Seal of approval: Proud mother pats her calf as hundreds of grey seals descend on Norfolk beach to give birth
20:07 GMT, 28 November 2012
Minutes after giving birth, a grey seal was seen giving her newborn pup a loving embrace as she fed it on a Norfolk beach.
The little pup was then allowed to take its first shuffles and have a roll-around in the sand to dry its beautiful white coat.
Every year this colony of grey seals come in their hundreds to give birth to their pups on Horsey Beach in Norfolk.
A mother's love: The new mother pats her pup minutes after it is born on a Norfolk beach
The greatest love: She gazes adoringly at her baby with what looks like a smile on her face
Annual wonder: Hundreds of Grey Seals descend on Horsey Beach every year to give birth to their pups
The beach and surrounding waters is the colony;s home and seal-watching has become a
tourist attraction in the area.
Between late November and January the seals come to the beach to give birth to their pups.
Around 100 snow-white seal pups are born each year to the light-grey female seals of Norfolk, while the darker males wait in the water.
Grey seals can reach up to 11ft in length and weigh as much as 680lbs.
They live and breed in several colonies on and around the coasts of Britain and Ireland – including colonies in Lincolnshire, off the Northumberland Coast, Orkney and this one in Norfolk.
Welcome: Mother and baby meet for the first time on the sandy shores of Norfolk
Finally over: Exhausted the female grey seal rolls over and closes her eyes for a well deserved breather after the birth
Glad that's over: The newborn seal pup opens his eyes to take in the world he has been born into
During the winter months grey seals
can often be spotted on rocks and islands just off the coast and
sometimes come ashore to rest.
Pups born in the eastern Atlantic have soft silky white fur which they keep for about a month.
They eventually swap this for denser, waterproof adult fur, and enter the sea to learn to fish for themselves.
Closely guarded: The seal pup takes its first shuffles in the sand under the watchful eye of its mother
Stay put: Mother seal will not let her newborn stray too far
Hi there: A roll in the sand has dried the newborn's fur and turned it white and fluffy
Like my mama: It's not just the mother who deserves a rest and the pup soon follows her example