In the coverage of the "Whale Swims Up the Thames" story that has been everywhere today, newspeople keep repeating the following datum:
"This is the first bottle-nosed whale to be spotted in London since record-keeping began in 1913."
To me, this piece of information raises the following questions:
1) Have other species of whale been spotted in London since 1913?
2) Were whales, bottle-nosed or otherwise, common enough before 1913 to inspire the keeping of records?
3) What, precisely, do these records record? "1913: No Whales." "1914: Still No Whales."
I'm at at a bit of a loss.
Anyway, we've gotten enough mileage out of the"Whale of a Tale!" headlines now. Let's save the poor bloke.