Posts Tagged ‘Common Seal’

Our first destination this morning was Blakeney Point. This is a long peninsula of land which runs parallel to the coast connecting at its eastern end. At the western end, it has a shingle bank which is a favoured resting spot for Common and Grey Seals. The only way to see them is from the water and so we head out on a boat from Morston Quay. We pass the old lifeboat station, now an information centre and the farthest you can get along the point on foot. When it was built in 1898 it was at the end of the point, but in the years since the point has continued to build further out into the harbour and the station now stands a good distance from the end.

Morston Quay (top left), Blackney Head (top right) and Old Lifeboat Station (bottom)

Arriving at the end of the point there are about 40 Common seals, many with pups, and a couple of female Grey seals hauled up on the beach.

 

Also on the beach are 6 Ruddy Turnstones and a single Sanderling. Other birds seen include Little Egret, 6 Curlew. 5 Red Knot and around 60 Oystercatchers.

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Ruddy Turnstone

Returning to Morston, we drive round to the beach at Cley for a late lunch. Sitting on the beach, in the face of the wind, we can see that a number of birds have been blown into the coast. In the space of a little over an hour, we saw Great Skua, Northern Gannet, Common Tern, Common Scoter and a Fulmar.

 

After an hour or so we feel wind-blown and so retreat to the visitor centre at Cley Marshes for a warming cup of tea. Then its time to visit a couple of Arts centre at Glandford and Walsingham on the way back to the cottage.

Eurasian Wigeon (Mareca penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Northern Fulmar [sp] (Fulmarus glacialis)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Northern Gannet (Morus bassanus)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Red Kite [sp] (Milvus milvus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Red Knot [sp] (Calidris canutus)
Sanderling [sp] (Calidris alba)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Great Skua (Stercorarius skua)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)

Common Seals

Posted: April 19, 2016 in Mammals, Natural History
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Here are some photos of Common seals taken on recent boat trip on Medway

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Another very pleasant day and a chance to do some birdwatching from the water during a trip Keith and I made with Skipper Ray Wade out to the saltmarsh islands in the River Medway. Our morning trip took us out past Burntwick marsh and we got a look at the Gull colonies, where there seemed to be a lrger number than usual of Mediterranean Gulls. There were also large numbers of Brent Geese and Black-tailed Godwits on the mud-flats, either already on migration or just about to leave.

Mediterranean Gulls

Mediterranean Gulls

Black-tailed Godwits

Black-tailed Godwits

 

Brent Geese

Brent Geese

 

We dropped anchor off Greenborough marsh for lunch and were immediately busy as there seemed to be birds everywhere. Along with the numerous Marsh Harriers and Common Buzzards, a passing hawk was identified as a migrating Honey Buzzard and shortly afterwards a Hen Harrier was seen over one of the islands. Rather than moving on it was decided to just sit where we were and see what went past. During the coarse of the afternoon we also saw an Osprey and 3 Honey Buzzards plus numerous Common Buzzards and Marsh Harriers.

Common Buzzard

Common Buzzard

On the way back to dock at the end of the afternoon we found 3 Peregrines and a Shag around the remains of the old oil jetties.

Shag

Shag

 

Peregrine Falcon

Peregrine Falcon

We also saw a number of Common Seals and one Grey Seal

Common Seal

Common Seal

 

Red-legged Partridge [sp] (Alectoris rufa)
Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Gadwall (Anas strepera)
Eurasian Wigeon (Anas penelope)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Shoveler (Anas clypeata)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
European Shag [sp] (Phalacrocorax aristotelis)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Osprey [sp] (Pandion haliaetus)
European Honey Buzzard (Pernis apivorus)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Hen Harrier (Circus cyaneus cyaneus)
Common Buzzard [sp] (Buteo buteo)
Common Kestrel [sp] (Falco tinnunculus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Pied Avocet (Recurvirostra avosetta)
Northern Lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Whimbrel [sp] (Numenius phaeopus)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Common Greenshank (Tringa nebularia)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Mediterranean Gull (Ichthyaetus melanocephalus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Lesser Black-backed Gull [sp] (Larus fuscus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Northern Raven [sp] (Corvus corax)
Eurasian Skylark [sp] (Alauda arvensis)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)

Common Seal

Grey Seal

Curlew

Curlew

The year is drawing to an end and a final chance to get out on the River Medway with Skipper Ray Wade. Birdwatching estuaries from a boat gives a different perspective to watching from land. Using the boat you can get to places that would be totally inaccessible or unseen from land.

As we left the harbour we saw a large raptor in a tree. The slightly odd light did cause some confusion but eventually it was identified as a female Marsh Harrier.

Marsh Harrier

Marsh Harrier

 

As we toured the small pieces of Marsh still above the high water we found small parties of waders using these small islands as roosting places, but in fact the waders and other water birds will use anything they can find – old mooring jetties, wrecks and even navigation signs.

 

Turnstones and Ringed Plover on an old jetty

Turnstones and Ringed Plover on an old jetty

 

Oystercatcher and Turnstone on old boat

Oystercatcher and Turnstone on old boat

 

Turnstone and Ringed Plover

Turnstone and Ringed Plover

 

Greater Black-backed Gull

Greater Black-backed Gull

 

Room for one more?

Room for one more?

We located a Peregrine perched on a jetty although unfortunately it flew off as we manoeuvred the boat for a clearer view. Occasionally we spotted a Common Seal which seemed to come to watch us.

Common Seal

Common Seal

A peaceful couple of hours in calm still conditions with good birdwatching

Common Pheasant [sp] (Phasianus colchicus)
Greylag Goose [sp] (Anser anser)
Canada Goose [sp] (Branta canadensis)
Brant Goose [sp] (Branta bernicla)
Common Shelduck (Tadorna tadorna)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Northern Pintail (Anas acuta)
Eurasian Teal [sp] (Anas crecca)
Red-breasted Merganser (Mergus serrator)
Little Grebe [sp] (Tachybaptus ruficollis)
Great Crested Grebe [sp] (Podiceps cristatus)
Black-necked Grebe [sp] (Podiceps nigricollis)
Grey Heron [sp] (Ardea cinerea)
Little Egret [sp] (Egretta garzetta)
Great Cormorant [sp] (Phalacrocorax carbo)
Western Marsh Harrier [sp] (Circus aeruginosus)
Eurasian Sparrowhawk [sp] (Accipiter nisus)
Peregrine Falcon [sp] (Falco peregrinus)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Grey Plover [sp] (Pluvialis squatarola)
Common Ringed Plover [sp] (Charadrius hiaticula)
Black-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa limosa)
Bar-tailed Godwit [sp] (Limosa lapponica)
Eurasian Curlew [sp] (Numenius arquata)
Common Redshank [sp] (Tringa totanus)
Ruddy Turnstone [sp] (Arenaria interpres)
Red Knot [sp] (Calidris canutus)
Dunlin [sp] (Calidris alpina)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Common Gull (Larus canus canus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Common Pigeon [sp] (Columba livia)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Eurasian Collared Dove [sp] (Streptopelia decaocto)
Eurasian Magpie [sp] (Pica pica)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Eurasian Blue Tit [sp] (Cyanistes caeruleus)
Long-tailed Tit [sp] (Aegithalos caudatus)
Eurasian Wren [sp] (Troglodytes troglodytes)
Common Starling [sp] (Sturnus vulgaris)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Redwing [sp] (Turdus iliacus)
House Sparrow [sp] (Passer domesticus)
Dunnock [sp] (Prunella modularis)
Eurasian Rock Pipit [sp] (Anthus petrosus)
Common Chaffinch [sp] (Fringilla coelebs)
European Goldfinch [sp] (Carduelis carduelis)

Common Seal

 

A great week. 89 species of bird; 8 species of butterfly including White Admiral and Swallowtail; 9 species of dragonfly including Norfolk Hawker.

Highlights include that White Admiral,

White Admiral

White Admiral

White Admiral

White Admiral

the Hobby, the Osprey and the lovely Ruff in their summer colours

Ruffe

Ruffe

Ruffe

Ruffe

and of course the seals who on the hottest day of the year so far knew exactly what to do – sunbath on the beach or go for a swim

 

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Today our destination was Blackney Point NNR, a long spit of land on the North Norfolk Coast. Access to the reserve is heavily restricted during the breeding season so we had arranged to be taken out by boat to see the Seals (Common and Grey) which gather at the point at high tide.

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It was a fantastic experience to get so close to the seals, especially those that were swimming around the boat.

Mute Swan (Cygnus olor)
Mallard [sp] (Anas platyrhynchos)
Eurasian Oystercatcher [sp] (Haematopus ostralegus)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)
Great Black-backed Gull (Larus marinus)
European Herring Gull [sp] (Larus argentatus)
Sandwich Tern (Thalasseus sandvicensis)
Little Tern [sp] (Sternula albifrons)
Common Tern [sp] (Sterna hirundo)
Common Wood Pigeon [sp] (Columba palumbus)
Common Swift [sp] (Apus apus)
Western Jackdaw [sp] (Coloeus monedula)
Carrion Crow [sp] (Corvus corone)
Great Tit [sp] (Parus major)
Common Blackbird [sp] (Turdus merula)
Mistle Thrush [sp] (Turdus viscivorus)

Pied Wagtail [sp] (Motacilla alba)
European Greenfinch [sp] (Carduelis chloris)