Monday, July 31, 2017

July 2017 Sighting statistics

July is a great time to go whale and dolphin watching in the Azores (we only had to cancel due bad weather one day this whole month). At this time of the year the sea is mostly calm and very clear and hosts an abundance of whale and dolphin species. This year we still encountered some of the spring time migratory whales (fin whales and sei whales) during July, and at the end of the month we also registered our first Bryde's whales since 2013! The Bryde's whale is more of a tropical baleen whale that doesn't migrate to polar waters to spend the summer like most other baleen whales do. We are very lucky in the years that we get to see these rare Bryde's whales, when we have favourable conditions for them, as we do this summer. The summer months are also a great time to see our resident whale species, which is the sperm whale (the most encountered whale species at this time of the year). Of course we cannot forget the hundreds of dolphins that we have encountered during July - mostly Atlantic spotted dolphins, bottlenose dolphins, common dolphins and Risso's dolphins, but also the occasional striped dolphins, pilot whales and false killer whales. As for more shy species, we have also registered a few beaked whales this month, including twice that we could identify the exact species (once Sowerby's beaked whales and another time Blainville's beaked whales). Our daily sightings statistics of cetaceans (whales and dolphins) show just how great July has been, and that isn't even taking into consideration other marine species we have also encountered, including loggerhead turtles and manta rays!

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