Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Isle of May Seal Day

It's nearing the end of the season now. The tourist boat only has just over a week to run and though the visitor numbers are dropping, the numbers of grey seals start to increase as the males and females gather to give to mate and birth. September sees the opportunity get a look at these fascinating mammals and learn a bit more about their lives in the North Sea.

On Sunday 25 September, a seal expert will be on the boat explaining about the seals as the boat passes their haul out spots on the rocks at the ends of the island. Once the boat lands visitors will be able to visit the two viewing points set up on the cliffs, where there will be viewing scopes and experts on hand to answer questions about the seals.

For young people, and not so young people, the South Horn will host stories and songs about seals and selkies from Scotland’s rich mythological tradition. Selkies (also known as silkies or selchies) are mythological creatures found in Scottish, Faroese, Icelandic and Irish folklore who can shed their skin and turn from seals into humans.

The average first date of a seal pup is around the 22nd September. I've been out looking every day but have had no luck so far. There are however some very big haul outs of very big bulls all around the island. I can also hear them wailing as I walk about the island. The seal pupping season will be in full swing after we all gone away for the season. We will be replaced by the seal researchers.

Sailings to the island will be on the privately operated May Princess from Anstruther harbour, leaving at 11.00am, as well as the Scottish Seabird Centre boat from North Berwick at 11.10am.

For details on Anstruther Pleasure Cruises, who operate the May Princess from Anstruther, see the website, email or phone 01333 311808. The Scottish Seabird Centre boat runs from North Berwick, for more information see the website or phone 01620 890202

1 comment:

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