Thursday, March 6, 2014

Striped dolphins remind us that summer is on the way

Today is another beautiful sunny and warm day in São Miguel, Azores. We have had a series of great days like this, and along with the nice weather, great encounters in the ocean as well. This morning our tour started with several small groups of common dolphins spread out over a large area. The common dolphins were near some traditional fishing boats, the two of them working side by side to catch mackerel. Our second species of the tour was the bottlenose dolphin. We encountered a group of about 40 individuals, which turned out to be the exact same group that we encountered yesterday (we can see this by photographs we take of their dorsal fins for our research). The third species of the tour was the striped dolphin - an surprise visit which reminded us that we are truly in the spring now and summer is just around the corner (we typically see striped dolphins from spring to early summer). On our way back into Ponta Delgada marina we also came across a northern gannet which is an uncommon vagrant in the Azores.

Common dolphin close to shore

Boat fishing mackerel together with the common dolphins

Common dolphin

One of our zodiac boats with bottlenose dolphins

3 curious bottlenose dolphins who we recognise from yesterday

Bottlenose dolphin face

Striped dolphins in their typical way of travelling

Crazy striped dolphins!

Striped dolphins

A beautiful day in São Miguel Island

Returning to our base in Ponta Delgada

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