The very first time I saw an egret, we were paddling a canoe up the estuary of the Erme, in South Devon; it was one of those deep inlets where the trees overhang the water, and when we came round a bend we saw one of these trees with several great white birds in. It reminded me of Saint Brendan meeting the fallen angels during his voyages; as their offence had been small, they were allowed to live quite cheerfully and sing praises.
Not that I've ever heard an egret singing, but it was a fine sight.
Up at Great Bedwyn I saw a couple of the local egrets perching in a big ash tree by the River Dun, and took some photos that helped with painting this picture. It was the second time I've used the Two Rivers paper I got from Neil Hopkins, who makes it in a water mill on Exmoor. It's very nice stuff.