With winter fast approaching the Point and surrounding marshes are starting to assume a distinctly wintery feel. The seals have taken over the Point and are squashing down the dune grasses on Far Point with the weight of the bulls and cows (and their associated pups) as they go about their ‘all or nothing’ breeding cycle. Draper and Nichols have taken control of the Lifeboat House and work is progressing as planned.
Piling posts for the verandah to be reinstated on the Lifeboat House (Graham Lubbock)
Seal pup counts have been interesting and it seems that almost 40 are being born each evening (probably all under the cover of darkness). Yesterdays (13th of November) pup count was 252 and today 293 were counted which is double the number counted at this time last year. Counting the pups is made incredibly difficult by the lie of the land and by the fact that the entire breeding population is on one long beach, but by using a counter and making sure that you have seen into all of the dips, bays and on all sides of every dune a fairly accurate count can be made. We are also looking into photo recognition of individual cows and marking any pups relocated back to the rookery with sheep dye. Far Point should be avoided by walkers at this time of year to avoid disturbance to the seals and dogs should kept on leads. However, the rookery can be watched from the seal ferries which leave from Morston Quay at around high tide and a few outlying seals can be observed at a distance on land before you reach the no further signs.
A cow (F1) photographed for individual identification (Edward Stubbings)
We still have a few places available on our guided ‘Wintering wildfowl and Waders’ (birdwatching) walk on Friday 23rd November starting at 10:00 from Morston Quay and our ‘Blakeney Point Seal Pup Tour’ on Friday 7th December starting at 10:15 (also from Morston Quay). It is a great opportunity to see the arrival of the seal pups and the posturing and fighting of the adult bull seals. If you are interested advanced booking is essential so please contact the booking office on 08442491895. And dont forget James' exhibition at Blickling Hall, starts this Friday.
Mother and pup in creek just before the start of Far Point (Graham Lubbock)