Wednesday, 15 December 2010

A sunny weekend with the Atlantic Grey Seals, beautiful photos!

A lazy family day on the beach
 Bright blue skies, glorious sunshine and a free day was just too good to miss, we escaped from the busy Christmas shoppers in town and headed for the coast to see how the Pups were doing.

I could feel the tension easing as we got further and further away from the towns and got closer to the sea, we parked up and walked as far down the dunes as we could, we were more prepared this time... or rather Jaimie was!

The weather was much better than last time, and this time we knew exactly where to go.
This time however there were various Seal wardens about, as we walked along one of the wardens warned us to tread very carefully as many of the Pups had wriggled up into the dunes to shed their white downy baby fur.
I was delighted to get so close to these beautiful creatures, and I'm glad Jaimie had his camera because there were many magical moments.
little one shedding it's pup fur
I don't think any of these were pups we'd met before because we'd started further up the beach this time, but there were still plenty of new borns as well as those a few weeks older.
The wardens told us they'd arrived earlier than usual and some of the earlier pups had been washed out to sea, however their head count on Saturday showed there to be 340 pups on the beach. An awesome and beautiful sight!

We spent the whole day watching them, the whole time they were just as aware we were there, the adults keeping a close eye on the young, chasing away other large males that didn't belong on their sections while keeping a close eye on the humans too.
Watching the pups play and explore was just wonderful!

The younger pups lay on the sunny beach under the watchful eye of many adults, while the older pups wriggled, played and rested amongst the sand dunes.

I'll just lay here and look beautiful



This Youngster was quite relaxed around  the camera...

The beach was busy and noisier than you might think, as well as the pups crying out for their mothers, there was the battles for territory as well as more breeding, fighting and just general family squabbles

I'd like your bit of beach please...

These young pups were battling for prime position, Jaimie caught a brilliant series of photographs, I've added some, but even they don't capture the fun we had watching the one at the back try sneakily to steal the others sleeping spot.
He snuck up on her (I'm guessing male and female pups) and constantly hassled her until she tried to tell him off with a tired wave of her flipper. He was persistent though and never gave up, we spent quite some time sitting there laughing at their antics.
I'm happy to say she won her battle in the end with a stealthy wiggle and roll over!
By the time the sun was setting and we were walking back to the car, the pair of them had gone, all that arguing for nothing! Why does it remind me of my own offspring?

how about if I shuffle in front?

eh? Excuse me, I was here first


It wasn't me!

Hah! I win!

Ya think?

ooh I'm in trouble now!

This calls for drastic action, rock & roll!

I win!

The seal wardens have roped off a safe area to view the Seals from without disturbing them too much, which was a great idea and it was good to see other people avoiding the Seals areas on the beaches, but a few young pups had made their way up the dunes and onto the middle of the pathways, quite happy to see you walk past.
If you should see them, give them plenty of space and please, keep your dogs on a lead.
They will get upset if people come too close, and the poor parents are busy enough without having humans to worry about too! :o)
Pathway? Haha, No! Move along please....

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