Thursday, 10 April 2008


The Lapwing, probably because it is, or used to be, a common sight in the countryside has many local names.
Peewit, after its call and Green Plover, after its colour are pretty obvious. But is Lapwing so obvious? Well no, it doesn't derive from lap and wing, but dates all the way back to the 8th century. Lap derives from the old English "laepi" meaning crest, and similar names are found in Holland (Frisian Islands) and Germany (Heligoland). Wing derives form -wince, meaning something going up and down, referring to the crest, so in fact both parts of the name come from the crest and not the wing.

Another name in East Anglia was Wipe, from the Norse word for crest. Various variants on the name, Horny Wick are also known, where horn again refers to the crest. There is also a another variant Horry Wick, horry meaning filthy because, for some reason, it had a bad reputation among country folk. Horn Pie is more obvious, horn for the crest and Pie as in Magpie, pied appearance.
The evolution of these ancient name brought one of my favourites, Flop Wing. This probable happened when the original meaning was converted to Flapwing, or Flap Jack in Suffolk, after the way it flies, and then on to Flop Wing and finally back to Lapwing where we are now!

We all know where the name Canada Goose derives, and I guess many of wish that is exactly where they still were. The arrival of a pair of these aggressive colonists is possibly a major hazard for the nesting waders on the islands at the scrape.

Moths, an unimpressive list after the very cold night:
Hebrew Character 2
Common Quaker 2
Clouded Drab 1

A Small White and a Peacock butterfly in the garden still gives the illusion that summer is coming.

At this evenings KOS AGM I'm going to show some Gull pictures, some think that gulls are boring, but they certainly present an I'd challenge.

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