A spot in a white area is not always a tick mark. Sometimes an area of color in the middle of a blaze appears like an island in a river of white. This is called a lozenge. They are quite common in some breeds, less so in Aussies. The exact mode of inheritance is not known, but their tendency to be common in some breeds suggests heritability. They are not specifically mentioned in the standard. It's just one of many lovely Aussie variations.
We're looking down on the top of the head of SCF Hotter 'N' Blazes. Her white areas are clear of tick marks, yet she has a large attractive lozenge right on the top of her cranium. This isn't one great big tick. It's inherited separately, though exactly how is not completely clear.
Dakota is a red tricolor with a half white head. She appears to have faint ticking right above her nose, but the rest of her white is clear. She also has a nice lozenge centered right in the middle of her cranium.
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