BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

17 September 2014
Accessibility help
Nature's Calendar

BBC Homepage
England

BBC 2 Logo

Contact Us

island Activities - Seal spotting


Seal pup

Our islands and coastlines offer excellent opportunities for marine wildlife watching.

Go seal spotting this autumn and discover an amazing spectacle at close quarters.
Read our top tips on getting the best views.

Grey Seal pup on the Monach Isles in Scotland.


Seal safari

Seal PupSeal spotting is a great nature activity which you can take part in around many coastal areas of the British Isles.

About half of the world's population of Grey Seals can be found around British coasts so there is a great chance of spotting this large mammal.

Whilst cumbersome on land, Grey Seals are athletes when in the water. The seals can swim up to 100 kilometres a day.

Grey Seals can hold their breath for an hour and a half underwater, and can dive to depths of almost 1,500 metres.

Seal c/o Donna NookWhere to spot seals

Great places to watch seals around the British Isles include:

Seal Sands (Teesside)
and the Monach Islands (Scotland).

Other recommended locations:
Murlough (Northern Ireland), Blakeney Point (Norfolk), Cardigan Bay (Wales), Donna Nook (Lincolnshire), Lundy Island, and the Farne Islands (Northumberland).

Seal calf and motherSeal spotting tips

* Keep your distance from the seals and don't disturb them. Hide low in the sand dunes and tall grasses around coastlines to get the best views.

* Use binoculars to get a great view of cows and their calves during the pupping season.

* Seal-watching is quite easy as seals are generally quite cumbersome and slow while on land - just find a good vantage point and sit still!

* If you're daring enough to go down to the water, take a cheap waterproof camera, attach to your wrist, and try your hand at getting a couple of action shots.

* Grey Seals are particularly inquisitive so don't be afraid of getting up close, although it's best to stand about a metre away just in case.

* The Common and Grey Seals can be identified by a number of different factors - Common Seals have short muzzles and V-shaped nostrils while Greys have a longer muzzle and parallel nostrils.

* Take to the sea - during the summer and early autumn there are numerous seal watching boat trips. Good places to see seals by boat are Blakeney Point in Norfolk and the Farne Islands.

 

SEE ALSO

Watch and Listen

Audio and Video links from this page require Realplayer

Today's clip:

Seal safari

Nature's Calendar
On bbc.co.uk
On the rest of the web

Activities

Activities (Image: Red Squirrel)

Mark your Nature Calendar

Discover autumn activities. It's a great season for nature watching before winter's chill sets in.

Breathing Spaces

Make a difference for people & wildlife in your neighbourhood.

back to top ˆ



About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy