Thursday, May 1, 2014

April 2014 sighting statistics

This past month has been fantastic for whale and dolphin watching in São Miguel, Azores. We are in the middle of the best time of the year for whale watching in the Azores, as this is the time that the 3 largest animals in the world (the blue whale, fin whale and sei whale respectively) pass by on their annual migration. The most encountered whale species during April was the fin whale. During the last 22 days straight we encountered fin whales, making up a total sighting rate of 88% for the whole month of April. We are also off to a great start with blue whale sightings, especially during the second half of the month. We had some surprise encounters with other species, such as the false killer whale and a humpback whale. As usual, several dolphins have also made a regular appearance during our tours. The graph below shows the sighting frequencies of all whale and dolphin species we encountered during our tours in April. As well as these encounters we have also come across several ocean sunfish (Mola mola), loggerhead turtle, many seabirds and even a couple of sharks yesterday!

During May we are expecting these great sightings to continue as the baleen whales keep passing the Azores.

Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) - 92%
Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) - 50%
Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) - 4%
False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) - 4%
Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) - 8%
Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) - 4%
Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) - 42%
Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) - 5%
Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) - 88%

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