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Mike Radcliffe Photography

Seal of approval for Isle of Man

A photo of a 'hungover seal' has proved a big hit on social media and earned valuable publicity for UNESCO Biosphere Isle of Man in the UK media.

Photographer Mike Radcliffe captured the shot of the grey seal holding its flipper to its head, its eyes closed, from the Calf Sound.

The spot is popular with locals and visitors looking at seals.

The photo captured the imagination of social media users, with thousands of likes and shares.

It appeared on the Daily Mail and Country Living's websites, both extolling the virtues of the Island and the latter explaining that we are the only entire nation to be a UNESCO Biosphere area.

Mike said: 'Seals haul up on Kitterland, a small island in the middle of the Sound.

'The seal in the photo is a juvenile grey that had hauled up on the land side, so was visible.

'I'd been watching him/her for about an hour until he/she had fully relaxed. I like to try to capture 'character' in my images and this one really stood out from the batch taken that day.

'It's one of a sequence where the seal was scratching its head. It was taken with a 600mm zoom lens so that I could keep my distance, as seals spook easily.'

For the camera aficionado, Mike took the photo on a Nikon D500 using a Sigma Sport 150-600mm lens, ISO 640, F6.3, 1/1250th.

He has the following tips for those capturing the Island's spectacular wildlife:

Treat the animal/bird with respect – don't get too close.

Take your time – let the animal/bird get used to your presence. Then it will relax and act naturally.

Visit more than once – learn their behaviour patterns and you're more likely to capture interesting or unusual shots.

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