Saturday 30 November 2013

Living with Seals

Hello...anybody home? (Ciaran Hatsell)

Just me! A young Seal pup! (Ciaran Hatsell)

Boardwalk blockage (Bex Outram)

Making it tricky to move about (David Steel)

Sleeping pups on the boardwalk (Ciaran Hatsell)

Brownsman; home with the Grey Seals
Saturday 30th November comments: Life on the Farnes at this time of year is very different from mid-summer. The Grey Seals have replaced the seabirds, cold unsettled weather has replaced the long summer nights and it feels like Santa is already half-way down the chimney.

The Grey Seals have done well, as hundreds of youngsters are moulted ready to head into the big bad world of the North Sea. There are however still lots of mothers and pups on the island tops, making our lives interesting as we get on with Farnes work. Even simple tasks like bringing our food and water supplies to the islands have an added twist as we have the Grey Seals to dodge and dive between! A protective mother is not to be messed with and more often than not, we end up walking the long way round; the Seals win, again.

Our latest counts revealed another 82 new pups born across the islands bringing the autumn total to 1,418. With still a few more weeks to go, we’ll be surpassing the 1,500 total for the third consecutive year.

Birding highlights included the lingering two Iceland Gulls whilst a Sandwich tern is heading into the record books as our latest ever recorded. With one of our ringed birds sighted in The Gambia recently this one must be a little bit cold and confused!

Tomorrow sees the team celebrating Farnesmas (Farnes Christmas!), one last celebration of what has been one of the greatest seasons ever. For birds, for visitors, for everything! So raise your glasses to the team, they’ve done the islands proud.

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