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Gareth

... to see the Seals & pups on Horsey beach: Photo heavy

Lois & I took a ride over to Sea Palling this afternoon to see the seals and the pups. Local reports indicate that there are approx 1000 common & Grey Seals currently ashore on a 10 mile stretch of Norfolk beaches between Caister-on-Sea and Horsey Mere beach. We walked the 8-9 km, from Sea Palling down to Winterton-on-Sea, and saw about 250-300 seals and pups on the beach, and a similar number of adult seals swimming in the surf. What surprised us was the seals were spread about in small groups of 2-4, and not in great groups.

When we were within about 250 metres of the Seals, Oz went back onto his lead and caused no trouble. It was possible to get close to the Seals; 15-20 feet, and I even managed to stroke one pup. But I did have one female chase me down the beach for a few yards ... she got stroppy when I walked within about 30 metres of her and she flew down the beach towards me.

Any way here are some of the many photos we took:






















































MrsWW

Beautiful looking creatures and some lovely piccies of Oz - thanks for sharing  
Scottie

My sentiments exactly MrsWW
Diz

There great Gareth,  

Slainte

Diz
Polly

Great pics thank you for sharing!  
Seabird

fantastic pictures. Thanks Gareth  
Mo

Thank you so much for sharing - excellents piccies.

I love the seals.

I'd also like to nominate the one of you and your dog walking away on the beach as a calendar contender.
Gareth

Thank you for your kind comments everyone.

Lois & I had a superb day on the beach Seal watching with a flask of coffee, box of sadwiches, lump of christmas cake, etc. even Oz was well behaved, although we kept him on his lead around the seals to avoid any problems arising..... not so others, and one owner in particular who went into a fit of panic when a large Male Seal turned on her dog.

We came off the beach in total darkness at about 5pm, and it was dark enough not to see the surf just 50 metres away, but to only hear it as broke on the sand and the odd Seal barking.

We are both looking forward to returning to Horsey Beach next December to see the Seals again, only this time we will go a little earlier in the month to try and photograph new born pups; we only saw 2 pups in white fur which indicates they are less than a week old, with the majority of the pups on the beach on the day we went being around 3 weeks old.
mrs tiggywinkle

Just seen these photos they're brilliant. Glad you had a good time.
Gareth

I have just found out that the Grey Seals have already arrived on the Norfolk beaches to give birth. They are almost a full month earlier than last year, with over 300 pups having been born so far this season.

Lois and I were going to visit the beach on "mad Saturday" ... the last one before Christmas, and thus avoid the mayhem in the city centre as the local populace do the last minute thing ...... but we have decided to go to the beach this weekend instead, and hopefully get some photos of the new born and young pups on the sands. Last year we went between Christmas and New Year, and all of the pups had already been born and most of them were around 3 weeks old and had moulted their white fur. ....... look forward to some more photos folks!

Here is a link to the news article in yesterday's Eastern Daily Press:

http://www.edp24.co.uk/news/photo..._arrive_at_horsey_beach_1_1711157
12Bore

Sounds great, looking forward to the pics!
kaz

Looking forward to the pictures gareth - enjoy your visit.
Gareth

We didn't get to go and see the seals on Horsey beach when we intended to: Jason and his girlfriend came to stay with us and there was a mix up with train time tables along with signalling troubles on the line, and with so much lost time we decided to remain at home.

However, yesterday Lois and, along with two good friends went to the beach to see the seals; and we got very lucky,...... a pup was born on the sands approx. 50 to 60 metres in front of us, a second grey seal cow came ashore and immediately went into labour, but we missed the birth as the light faded to darkness, and two bull grey seals had a bit of scrap over territory as we sat in the dunes eating a picnic and drank a hot and very welcomed cup of coffee from the flask.

The pup that was born in front of us ..... we were so en-captivated by the scene that we all forgot to take photos or shoot any video of the event. The pup is approximately 30 minutes old in this photo and had yet to suckle.



This is the cow that came ashore and went into labour just as the light faded:



About 12-15 feet of sand had been washed from the beach in the last 12 months. The area in this photo is where we took most of the photos of the seals & pups last year. Such is the rate of erosion on this section of coastline, however a decent spring tide during an onshore gale just might replace all of the lost sand, and then some.



And a photo taken last year of the same section of beach. In the previous photo Oz & I are walking along the bottom step of 4, each of which are 12 inches high at the base of a 6 feet high concrete sea wall, the drop from the bottom step to what remains of the beach and sea defense rocks was 3-5 feet. The top of that same sea wall is shown in this photo from last year;



Some general photos of the seals:







The obligatory photo of Oz: Notice the Bull Seal coming ashore in this photo.




Now follow this sequence of photos as tensions rise on the beach:







and a short video of what went on. Click on the photo to see the video;

Gareth

I have just been informed that there is over 40% of the world's population of Grey Seals currently ashore on the Norfolk beaches with some 1800 alone on the Blakeney point stretches of beach, and over 1000 ashore between Sea Palling and California (near Great Yarmouth), along with a lot of others at various other Norfolk beaches. It has been a record year for the numbers of Grey Seal pups being born on our beaches ............... so I think that another trip out with the camera and camcorder (with the tripod this time) must be done this coming weekend.  

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