Bearded tits live among reeds. Pic: Andy Hay (RSPB)
An Angus nature reserve has welcomed a new family of birds.
A pair of bearded tits and their young have arrived at Loch of Kinnordy, near Kirriemuir.
The birds have long, brown tails. Males have a grey head and black "moustache", rather than a beard. The females have a brown head.
There are only about 550 breeding pairs of bearded tits in the UK and they are mainly found in eastern and southern England.
Hannah Morton, the warden at Loch of Kinnordy, said: "I was delighted to hear the birds and had a heart stopping moment as I turned to look for the birds, hoping not to scare them as I moved.
"I saw three juveniles perched in the reeds a short distance from the hide before the family group moved off.
"Bearded tits are incredibly beautiful birds and catching a glimpse of them is a moment you never forget.
"It's great to have the first breeding bearded tits in Angus and I hope this is the beginning of a colony at Kinnordy."
Bearded tits nest in reedbeds, so the expanse of reed which edges the water in the middle of the reserve is seen as perfect for them.
They can feed on the insects in and around the reeds before changing their diet to seeds in the autumn.
The bearded tits were seen by Ms Morton as she was doing a survey of the reserve.
Other breeding birds which were also recorded include the rare spotted crake, water rails, a brood of mute swans, lapwing, redshank, curlew and oystercatchers.