Battle of Shirttail Point — Seals Versus Seagulls

Town of Wellfleet Seal(s)

Perhaps they do look a bit like Roswell aliens (You know, the grays with big eyes!), but harbor seals appear to have taken permanent winter residence in Wellfleet.  They gulp down fish until their bellies roll, which never takes too long in the rich, oozy waters of the inner harbor.  Then they search for a protected point to bask on soft, moist sand under the brilliant fall sun.  Turtle Journal wonders whether Wellfleet might consider a small adjustment to its town seal to welcome our newest residents.

Seagulls Open Negotiations for Possession of Shirttail Point

Not everyone is happy with the arrival of harbor seals in this Outer Cape hamlet.  Seagulls, who have had no real competition for the riches of Wellfleet Bay and who have had full, free and complete access to every low-tide drained sandbar and point, saw these aliens as unwanted invaders and unfair competitors.  While it’s true that cormorants also effectively hunt underwater for fish in Wellfleet Harbor, they can be rather easily intimidated by a pesky flock of seagulls who steal fish like schoolyard bullies.  Seals don’t suffer the same initimidation.

Negotiations Break Down as Harbor Seal Stands Its Ground

A sated harbor seal hauled out on the tip of Shirttail Point a little after noon.  Soon, a seagull spokesperson arrived to demand that the alien seal give up its position on the point to the native seagulls.  It didn’t take long for the seal to tire of these meddlesome negotations and to break off the talks with a sharp bark.  And so the Battle of Shirttail Point began.

Click Here to View Video in High Quality

Battle of Shirttail Point – Seals Versus Seagulls

What the seagulls lacked in size they made up for in numbers, raucous noise and annoying personalities.  Still, the seal held its ground and once reinforcements arrived, the battle turned quickly in favor of the aliens.  If you’re on the Outer Cape during low tide, you may wish to stop by the Wellfleet Pier to get a glimpse of our newest residents.  Remember to give them space.  Marine mammals are protected from human disturbance by federal rules and regulations.

Comments are closed.