Bird watchers have been flocking to a Fife nature reserve after a visitor from Russia was sighted on mainland Scotland for the first time.
A Siberian Thrush flew off course on its way to spend the winter in southeast Asia.
Local bird watcher Ken Shaw was first to identify the bird in bushes on the Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve at Kilminning near Crail.
“I saw the bird very briefly and I just saw the wing and I knew it wasn’t a redwing or a song thrush,” he explained.
“So I waited for hours for another sighting and finally I managed to see the face pattern and the tail and I knew it was a first year female Siberian Thrush.
“This is a big moment for bird watchers. You know you haven’t found it until you’ve called it, and the call, getting other people to see it, is the most nerve-wracking thing in the world.”
The Siberian Thrush has been sighted around a dozen times in the UK since records began 66 years ago, but never before on the Scottish mainland.
The last sighting in Scotland was in Shetland in 2017.
Twitchers from across the UK have been making the journey to Fife in the hope of catching a glimpse of the elusive bird.
Peter Stronach from Aviemore, who was first to capture the thrush on camera, said: “I saw it for about 5 seconds when I managed to take the photo, before it went back down into the thick cover.
“That was after waiting since dawn to see it in the pouring rain.”
Ken Shaw added: “The vast majority of people who’ve come here, over a thousand, will have never seen a Siberian Thrush anywhere in the world.
“It’s been a real thrill to see it, and be first to see it.”
The thrush is now thought to be on its way, hopefully back on course.
Story by Susan Nicholson