Rare finding confirmed by Scottish Marine Animals Stranding Scheme
As most of you know at Kirklauchline Cottage HQ we love a good beach walk. Last week we endured terrible conditions from the aftermath of Hurricane Gonzalo and we headed to one of our many beaches to watch the waves crashing onto the shore. It was wild weather!
The following day we had calm again so we headed back to the same beach again. The aftermath of a storm normally brings lots of interesting things up onto the shore but sadly we discovered a dead seal towards the top of the beach, never a nice thing to find. I took a couple of photographs of it to send into the Scottish Marine Animals Stranding Scheme (SAC)and was very pleased to spot another seal very much alive and well perched on a rock watching us.
Imagine our dismay when we found a second dead seal the day after too! Again, I took photographs and sent this through to SAC. I had some very interesting news back from them today.
Hooded Seal in Dumfries and Galloway
They sent photographs to seal scientists at St Andrew’s University, as they were unsure on the species of seal we had found on the beach. They told them that the second seal is a hooded seal, a species that is found primarily in the deeper waters of the Arctic Ocean and the North Atlantic. Although they are sometimes found in warmer waters as well, we rarely see them around the UK and this is only the 10th record we’ve had of the species stranding since 1994.
So a pretty interesting finding on a remote Rhins of Galloway beach in South West Scotland. It is always important to send information such as this to SAC so they can add this to their database, a photograph and grid reference is essential. They even have a Facebook page so it’s really easy to get in touch with them.
There’s also the possibility of finding a live stranding on a beach so there is a contact telephone number available 24 hours a day through:
Scottish SPCA Animal Helpline (03000 999 999)
British Divers Marine Life Rescue (01825 765546)
Here you can download the stranding poster and read more about strandings on Scottish beaches and search the stranding database.