Rain has began on this side of the island on this afternoon. It seems like a lie if I would tell you that this morning we had sunny weather filled with adventure and excitement.

We spotted a group of Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) who where foraging in order to obtain a nice bite of a fish known as Mackerel (Scomber spp.).

We navigated to the East and for some of you following the blog, you might know that two days ago we sighted a Humpback whale (Megaptera novaeangliae). But was it the same ?…

For a moment we thought it was the same individual that had stayed in order to feed before migrating to Cape Verde/West Africa breeding grounds, most likely.

There are two ways of identifying a Humpback Whale individual, one is with a picture of the fluke taken from behind in order to observe the unique contour (trailing edge) and coloration. We tried to take a picture but of course in nature things don’t always go as planned.

But there is also another way of identifying a Humpback whale and it is through their “humps” or – better said – dorsal fins.

The first picture (above) is of the individual sighted today and this picture is from the individual sighted two days ago (below). It is not always easy to identify individuals with the naked eye, so lets have a little ‘spot the differences’ exercise 😉

 

Humpback Whale (Megaptera novaeangliae) sighted on the 24/01/2020

 

And here is a close-up of the two dorsal fins in order to make it a little bit more clear on how we know it was not the same whale.

 

Fin comparison of the two different individuals of Humpback Whales (Megaptera novaeangliae).

 

Now that you know how to compare the dorsal fins, you may want to aim that camera at the “hump” if the whale fluke is under the water, to become a true naturalist!

Then we heard something jumping at the back of the whale a few meters away. We looked closely and saw jumping tuna fish (Thunnus alalunga) feeding with Yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis). I had never in my life seen tuna fish in the wild and without the presence of fishing boats. What a delight !!!

I can also tell you about how curious the common dolphins were today, it was spectacular, I can not get enough of them and what a lovely feeling it is to see them approaching with intrigue our boat.

 

Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis)

 

We have an amazing video on the subject that will be posted tomorrow, so please check it out !!!!

We were heading back and found as well, two Loggerhead turtles (Caretta caretta). I had never seen two in the same area, so that was quite interesting since reptiles are not really social creatures.

When at the small island we sighted a shore bird that we rarely encounter : the purple sandpiper (Calidris maritima).
It was hard to observe with the naked eye, yet here is a picture we managed to take for all our guests that joined us today.

 

Purple Sandpiper (Calidris maritima)

 

Another spectacular day, with amazing sightings, so much happened that we are going to follow up tomorrow with the video!

So happy Sunday everyone =)

Anaïs Builly

About Anaïs Builly

Anais Builly is Marine Biologist and Master of Biology, Ecology and Ecosystems, and of Bioproducts & Bioproduction of Marine Ecosystems, studied in France and South Africa. She is also Marine Wildlife Guide & Community Manager at TERRA AZUL. She is passionate about conservation of marine mammals, and loves being out in the ocean everyday.

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