I walk along Del Monte Beach in Crow City, USA (Monterey, California) quite often.
It is not too rare to see dolphins frolicking (so it seems to me, although they may just be going about their business, with no particular feeling of fancifulness or frivolity as they periodically arch their backs out of the water every several seconds/yards) about 60 feet (estimated) off shore.
However, it seems that either I have been very unlucky lately, or this may be a seasonal occurrence. What used to be common is now "special" - I saw one again last week for the first time in at least several weeks.
Is this because they would tend to be in Monterey Bay only during a certain time of the year (and not in late spring)? Is it based on a prey/predator situation, the temperature of the water, or something like that? Or is it just sort of a "random" circumstance or "happy accident" that I might happen to see them quite a bit for a stretch of time, and then an "unhappy accident" that I miss them for quite awhile (they're there, but I just don't happen to look in the right place at the right time)?