While fishermen have been seeing herring balls in the channel for some time today was the first time I have seen one close inshore. This ball came right into my little estuary and were being taken in 5 or 6 inches of water. My first clue was the sight of about 30 Bald Eagles circling and diving right below our studio. I got down to the beach in time to witness a stirring race between several dozen Mergansers and flocks of Gulls straining to get to the bonanza. Probably 1500 Gulls were finding easy pickings in the shallow water and were soon joined by a lot of other divers – Grebes, Harlequins,Golden-eyes among them. The whole thing lasted about 15 minutes.
Mike is guessing, and I agree, that this is not a spawning attempt but more likely just some faulty navigation by this particular school of fish. In any case, all very spectacular. First photo below is the big Gull/Merganser Race, the second is a gull and a Merganser in a neck and neck last lap, then another shot of a Gull with Herring for dinner. Dennis