Little Egret (Egretta Garzetta)
On the 28th May 1989 Mrs. C. Pruskin noted the presence of an egret on Broad Ees Dole Nature Reserve at Sale Water Park.
The large size, all-white plumage, black legs, yellow feet, grey bill, dark eye and crest feathers, confirmed the identification of the bird. It attracted the attention of the other birds on the site, especially herons, and this disturbance may have led to the departure of the welcome visitor.
Hundreds of people enjoyed the spectacle of the exotic wanderer over the Spring Bank Holiday as it darted amongst the reeds and shallows of the man-made reserve. A first for the county, this bird drew bird-watchers from all over the Country to see it. Both twitchers and non-birders stood side by side marvelling at the bird with the M63 as a backdrop.
Adam Davidson, Mersey Valley Visitor Centre
Additional information from Pete Berry
On the 28th May 1989, I visited my (then) local patch, Sale Water Park at about 7am. As I was walking round the lake I met a couple who told me they had seen a white egret on the nature reserve. There was no sign of the bird so the next couple of hours were frantically spent in searching every pool and ditch within a couple of mile radius without any luck. I was going back to my car which was parked at the water park when I decided to have one last look on Broad Ees Dole (I had already checked it twice). There, perched in the top of a sapling was an egret which I realised was a Little Egret. As mobile phones didn't exist in those far off days, I had to leg it back to my car (something which I do at lot slower these days) and drive into Sale to find a phone to alert local birders. Fortunately the bird was still there when reinforcements arrived, it actually stayed several days and was twitched by several hundred birders during it's stay. At that time Little Egrets were still extremely rare birds and I had to submit it to BBRC for acceptance, how times have changed, you'd hardly bother to cross the road nowadays to see one they're that common!