david1973's picture

Common and Grey Seal

Observed: 5th August 2013 By: david1973
Yorkshire Naturalists' Union
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P1020243
P1020251
P1020239
Description:

Mixture of common and grey seals

Identifications
Species interactions

No interactions present.

Comments

Gill Sinclair's picture

Mostly common/harbour

Mostly harbour seal but you have at least one grey in there - peeping over the backs of the others.
An impressive sight to see all these animals hauled out so close together.

Gill Sinclair
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
www.gillsinclair.net
Twitter @Gill_Sinclair

the naturalist man's picture

Common and grey seals

These are excellent photos for ID.

The half a dozen or so (they disapier off the left edge)animals in the foreground are common seals, the remainder are grey seals including some young from last year and juveniles around 2-3 years old (can not tell from then on).

Note how the nearest ones have a brown hue and the others are grey or black. This is not always a good indicator but it works here. Also note the pattern of the spots; the ones in the foreground have small spots, all be it some very indistinct; the ones behind have more of a blotchy pattern - ranging from a few largish blotches to them running into an almost complete covering. Young grey seals, as well as being smaller, tend not to have very well developed blotches. Males straight out of the sea can look very black, but they are also a third or so bigger than the females.

Add an identification for grey seals as well, considering there are far more than the common seals. Norfolk (along with the Northern Isles) is one of the few places in Britain where you regularly see both species together. Even then I think it only happens around now when the commons have recently pupped and the greys are about to pup. I could be wrong about only seeing them regularly together now, anyone from Norfolk like to correct me? My experience of seeing them in Norfolk has been they use different haul out areas normally.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

Gill Sinclair's picture

Spots & blotches

I think I need to get a screen with a higher resolution! I couldn't even see the difference between the blotches of the more distance seals and the spots of the harbour seals, but now I'm on my work computer it's much more obvious.
I can also now see that the seal (grey I think) lying more out into the surf in photo 1 has possibly had some monofilament caught around its neck as it looks quite 'nipped-in'. If so I hope it's not still there and digging into the flesh:-(

Gill Sinclair
OU Certificate in Contemporary Science
www.gillsinclair.net
Twitter @Gill_Sinclair

david1973's picture

Re; Common and Grey Seal

I managed to take about 10 pictures in total on my small compact Lumix, I was amazed at how well the pictures turned out. it was a pleasure to see these common and grey seals dozing on the beach in norfolk, major highlight of my holiday.

David

the naturalist man's picture

Seal

You're right Gill I hadn't noticed the constriction round its neck. It looks likely it has been that way for some time, there is no sign of pink flesh which I've seen in similar seals with new wounds. A seal has a lot of blubber and the filament is unlikely to be causing the seal much more than an itch or tight feeling, however, it could get worse as the animal grows larger or be a source of infection in the future.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411

the naturalist man's picture

Seals

Sorry for the double entry for grey seals, iSpot seems to be messing me about at the moment.

Graham Banwell

Visit the iSpot Yorkshire forum for information on events, issues and news relating to 'God's own country'
http://www.ispot.org.uk/forum/8411