To the surprise of local drivers, an eagle has suddenly “landed” on an Inverness roundabout.
Some motorists got in touch with the P&J on Monday to say a striking metal statue of a raptor had appeared on the southern distributor road.
South Inverness councillors apparently decided to spruce up the “boring” southern distributor road by installing the massive bird of prey on one of the busy route’s many roundabouts.
The new landmark is on the junction linking the distributor road Sir Walter Scott Drive with Inshes Road.
The councillors, who largely funded the £12,000 project out of their ward budget, were involved in an up-cycling exercise as the eagle was originally part of a floral display near Inverness Leisure Centre but latterly was languishing in a council yard.
However, it has now been salvaged and given new steel feathers to protect it against the elements in its new home, where it was installed on Monday.
Council staff have also recycled a number of other materials to add to the feature, which will eventually be surrounded by heather and other plants to give a wilder Highland habitat.
The project was originally conceived by Councillor Jim Crawford, who was determined to do something to enliven the road, which links the A9 and to areas in the south and west of the city.
Mr Crawford said: “It’s something I have been wanting to do for a while now.
“When you look at some of the features you see on roundabouts elsewhere, especially abroad, ours are disgraceful by comparison.
“It really is a most boring road, people probably forget which roundabout they are at, and we wanted to do something to make it stand out.
“It’s probably our most iconic bird so I think it’s an appropriate feature. It’s not really finished because we are going to plant up some heather and rowan to make it a proper Highland scene and as natural as possible.”
The feature will also be lit up at night.
Mr Crawford has said he is going to contact possible sponsors to try and spruce up some of the road’s other roundabouts.
Fellow ward member Councillor Thomas Prag said: “I think its going to be quite a remarkable landmark.
“Hopefully we’ll be hearing people giving directions say they have to turn left at the eagle in the future.”