Sunday, 25 April 2010

Seeing the Seals at Horsey

Following a busy sunny but blustery Saturday and having heard several reports from those boaters lucky enough to pass up stream of Potter Heigham Bridge, we decided to walk out from Horsey Mill car park to try to see the resident colony of Grey seals.  Previous attempts to view the local Horsey crane colony ended dismally so as we parked in the late afternoon sun we hoped for better luck.  Across the flat grazing marshes the wind died away as we crossed a couple of cattle fields toward the Nelsons Head pub that we fully intend to make use of on our trip on Royall Oak in June.  After a short stretch on tarmac, a footpath headed toward the sand dunes where we could see a narrow gap.

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Here amongst the reedy, dyke fringed meadow, new born lambs skipped about their mothers and we climbed the soft sand through the gap and down onto the beach.  At first we struggled to spot the herd amongst the rock groins as even at close quarters they blend in, but a bit of shuffling and a couple of raised heads soon revealed them a short distance towards Winterton.  The herd numbered about seventy animals of various colours, greys blotched with black, black with grey and fluffy tan. 


Three or four seals swam alongshore and emerged our of the waves to shuffle up the beach, passing (we assumed) two huge black rearing bulls slapping each other with their flippers and biting.  The others higher up the slope took no notice, indeed one great beast lay completely comatose on his back.  Further on a similar sized herd also frolicked amongst the surf and slept.  Tillie and Raven were intensely interested but we kept them well back at the viewing platform provided although they could still hear the continuous moaning and slapping of the snoozing and fighting animals.

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Crossing the dunes we descended from the viewing platform down some wooded steps onto a track leading back to the footpath and this is certainly easier going than the soft sandy beach, returning as the sun sank passed the pub and along the road which although noisier at least meant we did not have to lift the dogs over any field stiles.

The distance is difficult to judge, especially as I forgot my GPS , however we estimate a round trip of four miles, very well worth the effort.


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