The day began with doing a couple of touristy type things.
First a visit to the lovely Brimham Rocks where we avoided people by going early and having the place almost to ourselves. A Cuckoo and several Willow Warblers were the only sightings of note. Then we moved on to the weird and wonderful Forbidden Corner near Leyburn and spent a thoroughly entertaining couple of hours exploring this curious fantasy world.
Then, moving north to our digs for the next 3 nights near Tow Law, Co Durham where we were able to check ourselves in, sort ourselves out and get out again for our first visit to Upper Teesdale. It proved to be a lovely evening walk from Bowlees, down to the river at Low Force and along the picturesque riverbank to the west. Within minutes I'd seen a few of my target plants - Wood Cranesbill, Good King Henry and Globeflower plus Early Purple Orchids. Further along I picked up the first of many Mountain Pansy, Great Woodrush, Shrubby Cinquefoil, Birds-eye Primrose, Bitter Vetch and both Wood Horsetail and Shade Horsetail. All to a backdrop of drumming Snipe, Grey Wagtails, Lapwings and singing Willow Warblers.
As we begain the drive back over the tops into Weardale some birds caught my eye in a roadside field above Middleton in Teesdale. A quick stop and walk back revealed they were a fantastic pair of Black Grouse that shared the same field with Curlew, Redshanks and Lapwings. Sneaking up behind a wall I got some reasonable shots of both grouse as the sun sank on a rather splendid day.