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Beluga Whale Seen in the Thames

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Old Tuesday 9th October 2018, 19:31   #76
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The pattern it was following just over a week ago, was for it appear at dawn around the barges which are several hundred meters east of the pub, then to move over the river towards the Essex side, to feed in the area around the obvious large green buoy, before very slowly heading west up river. Eventually,we had our best views off Gordon Promenade E (after enjoying brunch in the pub).

Poundland is about a km further west along the Gravesend waterfront, looking at the map.

Incidentally, there seemed to be fish activity at the edge of the river at low tide, which reassured us that at least there stuff for it to feed on (although obviously we're no experts).
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Old Tuesday 9th October 2018, 21:28   #77
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Off Poundland this morning apparently....
Cheapskate thing, it should do better than that
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Old Wednesday 10th October 2018, 20:24   #78
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Dipped today, missed the sighting at Poundland then must have missed it moving downriver as it turned up in the evening at Cliffe when there was not enough light left to go for it. Weekend job now.

Thanks to all who tried to help, it was much appreciated!

Some compensation in the form of a Leach's Petrel initially seen by someone else at Poundland (clearly a popular shopping venue with wildlife) that later flew East down river past the green buoy and barges.

John
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 10:16   #79
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Is this still around?
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 10:48   #80
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Not seen any reports since it was off Cliffe on Wednesday afternoon. Not to say it's not hanging around somewhere still, but it won't have to shift very far to become very difficult to relocate.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 10:56   #81
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Cheapskate thing, it should do better than that
No Nutty, it’s not a Skate, it’s bigger than that
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 12:03   #82
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Still off Poundland this morning
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 12:46   #83
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Still off Poundland this morning
Getting tempting, would have to try from the Essex side but that looks possible.
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 14:21   #84
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Not seen any reports since it was off Cliffe on Wednesday afternoon. Not to say it's not hanging around somewhere still, but it won't have to shift very far to become very difficult to relocate.
After Wednesday's long dip I had to leave it till today, but by 0930 Marion and I were scanning the river from the terrace at Poundland. An hour later I was wondering if we should have gone to the Ship and Lobster.... then a large ferry came downstream past us and a couple of minutes after it passed I was scanning the North bank when the Beluga rolled up in my bins and I let out a yell that scared the wits out of Maz and probably one or two locals.

It then vanished again - I'd had one view only and Maz, none - for the next fifteen minutes. A young girl of perhaps nine years old then spotted it in front of the bow of a moored container ship and after that it showed well in the area closest to Poundland (eventually concentrating its efforts right next to a large mooring buoy only about thirty yards from us).

Scanning without bins was most effective in locating it when we didn't know clearly where it was: my initial view was an absolute fluke. It breathes three to six times then goes down for about five minutes. It's very good at staying within a very tight area but obviously can make long moves underwater and then its a relocation job.

On the list - massive relief!

John
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 17:24   #85
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Well done John - glad you connected!
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 20:05   #86
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Well done John - glad you connected!
Thank you! The period since it turned up (when I was just starting two weeks on Shetland) has been an "emotional roller-coaster" - I believe that is the popular cliché and today's mega views drew a line underneath that entirely justified my bender at the Prince of Wales "Beers of the North" Beerfest this evening

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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 22:12   #87
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Thank you! The period since it turned up (when I was just starting two weeks on Shetland) has been an "emotional roller-coaster" - I believe that is the popular cliché and today's mega views drew a line underneath that entirely justified my bender at the Prince of Wales "Beers of the North" Beerfest this evening

John
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Old Saturday 13th October 2018, 22:32   #88
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...Prince of Wales "Beers of the North" Beerfest this evening

John
Renamed Prince of Whales, for one night only! Good job mate, give yourself a day off tomorrow, it's not like there's anything else to go for. Still.
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 10:18   #89
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Good news. I'm relieved as well. I was worried the old gen I gave above, hindered rather than helped last Wednesday.

Hope the hangover is not too bad. Phil
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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 10:41   #90
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Tinkering with my pics from our trip, here's a montage of a surfacing, just for fun!
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 11:00   #91
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Good news. I'm relieved as well. I was worried the old gen I gave above, hindered rather than helped last Wednesday.

Hope the hangover is not too bad. Phil
I feel fine actually, Chinese delivered once home and lots of water drunk overnight the perfect prophylaxis.

As for the gen, I don't think you have to worry. I went to the Ship and Lobster initially as I didn't like the sound of Poundland (I know better now though a local connoisseur of Poundlands told us yesterday this is a particularly poor one ) but another chap was at Poundland from dawn till after 0900 without scoring. Of course he then joined us just in time to dash back and miss it..... just bad luck all round. All OK now

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Old Sunday 14th October 2018, 21:55   #92
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John,

Many thanks for your post detailing the directions. We arrived this morning at said Poundland, and walked straight onto it, feeding between the two large ships opposite, it showed on and off for around half an hour then seemed to move east. We then saw it very briefly moving further east @ 11.30am from the open green area, and it appeared to be moving downriver towards the pub. Shortly afterwards the rain got heavier and we decided to call it a day and drive home.

Thanks again, very helpful update and in the nick of time!

Stu
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Old Saturday 20th October 2018, 13:58   #93
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The local council have postponed a firework dsplay so as not to disturb the Whale.

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-kent-45919635
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Old Monday 22nd October 2018, 10:19   #94
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What's the history of Beluga sightings in the UK? Can't imagine one in the Thames is the first sighting (but of course there have been more surprising things in the past).
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Old Monday 22nd October 2018, 10:57   #95
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There was one in the Tyne (caght and killed, sadly) in 1903, and two were seen off the Northumbs coast in August 2015:

http://www.nhsn.ncl.ac.uk/resources/.../beluga-whale/
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Old Monday 22nd October 2018, 21:14   #96
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I almost want to show up with my porpoise-less marine mammal list just to say I saw beluga before porpoise in the UK! Haha. No but that would be silly...
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Old Thursday 8th November 2018, 17:50   #97
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Does anyone know when the last sighting of the Thames Beluga was?
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Old Friday 9th November 2018, 09:57   #98
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Did hear it was still present at least 3 days ago. Some of the equipement we make in Cornwall is being used to monitor it
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