If you’re taking a winter walk by Chichester Harbour or along a nearby coastline, you may be lucky enough to spot a common seal.
Seals have been recorded in the area and in some of our rivers, including the River Arun. Common seals are one of two species of seal that breed in the UK, the other is the grey seal.
They have a short muzzle with v-shaped nostrils and are quite dog-like in profile.
They are also known as harbour seals because they like this habitat – there’s a small colony of common seals living in Chichester Harbour.
Many Sussex rivers are tidal so it is likely the seals travel upstream following fish and can live happily for a week at a time before heading back to sea.
They might be seen on a river bank lifting their head and tail off the ground in a banana shape which is thought to help regulate their temperature on land and aid digestion.
Chichester Harbour provides an ideal habitat for seals. Here they are relatively undisturbed and food is plentiful, as they like to tuck into fish and crustaceans. In addition there is plenty of mud and sand for them to rest on. They can be seen anywhere around the harbour and have been known to swim into the marinas and even take a nap on the swimming platforms of moored boats.