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.


3 thoughts on “The sartorial pitfalls of year ticking

  1. Worth a punt, a quick seawatch over the high tide at Ainsdale today revealed approximately 1,000 Common Scoter strung out along the coast north of Shore Rd and south down towards Freshfield – all too far out to work properly, also about 27 Gannets, plus commuter Sandwich and Common Terns.


  2. Visitors are invited to a summer of wild activities at RSPB Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay nature reserve.
    ‘Nature Up-close’ is a special microscope event which provides visitors with the chance to get up-close and personal with some of the special wildlife at Leighton Moss. Drop-in sessions take place on Wednesday 3 and 17 August, between 1-3 pm.
    Families are invited to uncover ‘What Lives Beneath’, a special pond dipping event on Thursday 4 and 18 August. Drop-in between 10.30 am and 3.30 pm to take part.
    Budding explorers can drop-in to ‘Animal Trackers’ on Wednesday 10 and 24 August, where families can become wildlife detectives for the day! Just roll up between 1-3pm for adventures around the nature reserve’s wildlife garden.
    Ever been on safari? ‘Minibeast Safaris’ at Leighton Moss offer the chance for visitors to become wildlife explorers and experience the fascinating world of creepy crawlies! Drop-in between 10.30 am and 3.30 pm on Thursday 11 and 25 August.
    Venue: RSPB Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay nature reserve, Myers Farm, Storrs Lane, Silverdale, LA50SW.
    Contact: For further details visit or phone the visitor centre on 01524 701601.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.