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Seal spotted in Ouse

On 27 Oct 2008 at 1:36pm Peter Bone wrote:
I spotted a seal in the Ouse today just on the south side of Cliffe bridge at 12:15pm. I watched it swim downstream with the tide for a few seconds before it dived. I didn't see it again. It was probably a young common seal that got carried in by the tide. It's rare to see seals on the south coast and rarer to see them up rivers. I was just wondering if anyone else saw it or if anyone has ever spotted a seal this far up river before?
On 27 Oct 2008 at 1:45pm FA wrote:
Saw a cormerant diving for fish at about midday around Wileys bridge...no sign of a seal though. Lovely high tide today so the dog had a good swim.
On 27 Oct 2008 at 2:06pm George Doors wrote:
What song was he singing?
On 27 Oct 2008 at 2:18pm adamski wrote:
killer prob nicks all the credit
On 27 Oct 2008 at 4:45pm Peter wrote:
George, celebrities don't perform their job all the time. I saw Kaddy Preston walk across the bridge at lunchtime but she wasn't giving the weather forecast!
On 27 Oct 2008 at 5:50pm juju wrote:
Last year there was a seal in the ouse as high up as Landport, seen by many people and reported in the Sussex express.
On 27 Oct 2008 at 6:09pm MC wrote:
Seals are not entirely uncommon in the Sussex Ouse. Two years ago one got almost up as far as Barcombe (i.e. past the Hamsey weir).
Cormorants are entirely common nowadays.
You have to wonder why species that have traditionally lived and hunted in salt/sea water feel the need to come into *fresh* water rivers and lakes/lochs.
If you want something really unusual apparently a Wells Catfish was caught from the river near Tescos a few weeks ago. These things can grow to eight feet and take swimming dogs and swans. There's not been a report of one being caught before.
Don't let your children swim in the Sussex Ouse! :-)
On 27 Oct 2008 at 6:30pm FA wrote:
I must admit MC that i've been fishing the ouse from Wileys to the Cliffe bridge for 35 years and walk my Springer along there regularly and this is the first Cormerant ive ever seen.
Plenty of herons though....there was one eying up my koi this morning.
Didn't hear of the catfish report although i wouldn't be surprised. You used to be able to buy tiny Wells cats and keep them in an aquarium. When they grew, people put them in their ponds and they ate all the goldfish. So they were released into the wild (illegally) and i suppose just by the law of averages that at least one must've escaped from a pond during the floods.
The Ouse does hold some seriously large fish though and there are some carp on the far bank opposite Tescos that certainly go to 30+lb There are big Pike further up too and some serious eels. Quite a few saltwater fish are represented with big Mullet being the most obvious with Sea Trout, Dabs and flounders and even small Bass coming up at high tide.
One thing i haven't seen for years is a mink...there used to be loads around the Pells and in the river about 25 years ago
On 27 Oct 2008 at 6:33pm Smiler wrote:
About 4 years ago I saw a seal in the Thames above Eel Pie Island in Richmond over 30 miles from the sea. Caught it on video as well.
On 27 Oct 2008 at 8:21pm Weasel Warrior wrote:
allegedly pair of mink seen regularly - early morning - near to Riverside coffee shop - about a year ago
On 27 Oct 2008 at 8:54pm Spinster Of This Parish wrote:
I've seen a mink from Cliffe Bridge - it left the water and ran along the riverbank behind the NCP car park.
On 27 Oct 2008 at 9:12pm MC wrote:
There was a family of mink at Hamsey weir last year.
Not seen them this year though.
I guess that must be how the Catfish got into the Ouse. I'm hoping it doesn't get the opportunity to breed. They're as hungry as seals. :-)
I see cormorants almost once a week on the Ouse between Isfield and Barcombe Mills. Herons maybe once every month on average.
On 28 Oct 2008 at 6:50am FA wrote:
Strange about the herons MC as i see them almost daily...but then again, my garden looks out over the ouse valley flood plains so they're always around fishing in the streams (and my pond!!!).
Talking of the streams, as you walk up the Ouse from Wileys towards Hamsey, all those little streams are absolutely teaming with life. I used to go along there as a kid to catch tadpole etc. Plenty of Marsh frogs sounding off over there and lots of sticklebacks in the streams too which is always nice to see.
Don't mind the mink too much as long as they don't start breeding excessively.
On 28 Oct 2008 at 11:15am Local wrote:
Our cat brought a dead baby mink home last year and dropped it on the mat as a present. The family may have got their revenge though as he came home the other week with the top third of his ear ripped off.
On 28 Oct 2008 at 5:12pm Cat Detester wrote:
Serves your pesky cat right!
Hope it still stings!
All cats should be culled.
B***ard things.
On 28 Oct 2008 at 5:24pm Josephina wrote:
Cat Detester- you didn't rip the top third of Local's cat's ear, did you???
On 28 Oct 2008 at 5:32pm FA wrote:
Had a long walk along the river again today...was a beautiful day and we caught the high tide just right for my Springer to have a good swim in.
Anyway, after seeing my first cormerant on the river yesterday, i saw a further two today and a heron all around the Deanery area.
On 28 Oct 2008 at 7:01pm MC wrote:
I like the streams too (we have the Bevern and the Longford by me). More life than in the Ouse! I've not seem sticklebacks since I was a kid though. Talking of which... have you ever any native crayfish in the Ouse (not the American Signal variety). There were loads in the Darenth (on the bit I grew up on anyway) but I've not seen any in this river.
Sometimes I'll see a Heron every couple days of and then not see them for months.
I'm sea trout spotting in the streams at the moment (not had much luck so far though).
On 28 Oct 2008 at 7:12pm FA wrote:
Yeah the little streams at the bottom of Landport are teeming with sticklebacks...even now as much of the plant growths such as Calatricha and water violet are still around.
Apart from the cormerants, it was good to see loads of greenfinches in the hawthorns too...lots of berries this year (sign of a bad winter to come ???)
used to get sea trout halfway between the Causeway and Wileys in the Ouse....the area where there's no bank.
never seen a crayfish in there...there's a few crabs around especially if your hunting for ragworm at low tide for bait under the rocks. Did you know that it's illegal to put signal crayfish back....and it's illegal to take them out !!!! If the ouse ever gets them, ill be down there with me nets as they're great for eating !!!...don't know whether they like the brackish water that's in the Ouse.
Took some lovely pics today of the river and the dog having a swim....shame some people don't get out and appreciate the countryside we have in Lewes
On 28 Oct 2008 at 7:16pm Local wrote:
FA - your posts on this particular thread are part of what makes the forum worth while. Great stuff.
On 28 Oct 2008 at 7:26pm FA wrote:
Thank you sir.....the evidence is there for all to see...an hours walk along to Hamsey weir with or without a dog is fantastic at any time of the year and there's so much wildlife around.
On 28 Oct 2008 at 7:36pm Josephina wrote:
I do the Hamsey walk often, but now i'll be looking out for a lot more.
On 28 Oct 2008 at 9:04pm juju wrote:
The area by the river never looks the same from one day to the next, walk and look around you. I have been suprised by some amazing things from the small shrew fleeing across the footpath to escape a very high tide to watching the pair of herons flying across the fields, the white egrets are always a joy to see in the summer and the marsh frogs that seem to be laughing at you as you walk past. Fantastic.
On 29 Oct 2008 at 5:12am FA wrote:
Never seen the white egrets either juju. We had one at work a few years ago but the resident family of crows soon saw that off. I was talking to someone just last week from the RSPB and they said that the white or little egret is now classed as a Brittish bird as there's so many of them !!!
On 29 Oct 2008 at 8:15am Taff wrote:
Its great to now that there are plenty of people interested in our local wildlife.
However when was the last time anyone here saw a flock of Peewits?
On 29 Oct 2008 at 8:22am FA wrote:
never seen one ever....but has anyone heard of the pair of red kites nesting in Lewes ?
On 29 Oct 2008 at 9:21am Taff wrote:
I used to see large flocks of them, a few years ago though. This year I have had just one sighting of a trio only. Peewits is a localish name for Lapwings.
On 29 Oct 2008 at 1:51pm Dog in a Cape wrote:
I was never near the river, I don't hold with bathing and never have.
On 29 Oct 2008 at 6:10pm MC wrote:
I've just spent a lovely afternoon with my lad and dog fishing the Bevern Stream. Beautiful surroundings, clear skies, fresh autumn aura, no background noise, no other people, clean healthy water and lots of fish!, We caught 7 or 8 chub and a handful of perch. Saw a kingfisher, some nervous skittery birds with long tails, various ducks and geese, a fox and the remains of a swan (presumably eaten by the fox).
A top day.
Just a shame (for me mostly!) that the Anchor was closed when we arrived there at dusk.
On 29 Oct 2008 at 6:20pm FA wrote:
Very nice too MC. I fished a small section of the river Uck back in the summer and that was superb fishing on light tackle.
A few years ago, i fished a large fishery near battle (wylands). We'd been fishing it for many years so we knew the owners well and when we all turned up for a 3 day session, he let us fish one of the lakes that was closed all by ourselves.
In the bank behind us was a kingfishers nest which had babies in. I sat and watched from about 6 feet away for about 4 or 5 hours with the parents going back and forth with baby fish.....an experience i'll never forget.
Don't know the Bevern stream MC...is it up by Barcombe ?
On 29 Oct 2008 at 7:19pm MC wrote:
Yup. I live in Barcombe, and pretty close to the Bevern stream.
I know what you mean about observing wildlife intensely for long periods. Fishing is a great pastime for this sort of opportunity.
Last sumer I went to fish the Bevern, right where it enters the Ouse. I'd not seen the stream so clear before. It was like looking into an aquarium. Small roach and dace towards the surface, a shoal of 11 or so decent sized bream meandering (4-6lb at a guess) lower down, 3 inch pikelets suspended in mid-water and the odd large carp wending it's way through the weed... not to mention the insects and stupid amounts of geese.
I didn't even get my fishing tackle out but instead spent nearly three hours wondering at the aquatic life.
And then later, with my son, watching moorhen chicks pecking there way out of their shells.
On 1 Nov 2008 at 1:03pm Thomas Paine wrote:
There's a pair of Grey Wagtails (the ones that are totally bright yellow underneath) that nest in a wall next to the Ouse right here in town river every year, about level with the Snowdrop. Seen kingfishers there too. Peregrine Falcon and a pair of Ravens nest on the cliffes too.
On 1 Nov 2008 at 1:09pm FA wrote:
I love grey (yellow !!!) wagtails...i have a pair at work that eat the bugs off the side of the pond. Best thing this year is the pair of greater spotted woodpeckers that nested at work...there's loads in the park opposite but none have ever nested in my garden.
On 1 Nov 2008 at 1:26pm Thomas Paine wrote:
I should have added there's been a Hen Harrier around the Glynde Reach last few days.
On 12 Nov 2008 at 4:12pm LD wrote:
Hello All. We live north of Wileys Bridge right on the Ouse opposite Landport. This morning we spotted a seal in the river and managed to take some video of it! It dived and surfaced about 3 or 4 times in the half hour that we watched it and looked very content and calm.
On 16 Nov 2008 at 7:08pm Helen Webb wrote:
We saw the seal today as we were walking along the Ouze near to Lewes. I was commenting to my husband about how there was not much wildlife about and up he poppoed. We stood and watched for a while and he seemed pretty happy, playing with a log and diving in and out of the water. Livened up our walk a bit !
On 28 Dec 2008 at 8:28pm AM wrote:
I saw a seal in the river about a year ago north of Wiley's bridge between lewes and Hamsey about level with the railway bridge and gate. My neighbour saw one again yesterday! is it lkely to be the same one?
On 24 Feb 2009 at 3:38pm Mark wrote:
Could anybody give me further information about the Wells Catfish that was caught in Lewes, mentioned in the post dated 27/10/2008? I would like to write a news story about this alien species to put on our website. Any help would be appreciated.
Thanks - Mark - Sussex Ouse Conservation Society webmaster - www.sussex-ouse.org.uk

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