TWITCHERS are descending on the Outer Hebrides to catch a glimpse of a feathered visitor which normally spends Christmas in Africa.
The Marsh Sandpiper has been spotted in North Uist, the first time it has been sighted in the UK during the winter months.
The small wader breeds in open grassy steppe and taiga wetlands from easternmost Europe to central Asia.
But the bird was seen feeding in flood pools on the machair between Kyles Paible and Rubh’ Arnal on North Uist.
It is a migratory species, with majority of birds wintering in Africa, and India with fewer migrating to Southeast Asia and Australia.
They prefer to winter on fresh water wetlands such as swamps and lakes and are usually seen singly or in small groups.
Marsh Sandpipers mainly eat insects, and similar small prey.