REMARKABLE video shows a rare, normally shy, and potentially ferocious pine marten eating a peanut butter sandwich outside a Highland cottage window.
As few as 2,600 pine martens are left in Scotland and many Highlanders will go years between brief, distant glimpses of one.
So tourists Jana and Carl Duffy, from Liverpool, were astonished and delighted to film one on the elusive creatures on a window ledge at their holiday home.
The couple, who were holidaying in Glenelg, near the bridge to Skye, named the pine marten Dean and filmed from inches away as it enjoyed the sandwiches they left out for it.
Jana posted her video online on Sunday evening with the caption: “Had a little visit from a pine marten at the cottage we stayed at up in the Highlands.
“Very rare in the UK.”
The footage is filmed through a window and starts as the pine marten hungrily wolfs down the sandwich and chicken that’s been left for it.
It then looks around before continuing to eat and then looking back towards the window as Jana films the incredible encounter.
Speaking about her footage, Jana said: “I’m scouse and proud but love Scotland so much and go at least twice a year.
“We looked into what pine martens like to eat and left some chicken out for it and he came.
“It was also left a peanut butter sandwich for him on his visit to the cottage we stay in.
“He called that often that we called him name ‘Dean’.”
Viewers were impressed that Jana had managed to capture footage of such a rare creature.
One Facebook user wrote: “Neat.”
Another commented: “A marten crossed my path years ago in the Jamestown Forest near Strathpeffer. I don’t know who was more surprised.”
One added: “Cor blimey. Absolutely wonderful to see footage of one of the rarest animals in the UK.”
Whilst another added: “Thanks for sharing this so wonderful to see.”
The pine marten is one of Scotland’s rarest carnivores. They were once found throughout Britain but number dropped significantly during the 19th century.
By the start of the 20th century, the creatures were limited to North West
Scotland where they survive thanks to the areas of remote forest and rocky moorland.
A pine marten is up to 53cm (21in) in length and it tail can grow up to 25cm (10in).
Males are larger than females and an average marten weighs around 1.5kg (3.3lbs).