Monday, 26 December 2011

Sun, Sand and Surf...

...with a bit of gratuitous sex and violence thrown in.  Well, it is Christmas after all!


More of our trip to see the seals at Horsey.  As well as the unbearably cute pups (see previous post) there were other things going on too.  Such as cooling off from the hot (ish) December sun by taking a dip in the North Sea.  OK, so there's a cute pup in the first picture, but I couldn't resist.


Once the pups are born it's time for the adults to mate again.  This lead to some cantankerous exchanges between all possible gender combinations.


Not all exchanges were acrimonious, however, and the females in particular seemed to have a playful side to their nature.  In general, the golden rule seemed to be: when in doubt, roll over...


I included yet another cute pup in that last picture, but I think I might have got away with it...

The youngsters didn't get it all their own way, however.  As well as the possibility of a terminal squashing (beneath half a ton of ill-coordinated blubber during a fight), they also had to sit around while mummy and daddy got down to some serious family planning.


I'd like to say that the earth moved but, frankly, it didn't.  In fact, nothing very much moved for well over half an hour, so there wasn't much chance of motion blur.  Afterwards - you guessed it - the general rule seemed to be: roll over!

It isn't all sweetness and light in seal-land, though, as not all the pups survive.  The most obvious casualty was being tucked into by a gull: not a pleasant sight, but a good example of nature red in beak and flipper.  According to the wardens this year there has been a greater than 90% survival rate of the pups, which is excellent.


After the gruesome bit, I ought to finish with a couple of gratuitous pups.  One was obviously a quick learner because, once its portrait had been taken, it rolled over...


Bye for now!