Seal of approval: Proud mother pats her calf as hundreds of grey seals descend on Norfolk beach to give birth

 

Minutes after giving birth, a grey seal was seen giving her newborn pup a loving embrace as she fed it on a Norfolk beach.

 

The little pup was then allowed to take its first shuffles and have a roll-around in the sand to dry its beautiful white coat.

 

Every year this colony of grey seals come in their hundreds to give birth to their pups on Horsey Beach in Norfolk.

 

The beach and surrounding waters is the colony;s home and seal-watching has become a tourist attraction in the area.

 

Between late November and January the seals come to the beach to give birth to their pups.

 

Around 100 snow-white seal pups are born each year to the light-grey female seals of Norfolk, while the darker males wait in the water.

 

Grey seals can reach up to 11ft in length and weigh as much as 680lbs.

They live and breed in several colonies on and around the coasts of Britain and Ireland – including colonies in Lincolnshire, off the Northumberland Coast, Orkney and this one in Norfolk.

 

During the winter months grey seals can often be spotted on rocks and islands just off the coast and sometimes come ashore to rest.

Pups born in the eastern Atlantic have soft silky white fur which they keep for about a month.
They eventually swap this for denser, waterproof adult fur, and enter the sea to learn to fish for themselves.