Patience is definitely a necessary virtue here in Kintyre, as pupping appears to start a good few weeks after everywhere else that we are surveying. However, I have finally spotted our first pups of the season here in Kintyre. I photographed two different mum and pup pairs on the 26 June at a site known as Island Muller, just north of Campbeltown. Last year, the first pup was observed on 23 June – so it is no surprise that I would have to wait a bit longer than the rest of the teams to see some pups.
This was the same seal photographed on 23 June 2017 – looking pretty large and evidently ready to pop:
And here is the second mum-pup pair seen in Kintyre:
The Island Muller site is interesting because a number of seals often haul out on skerries in the northern part of the small bay as the tide is going out, and then transfer over to a more extensive network of skerries in the southern part of the bay once the tide is sufficiently low for these to be exposed. This is great because it gives me two opportunities to photograph some of the seals. This is particularly useful if any of those hauled out on the northern skerries are in a position where I cannot photograph the sides of their heads or if they are being super lazy and not moving at all.
There have been a good number of obviously pregnant seals at the Muller Island site so I am looking forward to seeing more pups appearing over the next week or so.
Written by Craig.