Autumn is the best time of year to spot one of Pembrokeshire’s best-loved mammals, the Atlantic grey seal. Not only is this the time of year the females come ashore to give birth, but there’s a very good chance you’ll get to see their cuter, furrier white pups too. Pups generally arrive between late August and November, starting life with a silky-soft white fur. Within the first month, a pup will triple its birthweight thanks to mum’s fat-rich milk. It then sheds its white baby fur, which is replaced with a thicker, darker, waterproof adult coat. The pup is then ready to hit the waves and learn to catch fish for itself.
Cemaes Head, in North Pembrokeshire, is the highest sea-cliff in Wales and an important breeding site, where many pups are born. The inaccessible pebbly beach below is the spot for the largest Atlantic grey ‘haul-out’ in Pembrokeshire, when up to 200 seals and pups can be ashore at any one time.