Autumn is a wonderful time of year in nature, the leaves are a beautiful mosaic of colours before they fall from the trees leaving them bare and exposed. Wildlife gorging on the rich bounty of berries, nuts and other food items all produced at this time of year in preparation for winter.
At this time of year all around the UK coastline its also an amazing time to witness grey seals coming ashore to give birth. I’m currently working on a project to document and photograph these amazing mammals during this time at different places around our coastline.
The season of autumn hails the start of the pupping season, when female grey seals haul themselves ashore and start to give birth. It might seem like a strange time to do it, when icy winds are blowing and the nights are long, but one logical explanation is that after a summer of catching fish, the females are simply in the best shape to feed their young. When pups are born they are covered in fluffy white fur, not good camouflage on sand or pebbles you might think, but that’s because it’s a relic from the ice age when they would have been born on snow.
Female grey seals are dedicated parents, spending several weeks feeding their pups and losing up-to 65kg in the process. The pups drink two and a half litres of milk every day and it’s so rich pups can grow by as much as 30kg in two weeks. After a month or so, females leave their pups and head back out to sea where they feed and mate again. The pups can spend up to two weeks all alone on the beach while they build up the courage to take the plunge into the sea and learn to fish for themselves.
The grey seal is one of Britain’s most charming mammals, with just under half of their global population inhabiting the coastal waters of the UK. We are so lucky to have these beautiful mammals come ashore at this time of year, inviting us to witness this special time when they are giving birth. There are two types of seal found around the British Isles, the common seal and the grey seal.
During the last few weeks I’ve also been running my “Encounter with Seals” one day workshops and clients with me have had some amazing encounters. I have a few dates in November before I head to the Falkland Islands with my clients and then in December and January also. So if you’d like to join me all the information and dates can be found on the following link.
I’ve also had a number of one to ones during the last several weeks covering the Deer Rut, my Red Squirrel and Short-eared Owls, Water voles and also my Dippers sites. So thank you too my clients for your company and I’m very glad you got such good sightings and photographs on your respective days which is the aim my workshops and one to ones.
During Autumn and Winter I have a number of places I take clients to photograph certain wildlife, so for the full listings of my one to ones please click here. For the full list of workshops and photo tours I run myself please click here.
Lastly I just wanted to say a big thank you to Nottingham & Notts Photographic Society for inviting me back last week to do two talks. I had lots of wonderful feedback and comments from the audience and members so thanks again for having me.
I’ve had a really busy period of talks over the last couple of months which I have thoroughly enjoyed. Inspiring people through my work to care and protect wildlife, showing them what we will lose if we carry on. While working very ethically and respectful towards wildlife is something I’ve very passionate about.
If you would like to book me for a talk at your camera club, corporate or conservation event anywhere in the world, simply get in touch on the following link to discuss your requirements, many thanks.