May 142017
 


One of the UK’s great wildlife spectacles are the clouds of knot whirling over the shore at Snettisham in the winter.

The Grey Seals that give birth each winter on the beaches at near by, Blakeney (England’s largest colony), are another Norfolk wildlife event. Recently, a change in the habits of the Grey Seals has caused an increasing number to move south.

Populations from the traditional breeding grounds in the North and Lincolnshire have started to breed at Horsey, Norfolk.

The Rookery

Nearly half of the world’s total population of Atlantic grey seals make their home around the coasts of the UK. However,in recent years they have appeared in increasing numbers along the east coast at four breeding sites, Horsey being the newest. This year well over 1500 grey seals appeared to pup, including the first wild grey seal twins to be recorded.

Grey Seal

We visited the beach this year in late April when the breeding season had finished, but at a time to coincide with the seals’ annual moult. Grey seals haul out on their beach rookeries twice a year. Firstly, during the pupping and mating season, from November to January.

Secondly, in spring when they gather together in large, noisy groups to moult. On our first visit about 500+ had hauled themselves out on the beach. Juveniles usually moult first, followed by females, and finally by adult males.

Once the moult is complete they all head out to sea until next winter.

Young Grey Seal

It’s possible to access the beach and the rookeries viewing point at Horsey from a number of places. The easiest being the car park at Horsey Gap. Another option is to walk the 2.5 km from the car park at the Horsey Windpump.

This track reaches the beach at another gap in the dune’s and near a second viewing platform. At this time of year they seemed very relaxed and not concerned about people walking along the beach. In among the grey seal you could also see a few of the smaller common seal.

Grey seals moulting

Grey Seals Sparring

Common seal

 

Subscribe to our FREE Newsletter

 

 

Alan De Witt

Alan De Witt

After spending a career that demanded much of my time and energy. I'm now retired and finally found some time to pursue an interest in wildlife and photography as well as putting together a website C & A's Wild Images. I now live in Norfolk, an ideal location in the UK to see wildlife and over the years have also had the opportunity to visit and spend time using the camera in interesting and sometimes remote parts of the world. I first became interested in trying to capture wildlife images when I left university in the days of slide film. Initially I used two compact cameras with 20+ zooms but now have moved to a professional Canon SLR set-up.

Share this post with your friends





Facebook Comments

Leave a Reply

avatar
Chandy Wik

Nice image

Mill Farm Eco Barn

Still lots of seals at Horsey. Fabulous photo @wildlife-focus

Vinod Kasture

superb

wpDiscuz

Top-Viewed Posts Last 30 Days

  1. POLL: Should hunting with hounds be banned? – [7336 Views]
  2. POLL: Should the trophy hunting of bears and wolves be banned? – [3201 Views]
  3. POLL: Should the slaughter of badgers in the UK be finally stopped? – [2962 Views]
  4. POLL: Should trophy hunting in Kyrgystan be banned? – [1721 Views]
  5. POLL: Should SeaWorld be closed down? – [1520 Views]
  6. POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for continuing to slaughter whales? – [1117 Views]
  7. POLL: Should Yellowstone’s Iconic Grizzly Bears be Stripped of Federal Protection? – [1021 Views]
  8. POLL: Should roadside zoos be closed down? – [976 Views]
  9. POLL: Should we prevent our cats from killing birds? – [813 Views]
  10. POLL: Should there be a tough crackdown on the trafficking of Pangolins? – [726 Views]

Top-Viewed Posts Last 12 Months

  1. Gray Squirrels versus Red Squirrels – The Facts [7893 Views]
  2. POLL: Should hunting with hounds be banned? – [7336 Views]
  3. POLL: Should foxes be culled to protect domestic pets? [3799 Views]
  4. POLL: Should the trophy hunting of bears and wolves be banned? – [3201 Views]
  5. POLL: Should the slaughter of badgers in the UK be finally stopped? – [2962 Views]
  6. POLL: Should the cruel sport of bullfighting be banned? [2873 Views]
  7. POLL: Should Canada ban the hunting of seals? [2667 Views]
  8. POLL: Should the Tories be allowed to bring back fox hunting? [2578 Views]
  9. POLL: Should wild elephants be sold to Chinese zoos? [2322 Views]
  10. POLL: Should Japan be sanctioned for slaughtering Minke whales? [2289 Views]