13.03.2020 – Unpredictable
Our traditional boat managed to track down two different dolphin species this afternoon. Our first sighting was with a tiny, dispersed group of Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) just a few nautical miles off the coast of Calheta. We never really know what behaviour to expect from the animals we encounter out at sea and the Bottlenose belong to some of the most unpredictable. While these intelligent dolphins often display very curious behaviour, they can also react quite evasively to our boats. Today the small subunit briefly approached the bow of our boat, as if to briefly inspect us before darting away.
The Short-beaked common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) on the other hand, displayed a behaviour we can typically expect from them. The animals were busy hunting a school of Halfbeaks (Belone belone) as we approached the sightings area, leaping high above the surface as they intimidated their prey. Everyone was delighted at having the chance of admiring these beautiful dolphins from our traditional boat, although their speedy jumps did not make taking photos easy. As I mentioned on board, a camera with efficient shutter speed is crucial when taking pictures of dolphins. It also helps to be able to predict the behaviour of the animals but, like I said before, this is not always easy with dolphins. However unpredictable their behaviour may be, it doesn’t change the fact that a sighting with any of these species is an absolutely delightful experience.
By Paula Thake
Sightings of the day
14:30 Bottlenose dolphins, Short-beaked common dolphins