Seal watching boat trip from Harwich

Having lived just across the estuary from Harwich for nearly twenty-two years it came as a surprise to learn that not only was there a breeding colony of common seals nearby but also regular boat trips out to see them.  Limpy and I lost no time in booking our places and, on a sunny Friday a few weeks ago, off we went!

Ha'penny Pier in Harwich is clearly a popular hanging-out spot:

An inquisitive young starling

A beautifully patterned feral pigeon

After setting out from the pier it became obvious that we weren't the only ones who thought it was a good day for boating:

I love seeing sailing boats and this one really stood out from the busy Port of Felixstowe.

It didn't take us too long to reach Hamford Water NNR, where our cameras promptly went into overdrive:

We were told that deposits in the mud gave the seals their varying (and temporary) colours.

It was joyful to see so many of the seals with young!

Nothing like a nice swim.

Awwwwwww!

We didn't just see seals, though:

A beautiful curlew

A noisy oystercatcher.

All too soon it was time to return to Harwich - yup, time for more boats:

This useful service runs between Felixstowe, Harwich and Shotley.

Felixstowe still operates a roll-on, roll-off terminal for these ships.

The local pilot service

The RNLI Albert Brown.  Don't they do a fantastic job?

Finishing with the Gloria, the boat we went out in.  What a great time we had!

Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • What a fabulous boat trip Clare, and Limpy.

    I think my camera would have been into overdrive as well, especially for the seals. Thank you for sharing

    Mike

    Flickr Peak Rambler

  • An interesting trip out Clare, as well as the seals I find the variety of boats fascinating, I suppose that should follow naturally considering my surname. It's not a part of the world I'm familiar with except we once went on a round UK cruise that sailed from there and I was quite gobsmacked at the size of the cargo vessels we passed.

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • So do I. The RNLI has come under attack this week from a despicable person here - he claimed that they were offering 'a taxi service to migrants'. Happily the RNLI go out to save lives at sea, no matter whose they are - and for some reason donations to them have skyrocketed this week!

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • Looked like a brilliant trip out Clare and glad you and Limpy enjoyed your day and brought us back some fab photos; Felixtowe is such a busy port so hope the sea wasn't too choppy with all the vessels. When we moved out to Australia in 2002 our household freight (40ft container) went from our home in Cheshire to Liverpool by lorry, then on to a train to Felixtowe before heading off on container ship to Holland, Asia and finally Melbourne !! Although we have never visited Felixtowe - our household contents have LOL

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Did your household stuff come back through Felixstowe when you returned????

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.

  • In reply to Clare:

    Clare I hope he does not need them when his rubber dinghy springs a leak I have nothing but admiration for those people

    Pete

    Birding is for everyone no matter how good or bad we are at it,enjoy it while you can

  • In reply to Clare:

    Clare Bailey said:
    Did your household stuff come back through Felixstowe when you returned????

    No Clare,   From what I remember it came through London on return.       

    _________________________________________________________________________

    Regards, Hazel 

    "Each kindness shown to birds or men is sure to flutter back again" 

  • Hi Clare,
    Lovely set of photos from a beautifully sunny day out, you've inspired us to book our own trip in the next couple weeks, and possibly one on the Blackwater as well.
    Thank you for sharing and inspiring.
    Trevor
  • Thanks, Trevor - I hope you have a great time! I must check out the Blackwater trips, that's something we've yet to do.

    Our herring gulls are red listed birds.  Think about that the next time you hear some flaming idiot calling for a cull of them.