The other morning Jade and I stepped outside into the cold and headed towards the park. Well, I did, and Jade was lagging behind. When she started barking excitedly I turned around to quiet her and saw she was looking up at the roof opposite. There right at the very top stood a regal heron taking no notice of the little upstart on the ground. He stood there for a few moments, then spread his enormous wings and flew off towards the back of the houses across the road. Must have gone down as I didn’t see him again. I wonder if anyone lost fish from a pond in a back garden. The heron looked much like the one in this photo by Ardea cinerea found at Wikimedia Commons.
The next day, fortunately, it was me whose eye was caught. We left home at the same time as the young mum over the road left to walk her children to school and were walking parallel on either side of the road. As we approached the park I saw what I thought was a light brown dog running up the other side of it. It stopped and waited as the young family entered the park to go up the footpath and steps to the road above us. We crossed over and were stopped by more schoolchildren coming out of the house next to the park who wanted to pet Jade. When I started into the park, Jade was still distracted, but I clearly saw the fox walk up to the end of the garden wall, where it stopped and looked straight at me, before turning into the undergrowth on the bank at the side of the boundary wall. It was a magnificent specimen, much larger than Jade, looking well fed, with a thick coat and just a touch of white at the throat, rather less white than the one in this beautiful photo by Malene Thyssen, also from Wikimedia Commons.
I kept Jade on her lead until we were well past that bank. I’d been told there was probably a fox den in the bank and I guess that proves it.