First arrival of season gives May Isle seal of approval

The first seal pup of the season on the Isle of May. (Picture Scottish Natural Heritage.)
The first seal pup of the season on the Isle of May. (Picture Scottish Natural Heritage.)
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A new arrival is always a cause for excitement but the latest on the Isle of May is a real seal of approval.

The Scottish Natural Heritage nature reserve has just welcomed its first grey seal pup of autumn, born three days earlier than the first arrival last season.

The Isle of May has one of the largest grey seal colonies in the UK with 2,400 pups born each year between September and December.

“Early indications suggest the pup is healthy and we hope to have many more over the forthcoming months,” reported reserve manager David Steel.

“Seal colonies are always lively places as bulls (males) partake in aggressive fights for territory space whilst cows (females) nurture young pups until they reach independence, which happens at just three weeks of age.”

Atlantic Grey Seals give birth to pups from September, with birth rates peaking in early November although late stragglers can be born as late as early January.

Visitors can find out more about the May’s seal colony at a special Seals Weekend event on September 26.