A RARE bearded seal was spotted in Northumberland last weekend, the first record of such a visit.
The young seal was spotted on Beadnell beach and appeared quite fit, fat and healthy.
Wildlife tour guide Alan Tilmouth, from Northumbrian Wildlife Tours, waited with the young seal for 90 minutes to ensure the tide washed it back into the sea and to safeguard it from dog attacks.
Kevin O’Hara, conservation officer with Northumberland Wildlife Trust, said: “This seal was way off course as species of this type normally inhabit the waters around the Arctic.
“Seals wander the seas and very often get blown off course and my guess is that the strong north-westerly winds have altered the water currents and blown it here.
“There was no cause for concern although it is very unusual for it to make an appearance on a beach in Northumberland.”