A dissimulation of wagtails

I failed to find the collective noun for pied wagtails, so fell back on ‘dissimulation’ which is a generic term for a flock of small birds (deriving from their habit of diverting behaviour to distract predators).  

I wanted to know because I came across a flock of wagtails in the berry-laden trees of Leigh Delamere services on the M4.  It was dark, at about 5.40 pm and, as I walked through the car park, I heard a twittering in the small trees lining the roadways.  They were faintly lit by artificial lighting.

wagtails

 

Birds flew from one tree to another and then back again, perching in the branches.  I had not seen such activity before.  I hope the artificial lighting didn’t upset them too much.

wagtails-2

I had a good look to see if there was a waxwing among them, but with no success.

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About campaignerkate

I am the general secretary of the Open Spaces Society and I campaign for public access, paths and open spaces in town and country.
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4 Responses to A dissimulation of wagtails

  1. chris says:

    Great pic Kate

    if you ever want to treat yourself ‘invest’ in recent book by engraver Colin See-Payton

    Of A Feather – An Illustrated Lexicon Of Avian Collective Nouns

    http://www.see-paynton.co.uk/shop/proddetail.asp?prod=Of-A-Feather

    regards

  2. chris says:

    Kate –

    flight or flock by prescription but dissimulation sounds so much better

    Whilst Watching a Dissimulation of Birds”

    I saw a leash of hawks unleashed
    that brooded with the hens.
    A raft of ducks came paddling by
    escaping to their dens.

    A wedge of swans were herded on,
    the squadron taking charge,
    when a raffle of turkeys
    mustered round a mob that was at large.

    The guillemots at their bazaar
    braced for a covey of grouse.
    When out of the sky a descent of woodpeckers
    chased a little brown mouse.

    A company of widgeon
    joined with a teal knob,
    as a pack of gulls colonised
    a half-eaten corn cob.

    The flamboyance of the flamingos
    scoffed at by a flock of bustards,
    troubled the hummingbirds by calling the jays
    a band of hairy bustards.

    The concentrating kingfishers
    joined a congregation of plovers,
    as the eagles began a convocation
    in a field of clover.

    I had now become tired
    of watching this bird volery,
    so the brooding hawks put on a kettle
    and I had a cup of tea.

    The unkindness of the ravens
    was a conspiracy galore.
    It caught the stare of the owls
    on their parliamentary floor.

    The ostentatious peacocks,
    so prideful of their beauty,
    tailed a bouquet of pheasants
    to the penguins at their rookery.

    The exaltation of the larks
    were heard in high-exalting
    by the mallards who were rather flushed
    from playing in the puddling.

    A gaggle of geese were flocked together
    charmed by the chattering goldfinches,
    when a covert of coots covered a siege
    of Bitterns eating their lunches.

    And in the parish of the rooks
    clamoured the ruffs who lived on a hill.
    They walked the wispy, lispy snipes
    hoping to make a kill.

    The sparrows set up a quarrel
    and the starlings murmured too,
    as the thrushes began mutating
    after a visit to the partridge bew.

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