A nice surprise today on our return from checking storm petrel nest sites was the discovery of the first two grey seal pups of the year. They were born at a regular west coast site that is traditionally first out of the blocks. It is a difficult beach to view so doesn't form part of our official monitoring programme but we keep an eye on it all the same. Conditions need to be right to be stand any chance of seeing the contents of the beach so today's spring low tide was prefect as any animals present usually venture down the sandy bay allowing them to be viewed from above.
We certainly didn't catch them as new borns as one was weaned already meaning it was at least 21 days old. The other was what we call 'stage 3' (out of 5) in the classification, almost stage 4 as it is showing signs of starting to moult in places. So the oldest one was born late June, early but not unheard of for Ramsey and this beach in particular.
We will expect to see a few more animals born in the coming weeks, slowly building by late August and peaking in mid September. In a good year up to 700 pups are born on the beaches and caves around the island
As ever,If planning a trip around the island by kayak or private boat, please keep off the beaches from 1st August (well from now ideally!) and observe the Pembrokeshire marine code with regard to local restrictions and how to behave around marine mammals and seabirds
The second grey seal pup of the year to be born on Ramsey
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