I APPROACHED the edge of the spreading flood on the haugh by the River Devon near Tillicoultry as it crept forward with the sureness of an incoming tide, gradually filling cattle hoofprints pock-marked upon the ground.

A movement caught my eye by the water margin – a diminutive brown furry bundle, swimming with whirring legs in a purposeful manner towards a small raised clump of grass.

It was a field vole; its body buoyant and bobbing like a cork, the fur on the upperparts surprisingly dry despite its unexpected dunking.

Sudden floods such as this are a disaster for voles. They are abundant on the haugh and this creature was no doubt one of many that were trying to escape the rising waters.

One animal’s calamity is another’s fortune, and several herons, crows and magpies had gathered by the water’s edge on the look-out for these fleeing voles, as well as invertebrates such as worms emerging to the surface.

Several black-headed gulls were also excitedly flying low over the flood plain, taking advantage of this new-found bounty caused by the spreading river.

The Devon has spilled over frequently into surrounding fields since the start of December, completely transforming the landscape.

Teal flock into these newly inundated areas, their soft piping whistles floating far in the wind.

And, sometimes the odd surprise visitor can turn-up, as happened the other week when I discovered a great white egret stalking a rush-filled watery field near Dollar.

Normally found on the Continent, this was a rare and unusual visitor to Clackmannanshire, and its ghostly white elegance simply drew my breath away.