The sartorial pitfalls of year ticking


Deep gratitude to the RSPB’s Alex Piggott for her text this morning explaining that yesterday’s Cattle Egret was still at Marshside and on Rainford’s Lagoon, although it presented me with something of a wardrobe dilemma.
I appeared to have mislaid my birding pantaloons and the clock was ticking – Mrs D (the master of Dempsey Towers) is currently en vacance with the outlaws in France, and a chap can’t be expected to memorise where everything is in the house.
Think, think, what would Beau Brummell do???
Luckily I remembered I’d bought a great big waterproof poncho at the birdfair last year for duties in more exotic climes, and as a short*rse it comes right down to my ankles – problem solved, lash on a pair of bilstons and sandals and no-one will be any the wiser – after all no polite person ever asks a Scotsman what’s under his kilt right?
Whizzed up to Marshside in the rain and the little white chicken was still hunched up at the back of the lagoon with a Little Egret for company, looking as miserable as only a Cattle Egret can in bad weather.


Now many readers of the blog around the globe may be perplexed at this juncture as to what the fuss was, but north west England remains one of the few outposts where Cattle Egret is not omnipresent (not counting all points further to the north of course), and this one had plenty of colour on the crown and back, although you’d be hard pressed to see this in the rainsodden pix I took just before the showers shut down my P900.
After a minute or two the egret went for a wander in the rain into lusher vegetation behind the lagoon.
With only a handful of records before I think it maybe a Marshside tick for me too, which more than justifies the “poncho only” approach to year listing.
I was just profoundly grateful that it wasn’t too windy.