Every time I go to Harbottle I am always reminded of the first time I came here when I was 15. I came here with the YOC group looking for Pied flycatchers one balmy June evening. As well as seeing these I also saw my first Woodcock but what evokes these memories is the smell of Sweet gale. Today was no exception; the flowers have finished but the leaves are very pungent and just brushing past it reveals a wonderful smell. Crowberry and Bilberry are also growing among the Heather and in the clearings there are carpets of Tormentil and Heath bedstraw. Some of the upland birds here were Buzzard, Red grouse, Crossbill, Siskin, Peregrine and Wood warbler. It was cold today despite the sunshine so there were very few insects on the wing apart from the ubiquitous Midges.
Looking through the blogs last night It appears that it was a weekend of plant twitches. Kingsdowner was twitching Corncockles (lucky chap) and BB was twitching Orchids. BB sent me an email earlier in the week about Birds nest Orchids found by Tim Dean at Callaly so today was good a day as any to visit the Coquet valley. I have posted a pic which I think may be the same plants on BB's blog. They were growing next to Raspberry's which Swan mentions that this species is rather fond of though they are a plant of Beech woodlands. Also pictured are two little angels on Harbottle crags and pictures of the sweet gale aka Bog myrtle.