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Tuesday 16 April 2013

Seals on the beach!!

Another sign of Spring is the seals basking on the beach. Not exactly basking weather as it was a tad breezy but they didn't seem to mind.  Although these photos look close up I was using the full extent of the zoom lens. So the jury is out as to whether these are Atlantic Grey seals or Harbour (common) seals. Though the Harbour seals are not as common as the grey seals hereabouts, but there is a colony at the point of Ness in Stromness so they could be "day-trippers" to our beach.  One of those in the photo above has a slight "Roman" nose profile, typical of grey seals, but the others have slightly different shaped faces so are more likely to be harbour seals - the two don't mix....  As they usually occupy the beach for a few weeks in the Spring I'm hoping to get a closer look sometime soon to determine which they are.

They are certainly relaxed on our beach anyway!

They look so cute, but rather ungainly on land....

And one or two play on the margins of the water....

There are lots of folk tales of the "selkies" (seal folk) who could transform into human form (male and female)   : "....the folklore tells us that once in human form, the selkie-folk would dance on lonely stretches of moonlit shore, or bask in the sun on outlying skerries."  (source Orkneyjar).  Who said there was no night life on Graemsay? The potential for meeting the Selkies, comets and Merry Dancers (Aurora), who needs night clubs!


  1. How exciting! Has Button tried to investigate these interlopers?

  2. I love seals and these look very much at home on the beach, Sian. We sometimes see them sunning themselves on the sandbanks in the Kyle of Tongue, but always at a distance.

  3. Love the photos! Our beaches on Nantucket also have so many seals and their pups enjoying the spring weather.

  4. How exciting! When we visited Orkney, seeing the seals was one of the highlights. I've always loved reading about Selkies...and kept hoping I might spy one! (well, I know they aren't *really* real...or ARE they???)

  5. I'd love to sit and just watch 'em. What a thrill that would be.