Deciding to walk the dogs in really abysmal weather this afternoon (some wind, lots of rain, and very low very dark grey threatening clouds). I took them down to the sea at Birsay and walked along to Skiba Geo - a grassy path alongside low cliffs but with little access to beach or sea (trying to limit how messy the dogs could get).
On arriving at the small bay at Skiba Geo I noticed several seals behaving oddly, IMO. With a very deep and long swell several of the seals had their heads out of the water looking straight up at the clouds. This was about 4 out of 9. Obviously living on Orkney I've often noticed seals just off the beach, but generally looking around or watching my dogs. Star gazing or rather cloud gazing seemed somewhat unusual. By the way - what do you call a group of seals?
By far the largest very nearly had its shoulders out of the water. Bobbing around in a regular motion in the swell it suddenly reminded me of a "Roly Poly Clown" a younger cousin had one when I a very young kid myself. No matter how often you knocked it over it always rocked back upright with a ringing bell inside. It was very worn and had much of its paint either faded or rubbed off. I couldn't draw nor photograph the seals due to the weather conditions so I give you the "Roly Poly Clown" I have drawn upon my return to the warmth of home (image found on Internet, my memory isn't quite that good!)
So what were they up to?
a) Rocking about in the swell fully or half asleep?
b) Some normal seal behaviour I've not noticed before (I'm no expert)?
c) Just messing with my head? - my favorite option.