Seal steals the spotlight


Walking the dog as usual along the quayside here in Rye I suddenly saw a big ripple wave making its way up the quay towards the bridge end.

I thought at first it might be a cormorant, as I was still a distance off and there are plenty of them around just now. But it did strike me as odd for it to be blatantly paddling up the middle of the quay, something that birds do not usually do.

Getting closer, the dog in check by my side, I could actually see the top of a bald domed head just breaking the surface. “It’s a seal,” I thought to myself, and slowly made my way closer to the side to get a better view, at which point Mr or Mrs seal duly obliged by looking my way and giving me their own visual inspection.

I went to draw my phone for a quick snap – and damn, I must have left it on the table. At this point the seal, satisfied that I was of little interest or threat, dived down and continued on its way. I hastened home where I shouted up at Viv Bull that there was “a seal in the quay!”

“Did you get any photos?”

“No….. I left my phone on the table,” I replied, rushing to grab it and be back out of the door.

“I am off to work and will try and get some photos,” I said, hoping the seal would still be swimming around and that it was up for a photo shoot.

I made my way back along the quay to where the bikes park and, standing close to the edge, started scouring the surface looking for ripples, when lo and behold my mate popped up right in front of me with its back towards me. Phone armed, I fired away and as if it was all scripted, Mr or Mrs seal turned towards me and gave me the money shot!

Face stuffed with a fish, it had come to Rye for its breakfast. The look on its face as it spotted me reminded me of the expression you get when you catch your dog doing something he shouldn’t. We continued to look at each other for a few more seconds as I snapped away before the seal decided enough was enough.

Anyway, Countryfile calendar here I come!

Photo: Matthew Bull

Image Credits: Matthew Bull .

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  1. Brilliant picture. Is that a plaice he is eating? I expect in a couple of months time we will see him in Marinos, at the table immediately to the right as you go into the dining room, enjoying some chips and washing down his meal with a nice glass of Sauv blanc.


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