18.06.2017 – Alma negra & cão de água português
When summer starts in Madeira, we often observe little black birds flying close over the surface of the ocean (in general not higher than 3 meters). In Portuguese these birds have the beautiful name Alma Negra, in English the less interesting name Bulwer-Storm petrel. These are real lightweights, males’ weight ca. 107gr and females ca 100gr. The pair is monogam.
Today we got very interesting information from our guests, who have a Cão de Água Português. You may ask: what is this? It is a Portuguese Water Dog. In former times this special dog helped fishermen in all matters (guarding the boat and equipment, track and roundup fish). These dogs were used on all coasts of Portugal but as far as we know not off the coast of Madeira (to answer our guest question). Almost extinct they now come into vogue again. Even the former US President Barack Obama has two Cão de Água Português, named Bo and Sunny. In USA these special dogs are used for therapy with children. Unfortunately we had no sighting of marine mammals during our noon trip and at the evening trip we had a school of Striped dolphins.
by Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day:
13.30: no sighting
17.00: Striped dolphins