Tuesday 27 July 2021

Looe island monthly seal survey with CSGRT. Sunday 25th July 2021.


Female Grey Seal

It's always a treat to go to Looe island, or should I call it St.George's island a short hop from the harbour at Looe. 

When I asked which was the correct name this is the reply from Claire who is one of the wardens on the island for the Cornwall Wildlife Trust......

*******We have two official place names - on the Ordnance Survey map it says St George's or Looe Island. When we contacted the Ordnance Survey to ask them why this was the case they said that they didn't know but that we are the only place that has two official English place names! When Cornwall Wildlife Trust were given the island the Atkin sisters were in the habit of calling it St George's Island but many people referred to it as Looe Island. Today, to simplify things it's just called Looe Island by us... but just to confuse everyone on the island we still have the old St George's Island Nature Reserve sign!******


That aside the day was full of anticipation and drama.
We had spotted a good number of grey seals hauling out as the tide dropped and our survey was set to begin at 12:15 to give us time to check all points of the compass either side of low water.

Sadly the drama came in the shape of humans aboard boats, kayaks & SUP's. They gave the seals no respite, approaching too close, making lots of noise & even letting a dog run amidst the resting seals.

Hopefully between all of us surveyors for the group we recorded most of the behaviour on stills or video. Now those with authority can hopefully decide a course of action to stop this disturbance.

Kayakers surround a hauled out female and another seal in the water

Of course when there we also monitor all other species , whether that be birds, butterflies, flowers, cetaceans, jellyfish and even fish.

There were compass jellyfish pouring out of the Looe river on the receding tide and my previous blog shows the photos but here are a couple as they were part of the day.

Compass jellyfish

Compass jellyfish

Most birds had fledged their young and there were a lot of juvenile cormorants, shags & gulls around the perimeter of the island either on rocky cliffs or sandy beaches.







Mediterranean Gull


Great black-backed Gull

A distant Sanderling

Rock Pipit carrying food   

Little Egret 

A couple of images of the stunning artichokes and hydrangeas growing in John & Claire's garden.


Lace Hydrangea

Another memorable day in paradise, not all for the right reasons but life's never simple and I did get through the day without shouting at anybody for getting too close to seals or birds!! ...Maybe I should have!

Birdlife doesn't end when we board the boat to return to the mainland as we were accompanied by a couple of herring gulls on the boat.

When asked if the birds had names our boatman Dave Haines merely said "Yes... Steven".

Took a while to sink in but named after the tough guy actor Steven Seagal!!!

Steve Woods photographs Steven Seagal!


Jasmina said...

Excellent account of yet another wonderful day on the island- at the very least we are recording the happenings there and can influence some solution to the dilemma of human need to see the seals and the seals need to rest and digest their food….

Looe Island said...

Thanks for sharing your excellent (as ever) photos of your day on the island and thanks too for helping us to monitor and record wildlife... and sadly disturbance.
Look forward to seeing you on the island again soon!

Unknown said...

Such wonderful photos x

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