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Home Tourist Attraction Harry the heron becomes Pitlochry’s hottest tourist attraction

Harry the heron becomes Pitlochry’s hottest tourist attraction

by Staff

With its unique light show, alluring distilleries, world-renowned forests, glut of cafes and plethora of vantage points, Pitlochry attracts visitors from far and wide.

Now the prestigious Highland Perthshire town can add yet another tourist attraction to its already heaving list.

A heron.

Affectionately named Harry by locals, the long-necked grey bird has been omnipresent in recent weeks.

He has been regularly spotted in the town centre at bus stops, outside pubs and other busy areas.

Harry the heron ‘not scared of people’

“He is not scared of people – they come right up close to him,” said Karen McGrath,  who was confronted – peacefully – by the heron before work last Friday.

Karen is an events coordinator for Balhousie Care Group.

Harry is said to enjoy human company. Image: Bruce McEwen

“At just after 8am I walked to the back entrance of the care home and the heron was at the door,” she recalled.

“It gave me a fright because I didn’t know how I was going to get in.

“Then later on it was sitting in one of the unit’s gardens at the gazebo.

“One of the carers says she hears it every morning so it must be around here.

“It comes here early in the morning when nobody can really see it.”

“The joke is that he is here on-time more often than half the staff,” said Karen’s work colleague Julie McEwen.

Pitlochry residents share photos of ‘legend’

Residents have been sharing photos and sightings of Harry on Facebook page Pitlochry Now.

He has been snapped on the bus stop opposite Fishers’ Hotel, in the beer garden outside the Old Mill Inn and near the dam.

Harry the Heron at the Old Mill Inn, Pitlochry.
At the Old Mill Inn. Image: Helen Owens
Harry the Heron at Pitlochry Dam.
At Pitlochry Dam. Image: Salene Scougall

“He is always sat outside opposite Fisher’s,” Karen added.

“It’s nice to see. He is a bit of a character.

“He is a tourist attraction now and people are taking selfies with him.

“He is a bit of a legend in Pitlochry at the moment.”

Sequel to the squirrel

It is not the first time that a wild animal has helped Pitlochry’s fame soar.

In September 2022 the town’s Greggs was forced to close for three days after a squirrel became trapped inside the bakery.

At the Old Mill Inn. Image: Helen Owens

“Last time we had the squirrel,” added Karen.

“This time it is the heron.”

The Courier has contacted the SSPCA for comment.

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