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Pests, pests everywhere!

The black grouse blogger has had to watch himself!

Many people think midgies are a nuisance and the more this summer progresses, the more I am starting to think that they are a serious and potentially life threatening liability.

In theory, the recent dry weather we have been having should have killed off most of these diabolical man eating insects, but instead they are thriving to create a plague of biblical proportions.

I have also seen a fantastic roe buck at the back of the farm.

He passes his nights nibbling off the leaders from my new silver birch plantation and something has got to be done about him for the sake of the trees.

The silver birches have grown so quickly that they have outshot their plastic guards and now the tender inches of stem and leaf are disappearing faster than I had thought possible.

Waiting out for him last night with the rifle, I watched the sun sink over the Galloway hills and shadows start to creep in across the bog.

I was hunkered in behind an enormous boulder when I realised that the wind had dropped altogether. Within minutes, my hands had been smothered with tiny black shapes.

It looked as though I was wearing lace gloves, and then the burning irritation started, creeping up my forearms onto my neck.

There were midgies in my ears and inside my nostrils.

Looking up, I noticed a six foot pillar of bloodthirsty critters circling above me. It was so dense that if the roe buck had been looking in my direction, he would have seen it as clearly as if it had been me standing in plain sight.

Puffing surreptitious gusts of cigarette smoke at them was no help at all, and I was forced to beat a hasty retreat.

The views expressed on Patrick Laurie’s blog are the author’s and not the views of Shooting Gazette, ShootingUK, IPC Media or its employees.