Autumnwatch grey seal webcams  permalink

Your ideas please...

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Messages: 1 - 27 of 27
  • Message 1. 

    Posted by Ben (U3736987) on Thursday, 4th November 2010


    Interested to know if you'd like to see seals next year too?

    Perhaps with webcams and perhaps even an underwater web cam .. so you can see what seals are doing in the shallows??

    The behaviour of these incredibly gentle creatures is very different when they are in/ under the water.

    It "might" also be possible to follow some of the adults as they head off shore to feed.

    Your ideas please...

    Report message1

  • Message 2

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Robin2279 (U14671747) on Thursday, 4th November 2010

    Would certainly like to see seals again - they are one of the best features on Autumnwatch.
    The webcam has been great and makes you really feel part of the action.
    Thank you for this Autumnwatch team!!
    Many of my friends and I would like to have seen more of the seal behaviour on the main program with explanations.
    It would be amazing to see the seals and pups underwater with a webcam!
    I watched your film "magic beneath the sea' and it would be very exciting to have you filming the seals with Gordon (you seem to have a way with them!) -I presume you'd have to do this away from the pupping beaches?
    Showing other wildlife in the sea with the seals would also be interesting.Do they catch fish off the beach?

    Report message2

  • Message 3

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Valerie (U14649377) on Thursday, 4th November 2010

    100% yes would love to see a seal webcam every year , can never tire of seals

    Report message3

  • Message 4

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by enkhuizen (U14666208) on Friday, 5th November 2010

    That's a retorical question! (smile) Of course we are interested!!! It is an wonderful animal with many unknown habits, so the more we can learn about them, the more they will become untouched by our human scavenger habits. Hopefully.....

    Report message4

  • Message 5

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Jay (U14672828) on Friday, 5th November 2010

    I, too, would like to see seals next Autumnwatch.

    Like Robin (message2) it would be wonderful to see the seals under water and interacting with other wildlife.

    Please, Autumnwatch, give serious consideration to this.

    Report message5

  • Message 6

    , in reply to message 5.

    Posted by jeztorrance (U13978316) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    Hi all, what a great thread. Please keep those ideas coming in. It's a big help for us.

  • Message 7

    , in reply to message 6.

    Posted by Ben (U3736987) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    Hi Jeremy, AW Team and wildlife / seal enthusiasts,

    Firstly - THANK YOU Autumnwatch for the seal webcam - great job Jeremy & team!
    Seals are the largest wild animals to spend any time on UK mainland and with very individual characters, are gentle and highly inquisitive.

    Please consider a return to the FARNE ISLANDS next year.
    I work very closely with the NT warden there David Steel and he is a very knowledgeable and enthusiastic gent.

    There are sites there that no TV crews have ever visited and this includes SPECIAL SITES where:
    1. Pups play in shallow water on a very regular basis- suitable for snorkelling & great filming
    2. A location (I call it "pup nursery") where very young seals seem to group and "learn" to swim! ... quite an amusing sight!

    It was great when Gordon tried a short venture into the sea away from the main beach in a dry suit to meet the seals in the water.

    At the right location, with a guide at the right time of year, I can guarantee that the seals will interact closely with Gordon with fascinating footage and a truly memorable experience.

    We will be able to film footage that hasn't been seen before on TV.

    For something really novel (although this will test poor Gordon's nerves!) we could try to film the very first broadcast NIGHT Dive/ Snorkel with seals... there are even a few locations where we could do this LIVE.
    Cameras on IR mode and a couple of decent torches with IR filters should do the job!

    Having done this I can assure you that it is quite unnerving when you see a large seal head appear out of the darkness and at certain times you see a flash of phosphorescence from thier hind flippers sparks.
    In the darkenss their vertical slit pupils dilate and their eyes are huge.

    The in water activity of seals at this time of year is truly beautiful and I would like to help show this next year.

    With a background in Marine Biology (Southampton uni) I've spent over 10yrs observing and recording grey seals u/w behaviour around the UK.
    I am passionate about these intelligent and incredilbly gentle mammals. ( Tim S, Roger W, Richard T-J , Hannah B and others there no how to contact me)

    Thought you might find the following interesting....

    2 cow seals squabble...
    Trauma (waves & other seals) can be a major cause of mortality in the first 3 weeks of a pups life... here a little pup escapes from his Mum's 150kg weight!

    Lumpsucker meal
    Rare underwater footage of young seal feeding...

    Pup calling for Mum!
    Pretty common sight ... you'll be glad to know that 30mins later the Mum came back up the beach and went straight to the pup!

    Seal vocalisation underwater
    Filmed mid winter in very poor visibility ... turn the sound up on your PC!
    I have learnt that the seals respond to certain vocalisations underwater... not quite sure what this one is saying however!
    I use these sounds when I am in the water with them.

    Seal diver at surface with pups...
    "We breathe the same air"

    Any if you haven't seen in then for a glimpse into the underwater world...
    "Magic Beneath the Waves" - winning film at BUIF competition 2010 at

    Kind regards,
    Ben "Seal diver"

    Report message7

  • Message 8

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Jugdas (U14474671) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    We only get to see brief glimpses of animal behaviour on TV but your absolutely brilliant webcams have allowed my entire family to become real nature watchers for the last two weeks. Please, please,please set up some more equally outstanding cams next year. Oh and please take Mr Sperring with you wherever you go. His commentary is extremely informative and is a wonderfully unique feature.

    Report message8

  • Message 9

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by Robin2279 (U14671747) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    Without a doubt we want seals for next year and the Farne islands sounds very interesting, especially the special sites mentioned.

    I have read some of the detailed replies on the forum(eg breathing thread) by Ben (sealdiver)and his knowledge and insight has been very useful - thanks.

    The video clips are truly amazing and the one where the seal seems to be "talking" to underwater - quite unbelievable! The seals seem to almost know him??

    The idea of filming seals in the sea at night sounds very exciting but rather you than me!! smiley - smiley

    So BBC (& I know I speak on behalf of many of my friends!) PLEASE PLEASE keep seals as a feature in next years Autumnwatch, have web cams with Jeremy and his crew and get Ben to show us more of the seals in the water smiley - smiley

    Report message9

  • Message 10

    , in reply to message 9.

    Posted by Ben (U3736987) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    Thanks Robin2279 for your very kind comments!
    Glad you enjoyed the clips.
    I am very fortunate to have spent so much time with these animals.
    Kind regards,
    Ben "Seal diver"

    Report message10

  • Message 11

    , in reply to message 10.

    Posted by cornishkelpie (U14667729) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    Most definitely "Yes" to seal cams - land and sea for the next Autumnwatch! To see seals swimming and living in their natural environment is breathtaking.

    For underwater webcams, is there a possibility for a sort of 'roving-cam', where a camera could be attached to the underside of a fixed float of some kind, or a buoy? Obviously this must not cause any problems to the seals, or any other marine life, ie that the rope attaching the 'web buoy' doesn't interfere with their lives and cause them to become suspicious. My other thought is that an underwater cam could be fixed at the low-water mark (springs and/or neeps depending on filming) to maximise the activity of seals underwater and coming onto the rocks, or possibly cams put at both high AND low tide points fixed to the side amongst rocks to camouflage them. Just a thought anyway. This opens up so many possibilities, although of course the welfare of the seals comes first. But it would be a fabulous opportunity for viewers to study their lives a little bit deeper.

    Ben, your videos are absolutely phenomenal, they show you have a real connection with and a great understanding of marine life. Thank you for sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm with everyone because it has enriched all of our lives who've seen them.

    Best wishes for future 'foto-ventures'.

    Report message11

  • Message 12

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by tarra (U14499700) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    yes i would deffinatley like to see those gorgeous seals back again :D

    Report message12

  • Message 13

    , in reply to message 7.

    Posted by tattymog (U14666202) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    It would be fantastic to spend time on the Farnes next year. I fell in love with seals there when I was on a school trip in the mid fifties. The boat came within twenty feet or so of rocks heaving with these amazing beasts. A sight burnt into my memories. In those days culls were still carried out on the Farnes. Lets hope we never need to do that again.

    As I have already mentioned in another thread Ben, it would be great to have your seal expertise around on Autumn Watch. A live night-time dive would be so exciting!

    THANKS AGAIN for answering all my questions and taking such amazing films of these wonderful creatures. Having your videos to watch will help me get over the big gap left when the webcams go down tomorrow.

    All the best and many thanks

    Gill 'tattymog'

    Report message13

  • Message 14

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Farplace (U14491562) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    I am passionate about grey seals. Wonderful animals. Underwater shots would be good, as would following some adults as they go to feed.

    Report message14

  • Message 15

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Tracey (U14676575) on Saturday, 6th November 2010

    This sounds like a great idea. I Really enjoy the seal watch and to have a WEB camera would make them more accessible and hopefully catch more exciting moments. Agree the seals underwater are so graceful. Hope that this idea gets the go ahead.

    Report message15

  • Message 16

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by wildtrustuk (U14677483) on Sunday, 7th November 2010

    Thank you sooo much for the web cams- lovely!
    Definitely seals for next year please Autumnwatch.
    Underwater views would be great.
    Farne islands sounds good and I've been there (it's not so remote!)
    I'd like to see what the seals would make of Gordon in the water at night!!
    Brilliant idea ... can we have this live please??

    Would like to see them feeding if possible too.
    Thanks again for the live web cam - it's been like being there - great stuff BBC.

    Ben - I'll spend the next few weeks looking through your seal clips - thanks - where were these all filmed???
    Sunday lunch calls.
    Bye Julie.

    Report message16

  • Message 17

    , in reply to message 16.

    Posted by Colneybird (U12146715) on Sunday, 7th November 2010

    Now I can't type the *etter between K & : so wi** have to use *. O - don't ask but it's a new keyboard tomorrow! I'd *ove to see the sea*s again & perhaps Deer cams too! Most exciting woud be an infrared cam so us workers can see what occurs at night. Thank you a so much - it's been an honour!

    Report message17

  • Message 18

    , in reply to message 17.

    Posted by Colneybird (U12146715) on Sunday, 7th November 2010

    For some inexplicable reason the L key now functions - would just like to say it would be wonderful if Jeremy could say whether it's likely we'll have more live streaming next Autumn........I really hope the NHU won't suffer badly in any cutbacks as it is the best thing about the BBC!

    Report message18

  • Message 19

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by EnglishFolkfan (U11925926) on Sunday, 7th November 2010

    As UK Common Seals give birth in Spring/Summer I wonder if it would be possible to have a Common Seal webcam in Springwatch next year to give balance to the tendency for nearly all birdcams?

    Perhaps just a week with a team doing similar to what has just happened in Orkney but maybe in a more sheltered English seal breeding site for convenience!

    Report message19

  • Message 20

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by Aruna (U14677779) on Monday, 8th November 2010

    I trust you to bring us something nourshing. Seals are good, but something else would also be good...

    Report message20

  • Message 21

    , in reply to message 20.

    Posted by Robin2279 (U14671747) on Tuesday, 9th November 2010

    I've just read this farnephoto.blogspot.... !

    A number of my friends are involved in wildlife groups and the Farne islands seem to be a favourite destination. Travelling from various parts of the midlands and north west it is still relatively easy to get there for a weekend.

    Please Autumnwatch - do include seals next year (I know theres lots of bird watchers on these forums but there's thousands of people who watch Autumnwatch & Springwatch just for the seals, deer and larger animals like the wild boar.)

    Could we see the seals feeding, unsure how they do this??

    Report message21

  • Message 22

    , in reply to message 21.

    Posted by sleepypenny (U14484273) on Tuesday, 9th November 2010

    Not sure where to put this apart from here...

    It's been totally transfixing and I've really enjoyed all the comments too

    Some coverage next year would be good, a webcam would extra-good

    Can't see me making it to the Farne Islands any time soon smiley - sadface Not from down here in the South..

    Report message22

  • Message 23

    , in reply to message 22.

    Posted by Valerie (U14649377) on Wednesday, 10th November 2010

    Hi Sleepypenny I go to the Farne Islands every year and I live down south , it is an awesome place to visit I promise you and as Ben has said David Steel the warden is the nicest of guys and so knowledgeable , visit The Farnes website then even if you cant visit you can read all about the place farnephoto.blogspot.... and yes I would love to see the BBC on The Farne Islands again next year for sure

    Report message23

  • Message 24

    , in reply to message 23.

    Posted by sleepypenny (U14484273) on Wednesday, 10th November 2010

    That's encouraging Valerie, thanks!

    I so enjoyed the webcams and I'd love the chance to learn more

    I'll be off to that website when I've got my cup of tea, ready to enjoy smiley - smiley

    Report message24

  • Message 25

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by TNorie (U7918626) on Wednesday, 10th November 2010

    Thanks for the coverage. It's been great to have that reminder that that all this is going on on our doorstep, something I haven't gone out to look at for years.

    I'm glad that Autumnwatch has finally 'discovered' the wildlife of Orkney. Perhaps you could take a look at the bird life here, also for Springwatch. There are great sites such as Eynhallow (an uninhabited island in a massive tidal stream where Aberdeen University have been following Fulmars for 30 years or more) and Hoy (spectacular scenery and 'bonxies' (skuas))

    Report message25

  • Message 26

    , in reply to message 1.

    Posted by grannyonline (U14693550) on Saturday, 20th November 2010

    Hi Ben, would it be possible to put trackers on some seal pups, so we can see from year to year how they are doing and where they go?

    Report message26

  • Message 27

    , in reply to message 26.

    Posted by Ben (U3736987) on Monday, 22nd November 2010

    Hi "Woodpeckersfriend",

    I'm meeting up with some people I know who work at the SMRU, St Andrews Uni after Christmas and this is precisely one area of interest that has been recently reviewed using satellite telemetry.

    We have the data already - ie where the seals go ... its interesting!

    >>Night dives / snorkels with seals

    >>Out to sea to watch the seals feeding offshore

    >>Daily observations of the seals to observe their u/w behaviour

    >>Underwater views to see how the seals interact and what other marinelife is there

    >>Review of seal movements with satellite tracking

    The FARNE ISLANDS is definitely the place to film this...
    I will be happy to assist given enough notice.
    All really interesting stuff ... lets see what the BBC Producers make of it.
    Kind regards,

    Report message27

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