Hi, Zoe here!
So we are just over a week in and already my little area of the Isle of May is filling up fast! I started with 3 girls and now I have to dig my way through ID photos for over 20 individuals on my patch! (A great leap forward for seal-kind in Crosspark)
There have been some very important changes since my first day of observations on the 26th of October, first and foremost the appearance of the neighbour from hell beyond the wall… a delightful lady I lovingly named Betty (after a beloved childhood pet for those interested). To begin with she took her neighbourly duties very seriously, maintaining general pleasantries as I passed by (by which I mean she stayed quiet and asleep) but on the 28th everything changed. Betty’s new arrival has brought the beast out in Betty, motherhood has not improved her at all. Nowadays beyond the wall is a bit of a rough area. Betty has lowered the tone with her abusive ranting and threats of violence. As of yet she has been all bark and no bite but I heard her yesterday going hell for leather at a balloon that got too close, so I am glad to have the dry stone wall for safety.
Since Betty’s transformation I have acquired a new neighbour (who shall remain nameless for fear of further ill-founded attachment) who lives about 5m in front of my hide (maybe a bit too close) with her delightful new-born. She seems calmer than Betty but only time will tell.
Night observations are going well. Each night the night vision equipment is set up to monitor the behaviour of a few individuals that have been followed through from day to night observations. These observations can be used to compare grey seal behaviour during daylight and during the night. It has been long assumed that seals behave uniformly 24 hours a day and hopefully the observations that are being collected will help to show whether this is true or not. Many hours of ghostly seal observations have been recorded and excepting a few spats, the Isle of May night life seems to be reasonably calm. So it is left to us humans to raucously play Munchkin, climb into bed and have crazy seal infested dreams… what a lively bunch we are!