Friday, 21 March 2014

El Dorado

The dorado (Coryphaena hippurus)), also known as the dolphin- fish or mahi- mahi,  is one of my all time favourite marine fish species. They are often seen associating with large tuna, billfish and dolphins- particularly during feeding frenzies when they often leap high out of the sea. They also frequent floating objects where they lurk in the shade- ready to pounce on unwary prey. Spectacularly coloured, fast and agile, these fish can often be seen pursuing flying fish that rise up from the sea surface in an attempt to avoid being eaten! Dorado often accompany ships in tropical waters- frequently riding the pressure wave off the bow. The chromataphores- cells in their skin, allow them to change colour like a chameleon when they become excited or agitated. Yesterday I saw two of these awesome ambush/pursuit predators slowly swim alongside the vessel, burst into an incredible underwater sprint, then explode through the sea surface as they attempted to catch the flying fish that were being constantly flushed ahead of the ship- difficult to capture the explosive nature of the hunt on film (especially with no polarising filter) but a few shots were achieved. My next big challenge is to try and photograph the flying fish! 

It has gone very quiet on the seabird front with just a few transient pomarine and long-tailed skuas. 

long-tailed skua
long-tailed skua

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