Saturday, June 10, 2023

Risso's Dolphins in the Blue Desert 10 June 2023

Another day with high pressure and a high ceiling! Always tough conditions for seabirding in the Gulf Stream here offshore from Hatteras. We had light winds most of the day and sunny skies. Birds were slow to come to the slick but we finally recruited some Wilson's Storm-Petrels plus we had some Black-capped Petrels come check us out too. Band-rumpeds were not as cooperative as yesterday but we did have at least three individuals make some close passes. One highlight was participant Doug Hanna finding a small pod of Risso's Dolphins out in the deep! This is the first time we have seen them this spring and they were super cooperative giving us some great views. 

The trip report can be found here: 

And a big thank you to Ed Corey and Mario Balitbit for helping us lead the trip today! ~Kate Sutherland

A few images of the Risso's Dolphins I took today. Older individuals are paler than younger ones, and this species has tall, falcate dorsal fins. We had some young and old today! As they age they also have more scaring from other individuals and also from prey species like squid.

This image is actually several moments later than the one above! Interesting to see how some of these younger animals stayed close together.
It was also a good day for flyingfish...!

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