Well, I promised that I would let you know what I’d been up to while I was absent over the Christmas period, and when better to start than now!
First up was the annual family trip to Donna Nook National Nature Reserve. It’s not an ‘official’ annual trip, but we’ve been the last few years, so it seems like it’s becoming a tradition now. Donna Nook is on the East Coast of England and is, in part, used as a bombing target practise range, but the main reason that visitors flood there during the winter is to see the seal pups that are born.
The seals have been breeding at Donna Nook for almost 50 years and spend most of their time out at sea, only coming in to the reserve viewing area to give birth. Pups stay with their mothers for about 3 weeks before she leaves them to fend for themselves. They eventually make their way out to sea when they get hungry.
This year there was over 2000 pups born, but when we visited the majority of them were already out to sea. We saw around 50 seals, some of whom were still shedding their fur and others who were already shed. There was also one family – a bull, a cow and a tiny little fluffy, white pup who was only 5 days old!
Cute as the little pup is though, I did have another favourite seal. He was right by the fence and was paying attention to everyone who went by. He posed, he waved and he was the cutest little thing. I just wanted to reach over and cuddle him.
As we were leaving the reserve, the sun was almost setting and the sea mist began to draw in. It was quite a beautiful sight to see, whilst also being kind of creepy. Maybe next year, I’ll head over a little earlier in the year and see more cute pups and enjoy more daylight. It’s sad to think that some pups don’t make it to the following year, but nature is as nature does and at least for now they have a safe and protected area to breed.