Monday, May 5, 2014

Fin whales in São Miguel

This year in São Miguel island we have reached a record of fin whale encounters for the Azores archipelago. We have seen fin whales every single day during the last 25 days straight! The fin whale is the second largest animal in the world, reaching about 27 m in length. Every year during the spring months these whales, together with many blue whales and sei whales, migrate past the Azores on their way to their feeding grounds in the cold north Atlantic. Every year we seem to be encountering more of these whales, and we are very lucky to be seeing more fin whales than ever here in São Miguel this year. This morning we encountered 3 different fin whales travelling together. On top of this we also encountered a group of common dolphins and a small loggerhead turtle. On top of our usual seabird sightings (Cory's shearwater, yellow-legged gull and common tern) we had a more rare sighting of a great skua.

Fin whale head surfacing with great force!

Fin whale curving its back to go on a dive

Fin whale poo

Common dolphin juvenile

Great skua

Two of our zodiacs today, Bulo and Alfredo

Goose barnacles on a life jacket we found drifting around 

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