Several hundreds ducks of all kinds were floating on the ocean, maybe 50 to 100 yards or so from where I was standing on the beach. There were Common Eiders, the largest duck North of the equator, Black Scoters, Long-tailed Ducks, and others I could not identify. They all seemed to be drifting further and further away from the shore. At first they swam North, then after a while reversed direction and went South.
Suddenly one Long-tailed Duck treaded water then took off.
Long-tailed Duck taking off.
Then the Black Scoters noisily left the scene.
Black Scoters fleeing the scene.
I saw the head of a Harbor Seal among the waves. They usually go after fish but are also known to have a penchant for killing and eating ducks. That’s why the ducks I saw were giving him a respectful and wide berth.
He swam toward me! Hmmm …
Then he changed his mind, dove into the water and went after the ducks. The Black Scoters kept flying up, one flock after another.
Black Scoters continuing to flee.
Soon more than half of the ducks were gone. I no longer saw the seal, but he was probably still there lurking underwater.