BARRHEAD residents are in a flap over a feathered friend who has become something of a celebrity after making himself at home in their gardens.

A grey heron – named Harry by local families – has been blatantly ignoring lockdown rules by paying daily visits to houses in the town’s Kelvin Drive.

Harry has been perching on rooftops, sunbathing in gardens and even strolling up to bird-feeders to help himself to a snack.

Among those who have been enjoying Harry’s visits is Elizabeth Rennie, who said he has been making regular appearances at her home and the house belonging to her neighbour Liz McKinnon.

Elizabeth told the Barrhead News: “He’s been coming round for about two or three weeks and is here two or three times a day.

“He sits on Liz’s roof and then comes down to the garden to get some food.

“There have been so many people stopping to take pictures and videos of him when they go past.

“It’s so weird to see something like that in your garden.

“He’s famous now. We can claim him – the wee Barrhead heron.”

Grey herons are known for their long beak, even longer legs and grey, black and white feathers.

Scottish SPCA chief superintendent Mike Flynn is glad local residents have been able to enjoy watching wildlife – but he is urging them to do so from a distance.

He said: “We have had more reports of wildlife being seen in areas they may not have visited before, such as this heron in Barrhead.

“This is due to the current restrictions on human movement.

“As always, we would ask that people do not approach wildlife they encounter. This could lead to the animal suffering unnecessary stress and cause it to be injured or create an orphan unnecessarily.

“If there is a welfare issue and it needs attention, do not approach the animal. Instead, contact us immediately.”

For more advice on how to deal with wildlife you encounter, call the Scottish SPCA helpline on 03000 999 999.