I have just returned from a short trip to the UK. Together with colleague Gerard Schouten, I spent two days with the Grey Seal (Halichoerus grypus, Grijze zeehond) colony at Donna Nook and two days searching for daylight hunting Barn Owls (Tyto alba, Kerkuil) in Norfolk.
Days spent at the seal colony were great; we were blessed with wonderful weather (and sunsets), only a handful of other photographers on the beach (due to a few very determined wardens that adviced everyone not to go onto the beach because of possible disturbance) and a lot of activity in the surf.
Pictured above is the mother of a day-old pup attacking a smaller seal that got too close to the pup. Mum must have spent about half an hour besieging the other seal. It was a hefty confrontation, with bloody wounds resulting from the nasty bites they inflicted onto eachother. During the fight, the pup helplessly searched for its mother, hauling up onto everything that even remotely resembled a mother seal. It even came very close to my position. I must have looked like an attractive seal, lying on the wet sand in a neoprene wading suit.
The two days with the barn owls turned into a huge deception. Weather was no longer in our favour with galeforce winds, lots of rain and typical English grey skies. The owls seemed to rather stay inside instead of hunting the fields. We did get to see a few hunting owls, but not as many as expected and never any closer than 150 meters. Fortunately, we did get a few nice photographs of Common Teal (Anas crecca, Wintertaling) and Turnstone (Arenaria interpres, Steenloper).
Grey Seal fight; Canon 1D Mark III w. 500/4 IS; 1/640s at F5 and ISO400; tripod.