By Mike Jones

This seal decided to take a break from his stressful life with a relaxing mud bath.

The chilled seal is covered from head to tail in sticky seaside mud as it lolls on the sand dunes of Donna Nook, Lincolnshire.

 Nigel Cox / Caters News

Nigel Cox, 54, took the charming shot while on a photography holiday and on first seeing the seal he thought it looked like it was covered in chocolate.

Nigel said: “I started photography at an early age after my father, who worked at Kodak, gave me my first camera. In my teens, I progressed to an SLR camera and so started the photographic journey that I have enjoyed for the last forty years.

“Grey seals return to the beaches at Donna Nook each year to give birth to their young, so it is a great place to observe and photograph them.

 Nigel Cox / Caters News

“Amongst the dunes are many sandy and muddy puddles with some seal like to pass through. However on this occasion one particular seal decided it need to immerse itself completely the puddle.

“We watched and photographed the seal for 10-15 minutes and then continued on our way, when we returned some half hour later she was still in there and still seemed to be enjoying the bath.

 Nigel Cox / Caters News

“My first thoughts after coming across this seal was that looked like a chocolate covered seal, but then I looked at some of the photos and couldn’t believe that all the sand and mud was covering its eyes and it just didn’t seem to mind at all.

“I guess they have a very resilient lens cover for all that under water diving and hunting.”