Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Seabirds in São Miguel

Today it was a beautiful sunny day in São Miguel and the wind had dropped down enough for us to go out to sea. We went out with three of our boats in the morning (our catamaran "Cetus" and two of our smaller boats, one of them to swim with dolphins). We tried our best for find whales and dolphins but unfortunately luck was not on our side this time. We did not encounter any whales nor dolphins, however this means that all of our clients can now book another tour with us free of charge!
Even on the days that there are no cetaceans to see we still make the most of observing the beauty around us. Many people enjoy the opportunity simply to see the island from the ocean. On our swimming boat today we got to see a loggerhead turtle, something that we see here on a regular basis. People interested in bird watching also had a lot to see today. Some of the bird species sighted today include Cory's shearwaters, skuas, yellow-legged gulls and ruddy turnstones. The Cory's shearwaters were particularly numerous along the coast today. These are the first of the many birds that are coming to the Azores to nest during the summer months. Around 60-75% of the entire population of this species comes to the Azores every year, and individuals often return to the same nest in which they were born. Below are some photos that our biologists were able to capture today:

Cory's shearwater photos:

Aboard our catamaran "Cetus":

 Passing Vila Franca Islet:


Yellow-legged gull

Ruddy turnstones back in the marina:

2 males on the left and a female on the right

Male (left) and female (right)

Ruddy turnstone in flight

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