A few years ago I invested my hard earned cash in a plastic heron. A strange choice of garden ornament you may be thinking, and indeed you'd be right.
Truthfully, I'm not really a garden ornament type of person, although I do have a small ivy-clad gargoyle as a nod to some kind of al fresco decoration.
But I have a pond, complete with fish, whose numbers were severely depleted by our local heron who liked to come and dine, turning our pets into his finest sushi snack.
I had read somewhere that herons are territorial, and if you put an imitation heron near your pond it fools the real one into thinking that particular dining table is already taken and thus he moves on.
So approximately twenty quid or so lighter, and husband moaning that I must be out of my mind to think that this would work, the artificial heron was purchased from the garden centre and installed to guard over my precious fish.
This did seem to work initially, although husband did point out I ought to move it round a bit otherwise the real heron would realise that it was a fake - a suggestion which I, perhaps foolishly, disregarded.
One day as I stood drying the dishes in the kitchen, I looked out of the window and thought to myself that husband must have bought me another mock heron, for there, next to my pond sat two herons, perfectly still.
It was at this point I realised that one wasn't plastic, but was in fact the real deal and was trying to befriend the inanimate one that was supposed to scare him away - trust me to lure the real one with a decoy!
Following on from this, I hadn't seen my fish for a long while and thought it was time to recycle my dummy bird as he had obviously woefully failed in his task.
But then I spotted my last two fish - Admiral Bubbles and Ziva, since you ask - lurking under some pond foliage, so my mock heron has earned a reprieve and stays for a little bit longer!