A group of about 15 Common dolphins, a nursery group, swam over to and spent quite a while bow riding in front of our whale watching tour boat along Costa Adeje this morning. Common dolphins are an oceanic species and usually seen far offshore of Tenerife. This group was just a few kilometres off shore of Costa Adeje, in the same area we often see Pilot whales.
A nursery group is made up of babies, juveniles and usually a couple of females, typically the mothers of the youngest members of the group. Nursery groups can be quite engaging as the young dolphins are often energetic and inquisitive. This group was no different with a lot of close passes along the side of the boat and many minutes spent swimming directly in front of the boat – to the amazement of our guests.
Common dolphins are typically seen in groups of 10-15 individuals, but we normally see adult groups. This species is more frequently encountered during the winter season in Tenerife, when the ocean is cooler. So encountering this nursery group of Common dolphins during our whale and dolphin watching tour along Costa Adeje this morning was an exciting surprise!
Today we had a great encounter with a very large group of Striped dolphins while exploring along Costa Adeje. Striped dolphins are an oceanic species of dolphin usually found offshore in the open ocean in groups that can be several hundred individuals.
The group of Striped dolphins we observed this morning in Tenerife was estimated to be over 200 individuals. This was a very active group with a lot of synchronised porpoising and even some jumping and dancing on the tail fin – an unusual behaviour we have only seen with the Striped dolphins.
As we observed the Striped dolphins we noticed several groups of Pilot whales in the area. It is not uncommon to see different dolphin species swimming around and sometimes interacting with the resident Pilot whales here in Tenerife. An exciting and uncommon sighting this morning along Costa Adeje with several hundred Striped dolphins!
A very curious Pilot whale approached and seemed to interact with the whale watching boat today! Luckily we got the GoPro in the water quickly and managed to collect some of this wonderful interaction. An amazing species that we feel very privileged to see in such a large resident population here along Costa Adeje, Tenerife.
Great day for whale watching tours along Costa Adeje with wonderful observations of Common dolphins and Spotted dolphins bow riding. These two species were even mixing for the opportunity to race alongside our boat! Amazing moments like these are one of the reasons we love to share whale watching trips with our guests.
Common dolphins are found throughout the world, sometimes observed in groups of over 1,000 animals! This is why they are called ‘Common’. But we don’t like the name, they a such a beautifully coloured species of dolphin with greys, whites and a large yellow patch on their sides. We suggest a better name might be ‘Painted Dolphin’!
Common dolphins are seasonal visitors to Tenerife. They prefer slightly cooler waters that Tenerife has in the the summer, although we have seen them in every month of the year. They follow their food (fish mostly) and the ocean currents that the fish take. We usually find them further offshore from Costa Adeje than most cetacean species.
The Atlantic Spotted dolphins are more often encountered along Costa Adeje. Interestingly the Spotted dolphins seem to mix with other cetacean species. We have seen them in close proximity or even mixing with groups of Pilot whales, Bottlenose dolphins and Common dolphins.
A wonderful day of whale and dolphin watching here along Costa Adeje, Tenerife. Thank you to all the great people who joined our small group eco-adventures to explore all the amazing marine wildlife. The highlight was observing the active and thrilling mixed group of Spotted and Common dolphins racing our boat.
Spotted dolphins are one of our guest favourites as they often swim over to the boat and seem to enjoy bow riding or pacing alongside the boat, often leaping mere meters away from our excited guests (and crew!). GoPro underwater footage gives us a glimpse into their ocean realm.
Racing over to the boat, bow riding and leaping alongside is not typical behaviour of most whale and dolphin species. Yet when we stop the boat to give the dolphins their space, they slowly swim away…until we start back up again where they typically race right back over to us! We have learned, the Atlantic Spotted dolphins seem intrigued by the boat and will pace us as long as they want to.
Atlantic Spotted dolphins are not a resident species of Costa Adeje in Tenerife, but a transient oceanic species. They are however very common in the Canary Islands archipelago and the third most commonly encountered cetacean species on our whale and dolphin watching tours. They are also an amazing and engaging species to observe and always put a smile on the faces of our guests!
Bottlenose dolphins hunt a bait ball of small fish on this mornings whale and dolphin watching tour along Costa Adeje, Tenerife. Exciting to observe their underwater activity with the help of the GoPro.
Bottlenose dolphins hunt as a team, encircling the prey fish. In the open ocean there is no where to trap fish, so the Bottlenose dolphins work in a group pushing the fish towards the surface where the fish have no where to escape.
Then the dolphins take turns dashing into the ball of fish and capturing their prey. While the instinct of the fish is to group together, moving in unison to try and confuse the dolphins, it does not work. The dolphins echolocation and sight allows them to pick off the fish one by one, filling their bellies.
It is very exciting to be able to watch this activity from the whale watching boat. It is amazing to have the Bottlenose dolphins push the bait ball of fish over to our idle boat where we could dip the Go Pro into the water and catch a glimpse of this ocean drama as it unfolds in the ocean realm!
Thanks to all the wonderful people who joined us today for thrilling and respectful whale and dolphin watching tours along Costa Adeje, Tenerife. We feel privileged to share these incredible moments with our guests. We hope to see you all again for more eco-adventure tours with the cetaceans of Tenerife.