Though you might have to strain to see it there is a heron in this pic. It’s perched above the pond in our neighbour’s garden. The pic was taken from our bedroom window overlooking the River Tay and I didn’t dare open the window in case I spooked our visitor which was precisely what happened on a previous occasion. But I did briefly wish I’d been a professional snapper with a telephoto lens. Still it was fascinating to watch this graceful creature even if only for a few seconds. As far as I’m aware our neighbour’s pond doesn’t contain fish and maybe being a smart cookie the heron had sussed this and moved on.

Close up or as close as I was likely to get it was a much larger creature than I had imagined but still graceful in flight nonetheless. And I was reminded of ‘The Flight of the Heron’ the first novel in DK Broster’s Jacobite trilogy. When I was an English teacher on the other side of the Tay a colleague who knew the book used to use it for teaching purposes. DK Broster apparently was a daughter of another river – the Mersey. She had served as a nurse in World War One and was known to be a private person in the pre-internet era. Yet many readers of ‘The Flight of the Heron’ including the children my colleague taught assumed she was male and Scottish given that the book was about the Jacobites. Herons seem to value their privacy too if our visitor is anything to go by. But then I suppose they’re not hampered by modern technology in the same way! So the heron’s welcome to come back though I don’t fancy my chances of getting any closer.