Subject: Darter
From: "John Graff" <>
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 22:22:25 +1030
There's some good vision of that in a doco about the Okavango Delta in Botswana, but unfortunately, I can't remember the name of it, and some hasty Googling hasn't helped, I think it came out in the mid-late 1990s. Underwater shots of the Darter hunting and spearing the fish then taking it to the surface and swallowing it (although I'm not sure if it was quite as big as the one you describe).

Also saw a Darter swallowing a bream (~15cm long) on the riverbank along Mounts Bay Road (perth, for those that don't know)

John Graff

From: "Colin Driscoll" <>
To: <>
Subject: [Birding-Aus] Darter
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 20:34:47 +1000


On Saturday morning after our big cyclone I watched a Darter waddle out of
the lake with a very large Luderick that it had speared. That was the first
thing- the fish had been speared through the side by that sharp beak and I
had never realised that they would catch fish that way.

The bird deftly flicked the fish off its beak into the air and caught it
head first. I could not believe it was going to try and swallow it but
that's what happened. The fish was almost 'pan sized' at least 15cm long and
10cm wide. The bird worked on what looked like the impossible for a couple
of minutes and just stood there head in the air, mouth so wide that it
looked dislocated and then gulp and the fish was down the hatch- amazing.

Must buy a video camera, that would have been a great clip.

Colin Driscoll

Lake Macquarie
NSW Australia

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