Monday, 21 December 2015

21st of December: Winter Solstice

Today, on the Winter Solstice, we would like to thank everyone who has helped us look after wildlife on the Norfolk Coast this year by following our guidelines. The seal pups have had a peaceful season, with the least disturbance ever, and so far just a single pup in need of rescue. We would like to say a big thank you to our wonderful volunteers, who have worked hard to protect the seals and provide a cheerful welcome to all visitors.
Our volunteer seal ranger team

For people contemplating walking up the Point over the festive period, we would like to remind you that boat trips are running, providing the opportunity of up-close seal views without causing disturbance. Please remember that it is an arduous eight-mile walk to see the seals, and they are already quickly dispersing.
Seal pup (Ian Ward - NT volunteer)

Today's pup count brings the total up to 2,314, which is about the same as this time last year. We expect a couple of dozen more births over the next two weeks and will let you know the grand total in mid January.
Cow and pup (Tom Whiley - NT volunteer)

Finally, we are pleased to be able to share this video with you, with exclusive footage of the seals filmed earlier this month...

Wishing you happy holidays from the Norfolk Coast team

Thursday, 10 December 2015

10th of December: Seals slowing down

Today's seal pup count revealed that 130 pups have been born in the last three days. This compared to 222 in the three days before that, showing that pupping is slowing down. However, this still gives a total of 2,155 pups so far this season, with a few more to come over the next four weeks.

Weaned pup (Peter King - NT seal volunteer)

There are now more weaned pups than pre-weaned, meaning there are far less cows on site. Some of these weaned pups are on the move and can be found further away from the core breeding site. Please be aware that there are pups further along the Point now, but they are fine. After three weeks of suckling, they are left to their own devices and eventually head to sea and instinctively learn to catch fish.

Naughty pup! (Helena Dye - NT seal volunteer)

Bulls fighting over territory

This week, we witnessed two pups suckling from the same cow. We have observed this previously in both 2012 and 2014. At large and crowded Grey Seal rookeries - such as the Orkneys - two pups have frequently been seen suckling from the same cow, both together and after the other. A cow with plenty of milk may tolerate the suckling of one or more 'alien' pups, which are hungry enough to approach her. This appears to be what was happening here:

- Ajay (Coastal Ranger)