Friday 31 January 2020

Sperm Whale: The Swale, Kent - 31 January 2020

Sperm Whale, Swale, Kent - viewed from Oare Marshes KWT. Photo by Adam Whitehouse

During the afternoon of 30 Jan there was a report of Whale species, presumed Humpback, off the north Kent coast. Being a Thursday and having seen Humpback off Scilly, there little personal interest in this record from a 'seeing it' perspective.

My causal interest in this record changed later in the afternoon when it was re-identified as a Sperm Whale - and now being seen off the east end of the the Isle of Sheppey.

As luck would have it...I had to be up on the coast this morning to take Max to a sporting tournament with his school... John Clements confirmed its presence just before 8am and after dropping the wee lad off at 9:15am it was only a few miles drive to Oare Marshes before taking a brisk walk out to the seawatching hide. Thankfully Doug was still in position and able to confirm that the whale was both present and very much alive. Sure enough, the Sperm Whale was readily scope-able, clearly stranded on the sandbank but with most of the body under water and producing regular spouts, it was an impressively huge beast with it's very distinctive blunt forehead.

My second species of whale in Kent, following the Beluga Whale off Gravesend 15 months ago, and my sixth species in British waters.

Sunday 19 January 2020

Hothfield Common, Kent: 19 Jan 2020

A nice trip out with the kids to Hothfield Common this afternoon. No great ornithological delights, but just good to be out in the sunshine with a few woodlands bits and bobs.

And the highlight of the day? A tree! I wonder if many people spot this face looking down at the dog walkers and the horses...
A great tree!
Common Buzzard
Pony thing...
Some weary beasts...