/9: 2 S over Tarifa port; 7/9: 113 S over Tarifa port; 8/9: 16 SW (from ridge to N, crossing W Straits) and 8 SE (over Tarifa port); 9/9: 0; 10/9: 0; 11/9: 50 SE over Tarifa port; 12/9: 4 S over W (Los Alcornocales), 17 NE in drift over beach, crossing Straits at Tarifa port; 13/9: 0; 14/9: 0. Total: 245. The Honey-buzzard seen were decisive, except on 12/9 when some retreated from the Atlantic side to the NE before crossing over Tarifa port.
Gibraltar (14/9-18/9): migration counts: total 1; 15/9: at 17:45 3 Honey-buzzard soared and glided S.
Gibraltar single record of Honey-buzzard added to Out of Area but full report of the less exciting visit to Gibraltar not done yet and will be a low-key affair, probably an appendage to the Tarifa one. Funds -12k on wtd as end-year tax-loss selling reaches a peak; good day for buying tomorrow as last day of UK financial year. Have 84k in cash ready! Next day is start of another ISA year with ability to transfer over 20k to the tax-shelter. Finished comments on ANPA paper sent for refereeing, had a page full of comments! In QHL 2moro writing ANPA 2023 abstract followed by W4bigshop. Having put things aside for Tarifa report, need to get back on habitat survey with March Burn on Google Earth, after field survey. Next concert is on Thursday evening: Bach Mass at Sage: looking forward to it! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 3rd: maximum 10C, minimum 0C, light SE, very sunny, cool. Walked around Sele Park after lunch getting a Small Tortoiseshell butterfly and 2 singing Nuthatch and a pair of Bullfinch, in total of 13 bird-types. Much later in Hexham at 22:00 had 55 Canada Goose W and a pair of displaying Oystercatcher. At Ordley at 23:30 had 2 Tawny Owl, a Barn Owl and 2 rabbit. Big event of day was completing all of Tarifa 2021 report; need to publicise this 2moro on home page and here and all done; might look at id aspects to extend it a little and also need to add details for Honey-buzzard to 2021 Out of Study Area. Busy socially with R @ B4m4l; it was announced that I'd put my name forward for president with confirmation at AGM in 2 weeks time; already plotting, looking to make groups more coherent in terms of objectives. Much later made G4g4s with A/R for good chat. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
April 2nd: maximum 9C, minimum -1C, light SE, very sunny, cool. A brilliant day out in the field; had 2 Common Buzzard up over Peth Foot at 12:05 in the bright weather and immediately decided to visit Stocksfield Mount from 12:30-14:30 where raptors well up in the sky the whole time, Still processing results but Common Buzzard were well into double figures and Kestrel and Sparrowhawk featured well with just the 1 Red Kite and no Goshawk. A Tawny Owl at Sele brought raptor total to 5 for the day. Had first Blackcap of the year singing, 3 Sand Martin N and a Chiffchaff calling plus Small Tortoiseshell butterfly. A great tonic!! Completed nearly all of work on Tarifa 2021 with big push today. Should be able to publish 2moro! Had chat with son at 17:00; he's got some more ideas for Georgia including a trip by air into the mountains to the N. Have decided to take earlier of Nuffield and Freeman for actual op, irrespective of cost. Much later made G4g4s with M on and L in attendance! Tonight saw myself joined by D/B/A for good chat. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Total for day was 17 Common Buzzard at 9 sites (8 pairs at saturation level in Tyne Valley W, other at Ordley) of which 16 (8 pairs) displaying; 4 Sparrowhawk at 2-3 sites; 4 Kestrel at 2 sites, 1 Red Kite at one site, 1 Tawny Owl at one site, so 27 raptors of 5 types. Also a male Goshawk feeding on a Jackdaw in Bywell Park at 12:00, reported by NH. So that's 28 raptors of 6 types for the day.
April 1st: maximum 6C, minimum 3C, light NE, drizzle, mist, cool. Working hard on sealing Tarifa 2021, preparing spreadsheet with raptor totals and updating account with daily totals and counts of raptors that agree exactly with the BirdTrack ones; 1/2 way through now, quite a major task. Main event of day was concert by Mithras Trio at QH. Very impressed, everything appeared very fresh with much enthusiasm for the music. Started with Beethoven opus 1 no. 1. first piece he published, aged 22-23, in one of his favourite keys E♭ major, also used in the Eroica symphony and the Emperor piano concerto. Sounded a little mischievous in places but quite a mature piece in terms of his musical style. The first half finished with Frank Bridge's Phantasie Trio in C minor. In part2 we had Lli Boulanger's D'un matin de printemps, showing why the music of her sister (Nadia) and herself is increasingly recognised. The final piece was Dvorák's Piano Trio No. 4 in E minor, which was very easy on the ear with quite a number (maybe 11) of component sections, again played in lively manner with full attention to the expression in the piece. So another good day for Hexham Music Society. Chatting to one of the committee in the interval, she said that people are booking at the last moment, which is giving anxiety as most of their costs are fixed; as with Opera North, having a few matinees, particularly in mid-winter, is boosting attendances. Weather better tomorrow, out for a bit of bird watching. Daughter, granddaughters, cat and dog have all arrived in Dubai; think pets are settling in fastest! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 31st: maximum 9C, minimum 5C, light NE, drizzle, mist, heavy showers, much cooler feel. Met N/D on Skype from 10-11:30, good to chat, would like to see them get out! Went to QH in afternoon, making QH4s4l and QHL for work on paper I've been sent to review; think one of the diagrams needs to be changed a little to achieve distributivity. Met D/D in person at DoW4g4s, good chat, also meeting neighbour GS in group, very surprised to see me wandering so far! 2moro is last concert of season at Hexham QH: Mithras Trio, with pieces by Beethoven, Frank Bridge and Lili Boulanger. Enjoyed the season here so far and it's been very well supported. RNS are doing 2 Xmas concerts in Hexham Abbey in December 2023 because of anticipated demand. Funds +23k on week: markets much more confident. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 30th: maximum 12C, minimum 5C, light SW, dull morning, sunny afternoon, mild but little cooler late in evening. Went to Elaine Rigg's funeral at Catholic Church in Hexham, St Mary's, in morning. She was married to a prominent Rotarian so many assumed that was why I was there, but I was really celebrating her own superb performance as Vice-Chair of the Northumberland National Park, where she fought hard for our relatively small NP at the national level; she was also effective at the JLAF, when attending, readily criticising woffly delegates for wasting people's time! She died aged 69 of lung cancer, misdiagnosed as long Covid for too long; she never smoked. . After chatting to mates, keeping both health options open -- Nuffield and NHS -- and will see which offers the earliest final treatment, irrespective of cost! Met M/B at T4m4l rather than go to post-funeral do: keen on maintaining friendships! Yesterday early evening made W4bigshop (£84). This evening made G4g4s with R/A/P 4 gr8 chat. Completed processing all of Tarifa 2021 piccies; now to compile the report; the eagles turned out to be 2 Spanish Imperial Eagle (adult, juv). xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 29th: maximum 13C, minimum 9C, light S, dull but much milder. Made March Burn for Honey-buzzard habitat survey from 11:05-14:10, completed with good 4km walk. Over Dipton Wood S had a pair of displaying Common Buzzard and an agitated female Goshawk at 13:30, with 2 more Common Buzzard at 2 sites in March Burn. Highlight of visit was high numbers of bird on a stubble field, holding 2 Woodlark (one flying over, the other circling over another part), 16 Chaffinch, 4 Linnet and 12 Yellowhammer. Had 4 Chiffchaff with 2 singing plus 3 singing Mistle Thrush, 2 singing Song Thrush, a bubbling Curlew, 4 Fieldfare, 1 Jay, a LBBG ad NE, a GBBG 1w W. This will complete Tyne Valley W habitat, to add to Devil's Water, Allen and Tyne Valley E. Next up is upper South Tyne. Had 26 bird-types in stimulating visit, plus a Rabbit and 10 Mole. Sorted nearly all piccies from 11/09/2021 for Tarifa, just an eagle left to identify. Earlier made GP at 10:00: much better news with bp down to 146:82, acceptable for age but she thinks pills will drive it lower in next few weeks. ECG showed mild LVH suggesting have had high bp for some time but hopefully under control now. Have been invited on 9/5 for anaesthetic check at Freeman NHS, last check before actual operation. GP has already done all tests demanded by the Freeman in last few weeks and bought bp down, so encouraging! Best day on markets for weeks as bank worries recede! 2moro we get result of Eros bond vote. Thanking someone for their support: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 28th: maximum 8C, minimum -2C, light E, dull raw day with spells of rain, was freezing as came home last night at midnight, slow increase in temperature since up to 8C by 23:00. Not out today but did some indoor exercise to keep daily steps at average of 4k, compared to 5k before; walking is uncomfortable. Did a lot of work on Tarifa 2021, completing 8/9 with its many White Stork, and starting last day to be compiled 11/9 by labelling some of piccies. Aiming for a full trip report in a few days on Tarifa 2021, with much material for book. Had phone call from big sis, which was very supportive. If I have to go down S to London (or even Cambridge) for the treatment, following the consultation at Nuffield, Jesmond, on 26/4, she'll put me up, which is a distinct possibility; my dentist's father went S for the actual private treatment but suffered with the distance as he came back here and then had a complication (constriction!) a day later, which involved another trip to London; after that he was fine. Meanwhile it's seeing my GP at 10:00 tomorrow for third blood pressure test and report on ECG; know I've got LVH from update to my patient record with ECG results as consequence of high blood pressure but no symptoms. Ordered a wrist-cuff bp measurer from British Heart Foundation (£45) as don't like arm cuffs. Will go to March Burn tomorrow, when warmer! Funds +3k wtd with tech still down, housebuilders steady, and big miners up on firmer metal prices as China reopens more. Oil price has recovered well but not much movement in shares there yet. Am ytd +35k gross, +23k net; it's been a squeaky b.m time so far but I'm pretty resilient! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 27th: maximum 7C, minimum -2C, light E, brilliantly sunny all day, cold in shade, frost on car at dawn (06:54). Made R @ B4m4l, good to have L on!! Went for walk around Sele after lunch, getting 17 species of bird, including 3 Nuthatch, 4 Song Thrush, 2 Grey Wagtail, 2 LBBG adult NE, plus first butterfly of year, a Small Tortoiseshell, and a Grey Squirrel. At Ordley at 16:00 had 4 LBBG adult NE so some movement of this gull today. Completed habitat analysis of Hexham Westwood this morning and prepared next site, the March Burn, in afternoon with Google Earth tailored-map of area for visit tomorrow; this is last site of the 8 in Tyne Valley W to cover. . Started on 8/9 Tarifa piccies, going through them all and selecting many of White Stork; hopefully finish compilation for this day tomorrow. Late on made G4g4s with P/A/R for great catch-up (since Sunday!). Great to hear from someone: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 26th: maximum 6C, minimum 1C, light NE, dull, mainly dry, cooler again but frost not yet in by 23:30. Had a quiet day after busy week at concerts. Booked up 3 concerts in June/July at the Sage for £150: some orchestral music for computer games - Final Symphony: Music from Final Fantasy VI, VII, AND X, by Nobuo Uematsu, with RNS playing (almost sold out!); Bizet's Pearl Fishers by Opera North (selling well); Rossini's La Cenerentola by Nevill Hoult (masses of space!). Also ordered 2 new pairs of trousers from Charles Tyrwhitt (£120). Completed 7/9 processing for Tarifa with result in NB 2021, just 2 days to process now. Made progress on Google Earth with Hexham Westwood but not completed yet, about half-way through individual woodland compilations, takes time. Got out at end of day to G4g4s to meet R/A/P for good chat. Hope to start last Tyne Valley W habitat fieldwork at March Burn on Tuesday when warmer again! Navitas had an encouraging presentation on their projects today in Tel Aviv, including being very positive on the Falklands. Just one month to consultation at Nuffield. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 25th: maximum 8C, minimum 4C, light E, dull, heavy rain showers in afternoon and evening, cooler. Back on the concert trail with IB/DM at StJStB in the evening, going in my car, taking Li. Was very good with music by Debussy (Somata in G minor), Ysaÿe (Sonata 3), Chausson (Poème), Franck (Sonata in A), Ravel (Tzigane). Thought the Ravel and the Ysaÿe were particularly good: a good evening out! Did catch up on Tarifa 2021 records labelling selected 7/9 records, resizing them and uploading to my web server; just need to index them now. Also started adding habitat features from Hexham Westwood to the spreadsheet using Google Earth. Hope to finish both these tasks tomorrow, leaving just 2 days to do at Tarifa and 1 site left in Tyne Valley W. Funds were -7k this week; not into banks but panic-driven sales are affecting everything. Looking to re-send mail 2moro: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 24th: maximum 11C, minimum 6C, moderate SW, sunny intervals, line of showers coming in, quite wet overall. Had chat with N/D in morning over Skype before getting house ready for cleaner S and making QHC4s4l and QHL for work on tensor products, which now understand as extension of all possible pairs of objects (Cartesian) to all possible pairs (as basis/type) of vector components; can be bilinear (2 dimensional vectors) to multilinear (multi-dimensional vectors) and can have n-ary tensor products, which are associative but not commutative. So that was time well spent! Later made DoW for good chat with D/D. Will do catch-up 2moro and next week as not much on now until Easter, when also not much on! xxxxx XXX!!!!!! A Black Kite migrant today:
08:23 24/03 Black Kite Glamorgan Treorchy 08:10 possible flew north
March 23rd: maximum 12C, minimum 6C, light SW, sunny, more spring-like with breeze slackening. Made Warden area around Boatside Inn to complete Honey-buzzard habitat survey for Hexham High Wood. Had some summer visitors: 2 Sand Martin over South Tyne and a Chiffchaff singing: music to my ears! 4 Common Buzzard were also displaying here. Main event of day was Puccini's Tosca at TR by ON, not a new production, but now very polished and a great experience. More on this to follow but the Te Deum at the end of Act 1 was superbly done, full of menace and doom and a great performance by Scarpia. Would have much rather been somewhere else but long-distance travel is difficult at the moment: my Calendar came up with the other event and felt sad at missing it. Met Tonya after the opera: she's a great Tosca fan! Have volunteered for R Vice President Elect, leading to Vice President in August 2023 and President in August 2024 of our 40-member club. Did 10k steps today, activity steadily recovering! Not at opera tomorrow night as want to maintain friendship with D/D but have trip to Basil's in Fenham on Saturday for concert with IB: going with Li. So plenty happening. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 22nd: maximum 12C, minimum 6C, moderate SW, sunny morning, cloudy with heavy showers later, felt cool in breeze but sun is getting stronger. Quite a lot of gorgeous memories today as stirred!! Had leisurely breakfast and departed on 11:23 NCL-HEX. Then W4bigshop (£72), got home to find solid fuel delivered promptly (250 kilos smokeless ovoids, 100 kilos small smoky doubles, £208), probably last lot of this winter season; doubles cannot be sold legally after May this spring so will have to make do with the 250 kilos sitting in my bunker! Still busy academically, now refereeing a paper for ANPA that uses category theory with tensor products, an extension from the Cartesian products (named after Descartes) we normally use, so very interesting. 2moro it's T4m4l, trip out to Warden area to finish habitat survey and then into TR by train for Tosca, with Opera North again. Funds -3k wtd; probably not a good day 2moro with interest rates still going up; on the brighter side expecting big influx of cash from Indian bonds in April (c120k); had almost written them off! Asia does seem to be in a better way than Europe or North America at the moment: net zero will ruin us! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 21st: maximum 11C, minimum 5C, light SW, sunny intervals, nearly dry. Spring equinox: equal daylight across the planet. Had single bumble bee at Ordley and Lowgate. Started on Honey-buzzard habitat survey for Hexham Westwood from 13:20-15:20 doing S and NE part of square. Had a Common Buzzard near the Cemetery in Hexham W. One more visit to N part should seal it. Then train HEX-NCL and Opera North reception at 18:00 in Northern Counties Club. Posh: invited Li along as she was offering me a grand circle seat; also had another reception in interval in Olivier room. Cunning Little Vixen by Janacek was supported well both in numbers and enthusiasm by the local audience: plenty of eastern European irony, school children and good music. They’re doing a matinee at TR for schools tomorrow. Very good social evening (reception Northern Counties Club and Olivier Suite) and lively performance: retreated to O’N4g4s and hotel. Did reply but rejected by target: mailbox overflow: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 20th: maximum 12C, minimum 10C, light SE, dull all day, occasional light rain showers, very mild. Talk at R went very well, plenty of congrats: here's a pdf. Coinciding nicely with Rewilding Day and a broadside from IPCC, trying to push net zero forward to 2040. Have estimated global cost of net zero by 2050 at 100-150 trillion dollars, to be paid by 1 billion richest people on the planet, making 100-150k per person or half a million for family of 4. To now reach net zero by 2040 cost per annum will obviously be increased. Basically don't trust their modelling to make this sort of sacrifice; IPCC is becoming ever more hysterical as the real-world data is not compelling (which is maybe why: loss of face looms!). RW came to lunch at B - very welcome. Much later made G4g4s with P/A/R for great chat. Completed habitat survey for Beaufront, site no.6 for Tyne Valley W and no.30 overall; next up is Hexham West Wood with just one left then to complete all 8 in Tyne Valley W at March Burn. Will catch-up tomorrow with correspondence b4 trip to NCL to see Cunning Little Vixen with Opera North. Need to do shopping at W as well. Last 2 weeks have been pressured by Whitehead Critical paper and the Rotary talk. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 19th: maximum 12C, minimum 5C, light SW, sunny morning, cloudy with showers later, mild. Good day gardening, cutting remaining half of rose hedge and long party hedge N to boundary, all with electric hedge trimmer. All hedges cut now, just in time for new season. Feeling fitter but some discomfort still, especially if get dehydrated; need to drink a lot of fluid to keep system flushing comfortably; have given up whisky as Guinness is better fluid intake. Chatted to son on Messenger from 17:00-18:00: great catch-up; he's planning to come up in May for a bit when laser surgery should happen; only 5 weeks now to private consultation at Nuffield. Compiled good bird list today at home, including Common Buzzard and Red Kite, with Tawny Owl at Sele and Barn Owl at Ordley later. Have finished preparing my talk on 'Lies, Damned Lies and Modelling' - giving tomorrow (27 slides) at 13:20 at Beaumont Hotel to Rotary; will publish tomorrow evening! Had good chat to P/A/R at G4g4s! Had extra activity on site today with David Attenborough talking about Honey-buzzard in New Forest: must look at the programme on iPlayer. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 18th: maximum 13C, minimum 5C, light SW, cloudy with showers, mild. Added first Black Kite migrant of year to 17/3 below plus very interesting article in Scottish Birds on increase there. Did make Lohengrin from New York Met, satellite relay to TC in NCL. Wagner certainly does raise my spirits: inspired performance with conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin and title role under firm control by tenor Piotr Beczała; soprano Christine Goerke was very convincing as the baddy (cunning sorceress) Ortrud and got a great reception at the end; bass Günther Groissböck was a strong King Heinrich. Soprano Tamara Wilson played the virtuous duchess Elsa, falsely accused of murder. The large chorus added a lot to the production with chameleon-like changes of colours adding a lot to the visual appeal. The 100-strong orchestra played with great contrasts throughout and the brass got their pitches all perfect even when very exposed. The opera is now in Elektra at TC as Classic reserved for larger audiences. No real hitches in transmission but part way through Act 3, we were threatened with a 'going to standby soon' notice: fortunately not enacted. Had a couple of rw: attendance was reasonable in TC and good atmosphere. It appeared to be almost sold-out in New York where starting at 12 noon and finishing at 05:15 (16:00-21:15 in UK). Lohengrin used to be thought of as an interesting opera but not one of Wagner's great ones, partly I suspect because it was often taken on by amateur opera companies who could readily provide the large chorus. Think that's changed now: it's regarded as an important precursor to Parsifal (who was Lohengrin's dad!) and a place where Wagner started perfecting his techniques for The Ring, with leitmotifs and soaring climaxes. At New York Met it's the most performed of Wagner's works. Did see it at the ROH last May: it's growing in popularity. So that was main item of day: music is a great comfort!! Hope Festival goes well 2moro: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 17th: maximum 14C, minimum 6C, light SW, sunny morning, very mild, cloudy later. Had a bumble bee in the garden at Ordley at 11:40 - first of year. Busy day socially, chatting to N on Skype from 10-11:30, making R&C in Slaley 4m4l with A/A/M/B from 12:30-14:30 (cost £20); meeting D/D at DoW 4g4s from 20:30-22:50; all very good for chats. In afternoon completed talk for Rotary next week on modelling; overall tone is strongly against forward-looking modelling as unscientific as cannot be verified. Will publish after talk! Funds are down 29k this week, so knocked out most of last week's 31k gain. Ftse 100 was down 5.3% on week so mini-crash on worries about banks. Will be CAL 2moro as yet another train strike. Looking forward to a Wagner opera, just 5 hours for whole performance. xxxxx XXX!!!!!! Another Black Kite, this one a probable migrant:
10:53 17/03 Black Kite Norfolk Titchwell RSPB 10:30 probable flew east
So 5 birds seen this year, first 4 were presumably of overwintering birds, this one a spring migrant. From Scottish Birds 43(1) March 2023 pp.69-70. Fraser Todd, Black Kite at Outhead, 12 September 2022 - the first record for Fife 1 2. The 2 photos indicate to me a juvenile with no moult and obvious pale patches on coverts (unaged in article, if indeed a juvenile, could well have been bred in Scotland). The last paragraph in the report is interesting:
Black Kite status in Scotland: Since the first record in Aberdeenshire on 18 April 1901, there has been a total of 56 Black Kite recorded in Scotland to the end of 2020. The vast majority of records have been in the spring (88%) compared to just seven individuals (12%) in autumn (Figure 1). However, it has shown a very strong increase in the last decade with 32 birds (57% of the total) occurring since 2010 (Figure 2). We can probably expect it to be increasingly regular - welcome news to Scottish recording areas awaiting their first record.
March 16th: maximum 13C, minimum 8C, moderate SW, sunny, very mild, what a rapid change! There were 4 Common Buzzard displaying over Letah Wood at 11:45 and a pair of Tawny Owl calling at Ordley at 23:50. Made T4m4l with M for good chat and met the usual gang at G4g4s for lively time. Working hard on modelling presentation for next Monday; quite difficult judging between climate modellers and climate deniers: don't trust either group! While Covid and banking is clear-cut: use of models has been disastrous in both cases. Did some more hedge trimming today: vigour's returning: L's the local *: 1st since end January!! Loose clothing is sought after as much more comfortable: ordered more boxer shorts and another bath robe on Amazon. Pleased to hear from someone special: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 15th: maximum 6C, minimum -4C, light E, snow quickly melted as temperatures rose throughout day, dull after bright dawn, rain later, raw. Indexed piccies from 9/9/21 at Tarifa, next up is 7/9. Still some work to do on 9/9 on gull videos with calls. Running position on Tarifa 2021 is on NB 2021; special report will be made when all days covered. Did make QHL and submitted abstract (400 words) for Munich meeting of IWC in late July to section on Whitehead: Mathematics and Physics:
Nick Rossiter, Whitehead’s Category of the Ultimate as Lawvere’s Topos in Category Theory, 13th International Whitehead Conference, Whitehead and the History of Philosophy, Hochschule für Philosophie, University of Munich, 26-29 July 2023. pdf
Had usual good lunch at QHC. Skipped G again. Melt down on markets today with ftse 100 down a panic-stricken 3.87% on worries about poorly-run Credit Suisse. Converted some Falkland profits into perceived cheap tech and mining stocks. Am losing most of last week's gain but still up on year. 2moro will be more sociable with T4m4l and G4g4s and lunch out again on Friday at R&C4m4l in Slaley with A/A/M/B. xx
March 14th: maximum 6C, minimum -4C, light NW, quite heavy snow in afternoon, 4cm, all bushes and trees covered. Booked up outward trip to TBS late August, doing NCL to DUS 23/8, staying Ibis, meeting son at DUS 24/8, then onto TBS, arriving 18:00, more civilized than the 04:00 many flights seem to arrive; both flights with Eurowings. Also booked up hotel SZ for next Tuesday (after Opera excesses with ON) and Wagner’s Lohengrin at TC in NCL from Met Opera of New York this Saturday afternoon and evening, goes on a bit! Wrote much of Rotary talk for next Monday; just rolled out as been thinking about it for a while. Funds down 6k wtd; don’t hold any financial stocks so not affected by their volatility; suspect we’re not through with problems yet in banking; they seem to crop up with regularity if 2007 to 2008 is any guide. Silicon Valley Bank seems to have been very badly run. Delighted to see the Festival is reaching BRU on 19/3: keeping close to base!! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 13th: maximum 11C, minimum 2C, moderate SW, temperatures plummeting in evening after heavy rain. On way back from pub had at Ordley a Brown Rat, a Rabbit and a Tawny Owl. Made R @ B4m4l for good company: talk was on Commonwealth war graves; collected lunch money using the Beaumont’s PoS machine; gr8 to have L on; I’m talking next week on modelling!! Sele Park was looking beautiful with crocus and daffodil in bloom. Also made G4g4s again with same folks: we like each other’s company!! Highlight of day was submitting late Mike and my paper to the Whitehead Critical conference papers: spent a lot of time on this bumping it up from 3800 words to 5100 words, mainly on linking Whitehead’s later publication P&R to the lectures HL2 and generally polishing presentation and content. Here’s the citation and pdf:
Heather, Michael, & Rossiter, Nick, Whitehead’s ‘Big Science’ of Process, Critical Edition of Whitehead Conference: Whitehead’s Harvard Lectures, 1925–1927, Virtual conference: 16–17 September 2022 (2022). Proceedings submitted pdf (11pp).
Finalising this paper has taken up a lot of time but feel end-result justifies the effort as opens up a few more avenues for publications. Must submit Munich and Liverpool abstracts soon (by end of month!). Have caught up: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 12th: maximum 11C, minimum 1C, rise from 4 to 9 around dawn in a few hours, amazing. Light SW, sunny am, cloudier later with rain late evening. Cut roadside hedge with shears midday, very pleased to be out gardening again; decided not worth setting up electric hedge trimmer so used the clippers, which cost £12 from Amazon. In garden had a singing Mistle Thrush, a Coal Tit, 2 Bullfinch and a calling Curlew overhead, with a female Kestrel at Letah Wood on return from W4bigshop (£65). Made G4g4s for sociable end to day with A/R/P.
March 11th: maximum 4C, minimum -2C, light SE, some snow remaining in shade, dull, raw. Made Samling Academy’s Masterclass at Marchmont House in Scotland in afternoon from 13:30 to 17:00. LNER cancelled 10:54 train from NCL but put in an extra stop at BWK for the next one so not too bad. Cost was low at (returns) £6 HEX to NCL, £13 NCL to BWK, £10 minibus to Marchmont House, plus £22 for the concert. The House was very impressive as a venue with grand setting, plenty of space and a music hall with good acoustics. The critics were led by Mark Elder who came over very well as a tough but constructive and enthusiastic judge. Other masters were Patricia MacMahon, Jonathan Ware and Scott Brooksbank. There were 6 singers of which Emma Roberts was really outstanding, singing Berlioz’ Le spectre de la rose, with Aleksandra Chernenko also appealing, singing Rachmaninov’s plaintive Georgian song Ne poi krasavitsa. Following on from earlier in the year it was very interesting to hear Korngold’s Mein Sehnen, mein Wähnen, from Die tote Stadt, sung well by Edward Kim. Met Adrian and Alison from Wylam at the event and the whole atmosphere was warm and friendly. Will go again: more of a day out than going to the Sage! So 2 days of fine music come to an end. Still very cold on return with temperature close to freezing. From train had 10 Whooper Swan at Lesbury, 48 at Goswick and a Red breasted Merganser on Tweed at Berwick, plus single Common Buzzard and Kestrel just N of Morpeth. Will catch up 2moro: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 10th: maximum 3C, minimum -3C, light NE, snow overnight to 6cm melting in sun, but staying frozen in shade. With cleaner S coming in afternoon did make QHL for final proof reading of Whitehead California – did read the whole document, tidied up and added a couple of references. So finalised now except for read through to check cited page numbers in Harvard Lectures 2. Then off to the editor JP. It’s just over 5,000 words now as wanted by him, so I’ve added 1200 words to Mike’s original 3800. After QHL went straight to HoN where met M for meal (Mexican style) and a couple of London stouts! Then we went onto concert at QH with Rachel Podger playing about 8 Baroque numbers on solo violin. Again a good attendance and RP gave some good chat as well as playing some elegant pieces by Vilsmayr, Noguelra, JS Bach, Matteis, Chad Kelly (still live, arranger!), Tartini. The JS Bach number was the well known Toccata and Fugue BWV 565, arranged for solo violin by Chad Kelly. She speculated that this piece was originally written for the violin, no original MS has been found. So we had a good time. M is bitter that 4 people who used to come with him refuse to attend now and of course I’ve got the same problem with N. It’s amazing how many people are still shielding: a long term consequence of lockdowns enforced by fear. Funds finished a volatile week +31k on the Eros bailout and rise in Falklands oil companies counterbalanced to some extent by falls in everything else in weak markets, the latter trend likely to continue with collapse of Silicon Valley Bank on Friday. The Eros partial redemption will give me c£100k cash in mid April, useful for ISA annual transfer of 20k and investing at a time when markets are depressed. SIPP fund is a record 46k. Decided too risky to do any clever trading in Eros, just collect what’s coming and let the rest run on towards 2026. Up to Berwick 2moro and on to Marchmont House for Samling Masterclass in afternoon, a great cultural two days, bringing back memories of the wonderful Festival. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 9th: maximum 1C, minimum -3C, light E, snow showers from time to time turning heavier at end of day into blizzard, dull, raw. Did make Hexham Hospital for ECG at 11, results due in 7 to 10 days time, not an intrusive test, completes current round of health checks. Stayed in HEX to meet M/B for good chat at T4m4l (vegetarian restaurant). Bought a lot more bird food: peanuts and sunflower seeds. Then retired home as weather outlook deteriorated, skipping later G4g4s in view of weather. That had an advantage in that did finish adjointness section surprisingly quickly in Whitehead California, putting paper up to 5k words, so just needs a final read through now, maybe in QHL 2moro afternoon when cleaner S arrives. Making HoN4m4t with M tomorrow before Rachel Podger concert in QH. Funds continued wild ride at minus 34k today on dismal markets generally as well as expected profit taking in Eros. Should mention 2 disastrous bond losers: Cooperative Bank (scandal) and IERP (French commercial property collapse); they don’t always work out! Indexed nearly all piccies from 9/9 at Tarifa, plenty of gulls! xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 8th: maximum 3C, minimum -4C, light W, dry, veiled sunshine, hard frost early and late. Made QHL for hard work on Whitehead California paper; finished all sections except for a fairly critical addition to Mike’s adjointness, which suspect will keep me occupied up to the deadline (15/3). Had usual tasty lunch of tuna sandwiches in QHC! Funds had an amazing day, not just on more belief in Falklands oil but with a liability management exercise (LME) on Eros’ distressed bonds at 60% for at least 50% of holding. Price rose from 16% to 48%, so funds are now up 77k wtd at all time record. May only last a day as some holders make a rapid exit but IMHO the situation can be milked further by accepting the offer and staying in, possibly buying more if price falls! Busted bonds are my speciality: these follow Lloyds (2008 banking crash), Bradford and Bingley (ditto), Cooperative Group (mismanagement), Enquest (oil price crash with Covid), Premier Oil (ditto), Manchester (Supreme Court case). Rest from medical issues today: resume with ECG tomorrow! Skipped G4g4t as wanted to work during evening. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 7th: maximum 3C, minimum -4C, light W, few showers, lovely sunshine, cool with hard frost looming by early evening. Made Corbridge from 14:00 to 15:00 and made trip to bridge over Tyne. There had 14 Mallard, a pair of Goosander and a singing Chiffchaff; no Sand Martin but the Chiffchaff really made it seem like spring in the bright sunshine. Trip was based around a quick visit to dentist to check that a burn on my palette (from eating ham and cheese ciabatta on LNER) was healing: it had! I’m getting my money’s worth at the moment! Near Letah Wood had 3 Common Buzzard in the sunshine at 13:45 – a pair displaying and another bird in a tree. Again solid signs of spring and 1st daffodils out at home today: marvellous! Funds down 2k wtd as interest rates look set to go higher still; signs of life in Falkland oilies reduced losses as executives from Israeli oil firm Navitas had meetings with Falklands Government last week! Completed indexing of piccies 10/09/21 at Tarifa. Next up is 9/9, after this just 3 days to go! 2moro is big session in QHL to sort out remaining sections for Whitehead California, at least in draft form. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 6th: maximum 5C, minimum -2C, light NW, few showers, one torrential hail midday, clear, frosty by evening, getting colder, -2C on car on way back from pub; next night will be very cold, maybe coldest of year. Made R @ B4m4l for good company and interesting talk on planning in HEX with so many listed buildings; L was looking after us!! Much later met A/R at G4g4s for great chat. Saw GP at 09:10 where bp still high at 150/90 but coming down; she doubled my daily Amlodipine to 10mg with next appointment in 3 weeks; have ECG on Thursday; bloods all OK so no more pills! Did lots more work on the Whitehead California paper; have added c500 words. Over 6k steps today, mainly walking around HEX. Wrote to the gorgeous one: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 5th: maximum 5C, minimum 2C, light W, dull all day, persistent rain early afternoon. Went for fairly energetic walk to Beaufront to do the Honey-buzzard habitat survey (6/8 in Tyne Valley W, no. 30 overall) from 12:55-15:00. Rained lightly shortly after start of walk, then got progressively heavier until soaked: not forecast and some nearby parts of Hexham were dry throughout. A wicked line of showers for me! Did a little over 6k steps so improving fitness. Birds were not bad considering the conditions with 2 Common Buzzard displaying in the rain at the end, clearly impatient for a fair-weather window. Also had 2 Jay, 25 Redwing, 4 Nuthatch (3 territories), 2 singing Mistle Thrush, a Bullfinch, in 24 types. At home at Ordley had a feast early-on on food put out, getting 19 bird-types, including 11 Blue Tit, 6 Chaffinch, 14 House Sparrow, 2 Tree Sparrow, 1 Jay, 1 Goldfinch. Now adding sections to Mike’s paper on some concepts omitted by Whitehead in HL and have converted all endnotes to footnotes. 2moro it’s R @ B4m4l and G4g4s plus 2nd appointment with GP on my elevated bp. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 4th: maximum 6C, minimum 2C, light W, dull all day, ground frost by dawn next day. Completed Farnley Honey-buzzard habitat survey, making 5/8 for Tyne Valley W and 29 overall. Next up is Beaufront, starting tomorrow. Compiled a paragraph on Whitehead’s lack of categories in HL2 for insertion into the California paper. Made W4bigshop (£66) and DoW4g4s with D/D; stopping move to wh from g as advised that keeping fluid flow up is more important than worrying about frequent trips! Had good chat with D/D, not there next weekend as we both have engagements on Friday and Saturday, theirs sports, mine music. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 3rd: maximum 5C, minimum 2C, light NE, dull all day, ground frost by dawn next day. Compiled woodland data for Farnley Honey-buzzard habitat survey; final step is to aggregate the woodland data for the 2km square. Did make S via Lit&P for evening concert where met L/T. Concert by RNS featured Ligeti’s Concert Românesc, Kate Whitley’s Falling, Sibelius’ The Tempest Suite No. 2, Kodály’s Dances of Galanta, so quite a Hungarian feel. Kate Whitley’s piece was for RNS Moves, featuring players from RNS and Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra with disabled players, some of whom benefited from elaborate laptop/software support. A video recording was shown before the Moves to show how many things worked – impressive from computing angle as well as the determination and skill of the players. Kate (born 1989) was there, looking very switched-on by the event and the performance, as well she might! The piece Falling was substantial and enjoyable to listen to. The Sibelius had shades of Sibelius 5 at times but was quite restrained compared to some of his works. The Ligeti was very interesting, particularly the orchestration, with many different spheres of activity. The Kodály had some good passages and finished on a high. Event was streamed and live attendance was poor, though did include more younger people than usual. Chatted to IB/L after concert, MG’s not well with angina, didn’t play today. IB reminded me of last Moves which she led and featured Johnny Depp in the background! Got in some better exercise today, walking to S and back from NCL station, doing 9k steps. Funds are -5k on week, +38k ytd gross. Some signs of life but results for last year, published this week, knocked a few of my (recovery) holdings. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 2nd: maximum 5C, minimum 3C, light NE, dull all day, some drizzle, cool. Made T4m4l with M for good chat; decided to go with M and see Rachel Podger Friday week as at QH and saves me the trek to the S to see Scottish Symphony Orchestra (for which have ticket); am going tomorrow to S to see RNS Musical Changemakers (some Ligeti!). Am going on 11/3 by train to Berwick (Marchmont House) to see Samling Masterclass with Mark Elder; they are running taxis to connect Berwick Station with the Hall for £10 return. Much later today made G4g4s with A/R for good crack with the 2 Ls on! Finished compiling 6/9/21 Tarifa today and labelled piccies for 10/9, just need to index them now. Also started on Farnley with Google Maps for Honey-buzzard habitat, compiling all land use except the wood details. Delighted with the publication of the DT lockdown files; always thought that only the 1st lockdown was justified as we learnt more about Covid; later lockdowns relied on lies, brute force and a complete misunderstanding of modelling, including the omission of factors such as people’s sanity, school-children’s well-being and the economy. Matt Hancock comes over as a power-revelling Nazi: should resign from Parliament immediately. Here’s extract from my great escape in NB 2020(-1) to Kenya for 3 weeks, just before lockdown number 3 on 6/1/2021, preserving my sanity:
January 6th 2021: made it: 27.5 hours travel from Ordley at 09:00 5/1 GMT to 15:30 on 6/1 EAT. All flights and connections worked perfectly: travel crew so positive in terrible straits. Quite a few people were doing the great escape on Tuesday, BA flight was 60% full, no real checks on entry but they did have 2 genial BA workers scanning us all as we went to board; some boarders were from Scotland where lockdown already in place. Paper work is frightening: not sure that anyone without digital expertise could tackle it. Flight to Addis was pretty full, [taking off at 21:00 from Heathrow, 5/1, 3 hours before lockdown], social distancing was patchy; slept through most of it; route took us through the Adriatic, crossing into Africa at Alexandria, Egypt. Lovely to wake up with East Africa in view at 06:00 EAT; caught 10:10 to MBA [Mombasa] no bother. Kenya immigration was a pain taking 2 hours; driver was there waiting and made Villas at 15:30. Pretty quiet here but great service and warmth and have bungalow near pool and dining area. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
March 1st: maximum 5C, minimum 3C, light NE, dull all day, some showers. Into spring on some definitions: cool! Main activity today was Whitehead papers, making QHL at 12:50 and staying until 16:55 with break of 30 min for lunch (tuna sandwiches and salad) at QHC. Am still looking at HL2, finding scorn for Aristotle’s categories, which he adopted 2 years later; think he had to find a framework for his entities and had to turn to Aristotle’s categories of necessity; concrescence was well established and adjointness-type ideas have been found, dressed up with presuppositions and anticipation; predicate is a synonym for category in Greek and that is covered in a little more detail; prehension appears as apprehension. So much the same as on 27/2 but have a file with the quotations and my comments, getting closer for insertions into the September paper of Mike, which was originally submitted in our joint names and is now due in final form by 15/3. Skipped G4g4t again. Later processed piccies from Tarifa for 6/9; now need to index them in the Trip Report, then 5 days left to do (7/9-11/9). Did try another private health provider in NE – Spire at Washington – quick reply but they don’t do HoLEP in the NE, just TURP, which is not recommended by NHS for me. HoLEP is the latest technique involving laser surgery while in TURP they stick a tube through the prostate and trim the gland to fit. HoLEP is actually a little cheaper than TURP as you only need 1 night in hospital compared to 3 though the cost is not a factor. What really counts is that HoLEP is minimally invasive compared to TURP and once done, it’s done for good. Think will stick with Nuffield/NHS and see who comes up first! But far more brilliant ideas from the gorgeous one than anyone else: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
February 28th: maximum 6C, minimum 4C, light NE, dull all day, persistent drizzle and poor visibility. Had 30 Lesser Redpoll on birch towards Newbiggin plus a Jay at Ordley. Made Farnley around 15:30 to complete habitat fieldwork; then on to Dipton Wood main part where very damp and didn’t stay long. Worked hard on Tarifa 2021 and now have 4/9-5/9 and 12/9-14/9 completed for trip from 4/9-14/9 (going on to Gibraltar, which was disappointing); next up is 6/9. This was a major raptor trip so important to complete the trip report promptly before 2023 action really begins. Funds are -3k wtd, late bear market sell-off continues but current prices are a steal in many cases. Hoping for good session in QH 2moro so early to bed at 01:00. Very pleased to hear from someone: most helpful: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
Yet another possible Black Kite on BirdGuides, think there’s an air of expectation for the current season!
14:34 28/02 Black Kite Hampshire Sowley Pond 08:15 possible over Beck Farm
February 27th: maximum 6C, minimum 4C, light NE, dull morning, little sunshine afternoon, cool. Compiled piccies of Marsh Harrier for 13/09/21 at Tarifa. Added to WikiTree Charles Dixon and Sarah Sharman as parents of Sarah Dixon born 1842 near Cambridge, mother of Bertha Friend. Reading closely Whitehead’s Harvard Lectures 2 for clues as to the development of his ideas; adjointness seems to be there as relative ordering and apprehension as precursor to prehension but at this stage he did not see the need for categories. This is for the California paper but obviously useful in all respects, adding breadth to study. Made R @ B4m4s, nice meal with lamb, and good chat with C on wildlife in the ‘Shire: a Polecat was run over recently between Ordley and Letah Wood and he’s recorded one on a camera trap in his garden. Finished at G4g+wh4s with A/R for usual good company; prices at G up 7% across the board. The Barn Owl was again on the fence at Ordley at 23:40. Interesting BirdGuides records today for Black Kite:
13:11 27/02 Black Kite West Sussex Henfield one reportedly flew over Mallard Way (12:00) [R]
17:49 27/02 Black Kite Dorset Tarrant Rushton possible over airfield this morning
Need to get out 2moro in drizzle to complete habitat for Farnley. Will be a quiet day otherwise. xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
February 26th: maximum 6C, minimum 2C, light NE, dull morning, little sunshine afternoon, cool. Started compiling remaining piccies for Tarifa, Spain, in September 2021. Made W4bigshop (£63), then out to Prospect Hill from 13:10-15:10 to do Honey-buzzard habitat survey; not quite complete, N area still needs to be covered tomorrow. Good exercise though, determined to try and keep walking each day, doing 6k steps today. Star bird was a Raven croaking low-down up near the mast on the top of the hill. Raptors comprised a pair of Common Buzzard up at 14:10, a male Kestrel hovering at 13:10 and a female Kestrel in flight at 15:05. Total was 19 bird-types including 85 Fieldfare, a singing Mistle Thrush, a singing Nuthatch, a singing Chaffinch, 160 Common Gull adult, 2 Stock Dove, a GSW. A female Kestrel was on wires at Letah Wood at 15:40. At Ordley had a Robin nest-building and a Bullfinch. Made G4g+wh4s with D/B/A/R so good turnout and chat. Pub was riotous after Newcastle’s 0-2 defeat in the final. Don’t know what it would have been like if we’d won! Had 2 Oystercatcher overhead in Hexham at 23:20 and another calling overhead, moving W, at Ordley at 24:00, plus a Barn Owl at Ordley at 23:40. Maybe a Black Kite has overwintered in Dorset:
14:01 26/02 Black Kite Dorset Winterborne Kingston again over field being ploughed north of village [BirdGuides]
On family history interested to receive a link to a new article in Teignmouth Cemetery and Local History on my grandfather George Rossiter (1876-1946) at https://www.teignmouthlocalhistory.co.uk/index.php/rossiter-george-bertha-and-son-george-friend-plot-cc33. It shows some pictures of his thriving watchmaking and jewellery business in the 1920s, his gravestone and accompanying text from WikiTree https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Rossiter-1004 mainly my compilation of data on him and his family. Bertha Friend from DNA studies and names has a large German component, possibly Ashkenazi. Have indeed written: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
February 25th: maximum 4C, minimum 2C, light N, dull, little sunshine late afternoon, cool. Went out to study Devil’s Water from 15:50-16:30, seeing 4 Magpie together, 2 Tree Sparrow, 390 Common Gull adult moving S to roost at Derwent Reservoir, 1 Greenfinch, 1 singing Mistle Thrush. Made DoW4g+wh4s with D/D – very good atmosphere. Had a Brown Rat on road and many Mole hills in Newton at 20:20. Initialised Farnley Honey-buzzard site for habitat – field work there tomorrow as well as W4bigshop and G4g4s. Big day for Newcastle FC tomorrow in EFL cup final against Man U at Wembley – best of luck!! Time to write again to the gorgeous one: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
February 24th: maximum 7C, minimum 2C, moderate N, sunny morning then more cloudy with little drizzle, cooler. Compiled habitat for Honey-buzzard in Shilford; this was from fieldwork on 19/1 so quite a gap to complete. Had a great walk along the road S of Dipton Wood while cleaner S at home, from 11:30-13:30. No Goshawk, surprisingly. Star bird was a female Merlin, seen approaching from high to E at 12:35, losing height rapidly and coming down into the trees W of the junction between Woolley and Slaley roads. Seen several Merlin in late winter in the ‘Shire and Bywell areas: it’s an obvious staging post before they go on the high moors when the Meadow Pipit come back. Other raptors also to SE of Dipton Wood were single Common Buzzard and male Kestrel at 12:20. Also had 2 crazy Brown Hare, a Common Crossbill, 2 Skylark overhead, moving SW towards the moors, singing Song Thrush, Mistle Thrush, Nuthatch, Robin, Chaffinch. Total was 26 bird-types, including also 4 Stock Dove, 20 Carrion Crow, 1 Pied Wagtail, 55 Common Gull. A Chaffinch was also singing at Ordley. Earlier had good chat with N/D on Skype: they’re still not coming out! They reported from yesterday 5 Common Buzzard at Stocksfield E and two at Bywell Bridge. Quiet afternoon and evening. Funds have been chaotic over last 4 weeks, both in their volatility and their record keeping. This week apparently lost 26k but 13k of that was a record-keeping error from earlier. Think the +48k, -8k, -16k, -26k, over last 4 weeks, giving an overall result of -2k is accurate, individual weeks are suspect. Ytd +41k gross, +30k net, are reliable figures. Market has moved firmly back into bear territory this week; this is not unexpected, always thought the 2nd half of the year would be better. Following phone discussion early afternoon have got a consultation in Jesmond with Nuffield on 26/4 with treatment 2-4 weeks later, all possibly earlier if there are cancellations. So relieved to have a timetable, even if having to wait a while. Planning to keep up local concerts, pubs and walks but keeping close to base! So comfort from a local treatment venue: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
February 23rd: maximum 5C, minimum 2C, light NW, sunny morning then more cloudy, spring-like in morning. Had a 1w male Sparrowhawk hunting down the road at Ordley at 11:40. Met M/B at T4m4l with good chat. Then dental hygienist in Corbridge at 18:00 for rigorous clean and polish. Finally G4g4s with A on own for great company as R away for night and P away for longer in Caribbean. No substantive reply from Nuffield Newcastle yet; will try Nuffield Cambridge or Spire tomorrow afternoon as alternatives. Been invited by JP editor of the Whitehead California conference to add a few pages to Mike’s paper; in progress as some earlier writings found in HL2 (Harvard Lectures 2) on prehension (Cartesian closed category) and compresence (adjointness), which are very useful for my Munich and ANPA 2023 work. Most helpful in my life: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
February 22nd 2023: Welcome to the new Notice Board for 2023! A very good start with first record of the new season: a male Goshawk displaying over W of Hexham town centre at 14:00.
Maximum 6C, minimum 1C, light NW, cloudy, light rain in evening, cooler. Looking to new season here’s Black Kite’s distribution from 12-18 Feb 2023 on EuroBirdPortal; beginning to cross at Gibraltar from Africa and plenty in southern France already including in Marciac area; also Woodlark is shown with a few in England and masses in France. Going to next look at my Tarifa raptor sightings from September 2021 while progressing the habitat studies now 2022 satisfactorily wrapped up. Am in active discussion with Nuffield, Newcastle, over early private HoLEP treatment; willing to travel to Cambridge or London if necessary. Today made QHC4s4l and QHL for study of Whitehead’s feelings and prehension. Carried on work in evening on Whitehead’s text: can see in expanded parts later in his text how prehension and concrescence is even closer to a locally Cartesian closed category than previously thought with further arrows spelt out by Whitehead. This is for ANPA 2023 but haven’t written the title and abstract yet; need a feelings angle but got to be different from last year. Also polishing up Mike’s “Whitehead’s ‘Big Science’ of Process” written largely by him for a conference before he sadly died. As a joint author invited to submit for a forthcoming book on the topic so will do that as I’m sure that is what Mike would have wanted; have converted from pdf to odt and sorted out a number of formatting and typo problems this evening. Have finally resolved my dispute with E.ON Next over my electricity bills with reduction from £1870 to £182 owed as old meter removed from accounts; paying them quickly! We are in total agreement on the way forward: xxxxx XXX!!!!!!
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).
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).