Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Wild Wednesday at sea

Although the only wildlife I've seen today was a hover fly that was just blown up my husbands nose, the last couple of days have been full of birds and dolphins.

I think the ship carries a small population of pigeons with it. I see them on beaches everywhere, but that does not make a pigeon a seabird so I am guessing they hitch a ride and get to travel just as we do. I am not really sure if they count as wildlife therefore, but I will count them as my first sighting.

Keeping to the air we have seen a number of gulls and I have even managed to get a few pictures.

Now to the water. Our first dolphin sighting came on our first full day at sea. We were getting ready for formal night and my husband was on the balcony trying to cool off after a very hot shower whilst waiting for me to finish getting ready. He came in very excited shouting "dolphins, dolphins!". So I grabbed my camera and joined him on the balcony to see several small dolphins jumping the waves. They stuck around just long enough for me to snap a few (blurry) pictures before disappearing into the sunset. I believe these were dolphins, probably in the stenella group, but not positively identified.

The next evening as we walked from dinner (aft) to the theatre (forward). We walked along the outdoor corridor. There was a large group of people pointing at the ocean. I asked if dolphins had been spotted and was told not dolphins but whales! I leaned on the rail to see around the lifeboats and was rewarded with a blow. A few seconds later half a dozen or so blows produced their large plumes of sea spray and then they were gone. no picture this time but pleased with our sighting. I'm not sure what type of whales they were, the blows seemed straight up in the air and I did not notice large dorsal fins, but we were not close enough to get any more identity clues.

Then yesterday we woke up relatively early to watch as we made our way through the Straights of Gibraltar. In addition to a beautiful sunrise, we were rewarded with numerous dolphin sightings. Most of these seemed like bottle nose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus), more uniform in color and slightly larger to the ones spotted previously).

After yoga sitting on the balcony of our room we saw several more pods. Some further away and another small pod of little stenellas. The water was so clear you could see their colorful bodies u see the waves.

Off to scan the waters for more wildlife!

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