Not within the Brandis area, but I thought members might be interested in our seal encounters on holiday near Land’s End last week. This is an Atlantic Grey Seal and he is a regular visitor in the cove where we were staying. He was clearly curious and comfortable in the presence of tourists, whether swimming, on body boards or in boats (the tourists…not the seal!). Indeed, when we were in an inflatable dinghy, the seal came within a few metres of the boat. We stayed quiet and drifted around with the seal surfacing, swimming and resting at complete ease with our presence. It was one of those really special wild encounters; staring into the eyes of such a big and impressive wild animal. It spent much of its time in the head-up position seen in the photos; this is known as ‘bottling’ and is what they do when they are at rest, even sleeping in the water. Interestingly, the UK has almost half of the world’s population of Atlantic Grey Seals.
Less predictably, we swam within a few feet of a Mink. It was clearly hunting for food (presumably to feed young) around the slipway and the rocks which surround the bay. We watched it for a few minutes before it slipped into the sea very close to where we were swimming. I read that there was a recognised sub species of mink called the sea mink which became extinct in North America in the early 1900s due to hunting for the fur trade. I have never before heard of them at sea but otters do it, so why not mink? Either way, it made me think: I know they have a really bad press in the UK but, under other circumstances, we might see them as adorable little creatures. I certainly enjoyed seeing my first ever coastal mink – it’s not their fault they are in the wild in the UK!
J Pomroy – 27th |July 2019