A brood of pheasants.--Joseph Wright's English Dialect Dictionary, 1896-1905
Of pheasants, a flight or great company of those birds.--Nathaniel Bailey's Etymological English Dictionary, 1749
When Worlds Collide
According to William Hone's Every-Day Book (1826-1827), "On August 28, 1736, a man passing the bridge over the Savock, near Preston, Lancashire, saw two large flights of birds meet with such rapidity that 180 of them fell to the ground." In The Wild Fowler (1859), Henry Folkard reminded readers that such avian groups once had more distinctive names: "Let us hope that the character of the English sportsman is not so far degenerated, or the respect he owes the ancient diversions so far forgotten, as to permit him any longer to persist in such cramped and improper slang as to use the inapplicable term 'flock' to every, or any, description of wildfowl. It should be borne in mind that, as we derive our purest sciences from the ancients, from the same source sprang our national sports. The arts, systems, and terms in connection with such have been handed down to us ... because none other express so faithfully the meaning intended to be conveyed."
Y'know, there's respect for tradition, and then there's just being a prat.