Harbor Seal Spotting


Every fall and winter, harbor seals come into the Merrimack River. They congregate just opposite to the campground -they are very much a local attraction — to campers and day visitors to Salisbury State Park Reservation.  Mary and I drove over today to see them as the tide was receding.

Named common seal throughout Europe, this seal frequently observed around Long Island lives along the shores of eastern Canada, New England and in the winter, as far south as the Carolinas in a variety of habitats. Their scientific name loosely means “sea calf” or “sea dog.” This latter nickname is well suited as these seals closely resemble a dog when their head is viewed at the surface of the water.

“Hey Guys, stop loafing and get to work. The fish are running.”

They were out on the rocks, lying with their heads and hind flippers elevated in a “banana-like” position. They were “talking” to one another and enjoying the fall cloud-filtered sunlight.

A Great Black-backed Gull posed as we watched the seals.

While harbor seals don’t do the tricks of the seals at Sea World, it was delightful to see them in their natural habitat, feeding, playing, and resting. Nice images to take back to a pending Vermont winter.

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