Thursday, 20 February 2014

Sad End to a Magnificent Whale

I was sitting down this morning having breakfast with the kids and planning what to do today with them when news broke of a huge whale that was breached off the Isle of Sheppey and was viewable from seasalter, a 15 minute drive away. I have never seen a whale before and I didn't really want my first encounter to be this but the kids decided they would like to go and see so a few minutes later we were on our way. We arrived at the Sportsman pub where it was already starting to rain, not great conditions when you are looking for a distant whale in the murk but thankfully the whale was soon spotted standing out like a sore thumb on the opposite bank to us. Through the scope it certainly looked very big, hard to say its exact size but it must have been c30/40ft in length. The kids had a good look and we were soon joined by Mike Roser, Mike Gould and later Julian Russell who we shall now call 'Whale Man'. Julian gave us an education into whales and the general consensus was that it was a Sperm Whale which was confirmed later in the day. unfortunately the Whale died and was a sorry ending to a fantastic encounter that the kids and I will not forget. I took a few very distant shots and I think you can just about make out what it is through the murk and rain.

Sperm Whale

 Whilst there I also had a Hooded Crow fly by and quite a few waders were seen out on the mud. After returning home for lunch and with the weather brightening up we then decided to have a walk at Reculver to look for shells, fossils etc. This took us past the Black Redstart site were as we walked by it flew from the shingle onto the rocks where a brief photo was taken before it vanished from site.

Black Redstart

We did see it on our way back again in the same area. What was quite devastating to see was the amount of destruction to the cliffs where the mud/clay had fallen from the cliffs and landed on the beach. It looks like the Sand Martins are going to have to start again next month when they arrive as most of their nest holes have fallen to the floor. Hopefully a visit in the next couple of days to the patch.


  1. The poor Sperm Whale, it is enough to make a person cry.

  2. Not exactly the weather to be having a ''whale'' of of time in marc :-) Better tomorrow by the looks of it. Like the Black Redstart, not cropped quite so hard, showing a bit of habitat :-)

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    1. that's unfortunate what happened to the whale. We never really realize in a sense that such mighty creatures are mortal as well until we see it.

  4. So sad to see such a majestic creature beached like that mate