Tuesday, 14 November 2017

A Seal in the River Liffey, Dublin

I am just back from a family holiday in Ireland.  When there, we has a day trip to Dublin, taking the train along the coast from further south.  We had read that you can see seals here so kept our eyes peeled all the way there in the hope of seeing one ... without luck.  I have never seen a wild seal.  Oh well, maybe another time.

In Dublin we walked down to the dock area where we took a moment alongside the River Liffey to decide what to do next.  At the same moment we all turned to look at the river and what did we see - a SEAL!!  It was just chilling in the middle of the river, without a care in the world.  I found this video from The Irish Times from 2 years ago when a seal was filmed in the Liffey at the same place as we were so apparently our sighting was not a first, although I do not know if the seal we saw was the same one.  We watched it for a while and it was obviously looking for fish, diving for up to 10 minutes at a time before resurfacing.

The article in The Irish Times asks whether the seal will become the Dublin equivalent of Fungi the Dolphin.  Fungi is a wild bottlenose dolphin who happily lives in Dingle Harbour, Kerry, on the West coast of Ireland.  When we were there in 2000 we specifically went to see if we could see him but without any luck.  

Seeing this seal was just as good though and such a surprise as we knew nothing about seals in the Liffey.  It also proves that the water is not too polluted which is great news for a city river.

Have you ever seen any wildlife in an unexpected place?

Seal in the River Liffey, Dublin.  Image from The Irish Times


  1. What a lovely surprise of nature to see a seal once you'd given up hope. #AnimalTales (sent this comment previously but it didn't appear so apologies if it's gone twice or is in your spam somewhere)

  2. I've only been to Dublin once but didn't see any seals, unfortunately. Here, by the Canal du Midi, we see a lot of ragondins (coypu). My family & friend seem to find it very amusing that I get so excited every time I see one! #AnimalTales

  3. Hopping over from Animal Tales... How exciting to see a seal in the wild! I've only seen them in zoos. -Marci @ Stone Cottage Adventures

  4. What a lovely surprise. We often pop over to the harbour at Howth when we are in Dublin, there are many seals there and very friendly. They are such beautiful creatures.

  5. I was rather taken aback to see flamingoes and a black swan in the desert in Dubai AnimalTales

  6. We looked and looked for seals in Scotland this summer and I finally saw ONE, but the rest of the family didn't see any. I remember family holidays to Scotland about 40 years ago (same general area as this summer) when we used to see loads all the time. I hope it was just bad luck that we didn't see any but I fear that there are less than back then.