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Thursday, July 5, 2018

Swimming south

What a beautiful day!  And thanks to Lewis alerting me to their presence, I get to share some photos of a small group of Bottlenose Dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) that swam by Bodega Head today (5 July 2018).

Based on color patterns on the body and the distinctive dorsal fin patterns (nicks along the trailing edge of the fin), my best guess is that there were four adults and one calf.  See what you think:

Dolphin 1:

Dolphin 2:

Dolphin 3:

Dolphin 4:

Here's one shot with Dolphins 2 and 3 side-by-side:

And, the calf!  Head-first:

Then the calf rolling, showing its smaller dorsal fin:

The calf stayed closest to Dolphin 4.  That's the one that just surfacing in the photo above and the grayer individual in the photo below:

One more (not sure which individual this is):

The dolphins were headed south, perhaps starting to round Bodega Head towards Doran Beach.  If the ocean stays calm, it could be good conditions for dolphin-watching.  Let me know if you see them!

P.S.  I'm hoping Bill might be able to help identify these dolphins (if they are known individuals and where they were last seen).  If so, I'll update this post.

1 comment:

Bill Keener said...

Thanks for posting these. I was able to make one positive ID in this small group, based on our photo catalog of 97 local adult bottlenose dolphins. Your Dolphin 3, with the big square notch at the base of its dorsal fin, is a female named "Sakura." She is well-known from San Francisco Bay and also Monterey Bay (since 1995), and was seen in Southern California going back to 1989. She is a successful mother and has had several calves over the years. Her last one was seen in San Francisco Bay from 2013-2015. Glad you were able get these shots!

Bill Keener
Golden Gate Cetacean Research