Wildcat camera trap in Sutherland snaps White's thrush

White's thrush The White's thrush was photographed in woodland near Bonar Bridge

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A camera set up to capture images of Scottish wildcats in Sutherland has photographed a bird species rarely seen in Scotland.

The White's thrush breeds mainly in Siberia and Asia.

It was photographed by a camera trap set by the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU), part of Oxford University's Zoology Department.

The unit said it believed that it was the first recording of the species taken by a camera trap in Scotland.

The photographic equipment has been set up in the Woodland Trust Scotland's Ledmore and Migdale Woods, near Bonar Bridge, to monitor for wildcats.

Camera traps are triggered by changes in heat and motion and take photographs of animals passing in front of them.

'Wonderful bonus'

Project manager Kerry Kilshaw, of Oxford University, said she was delighted an image of a rare visitor was captured.

She added: "Fortunately my field assistant Ruiradh Campbell has a keen eye and spotted it on one of the camera trap photos."

WildCRU director Prof David Macdonald said: "Camera traps are probably the greatest breakthrough for field research since the invention of binoculars.

"They give us the capacity to have eyes in the backs of our heads, and lots of them, and it's a wonderful bonus to secure this evidence of the rare White's thrush while we are making breakthroughs on monitoring the endangered Scottish wildcat.

Ledmore and Migdale Woods site manager Eleanor Garty said the area supported a wide range of wildlife.

She added: "They are a great place to see scarce summer visitors such as wood warbler, redstart and tree pipit, so it is pleasing to know that we are hosting a rare migrant like White's thrush too."

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