Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Large male sperm whale in São Miguel

This morning we set out for what turned out to be another great whale watching trip. This time we encountered one of at least two sperm whales that were making dives far off the coastline, in an area where the water is over 900 meters deep. Just by looking at the size of the whale that we encountered we could instantly see it was a male. This whale was huge! We more commonly encouter the smaller females, so it was really great to see such a big individual. The whale was one that we did not recognise from the sperm whale catalogue we have, so now we are going to check with other researchers to see if this whale has been photographed elsewhere.

Large male sperm whale we encountered this morning

We also saw several small groups of common dolphins close to the coastline. The dolphins were feeding so we got to see many seabirds flying overhead and diving down to take some of the fish that the dolphins had worked up to the surface. Although we are well into winter now we could still see many Cory's shearwater that nest here over summer, and we even spotted one smaller Manx shearwater.

A small feeding group of common dolphins

Some of the Cory's shearwaters that were feeding with the common dolphins

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