A seal has been spotted soaking up some mid-winter sun on Auckland's North Shore.

The mammal's drop-in at Devonport Beach was the latest in a string of sightings of young seals around the city over recent weeks.

But that wasn't anything out of the ordinary.

Between July and September each year, officials received an influx of reports of young seals popping up around beaches, which was due to pups beginning to wean as their mothers prepared for new pups.

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Seals could wander as far as 15km inland, following streams and rivers to strange spots like paddocks and inner-city streets.

And that could become more common as a population comeback brought more seals back to their former range.

The Department of Conservation (DoC) took a hands-off approach to seals, giving them time and space to find their way home.

DoC advised the public to also give them space, by not feeding them, keeping children and dogs back, not making loud noises and staying at least 20m away.

People who saw a seal being harassed, or who thought one looked ill, were urged to phone DoC's emergency hotline at 0800 DOC HOT (0800 362 468).