10.12.2019 – Sundowner
Several cameras were directed at the waters in front of Calheta today as our traditional boat cruised through the Atlantic this evening. The overcast sky and strong glare at the surface didn’t stop our amazing spotter from locating no less than 5 different species of dolphin ranging from the small Atlantic spotted dolphins (Stenella frontalis) to the shy and swift Striped dolphins (Stenella coeruleoalba), up to the decorative and interactive Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis). The grand finale was represented in a compact group of Short-finned pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) whose large, jet black bodies were silhouetted against a beautiful sunset together with some shy Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus).
I am an avid fan of evening tours because the mood is simply incredible and the behaviour of the animals can be quite curious and interesting to observe. Several predators as well as prey like to forage with little light as it can bring them several advantages. Cetaceans are able to hunt freely in the dark ocean with no inhibitions thanks to their acute sonar and can therefore profit from the fact that particularly important and nutritious prey, such as deep sea squid, migrate to the surface at night from the depths providing them with an easy meal. The ocean must be ringing with all sorts of clicks, squeaks and whistles at night and at dusk we simply witness the last shadows disappearing gently beneath the surface.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
15:30 Atlantic spotted dolphins, Bottlenose dolphins, Short-beaked common dolphins, Short-finned pilot whales, Striped dolphins, Loggerhead turtle