Love Waikawa Beach

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A kekeno seal photo shoot

As the dogs and I walked south on the beach this morning I spotted what I thought was a small piece of driftwood at the water's edge, except part of it seemed to be moving. I whipped out the small binoculars I almost always have with me and discovered a seal pup having a good scratch.

Naturally I put the dogs on the lead and then we moved as close as we reasonably could, and found a hide behind some large tangly branches, or perhaps they were roots, from where I could take photos without disturbing the pup. Thanks to my zoom lens I was able to get some shots I found very pleasing. So here are some of the best.

As I looked through the photos later it seemed as though the pup had almost posed for the camera.

DOC say of kekeno:

Fur seals and sea lions are distinguished from other seals by their external ear flaps and hind flippers which rotate forward, allowing them to move quickly on land.

New Zealand fur seals can be distinguished from sea lions by their pointy nose and smaller size. In New Zealand, fur seals also tend to be found on rocky shorelines, whereas sea lions prefer sandy beaches.

This pointy-nosed seal has long pale whiskers and a body covered with two layers of fur. Their coat is dark grey-brown on the back, and lighter below; when wet, kekeno look almost black. In some animals the longer upper hairs have white tips which give the animal a silvery appearance.

In several of my photos, if you look closely, you can see those ear flaps. Try clicking on a photo to see it larger, then you can scroll through using the arrows at each side.

Note: these photos have gone missing during a blog host move. I'll work on getting them back.