For a short window of a few weeks in March and early April a North Cornwall beach becomes home to harem of the Common or Harbor Seal (Phoca vitulina) of about 100 strong. They come onto shore to reproduce, with the seal pups being lighter in colour.
The beach is at the bottom of steep cliffs, and inaccessible unless you come in by sea on a boat. This makes the beach very safe for the seals, so they gather there in large numbers, lazing in the sun.
The South West Footpath passes close by at the top of the cliff, but unless you knew the seals were below you, it would be easy to walk past never knowing they were there.
(credit for photos – Ray Silvester)