This second piece describing my recent wildlife cruise on Loch Carron looks at Common Seals (Phoca vitulina).
Shortly after leaving Plockton on the Sula Mhor, we passed a small rocky island where a group of Common Seals were basking.
The Common Seal, referred to as the Harbour Seal in other parts of the world, is associated with sheltered seas and is widespread on the east coast of England and the coasts generally around Scotland and Ireland. They have a rather friendly-looking face and are little more than half the size of the Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus) I more commonly see on the Farne Islands and at other locations along the Northumberland coast. They tend to be rather nervous and wary animals and in most circumstances are less inquisitive than their Grey cousins.
There are believed to be over 350 Common Seals resident in the Plockton area. You can see more picture pictures of Common Seals at Loch Carron on Callum Mackenzie's website