Donna Nook – England
Every November and December in the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust nature reserve, countless Grey (Atlantic) seals haul themselves onto the sandbanks and beaches of Donna Nook. 70% of the population of Grey Seals in the UK can be seen at this accessible breeding colony.
Throughout the year the seals are either out at sea or hauled out on distant sandbanks, but during the winter months, they come ashore to breed near the dunes along the Lincolnshire coast. The stretch of beach that they use is an RAF bombing range, and so seals gain much protection from the beach being closed for periods during the week.
I arrived early on a freezing weekday morning to find the normal car park full, and the only place to park was in the field nearby of an enterprising farmer. £2 later, I was on my way to the visitor area that hugged the dunes and was surprised to see a number of people peering over the erected fences at the seal cows and their fluffy pups.
Getting the images
I knew through some internet research that the best photos were out on the sandbanks, but with the bombers out in full cry overhead, nobody was going anywhere near there. Standing against the fence with my tripod set up, I started taking photos using my Canon 500mm lens and 1.4x converter. I could still get some decent shots of the mothers further out as they flopped around the beach and tried to dodge the amorous bulls and other females. Some of the pups come right up against the fence and result in a flood of ooh’s and aah’s, although I am sure they’d dish out a very cute bite indeed.
With the low winter sun, I managed to shoot for a good few hours before returning home. I hope to go back again but this time on the weekend to make the journey out to the sandbanks. The goal then is to get more shots of the seals in the surf, and coming ashore.
For More of my Wildlife images, you can look at the gallery: Wildlife
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