TG4624 : Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) - mother and pup

taken 8 years ago, near to Horsey, Norfolk, Great Britain

Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) - mother and pup
Grey seals (Halichoerus grypus) - mother and pup
The beach between Horsey Gap and Winterton is home to a colony of grey seals which at this time of the year can be seen on the beach giving birth to and looking after their pups. To-date 248 seal pups have been born this year > LinkExternal link. During the breeding season, which lasts from November until January, several kilometres of beach are cordoned off to give the animals some space. Platforms have been constructed at regular intervals in the dunes above, giving excellent views onto the beach below.
Sightseers are asked not to venture down onto the beach so as not to disturb the seals but seal pups can be encountered in the dunes, blocking the path or lurking in the high marram grass > LinkExternal link hissing at passers-by.

The gestation period of a grey seal (Halichoerus grypus) lasts for eleven and a half months; the timing of birth varies, beginning in September in west Wales and November in the Farne Islands and Norfolk. Pups weigh about 15 kilograms at birth and are born with a fluffy white coat. They suckle from their mother for 18 to 21 days and gain about 2 kilograms of weight per day. Towards the end of the nursing period the mother mates with one or more males, and after the pup is fully weaned it is left to fend for itself. The pups stay at the breeding colony for three to four weeks until they are fully moulted, living off their blubber reserves, before they go to sea and learn how to swim and fish. (This information was taken from a leaflet published by the Broads Authority.)
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TG4624, 68 images   (more nearby )
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Date Taken
Tuesday, 21 December, 2010   (more nearby)
Wednesday, 22 December, 2010
Wildlife   (more nearby)
Subject Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 467 240 [100m precision]
WGS84: 52:45.4706N 1:39.3193E
Camera Location
OSGB36: geotagged! TG 466 240
View Direction
Northeast (about 45 degrees)
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