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VIDEO: Fife hiker mistakes massive swarm of midges in Kinross for a ‘whirl wind’

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A Fife hiker has spoken of how he mistook a huge swarm of midges for a “whirl wind”.

Inverkeithing man Ross Cunningham was shocked to spot a tornado-like formation of midges as he was walking along the Loch Leven nature trail, near Kinross, on Wednesday night.

Ross Cunningham on Ben Vrackie.

“It was on the stretch between Loch Leven Larder and Kinross,” said Ross, 36.

“I go out walking in Fife and across Scotland several times a week, usually up hills but also some low level walks like at Loch Leven.

“So I’ve done a lot of walking and seen a lot of nature but haven’t ever seen anything like that before.

“When I saw it from a distance I thought it might have been a small whirl of wind that caught up some dirt from the ground but as I got closer I realised it was lots of midges.”

Ross videoed the event and uploaded it to Twitter, where it has been viewed more than 14,000 times.

The aerial display is a mating ritual called ‘lekking‘, in which males in the non-biting chironomidae species perform a ritual to attract female midges.

“It may still be there or I may have just been lucky to see it for however long it formed that evening,” Ross added.

“It was a really cool thing to see in real life. I’ve seen quite a few extraordinary sights through walking, like seeing cloud inversions and a Brocken spectre, so that’s another one to add to the list. Nature is pretty amazing.”

You can follow Ross‘s walking exploits on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

ROSS CUNNINGHAM: Walking mended my mental health – we all need more help to get outdoors

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