A photographer has captured the moment a wild pony is brought into the world at a north-east nature reserve.
Brian Sandison, a member of Fraserburgh Photographic Society, was returning home on Saturday when he took the decision to swing by the Loch of Strathbeg to fire off a few shots with his camera.
The last thing he expected to see was the birth of the park’s newest arrival – a Konic pony.
He said: “I just happened to be at Strathbeg at the right time to witness the birth of a Konik Pony.
“It took a couple of hours, but was well worth the wait.”
The images show a group of about six of the wild horses grouped around a heavily pregnant mare in the throws of labour.
A tiny pony begins to enter the world, and within a few moments the other horses go over to great the foal before it finds its feet.
Mum and newborn then wander off.
The rare beasts were first introduced to the Loch of Strathbeg by the RSPB in 2011 to benefit other wildlife with their grazing.
They had been formerly homed at the Woodland Trust’s nature reserves in Kent.
At the time, Dominic Funnell, site manager at the Loch of Strathbeg, said: “Thanks to the grazing habits of these horses, we can ditch the machines and get back to an au naturel approach to habitat management.
“It’s great news for the geese, swans, ducks and wading birds, like lapwings and curlew, who need wetlands to feed and breed, and it means we will have more time to concentrate on other conservation work.
“These horses will be doing an important job for us so, to make sure they’re not disturbed, they’ll be working on the less public areas of the reserve.
“Visitors will be able to see them distantly and be able to hear more about their work in the visitor centre and on the reserve website.”
Koniks are descended from the prehistoric Tarpan horse which once roamed the UK.