New bird habitat scraped out in Highlands bay
A new wild bird habitat has been created at an RSPB Scotland reserve in the Highlands.
Called a scrape, the wetland area in Nigg Bay offers shallows for birds such as little grebes, mallards, herons, lapwings and curlews.
The site, on the Cromarty Firth, improves on a large pond created for waders and wildfowl 15 years ago.
The work to create the scrape has received funding from the Landfill Communities Fund.
The technique is used at other RSPB reserves.
Isabel Morgan, warden at the Nigg Bay reserve, said, "One of the most celebrated birdwatching sites in Britain is the scrape at our Minsmere reserve in Suffolk.
"The scrape is, basically, a man-made pond, which has extensive shallow edges which are designed to produce as much invertebrate-rich mud as possible."