Sightings Summary December 2019

Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocephalus) diving in front of Terra Azul boat several miles offshore Vila Franca do Campo, São Miguel Island, Azores.


Bom dia whale-watchers!

December is gone and almost all the festivities too, so it is time to have a look to the past month sighting report 🙂

Remember November? Well, forget about the warm Autumn sun, Winter has come to us in December and it brought all its weather unpredictability. Although temperatures were relatively warm, rain and wind did not make it easy for us. In spite of these difficulties, we managed to take advantage of some good weather windows and encounter some of our ‘resident’ cetacean species, plus a quite unexpected migratory surprise!


TerraAzul sightings on December 2019. Source: MONICET.


Whales and dolphins do not seem to mind weather instability and can always be found in our waters by who has the eye to spot them and the right vessel to reach them. Common Dolphins (Delphinus delphis) were the most sighted, often feeding in association with Yellow-legged gulls (Larus michahellis). We also had the chance to spend some time with another ‘resident’ dolphin species: Risso’s Dolphins (Grampus griseus).


Risso’s Dolphins (Grampus griseus) slowly cruise alongside Terra Azul boat.


Turning to larger toothed cetaceans, we had some very nice encounters with our iconic Sperm Whales (Physeter macrocrphalus). We observed several adult females with their young until the very end of the year.

Finally, we had confirmation that Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis) did not leave us for the warmer waters of the Caribbeans yet! Spoilers ahead: even now in January 2020 there have been some sightings of these playful dolphins, lets see if they are going to delay their migration even further 😉


Adult Atlantic Spotted Dolphins (Stenella frontalis) with spotted pattern on the body.


Have another great run around the sun and to the next monthly sighting report, the first of this 2020! 🙂

Lorenzo Fiori

About Lorenzo Fiori

Lorenzo is Main Guide and Technical & Scientific Director at TERRA AZUL. He is originally from Italy, holds a PhD about behavioral responses of humpback whales to swim-with-whales tourism activities in Tonga.

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