I thought the “veronica” in Eamon Grennan’s “oystercatchers in flight” (There Now) was a word capturing the manoeuvres of the birds.
a band of oystercatchers faces all one way
into a nor’wester so shafts of windlight
ignite each orange beak in this abiding
tribe of black till you clap and their risen black
turns white as they veronica on wind and
But what was an effect of wind was also an effect of light. The pattern of the birds — black turning to white — is likened to a sweat-stained shroud but perhaps more aptly to this definition of veronica: in bullfighting, a slow movement of the cape away from a charging bull by the matador, who stands in place. [said to be by association of the attitude of the matador with the depiction of St. Veronica holding out a cloth to Jesus] (New Oxford American Dictionary).
Not a nautical term. No.
And so for day 1841