A growing demand for sustainable energy has led to an increase in construction of offshore windfarms. Guishan windmill farm will be constructed in the Pearl River Estuary, China, which sustains the world’s largest known population of Indo-Pacific humpback dolphins (Sousa chinensis). Dolphin conservation is an urgent issue in this region. By using passive acoustic monitoring, a baseline distribution of data on this species in the Pearl River Estuary during pre-construction period had been collected. Dolphin biosonar detection and its diel, lunar, seasonal and tidal patterns were examined using a Generalized Linear Model. Significant higher echolocation detections at night than during the day, in winter-spring than in summer-autumn, at high tide than at flood tide were recognized. Significant higher echolocation detections during the new moon were recognized at night time. The diel, lunar and seasonal patterns for the echolocation encounter duration also significantly varied. These patterns could be due to the spatial-temporal variability of dolphin prey and illumination conditions. The baseline information will be useful for driving further effective action on the conservation of this species and in facilitating later assessments of the effects of the offshore windfarm on the dolphins by comparing the baseline to post construction and post mitigation efforts.