Another visit to Upper Coquetdale today - this time with a group of botanists.
The only botanical find of note were specimens of Lesser Sea Spurrey (Spergularia marina) in gateways on Clennel Street. This species was, until 20 years ago, known in Northumberland only from coastal areas. In more recent years it has increasingly been found by Forestry Commission tracks in Kielder and other FC mature plantations.
In the air we saw 7 Ravens, a Buzzard, a Kestrel and a pair of Bullfinch at Battailshiel Haugh. And there was a Dipper on the Coquet at Shilmoor. Altogether a poor bird haul for a 4 hour walk. But then you can't expect flocks of thrushes when there are no Rowans or other fruiting bushes or trees. Still, at least the weather was fantastic and from the tops we had excellent views up to the Border Ridge and down to Simonside and Tynedale beyond.