WHALES AT “THE GATES OF LISBON”
In recent years, the observation of dolphins entering the Tejo River has occurred again with some frequency.
In fact, on the pillars of the 25 de Abril bridge, are represented some species that historically entered the Tejo until the mid-1950s, such as the common dolphin, the bottlenose dolphin, the sperm whale and the killer whale.
But off Lisbon, whether at the mouth of the River Tejo or a little further away, whales can also be seen.
In recent years, some species of baleen whales (Mysticeti) have been seen passing between Cabo da Roca and Cabo Espichel. Sometimes they come closer to the coast, Cabo Raso or Meco, and feed mainly on schools of small fish such as sardines, horse mackerel or mackerel.
It is because they share the same diet with common dolphins that it is possible to observe these species together, sometimes both in a synchronized performance in the capture of schools.
On past October 24th, during a birdwatching trip, several flocks of gannets were seen flying in circles and throwing themselves into the sea, which indicated the presence of fish schools on the surface.
A few minutes later, a whistle was heard very close to the boat, followed by a long back, blue with gray spots with a typical dorsal fin of the fin whale (Balaenoptera physalus), twice the size of the boat (which had 8.5 meters).
The fin whale it is the second largest animal in the world, after the blue whale, and can reach a length of up to 25.9 meters.
With the dolphins swimming in front of it, the huge jaw of the whale opened to ingest the small fish less than 20 meters from the boat.
A few days later, this feat was repeated with another fin whale off Guincho.Unlike what happens in the Azores or Madeira archipelagos, this type of sighting in mainland Portugal is not common. https://www.wilder.pt/natura…/baleias-as-portas-de-lisboa/