A couple of years ago I went crabbing at Cromer on my birthday on the beach, I was amazed at the large fish that were attracted to the bacon in the net. Not as surprised as I was when a seal turned up. At that point I didn’t know too much Norfolk but I was determined to come back and see the largest seal population in England!
The day after we visited Minsmere I called ahead to book a seal watching trip (it seems they all visit the same spot and some stop on Blakeney point and some don’t). We drove to Morston Quay which is the jumping off point. I was surprised by the hub of activity that greeted me there! There were people sailing, paddleboarding and kayaking and it was full of families!
The boat trip isn’t too rocky as it is a bay area and there were lots of amateur sailors to wave at! Our tour company had 3 generations of Labradors on it which were really popular especially with the kids. Even more popular, dare I say than the seals!
We sailed past this motley crew of common harbour and grey seals – you can see how individual they all look and how they seem to each have their own expression! There were some younger seals as well, autumn is the season for seal pups so they’re not quite baked yet!
I was worried about whether we were disturbing the seals as we sailed past them, the boat doesn’t get really close to them (I used a zoom lens). There is also another colony which doesn’t get visited at all. I expected to see young seabirds, however these nests were protected from visitors which was good news! Below you can see some of the species that were there even though you are unlikely to see them on a trip.
We got off the boat on the other side of the shingle split which makes up Blakeney Point. Here we saw the lighthouse which contains information about the reserve and the wildlife that resides there. Some people also collected samphire, edible plants which grow in Blakeney Point. It was a beautiful place and I enjoyed the relative tranquillity despite the people and boats! The ecosystems were also very interesting as the reserve contains saltmarsh, dunes and shingle.
For more information visit The National Trust.