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.

2 comments:

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'!

Cheers,

Seumus