My early morning walk on the reserve is often to commune with the seals at the Ythan mouth. It is such a fantastic sight to see so many large mammals gathering together in a great display of bioabundance.
But I always head down to Newburgh beach to see them. A short walk from the car park by the golf course and you can see the seals across the river getting on with their business quite happily, while having no impact on them. If you wait then those in the water will sometimes come closer to have a look. It is worth taking a bit of time to return the complement, you can see all sorts of interactions between individuals and also take in the sound of all those animals together (and smell if the wind is blowing towards you!).
You shouldn’t approach any of the seals on the north side of the river as, not only will you not get much of a view of the animals as they will quickly head into the water but it isn’t good for the seals to get disturbed. For this reason this haul-out location is a protected site for seals so to avoid disturbing the seals it is best to avoid the mouth of the river on the north bank of the Ythan.