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Donna Nook Seals Lincolnshire 

RAF Donna Nook

DONNA NOOK SEALS

Spotlight on Donna Nook and the Grey Seals

Donna Nook Seals are most evident in the late autumn Best time to see the seals on the beach at Donna Nook is October - December There is a car park at Donna Nook, which is 2 miles from North Somercotes
Do not underestimate the size of the seal colony at Donna Nook and its importance to wildlife watchers around UK and Europe.  The Seals at Donna Nook are VERY VERY close to the shore line and can be photographed quite easily with a simple camera.  The seals attract 40,000 visitors to the Lincolnshire coast from end October to end of December every year - Accommodation is in short supply in the area so book as soon as possible and wherever you stay ensure it has heating......
 
ATTENTION TRAVEL JOURNALISTS and PHOTOGRAPHERS

Click for quality accommodation open all year near Donna Nook  

Accommodation near Donna Nook
Recommended websites 

Wild Sight 

is the nature and wildlife photography website of Stephen Street. Here you will find a number of photographic portfolios dedicated to the wonder and preciousness of nature. You will also find a collection of written works of interest to nature and wildlife photographers.

Oliver Smart

Welcome to my website. My name is Oliver Smart and I have been taking wildlife images for about 6 years. It really has been slow progress but since I have moved into the digital arena I feel I have taken a great leap forward in my picture taking. Contains great photos and tips of how to take superb pictures at Donna Nook.

Other Links to Donna Nook Seals
Donna Nook Seals more info Photography advice for Donna Nook Lincs Trust at Donna Nook
RAF Donna Nook Donna Nook Seals - Photographs More Photographs of Grey Seals at Donna Nook
MOD and English Nature at Donna Nook RAF Donna Nook Donna Nook Wikipedia Entry
 

Donna Nook Seal Beach

Breeding site for seals in autumn/winter Donna Nook is one of the most accessible sites for seeing seals at a time of breeding in the UK. Elsewhere they either gather on beaches but in far away places like the Scottish islands, or they are out to sea in rocky outcrops. In Lincolnshire it is a short ride from near Louth to the beach and there they are, in late autumn and early winter.

Donna Nook National Nature Reserve (NNR) is probably the best place within the U.K. for photographing grey seals. Each year, as autumn rolls into winter, hundreds of grey seals begin hauling themselves out onto Donna Nooks' sandbanks to give birth to their pups. Here the most important activities of the grey seal calendar are played out, giving photographers unprecedented opportunities to capture dramatic pictures of this spectacular period.

 


Donna Nook Seal North Lincolnshire

 Seal Pup at Donna Nook

 

Seals at Donna Nook

Background Information on the Grey Seals at Donna Nook and around the UK

Latin name: Halichoerus grypus

Size: Can grow to a length of around two metres.

Distribution: More than half of the worlds grey seal population lives and breeds around the U.K. coast.The largest populations are found at Donna Nook in Lincolnshire, on the Farne Islands, the Cornish coast and Strangford Lough in Northern Ireland.

Months seen: All year round.

Food: They feed on fish such as cod and salmon.

Special features: The male (bull) grey seals are the largest mammals found in the UK. They can weigh up to twice that of our largest land mammal, the red deer.

Grey seals differ from the common seal in that they have a longer muzzle.

Grey seals can dive to a depth of seventy metres and spend an average of eight minutes underwater. They are able to stay underwater for up to thirty minutes before coming up for air.

Between September and November, the females (cows) give birth to their pups. When they are born, the pups weigh around 15kgs. The milk produced by their mothers is almost 60% fat, and the pups drink roughly 3 litres a day.

As a result the pups weight rapidly increases. They put on about 35 to 40 kilos in under 3 weeks. At the same time the mothers lose around 70 to 80kgs.

Since they are the third rarest seal in the world, grey seals are protected during the breeding season by law, from September 1st to December 31st.


Did You Know?
Seals often sleep at sea, with their noses bobbing out of the water like upright bottles. It's thought they only sleep for around 90 seconds at a time!

Donna Nook - A Reporters Perspective

An article from LOUTH LEADER (21st November 2005)

Crowds flock to the seals

The seal pupping spectacle at Donna Nook is one of the wonders of Britain's coastline. Reporter Trevor Brookes was given an exclusive insight by Donna Nook Coastguard. MORE than 3,000 visitors peered through binoculars and camera lenses on Sunday to watch a sea of seals snake their way along the sands at Donna Nook. Most people had travelled from across Lincolnshire to catch a glimpse of a phenomenon which has now reached epic proportions. But none had come from quite as far as renowned Spanish wildlife photographer Inaki Relanzon.


"For me, it's not normal to see wildlife as close as we can here. To be able to get so close to the seals is wonderful. "Normally, animals are scared of people. Donna Nook is very, very good for me," said Mr Relanzon, who was shadowed by a Spanish national film crew, documenting his work. The 33-year-old photographer, who lives in Barcalona, has caught nature on film in exotic and untouched locations throughout the world.
His awe-inspiring pictures include Canadian polar bears and Moroccan baboons. Mr Relanzon said: "A friend of mine from London told me about the seals here. It was worth the journey." 

I had been taken to see him working by the shore's edge at low tide by Donna Nook Coastguard. The Coastguard's eight volunteer officers watch over 16 miles of sand, mud and greenshore from Saltfleet Haven to Haile Sand Fort, Cleethorpes. The unique stretch of coastline includes an RAF bombing range, a nature reserve and, of course, the colony of 3,000 grey seals. The coastguard officer in charge, Graham Merrikin, has seen the colony grow from around 200 seals when he first joined in 1966.  The population explosion has meant, each year, between 30,000-40,000 people come to see the seals between late October to Christmas. Graham: "When the RAF is not using the bombing range, the public can go wherever they like. But if they come out at low tide to see the seals, it can take as long as an hour to return. A sea fog can descend at any time – it can be very dangerous. "We advise people to always wear warm clothing, and take food and water with them." At the sea's edge at low tide, a dip in the sand means the distant shoreline disappears from view. Much of the vast stretch of sand is soft underfoot - and it shifts each month. "If people get into trouble, they should head due south or towards the sunset," Graham said. The coastguard erected a 'cockle pole' in the 1970s so cockle pickers, who became trapped, could climb to the top and sit out an in-coming tide.
"If they are nearby, walkers can always head towards that," Graham said.


Visitors are asked to follow three simple guidelines when seal watching -

* Keep your distance from seals.
* Never touch a seal – a mother may abandon a pup if it smells of humans or dogs.
* Keep your dog on a lead and away from seals.

Coastguard officer John Frank added: "We often meet visitors who have brought prawns or sardines to feed the seals with. But, please, don't feed them." His colleague, Keith Warsap, added: "On serene days like today, when the sun is out and the wind is calm, it's quite an experience to hear the seals' eerie cries, alone by the shore. "But conditions can change – the coastline should always be treated with the utmost of respect."
As the sun went down over Donna Nook, I joined the madding crowd on its way home, leaving the seals to bask in the last of the day's winter sunshine. Ninety-eight pups were born at Donna Nook in 2004 – and this year wildlife experts believe the 100 mark will be broken for the first time. It seems the seals need all the rest they can get.

21 November 2005

 


With thanks to Heathrow Hikers for their photographs http://www.heathrowhikers.org/wildlife.htm

Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary 

Welcome!

A visit to Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary offers a unique nature experience. Walk through two acres of sand dunes – only fifty metres from the sea – and gain first hand experience of some of the county’s most stunning wildlife.

Seal Rescue

The Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary has rescued hundreds of injured and orphaned seals since it opened in 1974. In a specially designed hospital, the seals are looked after until they can be released back into the wild. For those unable to return, The Seal Sanctuary offers a permanent home, doing all it can to give these wonderful creatures a contended existence.

The Mablethorpe Seal Sanctuary

Time Walking

As well as conservation, education also plays an important part of the Seal Sanctuary's role in the community and visitors will find the natural history projects both fascinating and inspirational. Two walk-through features take a journey back in time and visitors can marvel at a world of dinosaurs, fossils and plant life as well as seeing living descendants of Lincolnshire’s prehistoric past.  A Yacare Caiman (a crocodilian that has changed little in 200 million years), emus, peafowl and parrots in our enormous new aviary, lynx in their award winning “Ice Age” enclosure and from more recent times, wildcats, eagle owls and snowy owls.

Help Support Us

Conservation Commitment

At its heart The Seal Sanctuary is committed to conserving nature.  Every person who visits is contributing towards the care of animals and our aim is that every visitor will leave with a better understanding of the natural world we live in and will be inspired to tackle the challenges ahead

 

 

SELF CATERING ACCOMMODATION

NEAR DONNA NOOK

Nature Reserves

To view a map of all the nature reserves in North Lincolnshire and Lincolnshire click here

 

LOUTH LEADER DECEMBER 13th 2006 NEWSPAPER FEATURE

More than a 1000 seals born at Donna Nook

1,036 grey seal pups have now appeared at the reserve near North Somercotes.
Reserve warden Rob Lidstone-Scott, from Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said there were about 4,000 visitors over the weekend. Last year a total of 995 pups were born on the reserve and about 40,000 people visited. He said activity had now started to slow and did not expect there to be many more births. * Visitors to the reserve are reminded to stay behind the fence and remember grey seals are predators with sharp teeth. Remember, RAF Donna Nook is an active bombing range and visitors should not enter the range when the danger signals are shown. To find out more visit.......
www.lincstrust.org.uk

LOUTH LEADER NOVEMBER 28th 2006 NEWSPAPER FEATURE

Crowds flock to the seals

DESPITE a blustery weekend more than 6,000 people turned out to see the new born grey seal pups at Donna Nook National Nature Reserve. There are now 754 pups at the reserve near North Somercotes. Reserve warden Rob Lidstone-Scott, from Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust, said: "It has been a very productive time."

 

LOUTH LEADER NOVEMBER 21st 2005 NEWSPAPER FEATURE

Crowds snap the Seals at Donna Nook

 

The seal pupping spectacle at Donna Nook is one of the wonders of Britain's coastline. Reporter Trevor Brookes was given an exclusive insight by Donna Nook Coastguard.
MORE than 3,000 visitors peered through binoculars and camera lenses on Sunday to watch a sea of seals snake their way along the sands at Donna Nook. Most people had traveled from across Lincolnshire to catch a glimpse of a phenomenon which has now reached epic proportions.
But none had come from quite as far as renowned Spanish wildlife photographer Inaki Relanzon.
"For me, it's not normal to see wildlife as close as we can here. To be able to get so close to the seals is wonderful. "Normally, animals are scared of people. Donna Nook is very, very good for me," said Mr Relanzon, who was shadowed by a Spanish national film crew, documenting his work. The 33-year-old photographer, who lives in Barcalona, has caught nature on film in exotic and untouched locations throughout the world. His awe-inspiring pictures include Canadian polar bears and Moroccan baboons. Mr Relanzon said: "A friend of mine from London told me about the seals here. It was worth the journey." I had been taken to see him working by the shore's edge at low tide by Donna Nook Coastguard. The Coastguard's eight volunteer officers watch over 16 miles of sand, mud and greenshore from Saltfleet Haven to Haile Sand Fort, Cleethorpes.
The unique stretch of coastline includes an RAF bombing range, a nature reserve and, of course, the colony of 3,000 grey seals. The coastguard officer in charge, Graham Merrikin, has seen the colony grow from around 200 seals when he first joined in 1966. The population explosion has meant, each year, between 30,000-40,000 people come to see the seals between late October to Christmas. Graham: "When the RAF is not using the bombing range, the public can go wherever they like. But if they come out at low tide to see the seals, it can take as long as an hour to return. A sea fog can descend at any time – it can be very dangerous. "We advise people to always wear warm clothing, and take food and water with them." At the sea's edge at low tide, a dip in the sand means the distant shoreline disappears from view. Much of the vast stretch of sand is soft underfoot - and it shifts each month. "If people get into trouble, they should head due south or towards the sunset," Graham said. The coastguard erected a 'cockle pole' in the 1970s so cockle pickers, who became trapped, could climb to the top and sit out an in-coming tide. "If they are nearby, walkers can always head towards that," Graham said. Visitors are asked to follow three simple guidelines when seal watching -...........

* Keep your distance from seals.
* Never touch a seal – a mother may abandon a pup if it smells of humans or dogs.
* Keep your dog on a lead and away from seals.

Coastguard officer John Frank added: "We often meet visitors who have brought prawns or sardines to feed the seals with. But, please, don't feed them." His colleague, Keith Warsap, added: "On serene days like today, when the sun is out and the wind is calm, it's quite an experience to hear the seals' eerie cries, alone by the shore. "But conditions can change – the coastline should always be treated with the utmost of respect." As the sun went down over Donna Nook, I joined the madding crowd on its way home, leaving the seals to bask in the last of the day's winter sunshine.
Ninety-eight pups were born at Donna Nook in 2004 – and this year wildlife experts believe the 100 mark will be broken for the first time. It seems the seals need all the rest they can get.
21 November 2005





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