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.
Seal pup on the Monach Isles in Scotland.|
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.
can hold their breath for an hour and a half underwater, and can dive to depths
of almost 1,500 metres.
to spot seals
Great places to watch seals
around the British Isles include:
Sands (Teesside) and the Monach
recommended locations: Murlough
(Northern Ireland), Blakeney
Point (Norfolk), Cardigan
Bay (Wales), Donna
Nook (Lincolnshire), Lundy
Island, and the Farne Islands (Northumberland).
* 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
* 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.