By Josh Saunders
A loved-up seal pair playing around in a romantic world of their own were captured on camera ignoring the photographer right in front of them.
Amidst the throes of passion, this courting couple affectionately touched and rolled around with one another in the Farne Islands, Northumberland.
The grey seals were completely oblivious to photographer Spencer Burrows, 36, from Nottingham, East Midlands, who was a mere hand’s reach away from them.
In the passionate pictures they appear to kiss for the camera, as well as smiling and laughing as they delve deeper into an amorous fantasy.
Dad-of-two Spencer claims to have never seen such affectionate seals in his ten-years of diving and said they were unafraid to show it, as they didn’t ‘give a damn’ that he was there.
Spencer, a sales account manager, said: “During this particular dive, I noticed a real change in behaviour, the seals were not interested in us, but much more into each other.
“It is hard to get seals or any wildlife behaving like that in front of your eyes.
“I’ve been to the Farne Islands before but have never seen seals as affectionate as that and I have been diving for ten years.
“The beauty of it was that they were completely oblivious.
“For an animal that’s really close, you have to wait for them to be comfortable.
“But they were rolling around right in front of me and within reaching distance.
“With any creature it’s a challenge but especially when they are right in front of you, it was unique really.
“I’ve seen lots of seal shots and taken loads too, but for the two of them to behave like that is unusual and hard to capture.
“It looks like they are moving slowly but they actually are so quick that it is hard from a photography standpoint.
“Seals are not shy at all they are quite playful and like human interaction. But this is different they are interacting with each other not giving a damn about me.”
There are an estimate 5,000 grey seals living in the waters around the Farne Islands, which are a group of 15-20 islands off the coast of Northumberland.
There is no permanent population on the Islands apart from National Trust Rangers who live there during certain times of the year.
Spencer visited the Islands in October last year during the mating season of the grey seals.
He said: “This was the breeding season which usually ensures plenty of activity and interaction.
“This particular pair were highly affectionate and displaying many signs of courtship or mating.
“This was a show of behaviour I had not witnessed before.”
More than 5,000 pictures were entered into the into underwaterphotography.com awards for a variety of sub-competitions.
Spencer recently entered the photograph into an underwater photography competition and was awarded ‘Highly Commended’ for the courting seals in the British Waters Wide Angle category.
He said: “The interaction and behaviour of the seals was a hard series of moments to capture.
“The speed at which they’d change meant that to capture this behaviour I needed to anticipate and work at pace.
“I managed to record a series of images that I was pleased with and felt they managed to really “tell a story” of the magical dive.”
The competition judge’s notes read: “Great behaviour captured at the perfect moment by Spencer.
“I love how the male’s eyes are closed as he opens his jaws flirtatiously to the female.
“Subjects totally relaxed with the photographer’s presence.”