Sunday 19th November comments: The Isle of May NNR seal colony is slowly and surely changing as the autumn advances. Over the last month or so, Grey Seal pups have been born on the island and attentive mothers have been weaning them on a daily basis. However as the young pups grow in age and size, independence looms at just 21 days of age.
During the first three weeks of life the pups put on tremendous amounts of weight as after this period, they’ll start moulting into a second coat and their mothers will head off for the open sea. At present we have plenty of ‘second coaters’ around the island getting ready for their next big step…the North Sea.
The majority of these young pups have not encountered the North Sea before but they must brave up to the fact the next meal is not coming from mum and they must venture forth to feed. Its’ estimated that one-third of all pups which make it this far don’t survive their first year so it’s not going to be an easy 12 months ahead.
However despite this, thousands do make it and hopefully we’ll see this some of this year’s crop of youngsters return to breed on the Isle of May in future years. The circle of life continues.