A NURSE out for a stroll has captured what may be the first known picture of a white jackdaw north of the border.
The bird, part of the crow family, is normally black or dark grey but Sheona Murray’s stunning snap shows a gleaming white jackdaw.
Only 10 white jackdaws have been spotted in the UK since the year 2000, according to experts.
Sheona’s remarkable bird is thought to be the first actually photographed in Scotland and is almost certainly the northernmost sighting.
The jackdaw, gleaming white apart from a smudge of grey on its tail, was snapped earlier this week in Sheona’s home village of Rogart, Sutherland, about 70 miles south of John O’Groats.
Sheona, who is also a keen wildlife photographer, caught an inquisitive, black cow in the background, further enhancing the remarkable appearance of the jackdaw.
Birds of its kind tend to be especially rare because they are often attacked and killed by “normal” members of their own species.
But posting the photo online, Sheona revealed: “The black crows are fiercely protective of it, they surrounded it when birds of prey come around.”
A spokeswoman from the British Trust for Orthinology (BTO) said they had been keeping records of white or partially white jackdaws since 2000.
She said: “Only ten of the Jackdaw reports recorded have been described as all white, or nearly all white birds.”
One of these birds was recorded in Inverness this year but had retained “a small amount of black in the wings”.
A white jackdaw was photographed in 2013 almost 570 miles south of Rogart in Aberglasney Gardens in Carmarthenshire, South Wales.
The unusual bird, called Gwyn, was the first ever seen at Aberglasney Gardens but sadly it was killed by other birds as it was smaller and weaker.
Commenting on the image, Anne McKay said: “Fab, well done for capturing”
Gael Alexander wrote: “The cow’s expression completes this photo”
Tommy Hunter commented: “Belter”
Heather Mackay responded: “What is the cow thinking then? Great shot by the way.”