I called to the rest but it was only H.I. who showed any interest, and to say 'showed any interest' is an understatement. We were transfixed. The others peered over the wall briefly and walked on, some showing more passive interest in their phones than the other-worldly bird standing fifteen feet away in real time.
I thought about taking a photo of it to show you, but soon came to my senses. We spent a good ten minutes just watching it, so I can now bring it back to mind without referring to the screen of my phone.
Its huge feet were like cast bronze and its bib with rows of evenly-spaced, square-ended grey streamers running down both sides was more than functional, as the fringes on the buckskin jackets of backwoodsmen shed rain. A single black streamer on the back of its slicked-back, black head and two long white streamers either side of its colossal beak. It had eyes like the fish it was hunting.
The last tribe of ancient Britons to be conquered by the Romans in this region had a heron god, and you can understand why.