This is the most northerly Farm in mainland Britain and that's Orkney off in the distance and what better place to find this.
Northern Dead Nettle - Lamium confertum
This was just a bonus, because what we were here for was hopefully on the beach nearby, namely Oyster Plant. This is a plant I've been wanting to see for many years and I wasn't disappointed either it's really beautiful. I took loads of photos of it and it was one of those plants that once found, I found it hard to tear myself away from! I just kept looking at it in awe. It's really rare these days having disappeared from Wales and some of its Scottish sites too. We had already failed to find it at a site further south.
Oyster Plant - Mertensia maritima
From the beach there's a great view over to Dunnet Head the most Northerly point of the mainland.
It's a great place to watch seabirds and I was hoping to get some nice photos there.
It was a beautiful warm July day as you can see!
It was also blowing a hoolie and there was no chance of getting any photos of Puffins as they were traveling at about a zillion miles an hour! It was a bit gloomy too but I got a couple of okay shots of...
A Great Skua.
And a Fulmar.
We visited Strathy Point looking for Scottish Primrose. Unfortunately grazing pressure at the site was intense and all we found was a single plant which hadn't entirely escaped the attention of the sheep either. Still it was thrilling to see this tiny, charming and rare endemic species.
Scottish Primrose - Primula scotica
A Blonde Rabbit!
First time I've ever seen this colour form of wild rabbit. I've seen a few black ones before but never a blonde one.
Further along the coast is the absolutely superb site of Invernaver NNR. It has an amazing collection of montane vegetation almost at sea level, due to the high latitude and exposure to the north coast, including the rare Purple Oxytropis. We were much too late in the year to expect to see either Purple Oxytropis or Mountain Avens in flower but were extremely lucky to find late flowering plants of both! We found a few more mountain flowers and some interesting fungi too.
Invernaver Nature Reserve.
Dune Waxcap - Hygrocybe conicoides
Lurid Bolete - Suillellus luridus
Mountain Avens - Dryas octopetala
Mountain Avens seedhead.
Yellow Mountain Saxifrage - Saxifraga aizoides
Dwarf Juniper - Juniperus communis ssp. nana
Hoary Whitlowgrass - Draba incana.
Dark Red Helleborine - Epipactis atrorubens
Purple Oxytropis - Oxytropis halleri
The rocks have eyes!!
I think this is known as mantled porphyroclasts. They look like they could be garnets.