Archive 2008: Gordon Buchanan's grey seal diary

Gordon Buchanan's grey seal diary

For Autumnwach 2008 wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan will be bringing you live daily updates from the Farne Islands on the lives of grey seals. To do this we're going to maroon him and his small team on the windswept, barren rocks for three whole weeks.

Gordon Buchanan © Richard Taylor-Jones

Armed and ready to go: wildlife cameraman Gordon Buchanan.

The seal population on the Farnes is one of the largest in Europe and autumn is a crucial time of year for them as they’re mating and giving birth to pups. But the season is a dangerous one too.

Based 3.5 miles off the Northumbria coast, the Farnes are hit by huge North Sea storms and many pups get washed away. Half those born will die.

a grey seal

Autumn's a tough time for the grey seals of the Farne Islands.

With his in-depth knowledge of the animals, from his time on the Monach Isles in Autumnwatch 2006, Gordon is well placed to relay the dramas of the seals everyday struggle to survive this intense period of their lives.

The team (four men and a satellite dish!) are pushing technology to its limits to bring us the live reports from a island no bigger than two football pitches. They will have no choice but to be living and breathing amongst the seals for the whole time, watching their every move.

Which characters will they meet this year, and what challenges will nature throw at the seals? Gordon's mission is to bring us these daily dramas as they happen.

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