Sealed Success

Wednesday 20th December comments: The Isle of May NNR is slowly and surely closing down as winter dormancy approaches. The seabirds have long gone, visitors have stopped landing and now the Seals and the research team are just about finished.

The first Grey Seal of the autumn was born on 14th September this year and since then over 2,000 seal pups have been born on the Isle of May NNR. Numbers peaked in mid-November but since then the number of births has naturally declined as successful Cow seals are returning to the open sea whilst young independent pups are about to venture forth for the first time.

Overall it’s been another good season for Seal pup births with east coast colonies reporting record numbers including; 2,661 Blakeney point (Norfolk), 2,136 Farne islands (Northumberland), 2,024 Donna Nook (Lincs) and 1,643 Horsey (Norfolk). Whilst these colonies are land counted, the Isle of May is counted using aerial surveys so we’ll not have a total pup count for the island until the New Year.

However one thing is for certain, it’s the end of the seal season and its nearly time to say goodbye for another year as we’ll be leaving the May to the mice and rabbits. However don’t worry we’ll be visiting during the winter months and will bring you all the news and stories as they break. But until then shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh the Island is sleeping….

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