Grey seals give birth in Norfolk from early November through to the end of January. Unlike the harbour (common) seals which give birth in the summer.
The white pups of the grey seals are fed on the beach by their mothers for three weeks, where they put on approximately 2kgs of weight a day. After three weeks the pup is left by the mother. The pup will remain on the beach on its own whilst it moults its white coat, after which point it will go out to sea to learn to hunt.
It is exceptionally important that mothers are not disturbed during the pupping season, otherwise they could abandon their pups or be unable to feed the pups enough to ensure the pups gain their optimum weight before being left to fend for themselves. It is a hard life being a grey seal pup, with up to 50% of pups dying in their first year.
If visiting a grey seal colony please follow the guidance issued by Friends of Horsey Seals
and the National Trust
. Please remember seals are easily disturbed, please keep your distance, follow signs and stick to the recommended viewing areas.
For further information please visit:
Friends of Horsey Seals
Picture by Elizabeth Dack