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This is a common seal. Note how, in the second picture, the forehead 'bulges' above the muzzle; there is no smooth gradation from the forehead down the muzzle as there would be in a grey seal. Also note the small mottled pattern of the fur, a grey seal is more large blotches - however this is not always clear, though it is in your first picture especially.
Finally, your location, it is more likely to be common than grey on the Blackwater as commons bread not far away.
Change the identification and I'll agree with it.
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Hallo Graham, thank you for your help with this ID. My photos are not as clear as I would have liked and until you pointed out the identifying features, I had not really been able to pick them out.
As you suggested, I have changed the ID, but am wondering why you didn't just put the correct ID in yourself and over-rule me, as you are clearly far more knowledgeable than I am?
I was browsing through some of the forum entries recently and there seemed to be quite a lot of debate around the editing of entries - I got the impression that some contributors feel that it should not be done.
As I'm badged an expert I will not gain any 'reputation points' by putting up a correction. Personally, I would rather encourage you to keep using iSpot by letting you have the reputation points especially as, hopefully, next time you will know what to look for and will have a better chance of getting it right.
The way the reputation scheme is written you have to get well over a hundred correct identifications before you will have much influence on the 'agreement' part of iSpot so allowing you to get the credit is hardly going to skew the data or any of the other arguments.
I'm sure there are 'purists' out there who would scream at my approach to the reputation scheme but I don't care; to me iSpot is first and foremost and educational tool that has the added advantage of producing useful data on wildlife distribution - it is not meant to be competitive.
Thanks, I'm really pleased to hear you say that; I agree wholeheartedly. I'm not doing it for the points either - since joining I have learnt so much and I enjoy looking for and identifying the flora and fauna that I see around me. If the data collected along the way is useful, that makes me happy too.
..about learning and not brownie points. Keep with the faith of "the best is everything natural and we are part of this"
Lat/Lng: 51.7, 0.8
OS grid ref: TL935038
very salty tidal river, single seals fairly frequent visitors. It was fishing in a shallow creek (approx 2ft-3ft deep) as the tide was coming in.