INTREPID wildlife photographers have shared a video of the torment they are suffering this summer following an explosion in midge numbers.
The pair are seen covered in a cloud of midges while they are covered up so much only their eyes can be seen.
Tom Campbell and a friend were trying to get shots of otters on the west coast of Scotland where midge numbers are heading for a record 68 billion thanks to warm, wet weather.
The pair have to keep still to have any chance of snapping the otters – making them an easy meal for midges.
Another clip has surfaced of a poor, tormented tourist in the Highlands desperately trying to batter away a cloud of midges with a pillow.
Tom, 24, from Bristol, travelled all the way to Mull in the Inner Hebrides to take pictures.
The wildlife photographer and film-maker is seen completely coated in midges as his face is covered with a neckwarmer and cap with only his eyes and forehead exposed.
He looks at the camera and sighs as the tiny menaces crawl over his hat and camera. He then pans the camera to his colleague who is suffering exactly rhw same fate.
Posting the clip online Tom wrote: “Scotland has given us otters, eagles, a variety of waders and beautiful landscapes and more. It has also given us midges…”
Last week it was revealed that Scotland is heading for the worst midge season since records began – with numbers of the biting insects set to be up 40% on last year.
In a second clip, filmed by Al Beattie in Glen Shiel, in the West Highlands at the start of the month, a young man was caught on camera being tormented by creatures.
The funny clip shows the man, wearing a t-shirt and shorts, wafting a pillow in the air, attempting to swipe at the midges.
He eventually gives up and puts the pillow into a car before rubbing his hands over his head and arms, becoming increasingly agitated by them
A voice can be heard saying: “I feel your pain.”
Posting the clip online Al wrote: “Midges in Glen Shiel. Nightmare!”
The Scottish Midge Forecast said they are on course to record 68 billion of the tiny menaces this summer – more than 13,000 each for every person living north of the border.
The organisation started collecting detailed information on midge numbers in 2010.
Dr Alison Blackwell said the previous record was set in 2014 at a trap in Inveraray, Argyll and Bute, with 6.5m midges. Based on results so far, she is expecting that number to be higher this year.
The miserable July weather experienced in most parts of Scotland has provided ideal breeding conditions for midges.
A rare third breeding wave of the pests is firmly on the cards, stretching out the torment until the end of September.
Dr Blackwell said last week: “It’s really difficult as there are different levels in different areas, but it’s safe to say that these are the highest catches in five years at this point in the season.
“2014 was the highest up until this year. This year we’re seeing a 30-40% increase from 2016 and numbers are higher than 2014 although we haven’t complete counting all the traps yet.
“So far our biggest catches have been in Argyll, around Inveraray and particularly at the traps in Glencoe.”
There are 48 different types of midge in Scotland but it is the 3mm long Highland midge that commonly causes problems for Scots in the summer months.
Only the females actually bite however hill-walkers and golfers will have to have the insect repellent at the ready if the wet and warm weather conditions continue throughout the summer.
Incredibly, two million midges weigh just a kilogram and one square metre can contain up to 500,000 of the insects.
The Scottish tourism industry is estimated to lose nearly £286m a year as people are put off by the biting insects.
A midge can live for between two days and two weeks depending on how favourable the weather conditions are.
Midge numbers across the country in the past t have been up on the same period last year as a result of recent damp and warm conditions combined with still air and cloud cover.