This little egret and I were each as surprised as the other when we suddenly came face to face when I walked round a bend in the path at my local North Norfolk nature reserve. I only had time to fire three shots off and got just this one sharp against a grey cloudy sky. He’s been a resident all winter and I often see him on the same stretch of the river, but he’s relatively shy. We have both permanent and migrant little egrets in the East of England so I very much hope he sticks around now spring is approaching. According to the RSPB little egrets are relatively recent permanent arrivals to the UK with the first breeding pair being recorded in Dorset in 1996.