If you were taking an afternoon stroll at Littlehaven Beach today, you might have spotted a visitor on the sand.
A friendly seal was having a well-deserved rest on the shore and basking in the afternoon sunshine.
Spotted by Gazette reader Julie Marsh, 28, the animal was putting its flippers up for a little while before heading back to the water.
Julie, from South Shields, contacted the RSPCA as a precaution - but it looks like the animal was making its way back to the sea.
Meanwhile, down the coast at Roker, the public have been urged to leave a seal pup in peace as it rests up at Smugglers Beach.