Monday, 19 January 2015

Horsey Gap - last of the seals...

North Norfolk is well known for its seal colony, which every winter makes its way onto the sands at Horsey, where hundreds of pups are born. This year there were record numbers, over 700 I think. They are fed by their mothers for about 3 weeks, then left to their own devices, shedding their fluffy white coats for a darker waterproof one and learning to feed themselves from the sea. The seals are on the beach from November time to end of January/early February and they draw big crowds. 


It used to be possible to just wander along the beach but now it is a much more organised affair and a pathway is roped off along the dunes to prevent the colony being disturbed by the crowds. Last time I came up here was before Christmas, late one afternoon, when there was hardly anyone about and this whole stretch of beach was full of seals. Today, mid-afternoon, in bright sunshine, the place was heaving with people and most of the seals have gone back to the sea.

Norfolk is renowned for being pretty flat but this does mean that from even a slight vantage point you can see for miles across the countryside. Looking back inland from the dunes, the fields stretched into hazy hedgerows, with the wind turbines strikingly prominent in the distance. I rather love these and think they are quite fitting in a landscape that has harnessed the power of the wind for many years - like modern-day windmills...


The sandy beach stretches away Eastwards towards Winterton, where I walked last week...


After a 20 minute walk along the dunes I spot the last few seals on the shoreline...



They look fat and healthy basking in the sun and the pups are so much bigger than when I was here a few weeks ago. Pretty relaxed don't you think...?!


The blue sky and sunshine were deceptive; a fringe of frost on the sand and thick ice on the puddles gave away how low the temperature was, though the contrast with last week was marked with no chilling wind today.


From the other side of the car park, looking Westward along the coast, the frost was clearly visible...


but the breakers were much gentler this week highlighted by patches of sunshine...



The dune grass glowed golden...



I am enjoying these regular visits to the coast - North Norfolk may not have the variety of coves that the UK has elsewhere but the stretches of sand and open sky are hard to beat.

And the late afternoon winter sun on the way home was pretty special too...


Next week might be a 'two-in-one' - Waxham & Sea Palling are close together so, all being well, that's where I'll be heading.

S x

6 comments:

  1. I loved this post Sandra. Glad you are getting chance to enjoy these beautiful places.
    Look forward to seeing next weeks visit.
    Jacquie x

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  2. what a beautiful place to visit and so special to see the seals. xxx

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  3. How brilliant to see so many seals in one place; I'm so envious. Yet one more reason to visit Norfolk! I'm really enjoying 'coming along' on your beachy walks. x

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  4. Beautiful photos, it looks a lovely place.

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  5. Amazing pictures Sandra! I have never seen seals or frost on the beach...so cool! I am loving your beach walks. Can't wait to see where you take us next!

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  6. I have rather a soft spot for seals. What a beautiful area you live in & I like the idea of modern windmills !

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Thanks for taking the time to comment! I love to read your thoughts.