Young seal surprises water goers on the River Adur

Steve Murrell took this picture of the seal at Soldiers Point, Shoreham, in the second week of January

Steve Murrell took this picture of the seal at Soldiers Point, Shoreham, in the second week of January

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A YOUNG seal has been popping up in the River Adur in the last month, surprising people on the water.

It has been seen from the old cement works in Upper Beeding to the mouth of Shoreham Harbour in Southwick.

Steve Savage, regional co-ordinator for the Sea Watch Foundation, has been monitoring the young seal since it was first spotted on December 13, on the riverbank near the Shoreham flyover.

“Further sightings suggest the seal moves around a lot,” he said. “This is a good sign, as it indicates a fit and healthy seal.

“While not a common sight, we have been monitoring a few seals visiting Sussex rivers each year, especially in the winter months, when the river and estuary are calmer than the sea.”

The common seal has remained in the River Adur through early January, with the most recent sighting last Monday near Shoreham Airport.

Steve said: “Common seals are a threatened species and have declined in recent years due to human activities and pollution, so a healthy seal is always a welcomed sight.

“We are keen to continue to monitor the movements of this seal and are keen to hear from anyone who spots a seal locally.

“We are also keen to receive any photographs for photo ID purposes, as individual seals can be identified by unique facial markings and we are keen to know if this seal is a known visitor to Shoreham or a new visitor.”

Contact Steve Savage at seawatch17@yahoo.co.uk to report sightings.