Great Egret (Ardea alba)
Virginia, USA, 2002

The great egret occurs in Europe, as well as the Americas, but it's a very rare visitor to Britain. I saw one once, in Suffolk, England, and earned the contempt of a group of twitchers for my remark "What's that, Jim? An albino heron?"

Recent studies of DNA have shown that the great egret is more closely related to herons than to other egrets, and its scientific name has now been changed to reflect this.