The Stranded Seal pup

September is always a good time to see Seals as it is pupping season,usually on rocky outcrops where humans cant reach.Sometimes however sadly some seal pups either get stranded or abandoned.

My partner and i were on holiday in Pembrokeshire,a place called Dinas cross where we were planning to do several coast path walks.Due to the high winds we planned to on this particular day visit Pwllgwaellod beach.

Once there we headed towards the surf to watch the crashing waves when my partner noticed this well fed Seal pup fairly high up the beach.I ran to the car to grab my camera and quickly took these images while my partner ran to seek help.

I was so happy when my partner came back with a local man named Langley who has dealt with these situations before and knowledge was far greater than mine.Langleys wife called the Seal Rescue team and kindly brought us out a welcomed mug of coffee.

The Seal rescue team advised us to keep dogs away and keep an eye out for the adult as sometimes they beach their pups in rough weather and come back for them later.Most dog owners were really good but on occasions we really had to work hard to keep ignorant dog owners away to the point where this pup made a dash for the surf and found itself in rough swell.All we could do was cross fingers and hope it made it.

The next day we found ourselves back on the beach and once again this Seal pup appeared trying to escape the high tide to no avail,being swept out with the tide.All we could do was hope the adult Seal would appear.Once again we patrolled the beach with Langley trying to keep dogs off the beach.

Langleys daughter in law Sarah who runs the Old sailors Restaurant came out with coffee and put a sign on the beach trying to keep dogs off the beach which worked.

Sarah called the Seal rescue team and one hour later they were on the beach.Eventhough we lost sight of the Seal pup in the swell suddenly after over twelve hours the adult seal was spotted and we could all relax and hope that the Pup made it as it was not seen again.

A big thankyou to Langley and his wife,also Sarah of the Old Sailors without their knowledge help and kindness the situation could have been alot worse.

If you are a dog walker on holiday please if you come across a stranded seal pup be responsible and keep your dogs away and call the Seal Rescue team

If your ever down on Pwllgwaellod beach pop into the Old Sailors and say hello,the food is great and what lovely people.

Image00005Image00007Image00009Image00002Image00008Image00003Image00001Image00006Image00004

 

The Mill Haven Cub

These images were taken back in June on my annual pilgrimage to Pembrokeshire looking for my favorite British species the elusive country red fox.This year was particularly  difficult due to the bad weather when i was there,but it did not deter me as my passion for this beautiful animal drove me on.With time running out and only the occasional dog fox spotted from a distance out of camera range i was beginning to lose hope.Then out of the blue a local farmer on the lower Broadmoor dairy farm informed me that he had seen fox cubs drinking from a cattle trough and to look there.After investigating the area i noticed fox scat and remains of a sea gull on this farm track between two fields.I then prepared a natural hide in which i was lying amongst  bracken 3.ft high, alongside this path with my camera nestled on my beanbag.This was not ideal as a photography point of view with the sun in my face and also on a slight gradient,but what the heck this is wildlife not a zoo.The sun was setting at 9.pm so i got down there at 6.pm poured myself a coffee and waited.It was around 7.45 when i first noticed the tops of those triangle ears and quietly punched the air in delight.As i had put down cocktail sausages and pizza scraps the cub could not resist,even though shy at first soon set about these tasty treats.This beautiful little fox knew i was there by the sound of my shutter but over those golden 15.mins knew i was no threat,and even sat with his back to me eating pizza.When he had eaten every last morsel he headed towards the gate out of my view.I then broke cover and was about to head back when i noticed this little cub sat there looking at me from the edge of this track.We stood looking at each other for a few seconds until he finally turned around and disappeared into the bracken.This was an overwhelming experience that brought tears to my eyes.I would like to say when you look at these images that there are people out there that take great pleasure to watch dogs rip them apart in what they call ” SPORT “.Even though this barbaric,senseless,inhumane and cruel event is currently banned there are people who are trying to reintroduce this vile act of fox hunting back into our countryside,even though 85% of the people are against it.I hope our government supports the majority of people in this country and that the 15% that agree with it take a long hard look at themselves,the people that call ripping an animal apart alive “SPORT”

 image00010image00001image00002image00007image00004image00009image00006image00013image00015image00012image00003image00008image00014image00005image00011image00017image00016

The Talbenny Fox

During cubbing season i spent the most incredible and emotional week with my favorite species the British Red Fox.I was staying in a holiday cottage where my fiancee spent most of her holidays as a child and fell in love with this beautiful part of Pembrokeshire,Talbenny.The adjacent land belonged to a local farmer Russell and his wife Debbie. The valley they own was high in bracken with clearings the cows had grazed, with a stream running at the bottom,just the right place a fox would rear its young cubs.All i needed was permission to investigate. Russell and Debbie could not have been more obliging  and just warned me there was a small herd of cows down there.My first evening i  investigated  the area,found a den;found somewhere i could build a natural hide downwind.The next evening i thew out a few cocktail sausages near my hide in some scrub,set my camera up with an iso of 1600 on a fairly long focal length and waited.It was around 7pm when i first encountered the vixen on her own,very wary at first but still enjoyed eating the sausages i threw out.The second night i was introduced to three beautiful cubs.In the subsequent evenings i had gained their trust.By the end of the week mother and cubs were within six feet of me,and on my final night put my camera down and marveled  at these incredible,beautiful animals that grace our countryside.This for me goes down as the most uplifting,unforgettable animal interactions in my life.A huge thankyou to Russell and Debbie,without them i would never had this story to tell you. I will never forget the Talbenny fox.

Image00001Image00002Image00003Image00004Image00005Image00006Image00007Image00008Image00009Image00010Image00011Image00012Image00013Image00014Image00015Image00016