Thursday, October 11, 2018

September whale watching statistics 2018: São Miguel Island

During the month of September we could still enjoy some beautiful summer weather and sightings off São Miguel Island. In total during this month we encountered 10 different whale and dolphin species. We had a few trips to the north of the island, which turned out to be great to see our resident sperm whales. We got to see some incredible behaviours, including many breachings (whales jumping out of the water) and lobtailing (whales slapping their tails on the surface of the water). 

Sperm whales turned out to be the most encountered species during the month, even more than the dolphins. As the second most encountered species, our resident common dolphins and bottlenose dolphins followed close behind. Other species were sighted less often, with some results surprirsing us. For example this year and general we haven’t seen so many Atlantic spotted dolphins, although during the peak of the summer we had more beaked whale sightings than usual. 

As for other marine species, this year we encountered fewer loggerhead turtles, but flying fish seem to be more common at the moment. Every year is different, with a lot of variation in sightings from year to year. In fact every day and even every tour is very different, so we never know what we will encounter, which is one of the most exciting parts of our job. Who knows what we will see the next day we are out on the ocean?

Miranda van der Linde

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