We’ve loved hearing from you following our article about flocks in the latest issue of Nature’s Home. Many of you agreed the collective nouns we included were among your favourites. Here are some great ones that you shared with us too, plus some photographs which show how apt the group’s collective noun is for them.
My personal favourite is a real classic: a gaggle of geese. The name captures the scene of geese gathering and their unmissable calls so well, bringing it to my mind’s eye - and particularly ears – every time!
Pink-footed geese, Andy Hay (rspb-images.com)
This photograph fits the snipe’s collective name quite well, as it takes a good look to spot how many are in the shot. Snipe are skulking wading birds, and often their groups are smaller in number than other waders as they feed close together.
“Attached is a photograph I took at Lackford Lakes (Suffolk Wildlife Trust) on 30 December 2021 of what I thought was a couple of snipe. However, it turns out if you look closely there are many more and this definitely forms a wisp of snipe.” Chris Robinson
“A murder of crows; so apt.” Martin Savage
We’ve got to agree Martin, the superstitions and folk tales make this one a good fit and this image does portray a more chilling gathering at dusk.
Mixed flock of corvids, Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)
We loved this shot captured by Andy, and it made us smile because they’re not quite living up their collective noun which is a charm of goldfinches in this photograph!
“I wanted to share a pic of goldfinches on our home feeder. My 6 year old Ted loves watching them as they take turns to fill up on seeds. But it turns out some aren't so keen to give up their slots, and so we set up a camera to capture their battles. We were very lucky to get this shot as they tried to sort out a minor disagreement!” Andy Reilly
Partying red kites
“Thank you for the interesting article about collective nouns in Nature’s Home. Do you know if there is one for red kites as I’ve never seen one? It’s been suggested a festival of kites’ would be appropriate.” Nigel
A great suggestion Nigel, we believe the most common collective nouns for a group of red kites is a wake, kettle, husk or roost. But we like your suggestion! Here they are gathered at a feeding station.
Brian Reid (rspb-images.com)
“My favourite is an exaltation of larks.” Mary Roberts
Though this image doesn’t show them as a flock, it certainly captures the skylark singing in exaltation!
Ben Andrew (rspb-images.com)
We had to share this photograph captured by Les, as although it doesn’t show a flock of waxwings in their collective, this one looks like it could be studying as in a museum of waxwings.
“There have been very few sightings in the UK this year of waxwings, so imagine my delight when this showy individual turned up just a couple of miles from home in the first week of January in the RSPB Snettisham car park! I was the only person there and as far as I know, no one else photographed it. It certainly made my day.” Les Bunyan