Edinburgh photographer snaps unbelievable drone shots of seals lounging off the coast of East Lothian

Edinburgh photographer Lee Howard first spotted the seals this time last year on the small island of Craigleith, just off the coast of North Berwick, but mistook them for plastic bags and litter from a distance.

Seals on Craigleith Island.
Seals on Craigleith Island.

Mr Howard, 49, lives in Edinburgh but works in North Berwick and decided to make use of his lunch break on Sunday to venture down to the beach and look out for the

animals again.

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He said: "I saw them last year when I was looking out to Craigleith island but they looked a wee bit like white plastic bags, like tire bags, so I flew my drone over and I went ‘oh my god, they're seals.’

Seals on Craigleith Island.

“I brought the drone back because I didn't want to disturb them too much obviously, especially the pups because if the mothers know that anything is there they will just kind of

abandon them.”

After seeing the incredible sight last year, Mr Howard wanted to get back to North Berwick beach and make use of his new camera equipment which allowed him to get the

excellent shots without frightening the animals.

Seals on Craigleith Island.

He said: “This year I made sure to keep my distance and because I’ve got a newer drone with a better quality sensor and camera lens I could keep right back and just zoom in.

“It looks like you’re much closer than you are. I was about 400 or 500 ft away from the animals so they wouldn’t even know I was there.”

Mr Howard posted the images to Facebook and is delighted by the response he has received.

He said: “I think people were relieved to see the pictures actually because a lot of them thought the seals were on the beach itself when actually they are off on the little island.

Seals on Craigleith Island.

"The locals are quite happy because the animals can get really upset and distressed if they come onto the mainland near the docks, and then they never come back.

“We’ve found that seals have learnt over the years to stick to the island and keep off the mainland so nothing can get near them you know.

“It’s a relief because they are a bit safer this way which is always good.”

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Seals on Craigleith Island.

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