Yesterday from the shore of Herring Bay, I was watching a flock of ducks maybe 300 yds offshore in about 4 maybe 5 ft of water. Too far for me to know what kind but about 100 loosely scattered.
Saw horizontal splashes about a yd long and a ft or 2 high in and around the flock, maybe 3 -4 of them and as the splashes continued the ducks gathered up as a tight group and swam south fast, didn't fly.
Meanwhile gulls are diving into the group like over blues feeding. First thought it was diving and resurfacing ducks but splashes were too big. Grabbed binoculars and could almost be certain that the splashes were something coming up from the water, not gulls or the ducks themselves. After a few minutes the splashes slowed and quit and the ducks slowed and dispersed a little. I have seen big blues bring down ducks this way years ago. Couldn't see anything in the splashes but it was a long way
But whats still in the Bay that can do this???
Big blue catfish is the only thing I can think of........ Gary
Salinities down there are at the maximum for blue catfish. It’s possible but I wouldn’t bet on it. Plus not exactly in their normal dietary range either.
They can survive up to 3 days at about 17 psu and right now it’s at 14 or so. This is taken from a 2019 study from Virginia Institute of Marine Science.
If this was afternoon, maybe a stray early season striper feeding in the warmer shallows? Diving gulls would indicate a school of bait since Blue Cats wouldn’t leave a chum line like bluefish or stripers.
Hard to say.
Shooting from the hip here. Not fish eating ducks. No way. Will call fake news on you witnessing bluefish eating ducks too for that matter. Sorry. Sure it could happen, blues can be ravenous. A duckling? Maybe. But sorry. No. Not buying it.
Trevally around one atoll in the pacific have adapted to eat young seabirds who can't fly well. It's pretty amazing to watch. Not what happened here though. No way. Sorry just keeping it real.
So Chessie is still a in play right?
Rock was my conclusion since blues have to be long gone, but are rock capable of swallowing a duck??? - these were( as far as i could see from maybe 300 yds) grown ducks. Blues can do a job on your fingers and duck legs and i guess a rockfish could grab one and drag it down?
Wife said turtles but they're asleep and there were too many splashes which would flash across horizontally just llike fish
One thing i did with the binoculars was to watch a patch of water beside the flock with no ducks - there were splashes where there was no duck or divingbirds before or after the splash ( at least that i could see)
Was going to try for a pic but it would have taken a really long lens - better than i have!
I've seen what you describe a few times.
I think the diving ducks go under and swim a good ways - popping up far from where they went under. They often will flutter hard - I think drying out wings.
It often is violent splashing that can fool you into thinking ducks are being attacked.
They say that life's a carousel - spinning fast, you've got to ride it well.