Help with identification - Swamp Harrier???

Subject: Help with identification - Swamp Harrier???
From: "Dave Torr" <>
Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2003 06:05:39 +0000
I was at Werribee yesterday with a visiting Swedish birder and we saw a most peculiar bird at "The Spit" - in the shallow water near the far sandbank. It was a VERY windy day which may have affected the feathers of course and made use of our scopes difficult. It was a largish bird, dark on top with bright yellow legs and very clearly a large yellow bill. Our thoughts were some sort of raptor from the general shape - and it seemed to be feeding in the shallow water. It remained a mystery for some minutes as we pored over our bird books until it flew off and then clearly showed the white rump of a Swamp Harrier. It was certainly the right size although it had looked too pale underneath - but that may have been a trick of the wind. But the large yellow bill remains a mystery - presumably it was feeding on something that colour?????

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