Donna Nook

Donna Nook

Lincolnshire

Route: Donna Nook

Area: Lincolnshire

Date of walk: 12th November 2014

Walkers: Andrew and Fiona

Distance: 1 mile

Weather: overcast with a few sunny intervals

Donna Nook Nature Reserve is a wonderful place to watch and photograph wild grey seals. Every November and December the seals come up from the beaches to give birth to their pups near the sand dunes

Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust (which must be congratulated for the way in which it manages the reserve) has created a viewing area from where the seals can be watched from behind a fence. Over the years the seals have become accustomed to having camera lenses pointed at them and can be seen at close quarters.

The female gives birth to a single pup, which grows very quickly on its mother’s rich milk, and within three weeks the pup is abandoned to fend for itself. The mother then goes on to mate with a bull and returns to sea. Her fertilised egg does not start developing until later, so that the birth will be at the same time the following year

It was fascinating to watch the behaviour of these wild animals at such close quarters, wallowing in the mud, suckling, competing for space and generally providing some great entertainment

In order to avoid the crowds that come to witness this wildlife spectacle (especially at weekends) Fiona and I arrived at dawn. We walked along the fence and spent about 4 hours observing these beautiful creatures

We’d intended on combining our visit with a walk but the seals were so mesmerising that we didn’t have time. What a wonderful place and at the end of our visit Fiona declared that Donna Nook got her ‘seal of approval’

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