Sauntering seal idles away the evening on its own personal patch of Felixstowe beach

A crowd of people gathered to watch the seal on Felixstowe beach. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY

A crowd of people gathered to watch the seal on Felixstowe beach. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY - Credit: Archant

This posturing pinniped was afforded an exclusive section of beach on which to recline, as the sun set on the Suffolk coast.

The seal came to shore on one of the most central parts of the beach, close to the pier. Picture: A

The seal came to shore on one of the most central parts of the beach, close to the pier. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY - Credit: Archant

Unabashed by the presence of upright mammals, the seal loped ashore for a leisurely evening loll – striking a few playful poses for onlookers, including Andrew Whinney, who caught the moment on camera.

The unusual visitor to Felixstowe beach proved to be a big attraction. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY

The unusual visitor to Felixstowe beach proved to be a big attraction. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY - Credit: Archant

A short stretch of beach, close to the pier, was sectioned off by the Felixstowe mobile coastguard as the seal dawdled in the fading light.

The seal made its own way back into the water. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY

The seal made its own way back into the water. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY - Credit: Archant

Marine mammal rescuers were also called to the beach – in case the seal became stranded and needed help returning to the sea.

The seal plays on Felixstowe beach, close to the pier, on Sunday evening. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY

The seal plays on Felixstowe beach, close to the pier, on Sunday evening. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY - Credit: Archant

But, after a brief rest and few waves to spectators, the seal shuffled back to the water of its own accord.

Part of the beach was cordoned off after the seal appeared. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY

Part of the beach was cordoned off after the seal appeared. Picture: ANDREW WHINNEY - Credit: Archant

Seals are semi-aquatic and regularly leave the water to digest their food or rest on shore. The RSPCA advises the public to never get too close or attempt to put a seal back in the sea.