What a day! Today we woke up with clouds and very probably we will go to bed with clouds. But clouds often work in our benefits, and today was one of those days. Although most of us love a good sunny day, sun often affects our lookouts visibility and therefore their efficiency in finding cetaceans for us to see.
We left the harbor with our fingers crossed wishing that today would be like yesterday. We sighted 6 species of cetaceans. But as always no day is alike, and what we see in one day does not mean that we will see it the next one. Cetaceans are always moving around doing their business, and that means that we never know what to expect. It was different yes but we still sighted 6 different species of cetaceans. Three resident and three migratory.
A bit of everything, from whales and dolphins with teeth, which are called Odontoceti, like the sperm whale, bottlenose dolphins, Atlantic spotted dolphins, common dolphins and striped dolphins. And we also sighted a humpback whale, a species of baleen whales which are called Mistyceti.
All sightings were amazing!
In the morning the group of sperm whales sighted was of two adult females, two juvenile males and 2 calves. They were together for a while close to the surface head rising and socializing between each other. But not only between each other.
Some bottlenose dolphins were also socializing with the sperm whales, and were especially curious towards the baby ones.
In the afternoon what was probably the same group, was sighted foraging and logging at the surface.
Bottlenose dolphins were also sighted in the morning and in the afternoon, and both looked like they were traveling towards north east. Joining the morning sightings, the humpback whale was sighted together with the Atlantic spotted dolphins. What an association! This often means that they are foraging and feeding and today it looked exactly like that. Both are migratory species and although this is the best time to spot Atlantic spotted dolphins, it was probably one of our last sightings of the year of humpback whales, as at this time most are already in or getting close to the cold waters of the north of the Atlantic north.
Striped dolphins and common dolphins were only spotted briefly in our morning tour. How do we differentiate all these dolphins? They all have different characteristics, from color patterns, to sizes, body shapes and even behaviours!
Have a look at our species page in our blog to learn more about these and other cetaceans species found in the Azores.
Although today we sighted more species in the morning than in the afternoon this does not mean anything. Often is the opposite. Come and find which species are the next!