Admiring children from the animal kingdom is always great! Especially on a day like today. The smooth sea spread out in the sunshine and the water was bright blue. Quite close to the coast we encountered a group of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). The entire group was spread out over a large area, but the kindergarten group enjoyed riding in front of our beautiful Ribeira Brava. The two mother dolphins took their calves to the boat with care. Apparently an excursion that the dolphins really enjoyed. Later the youngsters came into the bow wave by themselves. The whole encounter was filled of magical blue moments with the oceanic kindergarten!
For our second sighting in the morning it took a little patience because the Sperm whales (Physeter macrocephalus) were far away. Fortunately for us, the young animal kept breaching. So it was easier to spot these whales against the sun. And shortly afterwards the mother and calf passed very close to the boat. The calf kept diving to be suckled. And here, too, we witnessed a magical moment when the two dived in unison, and we could see a big and a small tail at the same time.
The afternoon was all about Sperm whales (almost ;))! The largest of the toothed whales was both playful and majestic. The animals socialized with each other and the calf was safely held in their midst. We saw syphops (lifting the head out of the water), turning to the side so that part of the tail was visible, and there was also a headstand followed by a dive. Six of these large whales were in the vicinity, four of which we experienced very close.
And because these marvels of nature play such an important role in this blue as well as in our ecosystem, I would like to remind you again of the petitions. 🙂
There was still one observation of whale watchers from lofty heights. A feathered “stranger“ spied us this time. Identifying birds can sometimes be a thing in itself. But there are qualified bird experts for such cases. And they all agreed that this extremely rare visitor was a Pomarine Skua/Jaeger (Stercorarius pomarinus), a bird that breeds in the arctic tundra as well as around the North Pole. In winter, he is drawn to the (sub) tropical seas. He is a specialized hunter in killing lemmings.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
10:00 Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales
14:30 Sperm whales, Short-beaked common dolphins
09:30 Bottlenose dolphins, Sperm whales
15:00 Sperm whales, Pomarine Skua/Jaeger