Posted by: orcaweb | April 29, 2013

Porpoises, Puffins and Steve the Seal


I am pleased to announce I have acquired a camera, which has resulted in a dramatic improvement of my bird ID skills. I have managed to spot no less than 17 species of bird including multiple sightings of the colourful Puffin we all know and love.

The best day by far this week was Wednesday, we had a visit from a local School and on our tour of the top deck one of the children was shouting ‘look at that!’ Using my binoculars (which have become an extension of my own body during my time on board) I immediately recognised the Grey seal on the surface chomping on a fish. The Grey seal (Which some of the children took to naming Steve) seemed to be intrigued by the presence of us on deck with our high visibility vests on, as he swam closer to the ship (this was the first time I had gone up on deck without my camera all week and it will be the last, you just don’t know when this wildlife is going to show up).

On our way out of Newcastle that day the calm sea surface was a welcome sight and my hopes were high.

Guillemots were out in abundance in their pairs.

IMG_8919 (2)

I managed to catch a glimpse of these guys to.


I then spotted a Harbour porpoise (My first of the week) but after his two rolls he was back under.

However I was ready for the next ones that showed up. After the porpoises came up for their first breath I put my camera into position. On their second roll I managed to get a photo of their short triangular dorsal fins (Not the best photo but still my first of a Porpoise so I’m happy).


The day’s sightings were still not over. I could make out three dark marks in a line just breaking the sea surface.


As the ship drew nearer I realised it was a Grey seal (The first I have seen that wasn’t eating).


He swam at the surface for a while before arching his back and diving out of sight.


And this bought to a close what was an excellent day of wildlife sightings in the North Sea.

Later in the week I managed to get a better photo of a Puffin, taking off from the sea surface.


Thanks for reading guys. Come back next time when I would have hopefully improved my photography skills and who knows maybe some dolphins will want to pose for me.




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