Thursday, November 27, 2014

Seals at Donna Nook

The grey seal (Halichoerus grypus, meaning "hooked-nosed sea pig"- which is not very complimentary) was the target of a photography trip to the Lincolnshire Wildlife Reserve at Donna Nook this morning. The weather was pretty awful and in consequence the photographs were pretty ordinary to say the least. I had to rack up the ISO to 1600 and the resulting noise on the photographs was lousy. Still there were plenty of seals loafing about doing what seals do - which is not much.
According to the Lincolnshire Wildlife website there are slightly over 3 000 seals hauled up on the mud and salt marsh of this part of the Lincolnshire coast this week. 2 500 of these are cows and their pups, the remaing 500 or so are bulls which tend to be quite aggresive at this time. I was more surprised by the numbers of visitors. Bear in mind that it was a miserable, damp and dank Thursday morning in November yet the car park was packed to overflowing and the viewing area was busy along its entire length. There were a couple of school parties present..."What we gonna do ere for six hours." I overheard as we passed a group of enthusiastic students. What indeed.
Birds were fairly scarce. Flocks of Shelduck and Brent Geese were visible towards the shore-miles away! A few Little Egrets further down the coast at Howdon's Pullover, Redshank, Turnstone and over 30 Curlew and a few Lapwing and Skylarks flying over. The best count was of a flock of Yellow Hammers in excess of 150. A pair of Stonechats were on the grass bank but that was about it. It got even greyer, murkier and damper so we cleared off before the rain set in. Pity those school kids...they still had four hours left.
Snoozin Grey Seal Halichoerus grypus

Piece of old rope - a long-lived bull

An amorous old bull and a not too happy female!

The female seemed to be a bit happier!

All rather boring to this pup.

More snoozin'


Lollin' about in the mud.

Male Stonechat Saxicola torquatus

Male Stonechat Saxicola torquatus

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