Sunday, 14 December 2014

Common Seal, River Adur West Sussex

I received a sighting from Marie a dog walker along the River Adur in Shoreham-By-Sea on Saturday December 13th 2014. The time was about 16:30. The seal was resting on the river bank near the shoreham bypass bridge.
Even thought it was getting dark, Marie was able to send some photos and even with the low light and  distance from the seal there was a good head silhouette  that identified it as a common seal.
Marie spoke to a fellow dog walker who said that he had observed the seal earlier in the week a couple of times and that on one occasion it was making a barking noise (something I have only head during mating/territorial barking and if feeling threatened.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Seal pup at saltdean

The Seal pup was seen at Saltdean beach again, at 12:15 and 2:30 PM. BDMLR weer a bit concerned that the pup may have lost a bit of weight, but it would be impossible to catch the seal to check its health at this stage. The seal is being monitored in situ

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Seal Pup at Saltdean near Brighton

The following is a report from Elaine at BDMLR. 

"There was a common seal pup at Saltdean beach (East Sussex) directly below White Cliffs Cafe on Saturday, Sept 27th. He was there since before 8 AM callers said. I monitored him from about 1 PM when I got the call to it got dark at about 7 PM. 

He was far out on a cement groyne and was constantly being stressed by people wanting to get photos of him, and so we kept people back at a reasonable distance from him. 
Odd thing about this pup is that he's red! Apparently they get to be that colour because of red clay that they haul out on". 

It was interesting to hear about the red colored pelage seal. At least one of the adult common seals I worked with as part of the seal tagging project back in 2009 at Chichester (West Sussex) had a red pelage which was thought to be due to iron oxide and appears in some seals that live in areas of mud flats I believe this has also been found on common seals on the French channel coast and also in the USA such as San Francisco.

Wednesday, 3 September 2014

Bottlenose Dolphin sightiing near Brighton

The Inshore Fisheries Conservation Authority reported a sighting today 3rd September at 1.52pm. The vessel was approximately a half mile to the southwest of Brighton Marina.

The vessel was traveling West, dolphins were sighted a few hundred metres in front of them.The dolphins swam East towards the vessel, dived down and then headed West with them at the bow.

They with them for between 5-8 minutes before they dived again and I believe they proceeded to head East.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Seal Sighting Littehampton

I have just received a seal sighting off the beach at Littlehampton this morning from Carol. The seal was seen between 7.30 to 8am.

No details reported that can be used to determine if its a common or a grey seal.

Compared to last year we have had very few seal sightings of Sussex.

Monday, 26 May 2014

Seal sighting in East Sussex

I received a report today from Phil who spotted a seal today off Saltdean at approx 18:20 heading easy towards Peachaven Sussex. Compared to last year we have had few seals reported so far (however I have been ill on and off in March and April and may have missed sightings)

Friday, 7 March 2014

Common Seal at Worthing and dead porpoise at Kingston Beach

A common seal was spotted swimming around the pier at Worthing. Close examination of the photo that appeared in the Worthing Herald confirmed it was indeed a common seal and the spot patterns on seals head did not match any of the marking of seals that we had previously seen and recorded.

Sadly a dead harbour porpoise was washed ashore at Kingston Beach also on Friday.

Thursday, 20 February 2014

Dead Kemp Ridley Turtle

I received a report of a dead Kemp Ridley Turtle washed up dead on Saltdean Beach, East of Brighton.

The rare Kemp Ridley Marine Turtle was washed ashore dead at Saltdean on Monday 17th February. We have had some interesting remains washed up in recent weeks but this is by far the most unusual. 

 (c) Phil Everitt

A loggerhead was washed up at Worthing in December last year. Occasionally sick but alive specimens of the loggerhead turtle and green turtle have been washed up in the South west and west UK on rare occasions.

I had previously heard that a Kemp Ridley had also been washed up dead in Devon back in January 28th 2014)

 (c) Phil Everitt

An adult Kemp Ridley has an almost completely round carapace (shell) measuring about 70cm long, and weigh approximately 40kg.

Kemp Ridley turtles are mostly found in the Gulf of Mexico area. Kemp's Ridley turtles can range between tropical and temperate coastal areas of the northwest Atlantic Ocean and have been reported as very rare visitors to the UK. This species is considered to be critically endangered. 

It is likely that the recent stormy seas caused the turtle to reach our shores and wash up on the beach.

 (c) Phil Everitt

The full story of the stranded turtle can be found at Nature Quest

The only species that naturally occurs around the UK and occasionally seen alive off Sussex is the leatherback turtle as they are adapted to the cooler waters. They visit UK waters to feed on jellyfish

Friday, 3 January 2014

First seal sighting of 2014

I received a sighting of a seal near Lewes on the River Ouse this morning by Ali who has sent sea mammal sightings in to me on several occasions.

From the photograph I can confirm not only is this a common seal but is a seal that has been visiting the River Ouse for many years now. The river is very high at the moment with the constant stormy weather.  Ali said the seal seemed to be healthy though it was shy of the people who were coming along to look at it. 

This could have been because of the usually high water level making the seal more 'nervous' than usual.