Swamp Harriers herding flocks

To: birding-aus <>
Subject: Swamp Harriers herding flocks
From: Debbie Lustig <>
Date: Sat, 2 Jul 2011 22:20:22 +1000
Late today at about 5.30pm, I saw something at the WTP that made me gasp. It 
was eight or nine Swamp Harriers hunting a flock of perhaps 200 small birds. 
Starlings, I think.This was over an area of about 500m2, along the road to Lake 
Borrie, just past the turnoff. The panicked birds rose in long streams, flying 
from the lake side of the road to the river side. They wheeled and twisted, 
breaking up then reassembling in concert. The harriers occasionally dived.It 
looked just like fish being herded by dolphins in the sea. The reeds there are 
high so I couldn't see if any birds were caught. But it seemed like the 
swampies were acting together.Could this be true? I've never seen this 
behaviour. Has anybody else?It certainly made my early evening an unforgettable 

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