Repeated observations hint at rise in numbers on our ‘coast’.
Ralph Todd writes:
Occasional sightings of seals are reported from the Thames, though I haven’t seen much sign until recently. One of my local birding walks is Crayford Marshes and Thames Foreshore. On 30th July I saw what I consider a grey seal off Crayfordness (where the River Darent meets the Thames) – never on land, always submerged for some time and reappearing for breaths. It was dull and distant but the image below is the best I could get.
On the 13th August I saw one common seal hauled out on the Thames foreshore just west of Crayfordness, another was seen on 22nd August with five being seen in same area on the 20th August. On 1st September there were 6, on the 2nd Steve Carter reported 8 and on the 3rd there were 8 again.
I’ve been birdwatching Crayford Marshes/Crossness and the Thames for many years and never seen this number of seals and frequency of sightings.
A provisional checklist and account of Bexley mammals is downloadable here (21 pages with photographs, 4Mb file):