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Sussex Common Seal Sighting

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  • seawatch17
    Hi all I received a report from Bill Carter of a seal sighting at Peacehaven (East Sussex). He first spotted the seal at 2pm as he was cycling along the
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 10, 2008
      Hi all

      I received a report from Bill Carter of a seal sighting at
      Peacehaven (East Sussex). He first spotted the seal at 2pm as he was
      cycling along the Peacehaven undercliff promenade on 31st October.
      It was a warm sunny afternoon with calm sea and the seal was basking
      on the groin.

      Bill returned the following day (1st November) and the seal was
      still there. The seal seemed more cautious and slipped into the sea
      which was right up to the groin as it was high tide. The undercliff
      walk and quite busy with walkers and so the seal may have been
      disturbed by someone trying to get to close to the seal. It popped
      up a few yards offshore then dived again and appeared a hundred
      yards or so offshore, where it stayed for the quarter of an hour or
      so that Bill was there. It did occasionally dive for some lengths of
      time so it may have been feeding.

      When Bill went back on the 2nd November the seal had gone. In Bill's
      own words, "a fascinating first encounter with a sea mammal in the
      wild". Its not often you are able to see a seal at such close
      quaters in Sussex (except Chichester harbour)

      Bill sent me a series of photographs taken with a telescopic lens.
      Looking at these photograph the seal appeared to be female. Bill
      managed to measure a section of the groin shown in the photograph
      and we were able to estimate that the seal was about 1.2 metres.
      Female common seals are 1.2 to 1.7 metres and males 1.4 to 1.9 m, so
      it is probably a young adult female or adult female.

      This may be the same seal I reported previously that had been seen
      up the river Adur at Shoreham on the 20th Octover, several miles
      west of Peacehaven. I receive a few seal sightings each year,
      usually between Octoer and March.

      If you would like to see a selection of the seal pictures, you can
      check them out on my weblog, This also inlcudes a couple of other
      local seal observations and some grey seals I watched up close in
      Southern Ireland.
      http://sussexmarinejottings.blogspot.com/

      Bill also has a website of spectaular coastal images of Easst
      Sussex. http://www.carterphotographics.myzen.co.uk/

      Stephen Savage
      Sussex County Recorder Sea Mammals
      Sea Watch Foundation - Sussex regional coordinator
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