Saturday morning fever

15 05 2012

“Who is friendly to the tempest and laughs at the bowman;
Banished to ground in the midst of hootings (…)”

The Albatross, Ch. Baudelaire

The last saturday of my 5th year of University, at the end, the Professors decided to show us how the field work is. I can say the wait was justified since the work chosen by Professors was offshore cetacean research. It was nice to see the Short-finned pilot whales again, this time showing a more “natural behaviour”, not pressured by the tourist’ boats. A party of males, females and youngs were sailing, diving and finally resting in the surface to recover their lungs.

My main interest was to take pictures of a dolphin species I’ve seen many times but never managed to photograph: Atlantic spotted dolphin. This species is suposed to be the one that interacts more with boats, but maybe the ferry I’ve taken in many ocasions is too fast for them. This time, with the boat stopped and waiting for them, we enjoyed a female with a young swimming around us. I still want to see an adult male in that way or, even better, jumping… By the way, it’s enough for the moment.

Despite last week Bulwer’s petrels seemed to have reached the island in a huge influx, they are still scarce… and the same for Barolo’s shearwater, Band-rumped stormpetrel and the rest of seabirds except for the faithful Cory’s. I don’t know why but they are increasing in the western coast of Tenerife, maybe because there is a lot of food here at the moment. I did what a mediterranean birder must do: pay atention to the underwing pattern. All of them showed the typical black primaries expected for Cory’s and some had dark feathers even in the under-primary coverts or the axillaries. The dark edge of the forehand seemed also to be broader than in Scopoli’s. Moreover, when the birds rested in the water, the bill looked extremely thick.

We are suffering the efects of a Saharian heat wave that already lasts 5 days. It’s hard to go out birding but Moussier’s redstars must be somewhere, waiting for a brave birder…

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