Seal, yes, a Seal in the Docklands in London

On my way back home from work I normally walk along the West India Docks at Canary Wharf. A nice, quiet and scenic path along the dock. Well, tonight, it was rather special, I couldn’t really believe what I saw. Yes, there is a seal swimming in the water. A rather unusual animal to be seen in London. After swimming around for a few minutes it disappeared again under water.
Since I very often carry a small camera with me, I took the opportunity to take a few shots of it. Enjoy.

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52 Responses to Seal, yes, a Seal in the Docklands in London

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  2. sam says:

    I was just out to lunch with my friend Kate and I saw it to. By the time we got our cameras out it had gone. What an amazing site to see in the Docks. We were told that he has been here for a couple of years now.

  3. John R says:

    Me and a pal were roaming around docklands today, at Heron’s Wharfe and saw a seal! The same one I wonder. Unbelievable. Unfortunately it dived before we could recover to get cameras, “DOH”!

  4. wayne says:

    i have lived on the lock for a year and a half and never seen it. this morning before work i looked out my window and there is was…sneeky little chap

  5. Chris says:

    I saw it today in the piece of water just north of South Quay Staion at around 4pm. It came to the surface just for a few seconds before diving down again. I couldn’t believe my eyes.

  6. suesie says:

    my dad said he saw a seal when he was coming back from work in heron quay i think and none of us beleived him but now we do and i really want to seee one too

  7. Barry says:

    Walking to Harbour Exchange this morning at approximately 09.00, I was just passing the Waterfront bar when I saw a grey head gliding through the water in my direction. It took me a while to work out what I was looking at (no, it can’t be can it?), so it wasn’t until I saw the flairing nostrils that I finally believed my eyes. A seal in Docklands! It swam towards me for a couple of seconds more and then dived under. Got to the office and went straight to Google to see if anyone else had seen one, and found this page. That seal’s made my week!

  8. Shannon says:

    I thought I saw a seal today at the bridge on Pepper Street, but I thought I must be going mad. Thank you for making me feel better about my sanity!

  9. mandeep says:

    My fiance and I saw it yesterday in the millwall dock near south quay dlr. Glad we no longer think we were imagining things!

  10. KAYE HOWARD says:

    he’s outside now playing with a plastic pole, which he does at least 3 times a week.

  11. Hayley Jordan says:

    We love the docklands seal!” He or she puts a smile on all our faces at Exchange Towers 1& 2 South Quay. The seal seems happy to play with the plastic tube and there must be enough fishies for him to eat!” Lets hope he stays around for the summer? 🙂

  12. Mark says:

    Just seen him/her swimming around in the Inner Dock just up from the Glengall Bridge. He only surfaced a couple of times in about 10 mins and not for long…too quick for a photo.

  13. Hunter says:

    My wife and I saw the seal this morning playing with the same plastic pole in the Millwall Outer Dock! Maybe it’s lonely and a shiny black pole is the nearest thing to a friend that it has found. We saw it dive in and out a couple of times. A sight I never thought to see in London!

  14. Pete Magennis says:

    Yup thats Sammy alright, she plays in Millwall docks most weekdays about lunchtime with a four foot length of plastic piping. She’s usually over near Billingsgate of a weekend getting fed. She’s lovely isn’t she? I think she’s a Harbour or common Seal.

  15. Pete Magennis says:

    For a video of her playing with her pipe in millwall dock see below.

  16. David Norman says:

    While watching “Sammy the seal” in Millwall dock today a local security guard said there used to be two seals in the dock, but he hadn’t seen the other one for a while. Anyone know if this is/was the case?

  17. Pete Magennis says:

    Yup there are two the second one is a bit smaller and a lighter colour.

  18. Jackie says:

    i saw him/her a couple weeks back in south quay playing with what lokked like a pipe and my chrildren wanted to feed him bread i said he wasn’t a bird. They then responded but he eats bird which eat bread!. they are only 2 and 4 but they should know better. We now go to south quay to do some seal spotting. All of my daughter’s friends are jelous ans some of mine too!

  19. Rachel says:

    Four of us saw it in West India Quay on Sunday 08 August 2010. Only saw one but am delighted to hear there’s two as we spent some time wondering if it was lonely? ;o)

  20. Karen says:

    On Wednesday 10th August 2010 whilst looking out of our 10th Floor window I was amazed to see a Seal swimming in the Dock behind Heron Quay DLR Station. What a cheeky chap – Sam is alive and well. Glad to have found this blog as many in my department thought I was making it up.

  21. I have to admit, I’ve yet to see the seal and I live right on the river. Now there are two of them! How long before there’s a river cruise set up to go Seal spotting (I mean, seal spotting on the Thames!….). Think about it…. This is something I go to Scotland- the Outer Hebredees to do!.

  22. Manita Khanna says:

    Looks like the seal has returned! I saw it this morning in the dock by the South Quay DLR Station. Said seal looked happy and healthy, no odd play with pipes this time.

  23. Melody says:

    Whoohooo so excited to finally see the seal today from window at work! How special!!! He/she was playing with the plastic tube having fun.
    Awesome! My children so excited when I told them as they always look out for him when they come to work with me!

  24. Clare says:

    I just saw the seal next to South Quay DLR station. I was a bit worried about it being here – the water doesn’t look very clean and I was worried it wouldn’t be able to get out, but from these posts it looks like it’s been here a while!

  25. Iain Green says:

    I’m a wildlife photographer working on a book about the wildlife of London and am keen to photograph ‘Sammy’ and hear about any other seal sightings in the City and where the best spots to view are. I’ve previously photographed seals under Tower Bridge, but never in Docklands. Take a look at my website to see some of my recent images.
    thank you

  26. berna says:

    i saw him today in front of the morgan stanley building and took a photograph to prove i wasn’t crazy…

  27. Robin Van Nieulands says:

    I saw it myself two days….for the first time and my dog also was confused! But the Seal came right up and snorted at my dog! What a wonderful sight ..wish I had my camera!

  28. Robin Van Nieulands says:

    and again today! We should consider finding it a partner for Spring and allow them to breed???

  29. Vicky says:

    I started work just by South Quay this week and on my first day to work I saw a seal 🙂 I am just amazed but she/he has been there a while from this web site, thanks for this or I would have been concerned. I have never seen seals anywhere in the Thames but Docklands? Great!

  30. Richard says:

    I was cycling home at 3 am when I heard the seal hurumphing for a minute. We stared at each other – Magic! This was by the pontoon at Whiteadder Way, Millwall Outer Dock

  31. Les says:

    Saw him today, he was fishing at Canary Warf.

  32. Mandie says:

    I saw it today whilst on the DLR going into heron quays – madness! My two year old was delighted… V glad to find this and see we weren’t imagining it…

  33. Anton says:

    Saw him this morning – 8:00 am in front of Meridian Gate 14 Feb 2012

  34. Andrew says:

    Spotted it today at around 13H00 at South Quay. Great to see

  35. Lisa A says:

    3 July..11;30 – 1am
    We had a delightful couple of hours with Sammy the Seal.
    He/she was at the far end of Discovery Dock, Canary Wharf. Swimming & playing around quite happily & at times stopping to observe us.

    He hung around for quite a while showing us his very clever moves in the water. unfortunately we had no fish to throw him as a reward for showing us such tricks.

    It was the first time we have seen him, we reluctantly said goodbye but was lucky enough to be able to watch him from our apartment for a little longer.

    The ZSL ask us kindly to log our sightings at

  36. Marna says:

    We also saw him today!

  37. Georgia says:

    Saw him by South Quay this afternoon as i walked home i stared at him swimming for ages wondering what it was my immediate thought was a seal but couldn’t believe it until i saw him dive! unfortunately he never resurfaced near me so i couldn’t get a picture! absolutely made my day!

  38. Matt D says:

    The seal is alive and well: I’ve seen him/her twice by Wood Wharf in as many days.

  39. Rachel says:

    Discovery Dock outside Hazev today, at about quarter to 2. Maybe he was hoping someone would throw him some Turkish food….

    Never imagined I’d see a seal on my way to lunch!

  40. Shash says:

    Just saw the seal and he had a friend outside south quay
    station great to see

  41. Paul B says:

    Saw the seal 10 this morning (07/03/13) by the floating
    bridge at West India Quay.

  42. Spencer says:

    I watched the seal for about 10 mins this morning in Millwall dock near the floating Chinese restaurant. Awesome, made my day. Took some pics otherwise no one in the office would believe me.

  43. Flavia says:

    The seal was back this morning in the Outer Millwall Dock by Ability Place! It still seems to play with the same section of plastic pipe – can it be that it got stuck to its body somehow?? Hopefully not.
    Fantastic sight, the seal makes Canary Wharf feel so exotic :-))

  44. Claire Platt says:

    I saw him today at south quay, with the pipe…is that cause for concern?

  45. Matt says:

    Saw the seal this morning just south of south quay DLR!!!

  46. Craig says:

    Sammy is still alive and well and was seen pottering about by the “drawbridge” at the South Quay DLR at noon today.

  47. sam beighton says:

    The seal is still here, just off the Docklands water sports centre in the Millwall outer dock. On the surface for a few seconds then where did he go?
    Looked to be quite big.

  48. KAYE HOWARD says:

    we haven’t seen sammy seal for a while, then all of a sudden he pops up with his plastic pipe and tries to jump up on a raft connected to one of the moored boats in South Quay, he is a really lovely big fat Grey Seal, there must be plenty of fish out there, he really is superb, love him. xxx

  49. Justin says:

    Glad I found this Blog and wasn’t going totally mad. Spotted the seal today just under the DLR at Heron Quays

  50. David says:

    Sammy the seal is around and well. We saw Sammy today at South Quay, playing with the pipe and chasing around one of the local swans.

    A happy seal and a happy sight.

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