An unusual visitor was spotted enjoying the sun in a garden in the south of Aberdeen.
Gina Ganzenmueller, who lives near Duthie Park, was in her garden when she noticed a red squirrel walking along her fence.
She said: “After years of grey squirrel sightings, I’ve finally seen a red squirrel in my back garden. I was so excited, I couldn’t believe my eyes. I only have a small garden, but Duthie Park is not far away.”
It was a rare sighting because the area has not been home to the species for several decades, due to the growth of the grey squirrel population, which was first introduced to the north-east in the 1970s.
Grey squirrels became the more dominant species in the competition for food and living space, causing the native red squirrel population to become virtually non-existent.
But, after years of work to control the grey population, reds have returned to much of Aberdeenshire and have now made their way to the outskirts of the city.
Gwen Maggs, Saving Scotland’s Red Squirrels conservation officer for the north-east, said: “The project has been working along the River Dee for 10 years, with help from dedicated volunteers participating in our trap-loan scheme.
“As a result of this targeted grey squirrel control, red squirrels have gradually returned to North Deeside, with populations establishing through Peterculter, Milltimber, Bieldside and Cults. In 2017, red squirrels arrived at Robert Gordon University.
“With healthy populations already in Hazlehead and Seaton Park, we hope that they will soon return to Duthie Park for everyone to enjoy.”