Seal pup birth caught on camera as Donna Nook hits peak season

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)
Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

Talented local photographer Mark Suffield caught some incredible pictures of the seals at Donna Nook last week - including a seal pup birth!

The stretch of coastline is famous for its colony of grey seals, and the annual breeding season every winter always draws in thousands of tourists to observe the spectacle.

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

Now that we are in mid November, ‘peak season’ for seal numbers is approaching.

At the last official count on November 8, there were 123 bulls, 496 cows and 250 pups on the site - a huge growth from just 81 bulls, 153 cows and 39 pups the week before.

There is no doubt that, by the time this newspaper hits the shelves, the number will have gone up yet again - probably well into quadruple figures, with over 2,000 seals expected to take refuge on the site overall during the winter.

Donna Nook is the second largest breeding colony in England, and it provides an ideal habitat for mothers to raise their young pups, with the sand dunes providing shelter against the harsh winter conditions.

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

The UK is now home to an estimated 120,000 grey seals - around 40 per cent of the world’s total population.

VISITOR INFORMATION:

The seal viewing facilities at the popular nature reserve, in North Somercotes, is open from late October to mid-December, between dawn and dusk.

For safety reasons, the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust would like visitors to take note of the following guidelines ahead of their visit:

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

• Stay within the viewing area behind the fence.

• Strictly observe all red flag and other bombing range warnings.

• Never feed or pet the seals

• No unaccompanied children, and no dogs.

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

• No flash photography.

• Be considerate when visiting, park only in designated areas.

• If possible, visit during the week, as the narrow lanes, car park and viewing area will often be very congested at weekends.

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)

Seals at Donna Nook last week. (Photo: Mark Suffield)