The most perfect late May day imaginable. Zero wind, sunny and temperature in the mid twenties. myself and Becky and friends Krysia and Stefan were keen to do some wildlife watching from kayaks and I hoped Looe island would deliver. Krysia and Stefan didn’t realise just how close up and personal the (very large) wildlife would come……
Seeting off from Millpool slipway gives an excellent opportunity to see the Little Egrets that appear to be nesting in the wood opposite the carpark.
We sped through the middle of Looe on the outgoing tide.
We slid across the super smooth open sea to Looe island…….
and were soon admiring the seals that were draped about on the Ranneys reef enjoying a bit of sun.
We looped around the island and headed for the beach at Portnadler for lunch. Several other bank holiday revellers had the same idea but we managed to find a private mini beach all to ourselves.
It was such a cracking afternoon that we decided to loop back around the island for a second seal experience. The Cormorants in the colony on the island were panting hard, but the heat didn’t seem to moderate the appetite of the nestlings.
A couple of small waders resting on the reef turned out to be Sanderlings, on their way to nesting grounds way up north. Superb little birds, usually seen rushing in and out with the waves on a sandy beach during the winter.
There were also a handful of Dunlin that were hunkered down amongst the barnacles on the reef, taking a breather.
We had an extraordinary prolonged encounter with a bull grey seal. He followed and examined both our kayaks and seemed to be formulating some kind of action plan.
After submerging we assumed he was going to do a bit of fishing, but to our amazement we could see him lying on the bottom amongst the weed beneath us, apparently asleep (as we could see his eyes were closed!)
Then came the unexpected moment.
The message was obviously “clear off, you’re on my patch”, so we did. It was easy to understand his frustration. There were a lot of kayaks and paddleboards around today because the sea looked so inviting and he was just a bit tired of all the attention. You might argue that we were too close and causing disturbance, but even when you are some distance away in a kayak seals will come over and seek you out and follow, seemingly just for curiosity’s sake (or maybe just the fun of it).
Back to the car at Millpool creek and finish the day off with a swim.
It was such a lovely day that everything looked impressive and grand, even the commoner birds such as Greater Black-backed Gulls.