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Pembrokeshire wildlife feature: Atlantic grey seal pup season

14th October 2018
Pembrokeshire seal pups

The Pembrokeshire grey seal birthing season

With the Pembrokeshire grey seal pup season already seeing people take great snaps of the county’s latest visitors, we thought we’d bring you a short insight into the life of the Pembrokeshire seals and where you can go out spotting.

Many people are surprised to learn that seal pups are born in the autumn, especially when so many animals birth in the spring.

And in fairness, it does seem like a strange time to do it – with tough conditions and long nights – however, a summer catching fish means that they’re in the optimal shape to feed their young.

West Wales is home to about 5,000 Atlantic grey seals, with the pups are covered in fluffy white fur when born – an evolutionary relic from the ice age when they would have been born on snow.

The mothers help to look after their young until the month’s mark before leaving their pups to their own devices and heading back out to sea where they feed and mate again.

seal pups Pembrokeshire

The Pembrokeshire grey seal pup season is bringing plenty of great photo opportunities

Where can you spot grey seals across Pembrokeshire?

The pupping season for grey seals starts between September and October in Pembrokeshire, here’s the advice from Visit Pembrokeshire on where to go exploring if you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of one of the county’s most unique animals:

The first option is to check at the foot of the cliffs around Moylegrove, Strumble, St Davids and Cemaes head where you can find secluded beaches that the seals deem safe enough to pup on.

The second option is to head out to one of the county’s islands. Grassholm, Ramsey, Skokholm and Skomer are all regular breeding and beaching grounds for the seals.

Enjoying our guide to the Pembrokeshire grey seal pup season? Learn about the Manx Shearwater, an animal critical to the world’s seas ecology

Boat trips either take you directly to the island where you can disembark and explore at your will, or skirt around the outside to give you a waters-eye view of the coves and beaches that you may be unable to reach on land.

The third option is to enter the realm of the deep yourself, with an instructor of course! Sea kayaking sessions often reveal hard to reach or hidden areas that the seals like to call home.

We absolutely love the annual return of seal pups to the Pembrokeshire coast and hope you get the opportunity to go out and explore the county over the next month and see these beautiful creatures for yourself.

In the meantime, here’s a great video of seal pups at their very cutest!

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