My husband and I were at the Elmley reserve on Thurs 31st May and spotted what looked to me to be an egret (I'm from US where they're common) but consultation with Collins Bird Guide revealed they are not common in UK. I thought most closely resembled Little Egret. The picture is not good (too windy to get clarity in zoom without tripod!). Can anyone help to identify? We also enjoyed sightings of avocets from Wellmarsh Hide, a couple of reed buntings, a yellow wagtail, a family of mute swans, 3 common terns (or was it the same one three times?!) and plenty of lapwings. All in all, a great day out!
Your bird does indeed look like a Little Egret. They are no longer rare in UK although still not quite common. Several thousand winter here each year. There is a roost of around 70 birds at Burton Mere on the Dee Estuary in northwest England.