Season 1867

This was indeed a disastrous season; it was really frightful. Fred's worst fears were more than realised. In the spring disease raged with intense virulence, dead birds lying about in scores on the green ground by the waterside and elsewhere—many in full plumage and apparently in full health. Before the 12th, with the exception of a few broods on the rough ground, there was practically, so to speak, not a bird left upon the grouse ground.

The whole district was in the same condition; and it goes without saying that we did not go near the place. Fred said, gloomily enough, "There will be no grouse shooting for three years," and he was practically right.

David Black reported that the spates on the river brought down dead birds in such quantities as to choke the surface of the eddies and backwaters.

I was almost in despair; I was very keen on the shooting, and I had struggled hard for five years to get it, and realised but two good seasons out of the five.