Common Seals

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Yesterday, with the weather being fantastic, I took a walk along a local rocky shore, at low tide.

One particular spot has always been a favoured basking / haulout site with Common Seals and, with the tide being low, I was delighted to get close to some mothers and their pups, as there was only a strip of water between them and me.

The pups, of course, are wonderful to see; they must only be a month old, at most, right now.

Mums seemed to be enjoying some “me time”, too.

Soaking up the sun’s rays.

There were lots of birds out and about, too, but will have to sift through the hundreds of pics I took. :-)

Comments

24 Jul, 2011
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eje said:

What a staggering set of wonderful shots David.

24 Jul, 2011
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mike said:

Great set David - thank you

24 Jul, 2011
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Fabulous blog and photos

24 Jul, 2011
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bonkersbon said:

Fantastic to have these on your doorstep David and to have some sunny weather for both you and them to enjoy.Really shows in your lovely series of photos.

We have them here too but few places remote enough for them to have their pups .. unusual for pups to be so young as often born in depths of winter Nov - Feb the usual birthing period.

Nominated and included in Wildlife category.

24 Jul, 2011
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robashfield said:

Wow David,thanks for sharing these fab pics of a lovely animal.How jealous am I ! Having these on your doorstep,brilliant.

24 Jul, 2011
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muddywalters said:

Fabulous blog and photos David. Thanks for sharing mate - a real treat for me. :-)

24 Jul, 2011
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aster said:

Wonderful captures David,they almost seem to be smiling :)

24 Jul, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Glad you enjoyed this, folks. :-)) Was introduced to this spot by my Dad when I was 4 yrs old, almost half a century ago! Have had my own children here a few times, and they love to see them, too. We have both Common and Grey Seals visit, but these are definitely "Commoners". Am thinking, Bb, that you might be referring to the Grey Seal? Many thanks for both the nomination for, and inclusion in, the "Wildlife" page. Here, therefore, are a few differences I've learned, to distinguish between the two :-

Grey Seals like rough, remote areas, whereas Common (or Harbour) Seals prefer gentler waters, and can sometimes be seen swimming in harbours - hence the name.

Grey Seals give birth to their pups in remote areas, in Autumn/early winter, whereas Common Seals have their single pups in summer, usually July.

Common Seals, when seen in profile, have a definite "brow", and look a lot like dogs. The profile of a Grey Seal's head is more "conical" (a bit like an Eider?)

Another feature useful for identifying purposes are the nostrils. Those of a Grey are straight, looking rather like the number 11. Those of a Common Seal are slanted, and are more "V" shaped (you can see this in the pics, above)

Another feature of Common Seals is that wonderful "smile", which you refer to, Aster - the Greys just don't display this.

Wish I were as good with bird ID, lol!! Was back today - another glorious one. Watched, fascinated, as a mum and pup cavorted around, and played a game of chase with a family of Eiders. Yes, they were "smiling" throughout, but don't think that the ducks enjoyed it as much. There was quite a gathering of folks with cameras of all shapes and sizes. The seals, of course, took it all in their stride. :-))

24 Jul, 2011
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saucy said:

These are so adorable thank you for sharing theses with us. How lucky you are.

24 Jul, 2011
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littlewren said:

absolutely beautiful photos...and I love the look of sheer pleasure on the one basking in the sun....fantastic

25 Jul, 2011
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deida said:

Wonderful blog,superb pics.I love Seals ..thanks David

25 Jul, 2011
Dipper
david said:

You're welcome! Glad you all enjoyed looking. :-))

25 Jul, 2011
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jane said:

Wonderful photos David..think we now know that our seals are Greys..they love the rocky outcrops and rugged terrain around Whitby. Great to see the Mums getting some me time...its hard work rearing these young ! Many thanks for all the details about the differences..shows how little we know ! Lol....

25 Jul, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Glad that my "warblings" are of some use, Jane! :-) Lots of pics of Whitby still on here , from years gone by- gr8 coastline!!

26 Jul, 2011
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jane said:

I think so David ! Hoping to get out to Ravenscar sometime soon..its even wilder out there.The last time we went we nearly got cut off by the tide which sneaks up on you from around the bay...lol.Its a fair old hike from the clifftop to the bottom and back up again but its a fantastic spot to find unusual pieces of driftwood !!

26 Jul, 2011
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bonkersbon said:

Thanks for info David .. yes was indeed thinking of grey seals as only ones we see here and hadnt realised the difference which further to your details is quite significant .. as for smiling feature I just put that down to greys being fed up with weather.

Well if they will have their kids in the winter too ..

27 Jul, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Another one, Bb, is:- Common seals "bark" as they look like doggies, but the Greys "Ruff. Ruff!!", as they prefer the rougher terrain and weather. :-)) Taking the kids down here 4 a BBQ on Thursday, weather, and tide, permitting - at their request, following on from my pics. Incidentally, Jane, we are also going to be on the lookout for some interestingly-shaped driftwood, for a home project :-))

Hope you both get to Redcar soon, with good weather. Take Care with the hike!! Hope you get some pics, too!:-))

27 Jul, 2011
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jane said:

Hoping you all have a great day out and BBQ tomorrow David..wil look forward to more pics....Ps off to Ravenscar NOT Redcar...lol !!! Good luck also with the driftwood hunt ..:o))

27 Jul, 2011
Dipper
david said:

Oops, how on earth did I manage that one?? Would never dream of thinking that Redcar is wild, rough and rugged! :-O)

Kids now more "compos mentis" after their holiday and jetlag. Have begun telling me of walks along the beach, and seeing wild pelicans landing on the water, sea turtles on the sand, and manatees on rocks, jetties, etc. And all I can offer them are the wonderful seals! :-))

27 Jul, 2011
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jane said:

Aww just wait until they see those beautiful smiling seal faces close up David ! Sure that like most kids they "live for the moment" when they are out so it will be as much of a thrill as any to them.Enjoy yourselves. Re Redcar I will put it down to a senior moment or dont you get those yet ??? Lol

27 Jul, 2011
Dipper
david said:

They are looking forward to it, honestly! Have had to reschedule an outdoor lunch for an early supper, though, to coincide with low tide. Yes, "senior moments "becoming a frequent occurrence, am afraid. Experiencing going to get things, even at work, and forgetting when I arrive what I went for, so have to retrace my steps and start again. At least, not quite happening when I go through to the kitchen for something, or the bathroom- yet! LOL!

27 Jul, 2011
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jane said:

Bit too much info there David..but get the gist !! Hope you lot have a great time..sure you will ! Can smell that cooking from here ! Mmm.....

28 Jul, 2011
Dipper
david said:

:-D). Hope to send the cooking smells, as did with the weather, at the weekend.

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