Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Australian Fur Seals at Bull Rock

As Mark Twain may have said, "The reports of my blog's death are greatly exaggerated".

So what has been happening here in Tassie? Well back in December I spent a couple of days at Stanley here in the North-West. While there I took the seal cruise out to Bull Rock.

(Click on Photos to Enlarge)

#1 - The town of Stanley and "The Nut" as seen from off shore.

Bull Rock is a small eroded remnant of columnar basalt sitting about 500m off shore from the historic Highfield House. The rock is used as a haul-out by the Australian Fur Seals (Arctocephalus pusillus doriferus) and the occasional New Zealand Fur Seal (Arctocephalus forsteri).

#2 - A rather grainy photo of Bull Rock taken from "The Nut" with the 400mm lens

#3 - Highfield House (Built in 1832) from off shore

There were only 12 people on the boat so there was no problem getting good views. The skipper gets in nice and close and cuts the engine where possible. The seals did not seem at all disturbed with some even coming right up close to the boat. At a guess I'd say there were two to three hundred seals on the rock.

#4 - Australian Fur Seals enjoying the sun

Although not a breeding site, younger, inexperienced seals, occasionally attempt to rear their young on the rock and two pups were spotted on the day.

#5 - Seal Pup at Bull Rock

#6 - Bull Seal at Bull Rock

#7 - A bit of interaction

#8 - The rock is also host to many gulls and cormorants

If you would like to see more photos of the seals you can check out my photo gallery where I have posted 21 photos. The skipper spotted what he felt was a New Zealand Fur Seal and I took a shot. Perhaps you can spot it among the photos. I can't :-)


  1. Welcome back to blogging! That's a very interesting post to come back with and great photos of all the seals.

  2. I love your seal photos!


  3. Hi Alan
    GREAT to have you back blogging. I've missed you! Lovely photo of the bull particularly! Will have a better look later, but I have to get off to work now!

  4. John TongueMarch 03, 2009

    Hi Alan,
    great to see you're back!

    I don't know if you ever check the Eremea Birdline website, but the one carrying listings of Tassie sightings has been getting some more use of late. Interesting to keep up with some of what's being seen. Address is

  5. Fine series to mark your return. Looked hard, but couldn't see any seals in All Black!

  6. Hi Alan
    I echo everyone else's welcome to you.
    Great trip by the looks of it. I love seals. So ungainly on land, and so wonderfully graceful in the water.

  7. Thanks for the comments Mick, Chai, Jenny, John, Tony, & Denis

    Tony - none were doing the Haka either which would have made them easy to spot.

    Thanks for the Birdline tip too John. I notice another sighting of Azure Kingfisher at Wynyard.

  8. Worth waiting for Mosura, great post and pictures.

  9. Thanks Duncab - I enjoyed your Cape Barren Geese photo!

  10. G'day Mosura,
    A welcome return indeed. Looks like I'm gunna be even later for work each morning now!
    Great seal shots - luved them.

  11. A friend of mine suggested to take a look at your site coz of great stuff you have here. I must say your blog is very interesting.

    By the way you might be interested to join DIRECT ART AUSTRALIA'S monthly photo contest. Winners will have the chance to turn their photos into hand-painted portraits. You can check out their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=70645093608

  12. ...first time to you blog. I guess my timing was good...love all of the seal photos!