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Rutting roe deer untroubled by midges: Country diary, 7 August 1970

7 August 1970: Midges were a torment, but the deer did not seem to mind them as they were so intent on matrimonial affairs

NORTHUMBERLAND: The experimental rocket station at Spadeadam sticks out on the Pennine range like some great atomic monstrosity. It can be seen for miles around from the hills on Northumberland’s north-western boundary. One evening this past summer I was out on the tundra land on the edge of the Kielder forest. The sun had set in a flaming red sky. Shepherd’s delight surely? Suddenly, I saw movement on the skyline. A little roe deer doe sprang from the long, rank heather. A small buck pranced behind her. Within the space of a few minutes there were no fewer than six roe deer running in circles here and there up on the open moorland. Against the red sky they looked like so many dancing silhouettes. It was the time of the roe deer’s rut. The midges were a torment, but the deer did not seem to mind them at all as they were so intent on their matrimonial affairs.

Related: A roe deer doe transforms the scene

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