Arnside and beyond

By gladders

Not an otter...

...but a grey seal, Kent estuary, Arnside.

You will see better seal blips most days, but this is such a rare occurrence in Arnside that I'm blipping it anyway. This grey seal, identifiable by its roman nose, cruised up the Kent channel on the rising tide. It is not an unusual species to turn up in an estuary, but it is for Arnside, because rather than flowing into the open sea, the Kent feeds into the vast expanse of intertidal muds of Morecambe Bay.

The only other time I have been down by the shore when seals were spotted, there was quite a lot of excitement on the prom as a crowd gathered to view two animals basking on a mudbank. When I looked at them through binoculars, it became apparent they were very large pieces of flotsam washed up by the tide. I kept quiet.

The other excitement today was Bob bringing a succession of little offerings for Gus to be impressed by. He had found a family of very young mice, and he brought them in squeaking one at a time. Of the five he brought in, I did manage to rescue three, though whether they were large enough and weaned to survive without Mum I don't know.

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