Bird-spotters in the Western Isles have been seeing life with a rosy tint over recent weeks as a rare visitor is spotted at a number of locations around the isles.

Rose-coloured starlings have been spotted since the start of July in Carinish, North Uist, in Vatersay and at locations in North Lewis including Mangersta and Cross, Ness.

They usually breed in the steppes and arid lands of central Asia and south-eastern Europe, anywhere from Mongolia to Afghanistan and Iran. A rare sight anywhere in the UK, the birds have been spotted in several British locations this summer.

The distance they have travelled to reach the Western Isles could have been fuelled by a glut of their favourite food, locusts, in Armenia. Eruptions of the visitors well outside their normal range are noted in years when insects are abundant and they enjoy open grassland feeding areas such as the isles provide.

The various locations logged in the Western Isles demonstrate a relatively long stay here, with the first confirmed sightings back in June.

Pictures of the rose-coloured starling are by Steve Duffield (Western Isles Wildlife) and John Kemp.