The best place to see seals is Donna Nook, just south of Scunthorpe. On Friday evening we realised that we had the best opportunity to see them. Right in the middle of the breeding season, we had a good tide and a forecast of a freezing night and a cloudless morning. "V-spec", a local enthusiast that we know of from the OcUK forum would be there which we thought might be useful.
Making the decion at the last moment, we started on the journey North at around 11pm. We drove through the night, catching a couple of hours nap in the van, to arrive at the beach carpark at 5:30am. Astonishingly, there was another car there aleady. By 6:15, there was a queue of cars arriving. We met V-spec, who proceeded to put on waders, and waterproofs. He was clearly experienced and hard-core, he had two 1D cameras, two tripods, and clearly understood both the terrain and the seals well. By comparison, we were complete novices. We were prepared for a cold morning on the beach, not for trudging a mile through mud and water. In fact, if it wern't for his experience and guidance, we wouldn't have risked the trip across the mud.
But as dawn broke, we were rewarded by views of the seals and pups braving the blowing sand and bitter cold on the beach.
V-Spec, prepared for anything, ready to get the shots he wanted had a full appreciation of and respect for the environment and the seals:
But there is always someone who gets unnecessarily close. The danger from this isn't obvious - pups can be abandoned and mothers can expend their energy in defence rather than using it to produce the high-fat milk that the pups need. This sort of behaviour puts access to the entire site at risk.
We decided to call it a day when the sand-storm was supplimented by a snow storm...
We slept again during the day before retiring for a well earned dinner on the way home.