While I was writing the last post I heard a strange knocking sound coming from the utility room. I ignored it at first. But then I went to investigate. It was a young grey heron which had walked into the house through the open kitchen door and was beating its bill on the patio windows. How unusual - I've only seen a heron once before in the garden, and that was 8 years ago when there were fish in the pond. Though there are lots of herons close by on the River Trent and its flood plain.
I managed to steer it outside through the conservatory doors, whereupon it collapsed in the middle of the lawn to recover. It had been traumatized. Half-an-hour later it suddenly stood up on its gangly legs and strode purposefully down the garden towards the vegetable plot and the compost heap. It did not appear injured in any way.