BLACK-AND-WHITE, AND YET COLOURFUL DIVERS FROM THE NORTH
It all starts with a jump from the cliff into the abyss. Hasty, or even seemingly desperate movements of small wings unexpectedly prevent the animal from crashing into coastal rocks. What's more, the flight turns out to be effective enough to allow the bird to fly to where it can hunt its victims. It happens that there are kilometres to overcome from a small patch of rock, from which the expedition for prey began, but the cruising speed of the bird can reach 90 km/h, so the aviator is not the worst one.
MEET MY FAMILY,
a whole other dimension of wild dolphin watching
If we want to observe wild dolphins, we should do it only with a whale & dolphin watching operator that cares about the welfare and protection of sea dwellers and follows the rules of movement among these mammals.
But if we want to really get to know their rhythm of life, habits and even individual members of the pod, it is worth doing some reconnaissance beforehand and choosing a company whose staff really live the lives of dolphins, combining passion, knowledge and experience with ongoing monitoring of the observed population.
It may not sing as beautifully as its cousins, thrush or common nightingale, but it stands head and shoulders above them with its robe. After all, a bluethroat, apart from the classic grey-brown colours, is also adorned with feathers in blue and orange colours. It may not embarrass many species of parrots, bee-eaters, rollers or hummingbirds, but in its own backyard there are no competitors for the title of the most elegantly dressed singer.
STICKLEBACKS, NINESPINE STICKLEBACKS AND SPINACHIA
The Gasterosteidae family is represented in the Baltic Sea by three cousins: stickleback, ninespine stickleback (also called tenspine sticleback) and the rarest – Spinachia. These three can be found all over the Baltic Sea. Most often they choose coastal, shallow regions, overgrown with underwater vegetation and algae, although it is not uncommon to meet a school of stickleback in the open part of the Baltic Sea. All three representatives are united by a rather unusual structure of the dorsal fin.
BLOOD-BEAKED WADING BIRDS
Contrary to the title, it will not be a story about barbarian creatures ruthlessly attacking their victims and dipping their beaks in their blood like a Witcher with his sword in the flesh of strigas, gargoyles or the drowned from swamps. Although the Hitchcockian tone can be exciting, this time we will look at a peaceful and discreet species of wading bird, which can only threaten the invertebrates it eats.
EXTRAORDINARY FATE OF PILOT WHALES
It is said that we only protect what we love, and we only love what we know. So get to know the extraordinary life of pilot whales, especially the calves of these great (largest after orcas) black and grey dolphins. We can encounter them while heading to dive sites such as in the Canaries, Hawaii, Fiji and the Galapagos.
Of the listed diving destinations, pilot whales are most often found in the Galapagos. They swim in large pods in the nutrient-rich waters of the Humboldt Current.
GENERATORS OF HAPPINESS... AND DESCENDANTS
Storks are our good friends. Over the centuries, we have managed to get so close to them that not only do we share the roofs and chimneys of our houses with them, but we have also made storks an important part of our culture. This actually applies not only to European culture. In central Europe, the stork on the roof is a sign of prosperity, while in Islamic countries, these birds are considered to be the pilgrim souls of the dead. One of the manifestations of the friendship between storks and humans is giving them human names.
Small, dark, inconspicuous, and yet, it dives! And it's not just diving by dipping only the beak. Without missing a beat, it submerges entirely, in fast-flowing water and, helping itself with strong wings, moves effectively under the often strong current of the river. It also uses claws to cling to stones at the bottom of the creek, so that it often does not swim under water, but... walks on the bottom. Now pay attention – it is not afraid of cold water and can dive under the ice!
REEF IN TIMES OF PLAGUE
The impact of the pandemic period on coral reefs
When most of the population was condemned to isolation at home or within the borders of their own country, the environment experienced a period of rebirth. Due to the lockdown, in many places in the world, including Indonesia, there has been an improvement in water quality. And this contributed to the development of the marine environment, among others, seabirds, fish, marine mammals, as well as a dynamic improvement in the condition of mangroves and coral reefs.
Many divers visit Malta enjoying the charms of this nearby and interesting destination. Malta, however, has a place with a bad reputation, where many of the dramas of our marine friends – the dolphins – took place. We are talking about Mediterraneo Marine Park – one of the worst dolphinariums in Europe.
SHARKS, part II
There are over 500 species of sharks in the world, from the smallest that are several centimetres long to the ones that are over 18 meters. Within this vast number of species, only 12 can attack. And in this dozen, only 5 to 6 species can actually threaten us.
Sharks are afraid of humans, although they surpass us in speed and size – they do not know it. Maybe the problem is the fear of sharks? And if we afraid of something, we do not protect it.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO BE A SALMON?
It would seem that a salmon is just a fish that we eat. It turns out, however, that salmon plays an important role in the lives of many communities, for which fishing activities are important. Fishing as an activity important for the survival of the community is surrounded by a whole range of rituals and activities that must be carried out in order for the expeditions on salmon to be effective. You have to learn how to fish and this is the subject of intergenerational transmission of knowledge.
LOUD WADING BIRDS
Common sandpipers are one of those birds that are difficult to spot before they notice us. They are not particularly small (although they are not big either – more or less the size of a starling), and their camouflage is also not really sophisticated and, in addition, they are quite loud. However, we usually notice them only when they run away from us when we get too close to them while wandering along the banks of the river, less often lakes.
It takes a lot of mantas to start a cyclone
Swimming with mantas is one of the most memorable moments of our underwater adventures. Much has been written about what a unique experience it is to spend time with dancing mantas. The truth is that in order to understand exactly what is being talked about, you have to experience an underwater encounter with manta rays yourself.
CAN CONTACT WITH A CEPHALOPOD BE THERAPEUTIC
Human relations with the animate world are based on consumption in the broadest sense of the term, which is why very few who order octopus rings in a Mediterranean restaurant are aware that they will be consuming a dish prepared from the arms of animals endowed with extraordinary cognitive abilities. They are highly mysterious creatures, with a complex structure, intricate behaviour, and uncommon abilities.
SHARKS, part I
Intelligent. They have short and long-term memory. Some have stereoscopic vision, which enables them to judge distances perfectly. Binocular vision makes the animal able to orient itself better in three-dimensional space, with a more precise sense of the depth of the visual field. They are some of the fiercest predators in the ocean and, at the same time, some of the most sensitive sea creatures.
"A swallow is a black dagger, torn from the breasts of the wind. A sudden anchor od sadness, from an invisible yacht ..." – this is how the text of one of the most recognisable Polish songs begins. I recall these words because, apart from an extremely accurate description of the characteristic morphology of swallows, it uses comparisons that strongly refer to water issues – wind, anchor, yacht. But that is not the only reason why I decided to look at these wonderful birds in Perfect Diver.
ICE CREAM, FREE DRINKS AND... WHALES
How to choose a whale watching cruise operator?
In many diving destinations we can meet various species of dolphins and whales. However, the laws of various countries prohibit swimming with wild marine mammals. In order to observe them and meet them face to face, it is worth choosing whale watching cruises in such places.
Tour operators whale watching offer is usually extensive and we have a choice of boats and ships of different sizes, as well as many additional attractions and pleasures...
Due to its location, history and relatively young age, the Baltic Sea does not have a very diverse flora and fauna. Of course, you will find representatives of many groups of plants and animals, but they are usually small and often hard to see among the Baltic sand or stones. Therefore, a very big event is, when our sea is visited by guests from other basins.
SCREECHY REED SINGERS
The song of great reed warblers seems beautiful to one, while for others it is a tiring streak of grinds, crunches and crackles. It is impossible not to hear it and ignore it, because it is loud and dominates over the voices of other residents of the rushes. We can hear great reed warblers very often over the water, but we can see them more seldom. So I will try to interest you, Dear Reader, in this species, so that you have a reason to look for great reed warblers during your next stay at a lake or pond, where you can find them in the reeds.
GREEN AND HAWKSBILL
Endangered species of turtles of the Red Sea
Most likely, anyone who has dived into the waters of Egypt has encountered a turtle of some sort. Chances are it was a long encounter, and the animal itself was bold and eager to interact. These animals often live on reefs or feed among grasses. It would seem that turtle populations in Egypt are doing well, however, this is not entirely true...
Killers, victims, motives and mysteries
Are orcas truly killer whales? Who is guilty and who is the victim? Are orcas dangerous for people? These questions recur from time to time in the media, but also in the minds of tourists and divers who meet orcas in various places around the world.
Orcas are some of the most powerful marine predators that kill a variety of animals to survive, and their diet varies among populations around the world. But where did the word 'killer' come from?
In Polish, the term "lodówka" is definitely more often used to name a white cooling device, that is a fridge. However, the “lodówka” from the title is not an electrically powered device for lowering the temperature of the environment, but a wonderful effect of the natural evolution of living organisms, it is a duck. This species of duck, however, has something in common with a refrigerator, because it copes quite well with the cold, after all,”lodówka” (Clangula hyemalis), according to its name, is a bird of cold waters.
Christmas and New Year's Eve are behind us and ahead of us are months of gray weather and temperature fluctuations. Oh, and the New Year's resolutions, which must be fulfilled. How about this year we choose something that will give us great joy, and in addition raise our physical fitness and qualifications or help our planet? Of course, I'm talking about diving New Year's goals here.
PILOT WHALES FROM TENERIFE
Most of us have heard of the drama of long-finned whales being killed en masse in the Faroe Islands. In "Perfect Diver" No. 18 in the article by Hanna Mamzer entitled: "Ritual slaughter" we could read about the tradition of hunting these animals.
Five thousand km south of the Faroe Islands, off the coast of Tenerife, there is a population of short-finned pilot whales, whose safety and well-being seem to be diametrically superior.
SHOALS OF HERRING, MATRIARCHY OF KILLER WHALES AND HUMPBACK WHALES
or Norwegian winter beyond the Arctic Circle
Each year in November, the fjords of the Troms County in the north of Norway turn into a stage for an extraordinary spectacle of nature. Massive shoals of herring gather here, to start spawning. They are followed by hundreds of whales ready to hunt. Norway's fjords are becoming a temporary home for humpback whales, fin whales and killer whales, which search the fjords to satisfy hunger. The chances of meeting these animals are high and the November event attracts tourists and photographers from all over the world.
This time, I am going to invite you to the world of small and rarely noticed on a daily basis birds (this does not apply, of course, to ornithologists and 'birdwatchers'). We have visited this world several times with Perfect Diver (getting to know the bearded reedlings, PD No. 13, and the wagtails, PD No. 17) and we return to it to learn about the next species of bird, which we may be able to hear or even see while preparing for the next dive in inland waters.
WHY IS THE BALTIC SEA VOID OF SHARKS?
The Baltic Sea is considered by scientists to be the sweetest sea on the planet, but what does this actually mean? According to the Encyclopaedia of the World Geography: Oceans and Seas, the salinity of seawater is “the concentration of a mixture of sea salt ions measured in conventional units of practical salinity scale”, or to put it simply: how many grams of salt are in one litre of water. (...)
Ok, but why is there so much detailed information on salinity in the article about the presence of sharks in the Baltic Sea? Because it is the salinity that prevents us from seeing sharks in our sea.
the tradition of pilot whale hunting in the Faroe Islands
Hunting for pilot whales is treated by the Faroe Islands as a cultural heritage, despite the fact that this custom is no longer necessary to obtain food and fight for human survival. Its recreation fulfils other functions now. In public opinion outside the Faroe Islands, the custom is described very critically, usually in the convention of 'barbaric slaughter'.
HARRIERS FROM THE MARSH
With the lightness inherent only in the best flyers, harriers glide low over the reeds, staring at the rushes. Not only do they look with their eagle eyes (by the way, they are distant cousins of falcons), but they also listen. Marsh harriers have facial disc made of feathers around their heads - not as well-developed as that of owls (also their distant cousins), but still helping to determine the location of a potential prey. The aforementioned cousins leave no illusions – marsh harriers are birds of prey with all the attributes of sky predators.
Gili Trawangan is one of three islands located in northeastern Lombok, Indonesia. Even though most restaurants, bars and hotels are closed and tourists are banned from entering the country due to the pandemic, our diving community is thriving. Fortunately, we have great diving spots under our noses, which means we don't even have to use a boat to reach them.
For years, I have not dreamed of having so much time at my disposal. And as I can't sit still, I decided to sign up for a course to propagate coral: Ocean Quest Coral Propagation...
Wagtails can be found on the shores of water reservoirs, including sea beaches, but these are not the only places where it is possible to see them. In fact, we can meet them literally everywhere, when they are quickly fidgeting with their tiny feet to chase food: while walking on a dirt road, reaching the piers of the sailing marina, stopping the bike in the driveway of the house, walking with the dog on the city lawn or kayaking down the mountain river. These are undoubtedly common birds in Europe (although not at all the most numerous).
EYE TO EYE WITH THE GIANT
They have been traversing our oceans for over five million years. They delight divers with their intelligence and grace. Manta, relatives of sharks, feed on plankton and are also among the largest rays in the world.
My meeting with Manta on Komodo was almost a spiritual experience. I have seen them in other parts of Indonesia before, like Nusa Penida, but I have never been so close to them alone. At my fingertips, they presented their spotted bellies to me, they danced effortlessly on strong currents while we held tight to the ground, hiding behind the rocks of the coral reef to keep us from being blown away.
The heroes of this article are great at diving. They dive not only to enjoy the direct contact with the underwater world, dear Readers, but also for some more down-to-earth reasons. They usually descend to a few, or more rarely, several meters in order to pick something from the underwater "buffet".
Most often, eider eat mussels (e.g. cockles, blue mussels), crustaceans, including crabs (e.g. Carcinus meanas called also a shore crab), cephalopods, starfish, jellyfish and, rarely, even fish. Interestingly, they swallow whole mussels, from crabs they remove the claws and legs, and then swallow along with the shell. What next? ...
An enemy or a friend
Although it has been with us for only over a century, it has quickly dominated every area of our lives. Plastic is for some people the personification of all evil, for others salvation. One thing is for sure, wherever you are today, take a look around and you will surely find something of the most durable material in the world.
These birds can hardly be caught in an awkward posture. Whether they are standing, strolling on a wet meadow or flying among the clouds – they always do it all with a noble grace. When they start to dance, they create a magical performance full of choreographic flavors, and exquisite ones at that.
This is why people have always been delighted with cranes. It is impossible to count the references in literature, and in order not to be groundless, I will mention Homer's Iliad as the first.
Mergansers are birds that go snorkelling… but without a snorkel. This birdy snorkelling is similar to the human variation of the activity in the fact, that the reason to go underwater is searched for from the surface. The mergansers, of course, look for food beneath the water surface, dipping their head, and when they notice something that can taste them, they make a neat manoeuvre and set off in pursuit. The pursuit is not always successful, because the main target of these birds are fish, which, as you know, can move around in the water quite briskly.
It emerges above the surface of the water only for a moment necessary to draw air. Only when it is feeding do we have the opportunity to see it flying above the water. Harbour porpoises are one of the most enigmatic animals in the Baltic Sea. Meeting them is not easy. We need to be patient and, on a clear day, persistently observe the calm surface of the water, looking for a triangular, dark grey dorsal fin.
Common sense is essential for living in harmony with Nature and with ourselves. If we sort our waste and throw them only to where they belong – perfect. It is very good if we re-use packaging and even better if we minimize their usage. Reducing plastic consumption and ensuring it gets recycled and not dumped into a forest, a river or an ocean means contributing a lot to creating life- and Nature-saving mechanisms.
This time, I would like to propose to the readers of Perfect Diver a story about birds that do not dive, or even swim, and at the very most plunge into a thicket of reeds. As we know, reeds grow by the waters, so divers and other water sports enthusiasts may enjoy a rendezvous (or maybe even tete-a-tete) with these beautiful creatures during their aquatic activities (for example, when preparing for underwater adventures). By the water you can meet a whole menagerie of birds living in the coastal zone, including those associated with rushes.
THE UBIQUITOUS PLANKTON
Whether you dive in seawater or fresh water, warm or cold, huge or tiny reservoir, shallow or deep - you are never alone. Even if you do not see any curious fish or large beast anywhere or you are not being watched by a crab hidden behind a stone, “this” will always be you around: the plankton.
A GOOSE OR NOT REALLY?
There is a bird that lives in Europe, although “egyptianness” is inscribed in its name. Is it native or a stranger? – that's the question. Wise men say that this beautifully feathered animal is, after all, an alien species. But then, is being a stranger synonymous to being a threat? After all, strangeness can have different faces. And if it is a threat: who does it threaten, why and in what way?
Specialists from the Institute of Nature Conservation of the Polish Academy of Sciences recognize the Egyptian goose as a potentially invasive alien species, which means that in the event of an increase in the population size, it may adversely affect the native fauna.
Grebes are typically aquatic birds. Their evolutionary bond with the aquatic environment is so strong, that in case of danger they do not fly away, like most of their bird cousins, but simply dive! Below the surface they feel… like a fish in water (using any other term here is simply out of the question!).
Grebes are a group of nineteen species living in different parts of the world...
BALTIC SEA HORSES
In the shallow waters of Puck Bay (the Baltic Sea), among the sea grass growing in the undersea meadows, there are fish that resemble a blade of grass. These are a broadnosed pipefish (Syngnathus typhle) and a straightnosed pipefish (Nerophis ophidon), which many refer to as Baltic sea horses because they belong to the Actinopterygii group, which includes seahorses and Syngnathidae.
A FISH WORTH MORE THAN GOLD
Tanjung Luar fish market, Lombok. It sounds exotic and encouraging, and for someone who loves seafood, it might seem like a great highlight of a trip. An hour away from the popular tourist destination of Kuta Lombok, it seems like a unique attraction as well as a great place to have a local lunch.
But is it worth it? What's the truth behind the tempting tourist attraction?
CHASING THE EASTERN BALTIC COD
Deep below the surface of the Baltic Sea, where, without a flashlight, you can only see the outline of a wreck, and the temperature of the water makes wetsuit diving an extreme adventure, the Eastern Baltic cod lives. This large creature with a barbel on its lower jaw is more commonly known as cod.
Pirates of the skies
When you hear the word “frigate", we usually think of a ship. One thinks of a classic sailing ship, another of a packed with electronics, modern missile frigate. After reading this article, let it also be an image of a unique bird, the name of which directly refers to the beautiful, fast and maneuverable sailing ships that used to patrol the seas and oceans.
A CROCODILE WITHOUT LEGS
Most often it can be found between dense underwater thickets, motionless, perfectly hanging in the depths, seems to be invisible among the green-brown stalks of narrow-leaved truncheons. Pike – because we're talking about it – is waiting patiently in this way.
Certainly most divers have already met pike on their underwater road. It is a typically lake species, spending most of its time in shallow waters hidden among vegetation. Its specific coloration makes it often invisible.
Or how to meet a hare underwater
Diving in the cold waters of one of the largest, deepest fiords in the world - Sognefjord - I met an amazing animal. I do not know, hare or fish? Glued to the rock ground very solidly, like a sucker, watching its spawn placed on the rock.
Lumpsucker or lump fish of the the Scorpaeniformes is the only representative of the species Cyclopterus. It occurs in the North Atlantic, from the north coast of Portugal to the White Sea, it can also be found in the Baltic. To be honest, I got a little scared of this animal, because while I was passing by, the fish did not even move.
DO DOLPHINS SAVE PEOPLE?
We want to believe that dolphins are people's friends, that we have our defenders in the big blue, and when they accompany us in water, nothing threatens us.
During a diving trip to Socorro, after one of the morning dives, we took with us ABC equipment and went on a zodiac to search for humpback whales. We dreamed of meeting face to face with humpbacks that were in the area with their young. However, the whales clearly avoided us and kept increasing the distance. That is why, when bottlenose dolphins appeared nearby, I decided to jump into the water and swim among these nice mammals.
A WORLD WITHOUT SHARKS?
As EU citizens, can we actively contribute to preventing the next catastrophe that will hit our oceans and thus all humanity?
Every year, between 63 and 273 million sharks are killed in the world, and many species are increasingly threatened. In 2019, the United Nations Report on Biological Diversity warned that more than 30% of all known species of sharks and rays are threatened with extinction over the next decades!
They are almost everywhere! They swim in fresh and salt waters of the Northern Hemisphere, from Europe to Asia, from Scandinavia to North Africa. Mallards can be found even in Greenland. They are also very numerous in North America. To the antipodes, Australia and New Zealand, where they are considered an invasive species, they were dragged by man. In addition, their presence is common within the city, regardless of whether it is the center of New York or a pond in Milosna near Pasłęka. All this makes the mallard not only the most numerous duck, but also the most recognizable. It is impossible not to know the mallard!
THE ROUND GOBY
A stranger in the Baltic
Divers making their trips to the bottom of the Baltic Sea in the 80s certainly remember that when diving, it was hard to see any fish. Of course, expeditions to deep wrecks have always allowed you to meet good-looking cods, whose population in our sea is unfortunately decreasing. However, the shallow wrecks have been full of shrimps or small crustaceans, and only the trained eye of an experienced diver could see pipefish hidden in the thick seagrass, a flounder' eyes protruding from the bottom, or tiny fish from the gobies' family buried in the sand. Yet the situation changed at the beginning of the 90s...
Coots are feisty water birds, which especially during mating season do not let up on their rivals. What's more, they are up to facing birds much larger than themselves when those inadvertently breach the borders of the territory the coots occupy. To chase away your recent buddy from the wintering habitat is one thing, but to throw yourself at a swan that is many times bigger is something completely different. Coots are capable of such bravery.
Have you ever heard the saying that a diver swims like a seahorse?
This term is used in jargon when a diver, usually a beginner, moves underwater in a vertical position.
This is a position characteristic for a seahorse.
They belong to the Syngnathidae family, which includes dozens of species of sea fish, including Syngnathus sp. It is interesting that in English the name "Seahorses" refers only to the genus Hippocampus.
"DOLPHIN REEF" IN EILAT
New opportunities, new threats
The road to freedom often abounds in surprising dramatic situations. The biggest chance for freedom for bottlenose dolphins on "Dolphin Reef" in Eilat turned out to be an underwater incident that took place here. Damage caused by a drifting ship led to the situation in which the dolphins, previously enclosed in a large sea pen, can now freely swim into the open waters of the Gulf of Aqaba.
Streamlined silhouette, propulsion located near the stern, long range - undoubtedly torpedo! But not soulless, cold, steel ones, whose only goal is to hit the target and destroy it spectacularly. This one is feathered, quite clever and reusable. The cormorant under water is the quintessence of an effective hunter!
Cormorants are very effective in their diving because natural selection and millions of years of evolution have done their job. They have webbing between their toes, which of course is not unique among waterbirds, but this is not the only adaptation of cormorants for diving.
The waters of the Baltic Sea hide many unusual and interesting creatures. One of them are crabs. Currently, the Baltic Sea is inhabited by three species: the largest Chinese mitten crab (Eriocheir sinensis), the tiny dwarf crab (Rhithropanopeus harrisii) and the shore crab, also called the green shore crab (Carcinus maenas).
The latter is medium size (its armor reaches up to several centimetres) and lives in shallow waters among stones, sand or underwater plants.
The city of dolphins
Less than an hour's drive south of Lisbon, on the edge of the The Nature Park of Arrabida, there is a city famous for the best fish restaurants in entire Portugal and the excellent surrounding vineyards. Once the most important centre of the fishing industry, today a port city which has a lot to offer to tourists. A special attraction, especially for nature lovers, is the estuary of the Sado River, which flows into the Atlantic here. The surroundings of the estuary are a nature reserve. For generations, this place has been inhabited by a special community – a herd of bottlenose dolphins. They can be found on the shores of Setubal every day, and in the city itself we find many signs of how important ‘citizens’ the dolphins are here.
I guess every nature lover sees wild geese quite frequently. And not only a nature lover. Virtually everyone has seen geese in the sky at some point. After all, when they travel, they travel in large flocks, and sometimes even en masse. So you don't have to be an experienced bird-watcher (still less, an ornithologist) to observe these birds. What's more, you do not even have to leave the city, because their honking can be heard even over the centres of the metropolis. Goose migrations are treated as an omen of changing seasons. And indeed they are an omen. But what to think of the wedges of geese observed in the sky heading, let’s say, east or west?
A chance for whales kept in captivity
The year 2019 is for dolphins and whales very special. The Russians have begun to release into the wild beluga whales and orcas caught for commercial reasons and held captive near Nakhodka. However, they do it in such a careless and unprofessional way that the survival of the released animals is in question. Canada has just adopted a law that prohibits holding cetaceans captive, and a while later Japan has announced that on July 1 it is returning to commercial whaling. Iceland, in turn, has said that this summer it is giving up whaling, which happened for the first time in 17 years... Good news constantly mixes with bad news...
Swimming just above the Baltic bottom, it is impossible not to notice a pair of small, protruding eyes. They certainly belong to the European flounder (Platichthys flesus), which is more commonly known as the flounder.
European flounder belongs to the family of flounder fish, which is characterized by the fact that their eyes are only on one side of the body and the animals spend most of their life lying on one side at the bottom of the sea. Interestingly, 70% of all flounders lie on the left side, and only 30% on the right side.
Heavy weight aviators
Swans are associated with ballet lightness on the one hand while on the other, they are the heaviest and largest of the Anseriformes - an order of birds including ducks and geese. When, despite their weight, they rise into the air, one cannot deny them elegance. Thanks to the enormous wings, in the air they move extremely effectively while on the ground they turn into pretty grotesque walkers.
GHOST FISHING POLAND
We draw nets from the wrecks of the Baltic Sea!
Discarded fishing nets (the so-called "ghost nets") account for as much as 46% of total plastic waste lying in the seas and oceans. These nets effectively pollute the environment, constitute a huge threat to marine animals and ... divers. Ghost nets are also in our part of the Baltic Sea. In connection with the above, a group of technical divers from Poland decided to open a Polish "chapter" of the international project: Ghost Fishing.
What a diver should know about it?
Beautiful and rich coral reefs around the world, dolphins emanating with energy and freedom and other amazing creatures of the deep sea are just a few of many examples of wonders that for years have been attracting lovers of the oceans and diving. Currently, it is impossible to be passionate about seas and organisms living there without being aware of the pollution of their natural environment. Information about the microplastic and garbage floating on the surface of the sea attacks us from every direction, but do we know what exactly is going on?
Birds of a filigree body built, quickly moving their thin legs when they scamper smoothly, maybe even a little nervously, around the sand. They do it so briskly that it is difficult for a man to catch up with them - they easily get away from us. No wonder, since without any apparent effort they make many paces in a second, and their legs cease to be visible at all - they look as if they were moving several centimetres above the ground. Plovers are also great aviators. The construction of their wings makes sudden returns of 180 degrees in the air a routine for these birds.
ESCAPE FROM "ALCATRAZ"
Dolphinarium owners fear like the plague the news and stories of dolphins, which despite their years spent in a dolphinarium, coped well in the ocean. Over the last few decades, the cases of dolphins taken from dolphinariums, prepared again for life in freedom and successfully restored to the environment have been described in detail. However, the most interesting and spectacular stories are of dolphins' escapes, where the animals themselves decided to abandon the allegedly good and friendly living conditions.
A SEXY DIVER – IS IT POSSIBLE?
Diving and taking care of the looks? What does one thing have to do with the other? Is that what you think? Men, perhaps think exactly this, but ladies... After all, nearly everyone wants to look good and feel comfortable in pleasant moments of one's life, right? So, if you think about it, taking into account aesthetics in diving makes a lot of sense.
The waterside gentility
Everything herons do, they do with flair or even grace (though sometimes, seemingly, somewhat heavily), whether they hunt, rest or fly, slowly flapping their wings. The impression of gracefulness give them, primarily, their well-known, slim silhouettes (although there are also herons with a slightly more chunky built). Their gentility, however, should not be perceived as unequivocal with the lack of agility – when they find their prey, they attack instantly.
NOT SO SCARY AS IT SEEMS
While diving in the Baltic Sea, we most often admire sunken shipwrecks, but hardly anyone knows that a real monster hides in the wrecks or between stones: the shorthorn sculpin itself. Myoxocephalus Scorpius, as it is its Latin name, it is a unique fish, beautiful in its ugliness. It is a cousin of a red scorpionfish (Scorpaena scrofa), common in the Mediterranean Sea, and of a tassled scorpionfish (Scorpaenopsis oxycephala) inhabiting the Red Sea.
NOT ONLY UNDERWATER...
The phenomenon of whale & dolphin watching tours
Meeting a pod of dolphins on the open sea is an exciting moment. It is a wonderful opportunity to admire these marine mammals in all their glory, in order to know their diverse, natural behaviours, and perhaps even to experience a magical time, when they themselves willingly approach our boat. The larger the animal, the greater the experience. The endorphins pump in the body, people scream with joy, camera shutters click, sometimes someone cries out of happiness...
THE BALTIC SEA
An unusual sea for everybody
Cold, dark and mysterious – the Baltic Sea is an unusual and one of a kind sea in the world. The uniqueness of the Baltic Sea is due to the fact that it was created only 12 thousand years ago, which makes it the youngest sea on Earth. During the formation process, the Baltic Sea was interchangeably a sea and a lake. It got the shape as we know it today only 3 thousand years ago.
Yelling and rebellious
Water, especially the seawater, in our memory is associated with white, screaming birds. Even for those who know the sea just from pictures. Wherever there is the sea, there must be seagulls. There is no way not to stumble upon these birds on the sea coast or even inland where such meetings are not a rarity. Seagulls announce their presence giving away a loud scream: the greater the number of birds in the area, the lauder the scream. In the vicinity of large breeding colonies, the noise is really hellish. There are other aspects of the life of seagulls to overlook (or sometimes omit) which is not possible.
IN A RIVER...
Diving in shallow rivers can provide nature lovers with many attractions. The views make us delighted, particularly where rivers flow through wild, wooded areas. Observations start from the first moment of arrival. With good water transparency already from the shore, you can see what awaits us after immersion. Watching the water also brings a lot of surprises, such as the fish collecting food, river-side vegetation and insects circulating around it.
FACE TO FACE WITH A DOLPHIN
What is so magical about dolphins that so many people dream of a close encounter with these animals? Why does swimming with dolphins for years appear on the lists of "100 things that you must do before you die"? How is it that the organization of various forms of communing with dolphins is already a billion-dollar business? But the question is, what price do dolphins pay for these encounters...
The sea robbers
In the world of birds, just like in the cinema, you can observe chases, robberies, thefts and inextricably related to them silent dramas of the victims. The perpetrators of these criminal acts (if we apply human civil codes and norms of social conduct to these birds) are real villains – the skuas. And as befits real villains, the skuas are of sturdy built and strong, neither missing the dark elegance, which brings them closer to GoodFellas than the Joker ( speaking about the movies in question), nor intelligence of which they have abundance.