During the past month the baleen whale season started in the Azores. Every year from about mid March to early June baleen whales (here in the Azores mostly the 3 largest species in the world - blue whale, fin whale and sei whale respectively) pass by the Azores on their annual migration. During March this year we have already had several encounters with fin whales and we encountered our first blue whale on the 21st of March. The blue whale turned out to be an individual that we recognise from 2010 so all of our biologists were very excited to have our first re-sighting of the same individual here in São Miguel!
During this month we have also encountered a group our resident sperm whales and we have had a surprise encounter with some beaked whales also. As usual dolphins have made a regular appearance during all of our tours. The dolphin species we have encountered this past month are common dolphins, bottlenose dolphins and striped dolphins. In total we have encountered 7 different whale and dolphin species during March!
Our daily sighting statistics for all species sighted this month are graphed above and listed below:
Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) - 87%
Bottlenose dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) - 93%
Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) - 13%
Beaked whale species (Mesoplodon sp.) - 7%
Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) - 7%
Blue whale (Balaenoptera musculus) - 7%
Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) - 27%