Tour of the North, Day 2, 26 May 2021 - The River Tees, Low Force area

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.

Wood Cranesbill

                                                                                                                                    Good King Henry

                                                                                                                                        Great Woodrush
                                                                                                                                        Mountain Pansy
                                                                                                                                  Shrubby Cinquefoil
                                                                                                                                   Birds-eye Primrose
                                                                                                                                       Wood Horsetail
                                                                                                                                         Shade Horsetail
                                                                                                                                     Bitter Vetch

                                                                                                                                        Black Grouse


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