Sunday 20th September comments: It’s never dull on the Isle of May as the autumn months see a change of focus as we welcome our Grey Seals back for another pupping season. The summer months on the island are dominated by thousands of seabirds but as summer gradually gives way to autumn, thousands of Grey Seals start hauling themselves out in anticipation of another breeding season.
Atlantic Grey Seals give birth to ‘pups’ from late September, with birth rates peaking in early November with late stragglers being born as late as early January. The Isle of May supports the largest Grey Seal colony on the east coast of the UK with the last population census revealing just over 2,400 pups born on the island.
Seal colonies are always lively places as bulls (males) will partake in aggressive fights for territory space whilst cows (females) will nurture young pups until they reach independence (which happens at just three weeks of age). The Isle of May certainly experiences some changes during the seasons and the autumn is just another example of how important this national nature reserve is on both a local and national scale.