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First midgies of 2010?

First midgies of 2010?


Postby siobhan_flute » Fri May 21, 2010 7:22 pm

Route description: Stuchd an Lochain

Munros included on this walk: Stuchd an Lochain

Date walked: 21/05/2010

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Forecast was good with a very slight chance of lightning later - better get started early then, at least early for us. Drag dad (Oldman to you) out of bed and off to Stuchd an Lochain to be on the hill by 9AM. On the way up sun was shining and weather was excellent. Parking was easy and we started to walk at 9.10 AM. No-one told us we would have to climb over a gate at the bridge. When we got to the cairn the path looked dry and cut diagonally up the hill making it easier than going to the boathouse for a headlong charge straight up the hill. The path was steep and dry and we made good headway considering that Oldman is not as young as he wishes to be (69 next month but not doing too bad). We also drink a great deal, water on the hill, alcohol at home. The views soon open up and are extensive - pity about the heat haze. Oldman likes to take loads of pictures, wild flowers, animals, birds and stuff, it takes ages when I'm raring to go!! He also watches the weather especially the thundery type ever since we got caught in a severe storm on An Caisteal last year - him a retired weather man too! An experience I'm not keen to repeat.... We got onto the ridge in about 1.5 hours where Stucd an Lochain was revealed in all it's glory - what a sight. The remainder of the walk was easy and we arrived at the top at about 11.20AM. Not bad for Oldman. We usually take a few pictures at the top and then lunch. Not today! Midge attack. They swarmed in their millions it seemed. Quick, get the 'Skin so Soft'! Unfortunately no-one had told the midgies they don't like it - they just kept coming. We retreated exceedingly quickly and found a light breeze and that was the end of the little beasts - strangely neither of us got a single bite - maybe it wasn't their lunch time.

A great walk, nice and easy after the first steep climb, crystal clear path and beautiful views, especially to Lochan Nan Cat. We would have gone onto Meall Buidhe but we were on a schedule, looks very easy so one for kicking off another season I think.
Attachments
Stuchd an Lochain 080.jpg
Oldman and flute girl pleased to have reached the top!
Stuchd an Lochain 076.jpg
Attack of the midgies
Stuchd an Lochain 051.jpg
Oldman sneaks up on Ptarmigan
Stuchd an Lochain 037.jpg
Lochan Nan Cat
Stuchd an Lochain 007.jpg
The start of the path
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siobhan_flute
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby fingeez » Fri May 21, 2010 7:48 pm

haha yeah i got surprised by that gate/bit of fence aswell. Got my first taste of a few midges this year aswell, not millions though just a couple but definately getting started lol.

Looks like you got good weather for it anyway, i was ejected from here a few weeks back with heavy cloud and rain and rubbish waterproofs that i have lol

Nice pics :)
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby kerrera » Fri May 21, 2010 9:01 pm

siobhan_flute wrote: They swarmed in their millions it seemed. Quick, get the 'Skin so Soft'! Unfortunately no-one had told the midgies they don't like it - they just kept coming. We retreated exceedingly quickly and found a light breeze and that was the end of the little beasts - strangely neither of us got a single bite - maybe it wasn't their lunch time.


Glad the Oldman enjoyed the day.

After the winter we've had the midges up here are very strange. They aren't biting here, I reckon it's the bloke midges who've spent so long indoors that they have to get out, and in a month the females will have had so much of the blokes fannying about, they'll be out with a vengeance.
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby Stretch » Fri May 21, 2010 9:22 pm

I killed a few of those buggers on An Caisteal today, they're back!
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby siobhan_flute » Fri May 21, 2010 11:02 pm

We killed a lot of them and were fortunate to escape without any bites! Just so surprised that our first encounter with the little blighters was at the summit, we'll be better prepared next time!
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby maddjock » Sat May 22, 2010 8:17 am

encountered a few last week in Kintail, but they weren't biting yet... thankfully...
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby Oldman » Sat May 22, 2010 2:30 pm

Ouch! Not so much of 'the' Oldman - Oldman is my codename. I'm actually an 18 year old lad with a 'nearly' 69 year old body.
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby kinley » Sat May 22, 2010 9:52 pm

siobhan_flute wrote: Not today! Midge attack. They swarmed in their millions it seemed. Quick, get the 'Skin so Soft'! Unfortunately no-one had told the midgies they don't like it - they just kept coming. We retreated exceedingly quickly and found a light breeze and that was the end of the little beasts - strangely neither of us got a single bite - maybe it wasn't their lunch time.


Presumably small flies but not midges (or male midge which don't bite)

If you can stand in a swarm of midge in August without a bite you should turn yourselves in to Caberfeidh for dissection :lol:
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby monty » Sun May 23, 2010 10:43 am

Nice report Siobhan,
I still have this one to do. Looks a nice easy walk. Nice picture down into the Locahn :D I was up Glenshee areea yesterday and therer were millions of little flies which I am sure are new midges. They wern't biting though :D Sign of things to come :lol:
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby Oldman » Mon May 24, 2010 9:21 am

I've just checked out the life cycle of the Highland Biting Midge. The female typically produces 2 batches of eggs per season but because they are 'autogenus' the first batch of eggs does not need a blood meal. Subsequent batches do. This probably explains why the first lot of midges to appear after winter, usually in May, don't bite - because they don't need to. Only problem is that they don't wear lables saying 'not biting today'. This will account, I think, for all those reports of the non-biting midgies - because they definately were midgies.
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby Gable Gable End » Mon May 24, 2010 12:29 pm

my legs and arms would say that the midgies have arrived :(
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby jonny616 » Mon May 24, 2010 2:15 pm

Hi

Nice report & pics. I did this hill last july after an overnight camp & got annihilated by midges down by the loch. I was up above bridge of orchy (report to follow) myself and we too had a few no bitting midges in the afternoon. Off to tiso for a midgy facemask as weel as the skin so soft for me.
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Re: First midgies of 2010?

Postby kinley » Mon May 24, 2010 7:15 pm

Some biting midge in the Gorms at the weekend. And Mosquitos :shock:
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