We started our tours with an observation of active Atlantic spotted dolphins, which were surfing the waves and followed our boats for a while. Later on, the wind was already putting some whitecaps on the waves, Carlos, our spotter guided us to a school of animals which he saw through his binoculars, from land. Again his recommendation regarding the species type was right. It was a group of about 15-25 Rissos dolphins which were passing through the coastal waters of Madeira south coast. Their high dorsal fins and especially their whitish body colouration clearly identifies them as Grampus griseus (Risso’s dolphin). Individuals of this species are cosmopolitan and prefer deep water habitats. If someone manage to get closer to them, then its possible to see a pattern of scars on their backs. Most probably traces from their main prey which is squid.
by Astrid Haas
Sightings of the day:
Stenella and Ribeira Brava
10.00: Atlantic spotted dolphins and Risso’s dolphins