Friday, 11 June 2010

'Missiles' On The Moss

It's funny that as a birder you will often give birds different names and I can think of several that I use and indeed that members of our ringing group use. I suppose you could call it a sort of birding 'rhyming slang'! One of these is 'missile' for Mistle Thrush. We named Mistle Thrush 'missile' because it sounds a bit like 'mistle' and also because of the way it flies quite fast like a missile.

Mistle Thrush (Courtesy of Simon Hawtin)

The 'missiles' in question this afternoon were feeding on some tilled land at the top of the 'big' field on Rawcliffe Moss. I had a flock of 12, which is quite a large gathering for here. Often at this time of year and throughout the summer you can often get large flocks of 'missiles' and they are a delight to watch.

A number of Whitethroats were singing on the Moss and I had 6 singing males in total along with another non-singing bird. Keeping with the Warbler theme I had 3 singing Willow Warblers and a single singing Garden Warbler.

I had three Buzzards on my walk round including a bird that was being mobbed by a Lapwing at some altitude. I didn't know Lapwings could fly so high! A few Tree Sparrows called from the hedgerows along with 5 or 6 Goldfinches.

A number of butterflies were on the wing even though it was quite blustery. I had Small White, Large White, Peacock and the male Large Skipper below. In the plantation I had a single Cinnabar moth that didn't 'play ball' when I tried to photograph it.

Up onto the potato fields and I had a flock of 50 lapwings plus a further 8 birds scattered about on my walk. Seeing Lapwings flocked like this is a sign that autumn is here. I had 4 pairs of Corn Buntings and 2 pairs of Skylarks. Two Roe Deer in the plantation finished off what was a pleasant if blustery walk.

It's Pied Flycatchers and Swallows tomorrow and perhaps some mist netting on Sunday. I'll keep you posted.


John M. said...

Many years ago the Ringer's Bulletin (or perhaps it was BTO News) carried a cartoon sketch of a thrush-like bird zooming vertically, with the rubric "Turdus polaris - the missile thrush

Fleetwood Birder said...

Hello John,

Brilliant. Perhaps I had read that very article before calling them 'missiles'!