As I wandered along the beach towards the harbour entrance I met a birdwatching group from Berkshire who pointed out a young seal hauled up on the shingle bank opposite, not looking at all well. I tried unsuccessfullyto contact the local reserve and left a message on a mobile answerphone. An hour and a half later the seal was still there and as it happened, when I passed by again, a person was strolling along the shingle so I called out to him across the water and alerted him to the sick seal. As he approached, the the seal managed to get into the water and swam slowly towards the harbour exit. I am not at all certain whether the creature will survive but it is worth keeping an eye out for it and reporting it if it seems in trouble.
Next stop was the hide and the 5 Avocets were still in the middle of the harbour, asleep. However after about 10 minutes they were disturbed by something and flew a short distance. It was then I noticed that 2 of them had difficulty in landing and each appeared to have only 1 leg. They hopped along the mud before settling down and going back to sleep. All 5 remained on one leg and this is quite normal for waders when roosting, but it was only after their flight I realised there was a problem with 2 of them when landing.