Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring dolphins

Calm and crisp conditions on the sea this morning offered some great dolphin watching. Shortly after leaving the marina in Ponta Delgada we encountered a pod of around 20 bottlenose dolphins, a resident species of the Azores, playing alongside and in front of our boats. After only a few minutes with this pod, we began to recognise this group as they had been previously sighted this month. We were then greeted by a separate group of bottlenose dolphins, this one smaller than the first, approximately 15 animals. Our second species for the tour was another of our resident species the common dolphin, this group was dispersed and very relaxed. One of our other boats also sighted a migratory species called striped dolphin. Other marine life sighted by the boats this morning included a loggerhead turtle another migratory species. Born on the beaches of Florida and the Caribbean, this species rides the gulf stream of the North Atlantic and arrives in the Azores. All boats also spotted Portuguese man-o-war, and several Scabbard fish that had escaped from the local fisherman, Cory's  shearwaters and a great skua, a migrant seabird.

Photos from today:

Bottlenose dolphin juvenile

Bottlenose dolphin

Bottlenose dolphins

Bottlenose dolphins

Our biologist Laura showing images of some of the species we can see here

Our biologist Neuza

Common dolphin

Common dolphins jumping along side our boat

Our captain with a scabbard fish

Scabbard fish

Deep sea fishing boat

 Striped dolphins jumping!

                                                                Loggerhead turtle diving

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