On Monday 6th November 2017 I decided to visit Donna Nook Nature Reserve in Lincolnshire as the weather was forecast to be sunny, dry and also to photograph and film the Seals and their Pups.
The plan was to arrive nice and early while the sun was still low in the sky, but I got delayed in setting off and I didn't arrive at the Nature Reserve until just before midday. For the first time in visiting the Nature Reserve, I decided to use the overflow car park which cost £2 per vehicle. The first reason for this was I knew that trying to find a space in the free car park at that time of day would have been like finding a £50 note on the floor...... no chance at all. The second reason I decided to park in the overflow car park was I needed the toilet, and this car park had some toilets. Each year the farmer allows vehicles to use his field to park, and also have access to toilets for the small fee of £2 per vehicle. I am not sure if it is the farmer who pays for the toilets, or Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust who pays for the toilets to be placed on the farmers land, but this can not be cheap so £2 is good value for money. The parking area was also nice and large too, unlike the free car park which was quite tight, with sometimes people parking anywhere and sometimes making it difficult for others to leave a parking spot. They also have a stall as you enter the car park with fresh fruit and vegetables that visitors can purchase.
From the car was a little walk to the start of the Nature Reserve and had a little climb up some uneven ground. This car park wouldn't be ideal for any disabled visitor in a wheelchair or who finds it hard to walk. Following the signs, I was soon on the main Nature Reserve path next to the fencing separating visitors from the Seals.
For my visit today I decided to take my Canon 7D with my 100 - 400 mm telephoto lens, which I fitted to my tripod. I also took with me my Canon 5D M2 with my 28mm - 135mm lens for any wide shots as sometimes the Seals or the Pups can be just behind the fence. Armed with my gear I started to make my way to the southern end of the fence line. It wasn't long before I spotted a group of people watching two Seals and a Pup. Perfect for my first photo opportunity. The only issue I had was the sun. Because the sun was behind me, it was casting shadows of people watching so sometimes I had to wait for people to move so I could take a photo of the Seals without their shadows spoiling the images.
I then spent some time walking up and down the fence line and then waiting and watching the Seals patiently. Even thou most of the Seals were laying down on their backs sleeping, every now and then they would wake up, look over towards the crowd of people and then go back to sleep. It was times like this when I had to be ready so when they suddenly moved or looked around at the crowd, I was ready to take their photo.
Donna Nook is well worth a visit every year between the end of October and end of December, if not to photograph these wonderful mammals then just to watch and observe them. If you would like to see more photos I took from my visit you can do so by clicking here.
Below is a video from my visit which is on my YouTube channel. Please feel free to visit my channel by clicking here, like, comment, share and subscribe if you like what you see.
More information about visiting the Seals at Donna Nook can be found at www.lincstrust.org.uk/donna-nook