The month of August has been great for whale and dolphin watching off São Miguel Island. During this month we have encountered a grand total of 13 different species! The most encountered whale species was, as expected, our resident sperm whale. However, we were also surprised to see many fin whales which is not usual for this time of the year. Usually baleen whales like fin whales, blue whales and sei whales migrate through the Azores during the spring months. The summer is the best time for us to spot beaked whales and this past month we have encountered four different species: Sowerby's beaked whale, Blainville's beaked whale, Northern bottlenose whale and Cuvier's beaked whale. Of course dolphins were plentiful too. We encountered 7 different dolphin species, in order of most encountered: common dolphin, bottlenose dolphin, Atlantic spotted dolphin, Risso's dolphin, striped dolphin, false killer whale and pilot whale.
As well as these cetacean encounters we also registered other species such as loggerhead turtles, leatherback turtles, sicklefin devil rays, flying fish and plenty of seabirds.
- Common dolphin (Delphinus delphis) - 96%
- Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) - 96%
- Atlantic spotted dolphin (Stenella frontalis) - 68%
- Striped dolphin (Stenella coeruleoalba) - 11%
- Risso's dolphin (Grampus griseus) - 25%
- Pilot whale (Globicephala spp.) - 4%
- False killer whale (Pseudorca crassidens) - 7%
- Northern bottlenose whale (Hyperoodon ampullatus) - 7%
- Cuvier's beaked whale (Ziphius carvirostris) - 4%
- Beaked whale species (Mesoplodon spp.) - 18%
- Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) - 64%
- Fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus) - 54%