An otter has been photographed running into the waves on a beach on Sutherland's far north coast.
Gavin Ward captured the image while having a picnic with his wife Pam at Torrisdale Bay, near Bettyhill, on Saturday.
Several surfers were out in the sea at the time.
Mrs Ward said: "I saw something running down the beach towards the sea. It was absolutely a surprise, and a brilliant one at that."
Mr Ward managed to get some shots of the otter before it reached the water and disappeared.
Torrisdale Bay is a hotspot for UK surfers.