View Full Version : Seal

Kevin Milkins
19-Aug-09, 23:45
I took my grandchildren down to Freswick beach today and I have never seen so many seals in one place.

It is usual to see a few, but I would say there must have been many hundreds. Anybody know why there would be so many?

20-Aug-09, 03:31
Was there not a lot of pups about as well? Tis that time of year for them. Have a wee wander down to Scotland's Haven and enjoy the same sort of experience. ;)

21-Aug-09, 18:39
It varies with the direction of wind and swell.

Normally, between Duncansby head and Freswick bay there are a few Grey Seals.
If there is a large Easterly swell and wind, they will shift around to the North Coast and increase the numbers there. However, if the wind/swell is from the West/North West, the seals from the North Coast will head round to the more sheltered East side - so you get a lot more than normal.

The same applies on Stroma with the (very large) Grey population there...they'll move to the most sheltered side of the island - or across to the mainland.

Kevin Milkins
22-Aug-09, 14:05
Thanks for the replies and that would make sense.

They were all in the sea so it was hard see how many of them were pups.

It as a treat to see so many that just happen to be there when my family came to visit.:Razz

I did a short video clip

http://i296.photobucket.com/albums/mm196/kevinmilkins/th_Greyseals.jpg (http://s296.photobucket.com/albums/mm196/kevinmilkins/?action=view&current=Greyseals.flv)

22-Aug-09, 14:24
Grey seals dont pup until October at the earliest x

22-Aug-09, 15:32
Blimey, I've just watched your video, Kev and you're not joking when you said there were a lot!

I've never seen that many in Freswick bay. Your theory about Orca being in the area would certainly account for them being in such a large group.

But, there's two things I don't understand, if Orca are the cause.

Seals will sometimes stay in the water, even though they know that Orca are on the prowl. But they tend to do it in areas with lots of rocks so they can dive out of the way...not in an open sandy bay where any self-respecting Orca would make mincemeat out of them.

Also, if you look at the video, you will see a large precentage of the seals are laid on their backs with their nose pointing at the sky. This is called 'bottling' (as they resemble a bottle bobbing on the water), in fact they are having a doze.....not the reaction you normally see if there are Orca aboot - although I have seen the odd one doing it whilst it's colleagues acouple of hundred yards away are busy legging it. So maybe they're just not very bright or they've been avoiding the Orca for a substantial period of time.

Fascinating footage.

23-Aug-09, 09:22
they are getting ready for pupping then mating. the first pups will arrive september for greys... as soon as the pups are born the males move in again for mating. as northerner says, that corner of the county homes quite a large percentage of the grey seal population in caithness along with stroma... hence the large numbers of seals.
the males have a slightly conves nose, the females tend towards the concave nose.