|Grey Seal Pup!|
The largest gatherings of breeding Grey Seals normally occur on uninhabited islands in the Hebrides and Orkney in Scotland. Pupping on sand banks or sandy beaches is unusual, which makes Donna Nook on the east coast a very rare and spectacular place to see them. Even more spectacular when you consider the fact that Donna Nook is also an RAF bombing range during the week!
Dee and I arrived at around 11am and this being our first visit we were quite surprised to see so many visitors and ended up parking in the overflow car park. A quick hop over the sand dunes and you’re suddenly confronted with the amazing sight of Grey Seal bulls, cows and pups within feet of the controlled fenced area. It’s an absolute delight seeing the newly born pups this close up, some only days old, and I can highly recommend a visit.
We eventually dragged ourselves away, two memory cards later on the camera and enjoyed a very bracing walk north along the sand dunes. Unfortunately the tides were not in our favour but there was still plenty of birding on offer.
|Hen Harrier Ringtail|
A chat with a couple of local birders had us on the lookout for Snow Bunting and a reported Cattle Egret but we bombed on both. We did however manage a superb flock of around 40 or so Tree Sparrow, along with Yellowhammer, Linnet and Reed Bunting. Also seen on our walk were: Pintail, Lapwing, Golden Plover, Kestrel, Common Buzzard, plus a lone Pink-footed Goose.