December on the May

Monday 6th December comments: Although we have departed for the mainland for the winter, life on the Isle of May continues even as the we enter the darkest months of winter. Often people ask about what goes on at this time of year and as ever, we have the answers…

The month of December witnesses the biggest change of all on the island as it goes from a hustling bustling Grey Seal colony to a quiet peaceful island. During the autumn the daily Grey Seal pup births peak in mid-November although some youngsters are still being born now and will continue to be born into early January. However the number has decreased considerably as the majority of females have now given birth.

At this time of year the bull seals are fighting for supremacy as they defend an area as they’ll mate with females once the cow seals have tending to the young (end of the lactating period). The young pups after just 21 days start moulting and are left to fend for themselves (are now officially independent!) and live off the fat reserves they’ve accumulated. Its always interesting to see where these youngsters get to as they maraud across the island before eventually heading for the open North Sea.

And that is where we are at now. Bull seals fighting, cow seals leaving and youngsters exploring the world for the first time. Over the next few weeks this pattern will repeat itself but slowly and surely all the Seals will leave. Then it’ll be left to the rabbits, mice and a few seabirds as the island will enter dormancy. Time to sleep Isle of May but not for long…

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to December on the May

  1. Pingback: December on the May | Isle of May National Nature Reserve –

  2. Pingback: December on the May - 𓅛 Pumilo

Comments are closed.