In the morning, the sightings came in quick succession, but it was still very chilled. Short-beaked Common dolphins (Delphinus delphis) were in rest mode. Dolphins also have to “sleep” or rest. Because they always have to make sure their blowhole is clear when they breathe to keep water out, all marine mammals are conscious breathers. In order to still be in a state of relaxation, nature has come up with a clever trick. While one side of the brain takes a little break, the other is active. A very elegant solution to meet this challenge.
The Blainville’s beaked whales (Mesoplodon densirostris) were, as usual, also deeply relaxed. Afterwards, we observed very relaxed Short-finned Pilot whales (Globicephala macrorhynchus) that were traveling with Bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus). A beautiful sighting it was.
In the afternoon, we had four more very relaxed Blainville’s beaked whales and a very special guest. An Atlantic puffin (Fratercula arctica) honored us. The breeding areas, include the coasts of the North Atlantic and the western polar sea. Islands are preferred. Outside the breeding season, between September and the end of March, puffins live exclusively in the open sea. As we approached this little fellow, he would dive and we would hold our breath in anticipation of where and when he would reappear. The maximum observed dive time off the Scottish Isle of May was 115 seconds. It felt like it was a very long time today until this sweet little creature reappeared. He was definitely the starlet on the afternoon tour.
By Fatima Kutzschbach
Sightings of the day
14.30 Blainville Beaked whales, Atlantic puffin
10.00 Common dolphins, Blainville Beaked whales, Pilot whales, Bottlenose dolphins
13:00 Pilot whales, Bottlenose dolphins
15:30 Common dolphins