Monday, 8 November 2010

Salthouse, England

Day-hunting Barn Owls (Tyto alba/Kerkuil) were the other goal of this short trip to the UK. Nigel Blake drove us around all day long in the Norfolk country side, checking all best-known places.
However, the typical English weather was a killjoy; rain and a fierce wind kept the owls from going out. Luckily we found some cooperative Teals (Anas crecca/Wintertaling) dabbling around in a pebble pool.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Donna Nook, England

The salt marsh of Donna Nook on the north-eastern coast of Lincolnshire is, besides a bombing range for the RAF, a seal watchers’ paradise. It boasts one of the largest and most accessible breeding colonies of Grey Seals (Halichoerus grypus/Grijze Zeehond) in the UK. Grey seals are Britain’s biggest land mammal – adult ♂♂ males are two metres in length and weigh in at a massive 300 kilograms, roughly the weight of two Sumo wrestlers.
When autumn turns into winter hundreds of Grey Seals start hauling themselves onto the sand banks. Together with Marijn Heuts, I spent two days in the Donna Nook Grey Seal colony. The bulls mostly laze around all day, sleeping, huffing and groaning and arguing with the other bulls, the adolescents are practicing their fighting skills in the surf, and a few ♀♀ had already give birth to their pups.