‘If you’re looking for seals you’re in the wrong place!’   Leave a comment

‘If you’re looking for seals you’re in the wrong place!’

This was the sign that somebody had conveniently placed in a small cul-de-sac car park on the East Coast of England. This particular car park was a ‘seal hunter’s’ satnav trap. And we’d been caught.

We backed back out and fed in the new postcode from the notice board in to the satnav and trusting blindly to technology and a metal thing orbiting the world set off again. We’d left disastrously late in the day and were looking at less than an hour’s daylight to get some shots of the seals at Donna Nook on the Lincolnshire coast.

Here’s that hour in words and pictures:

We arrived, we parked, we unloaded and we strolled the 50 meters on to the ‘beach’ to join a small throng viewing the seals and their pups.

The first thing that confronted us was a wood and wire fence separating us from the seals that lay on a strip of dirty grey beach separated by grassy sand dunes. The whole area looked like an explosion in a seal factory – seals lying everywhere in every direction either asleep of contemplating sleep.

DL8D5970_0286Why sleep on the sand or the grassy sand dunes when you can half submerge your head in a puddle of sea water!

The seals had started pupping earlier in the month and the pup/mum combos littered the expanse of mud and sea water.

DL8D5982_0298We hadn’t known what to expect but we didn’t expect this. TV has obviously distorted our view and we were thinking of golden sandy beaches and fluffy white pups.

The backdrop to our view was the busy shipping lane…

DL8D5975_0291… and just off the coast a rather large tanker was being pulled out to sea by a tug.

Half an hour after we arrived it started to rain. It seemed only to bother the human spectators.

DL8D5974_0290Dreaming of fish?

DL8D5973_0289Dreaming of mum’s milk?

The rain set in for the next half hour and the light was fading in to evening.

DL8D6018_0334We took shelter in a tin hut at the end of the viewing promenade. We chatted to some other visitors hiding from the rain in there who echoed our thoughts about Donna Nook; ‘they’d not known what to expect but they hadn’t expected this!’

The seals didn’t care what we’d expected.

DL8D5990_0306A grey seal checking that nothing unexpected was expected of him.

DL8D5977_0293We expected the seal pups to be cute and this little guy obliged. 🙂

Finally we had to make a run for the car park in the rain as the light was fading from the day.

DL8D5984_0300This little fellow, born that day and yet to rub off the evidence, watched us as we fled, wondering what all the fuss was about.

From the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust website: ‘For much of the year grey seals at the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trusts’ Donna Nook National Nature Reserve are at sea or hauled out on distant sandbanks. Every November and December, the seals give birth to their pups near the sand dunes: a wildlife spectacle which attracts visitors from across the UK.’

So go see for yourselves and see what you think. 🙂


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