February in the Azores is a peculiar month, it’s the middle of Winter and thus we can either have great, incredible days with sun and good seas or rainy grey weeks where going to the ocean is difficult and sometimes even impossible. However, in the days we go out, it is simply breathtaking. We get to experience the raw, untamed Atlantic Ocean while accompanied by the most fascinating animals.
In this month we see in huge amounts our resident species. Mostly we do see big groups of bottlenose and common dolphins, but we do have a great chance to see the other two resident species, Risso’s dolphins and sperm whales! It is clear then, that this is a great month to come with us on a trip to see these animals we hold so dearly. During this time of the year, we focus more on our research so, during the trip, and even on land, you can know more about not just the species itself but also how our research regarding them is going ;).
In the last few years we could spot some unusual species like fin whales and some other occasional sightings of humpback whales, pilot whales, striped dolphins or even killer whales! We say that they came out of season, but in reality they do as they please. In mid of this month we celebrate the World Whale Day, in which our team does some activities for everyone to encourage the knowledge and the importance of these big animals to our planet. So come join us in this day!
But not only whales and dolphins around. In this season of the year, the islands of Azores are really significant for the wintering populations of European birds. But there could also be American vagrants, so the winter is an exciting time to go rarity-hunting. In February all BirdLovers will have chances of seeing the following species: Black-headed gull, Mew gull, Ring-billed gull, Herring gull, Iceland gull, Lesser Black-backed gull, Glaucous gull, Great Black-backed gull, Black-legged kittiwake, Great skua and without forgetting our resident Yellow-legged gull. Also the first Northern Gannets are arriving in this month, hopefully we will find them feeding and showing us their acrobatics dives into the water. Fingers crossed!
So… if you are planning to visit São Miguel or the Azores in February, and doing whale watching, this is what you can encounter. Don’t forget to look up when you are in our tours; perhaps our stormy weather will bring some rarities to our sky