Sunday, December 21, 2014

Seals

Its been over seven years or more since I last paid a visit to a seal colony in winter. I put a few of my older images from my visit back then to Donna Nook in Lincolnshire on flickr. Since those days I have read & heard so many concerns about too many people & photographers disturbing the seals at this location, so I never returned, as felt for the sake of the seals human access should be very limited and greater controlled or better still shut the beach off totally. You can still see & photograph from the viewing point at Donna with out the need to do a beach assault.


I was told a number of years ago to pay a visit to the Norfolk coast as there is a good colony of Grey Seals that pup & breed on a stretch of beach that gives good & safe access with minimal disturbance to the seals. This year & this week I finally got round to go & waited for a reasonable day for good light and made the just over 2 hour trip to Horsey. I arrived at about 7.30am and walked out to the viewing points that had been set up & roped out. Peace, not a sole about other than a couple of dog walkers in the car park. Just me & the seals for at least 2 hours of the morning. The beach was closed for access to avoid disturbing the seals just as it should be too. WELL DONE FRIENDS OF HORSEY SEALS.
I walked the dune edge (within the allowed area as respected the volunteers & Friend of Horsey seals wishes as the Seals welfare is more important than any photograph) I found a particular spot with an interesting group of seals and with the light just right. Spent rest of the morning sat watching and photographing the seals doing their natural thing with no one walking out upsetting and disrupting me or the seals. WONDERFUL.
I have added a handful of images of the Bulls, cows & pups on flickr. These were all taken from the viewing area on the dunes using a 500mm & a 1.4x convertor as required. Hence the natural behaviour & look of the images as no disturbance occurred whilst capturing these images. Pupping has probably peaked now with reports of around 700 pups counted over this winter. Looks like the seals have had a much better year after last years troubles with the tidal surge that occurred sadly wiping out many pups. I Will not return anymore this season but will certainly pay another visit in a few winters time.


See some of the images at:  www.flickr.com/photos/raystammersphotography