Sunday, 23 November 2014

23rd of November: Seal pup update

The rookery continues to expand - on Saturday 22nd November the pup count stood at 877 pups.  This is 280 pups more than we had at the same stage last year so that's positive news.  Whilst carrying out the count this weekend we have had the privilege to see pups close up and even one being born - a rare event to witness as most are born at night.

 We saw this cow give birth to her pup

Pups spend a lot of their time sleeping and feeding, but as they get more active they begin to explore their new world.

 Snoozing pup

 Suckling pup

Pup in a sandpit

There are still plenty of heavily pregnant females hauled out waiting to give birth.  This close-up of one of them shows its whiskers (known as vibrissae) and its eyebrows.  These are both highly sensitive and used for hunting under water - seals can even sense the movements of fish in front of them through these vibrissae.

Pregnant cow in dunes

We also took this short video clip showing a mother and pup interacting.  You can hear the almost baby-like cries of the pup as it seeks to feed.

Sarah and Paul

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