Today I saw a mystery bird, standing quite still in shallow water, staring at the surface. Its long neck, now stretched out, now S-shape like a snake, created a distinctive silhouette against the low winter sun. At a distance it could have been mistaken for a Little Egret but when one of these landed beside it, I could see that the mystery bird was huge by comparison and its beak was yellow not black. I was looking at a Great White Egret, a new visitor to our shores, and apart from the 3 species of swans, the largest of all the white birds in Britain and Ireland. Perhaps like the Little Egret it will become a breeding resident.