|New pups still being born...this one on Staple island|
|Brownsman 'guard mole' still watching the cottage|
|Second coat pup looking fit and strong|
|Mud pups - come on boys, that's not the North Sea!|
|Quiet; Inner Farne in the mist|
Monday 17th December comments: Farnes revisited! Following a spell of calm weather, I took the opportunity today to return to the Farne Islands to continue the Grey Seal pup count. Since leaving ten days ago, the islands have remained unattended and it was important to get out to make another check of the colonies.
Although its late for the pupping season, Grey Seals have been known to give birth on the Farnes up until mid-January, so the trip was essential for our data set. A complete colony count of Brownsman and Staple Island along with a few other scattered colonies revealed an impressive 50 new pups had been born since the rangers departure. This brings our autumn pup total to an impressive 1,592 and with another trip planned in the near future, we'll probably see over 1,600 pups born.
The two other main east coast Grey Seal pup colonies are also reporting bumper numbers with the latest counts revealing:
Farne Islands (Northumberland) 1,592 pups
Donna Nook (Lincolnshire) 1,523 pups
Blakeney point (Norfolk) 1,165 pups
Otherwise the islands were quiet with Long-tailed Duck, two Goldeneye and 65 Wigeon being the birding highlights. I'll keep you posted of any future counts, but its been an impressive autumn for the Grey Seals of the Farne Islands.