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17 September 2014
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Coast activities

Seal spotting

Seals at Blakeney c/o Bean's  Boat Trips

Our coastlines offer brilliant opportunities for wildlife watching. Why not take a few tips from the Nature's Calendar team and go Seal spotting on the coast this summer?

Seal spotting - get you camera ready to snap these gorgeous creatures.
Image- Bean's Boat Trips


Seal 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 you've got a great chance of spotting this gorgeous 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.

Top tips

Seal c/o Beans Boat TripsHere's our Nature's Calendar guide to getting a great view of Seals around the coastline:

* 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.

Great places to watch Seals featured on Nature's Calendar Summer series are:

* Murlough, Northern Ireland
* Blakeney Point
* Cardigan Bay
* Lundy Island

Other locations for Seal spotting featured in the winter and spring series of the programme include:

* Donna Nook, Lincolnshire
* Moray Firth, Scotland
* Montrose Basin, Scotland

Elsewhere in the British Isles, we can also recommend:

* Seal Sands, Teesside
* Farne Islands, Northumberland
* Monach Islands, Scotland

Take to the sea

Seal pup c/o Beans Boat TripsHere's our top tips for Seal spotting on boat trips around the British Isles:

* Seal-watching is best done in summer but make sure to bring sun cream so you don't get burnt.

* Sea sickness tablets may come in useful in rougher weather, while it's always a good idea to wear flat shoes with good treads in case the surface of the boat is slippery.

* Binoculars will make sure you get the best seat in the house, and don't forget your camera, particularly if it has a good zoom!

* A cheap disposable camera is a good idea as you can hold it out through the rails to get some fun shots of seals swimming by the boat.

* Good places to see Seals by boat are Blakeney Point in Norfolk and the Farne Islands.

Photographs

Seal c/o Beans Boat TripsAll Seal images copyright and permission of Beans Boat Trips at Blakeney Point.

 

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Seal safari

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Activities (Image: Shelduck c/o Wildlife and Wetlandd Trust)

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