Mucky pups! Newborn seals play splash around in muddy water at a Lincolnshire nature reserve.
Hundreds of seal pups are expected to be born at the Donna Nook Nature Reserve this breeding season.
More than 1,700 grey seals were born in the area last year – around 5,000 visitors are expected to flock to the reserve to see the new batch this year.
Mike Jordan, 26, photographed some of the newborn puppies on Sunday (NOV 9).
Mr Jordan, of Northampton, said: “I’d never had a chance to see seals in England before, so it was a real treat to photograph newborn babies.
“They seem very inquisitive. The pups were looking around them trying to make sense of the world, or trying to find something to play with.”
Male bull seals arrive in the reserve in October and November, followed shortly afterwards by the cow seals.
The cow seals are herded into harems by the bulls. Each cow gives birth to a single pup.
Young pups are suckled by their mothers for around three weeks – during this time the baby seals will triple in size.
After the baby seals are weaned the bulls and cows will mate again – the typical gestation period is around 11 months. The seals of Donna Nook will return to give birth in 2015 after a year in the North Sea.
During the pupping season the males, which weigh up to 360kg, can get very aggressive.
Mr Jordan said: “At one point I saw a big bull pick up a baby seal and throw it over his shoulder – they will attack any baby seal which isn’t theirs. The mums are constantly calling to their pups to keep them near.”
More high resolution pictures are available on request. To discuss rates for using pictures and copy, contact news editor Tom Knight on 07815 004413 or firstname.lastname@example.org.