Belongs to: herons & crakes

Compare with: little egret

Spoonbill Platalea_leucorodia

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

A tall, mainly white waterbird with a distinctive spoonlike bill, which it sweeps from side to side to catch food

Has recently begun to breed in the UK in small numbers, including in Essex

Most birds migrate south for the winter, but a few remain

© Andreas Trepte