This year we have had a fantastic May for whale and dolphin watching in São Miguel Azores.
Great weather conditions has allowed us to have tours on all days of May and we have encountered a total of 12 different whale and dolphin species during the month! As expected the common dolphin was the most encountered species, but the fin whale came close behind as they were encountered during 84% of all days in May. Following on from April we encountered fin whales 35 days in a row, making a new record for the Azores! We have also seen other baleen whales that migrate past the Azores this time of the year: blue whales, sei whales and even a humpback whale (our lookout recorded some minke whale sightings, but we didn't encounter these from our boats). We are now approaching the best time of the year to see our resident sperm whales here in the Azores and this past month we have also had some encounters with them. Other highlights include an encounter with orcas (also known as killer whales) at the beginning of the month, as well some false killer whales. The whole list of cetacean species we have seen in May can be seen in the graph below (the bars indicate the percentage of days we have seen each species during this month, and these percentages are also listed below). As well as these species we have also seen many loggerhead turtles, a leatherback turtle, some ocean sunfish and a blue shark and white marlin on the last day of the month. In summary, May has been an incredible month for us!
- Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) - 97%
- Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) - 68%
- Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) - 3%
- Pilot whale (Globicephalus spp.) - 19%
- False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) - 10%
- Orca/Killer whale (Orcinus orca) - 3%
- Beaked whale species (Mesoplodon spp.) - 6%
- Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) - 13%
- Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) - 3%
- Blue whale (Baleanoptera musculus) - 6%
- Sei whale (Balaenoptera borealis) - 13%
- Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) - 84%