Monday, November 22, 2010

The First Two Days of the WINGS Galapagos Tour

I just finished my third trip to the Galapagos Islands for WINGS. It was a fantastic tour, missing only one endemic, predictably the Mangrove Finch (which may be conspecific with the Woodpecker Finch anyway). We even saw the Galapagos Martin, a lifer for me.

The following photo hightlights were just from our first two days.

We first spend a half day in the interior of Santa Cruz Island. Here we nailed our targets of Large Tree-Finch, Woodpecker Finch, and Vegetarian Finch. We also went to a ranch where there were several Santa Cruz Giant Tortoises, this one eating impatiens.

The endemic subspecies of Barn Owl, Tyto alba punctatissima was in a building there as well.

We made a half-mile hike towards Media Luna in the highlands to see Galapagos Rail, which we saw briefly, but well.

The next day was spent on Espanola Island to the south.

Espanola Marine Iguana, Amblyrhynchus cristatus venutissimus

Blue-footed Booby and chick

Espanola Lava Lizard female

Espanola Lava Lizard male

Espanola Mockingbird and Marine Iguana

Espanola Mockingbird clan fight

Galapagos Flycatcher

Nestling Waved Albatross

Group walking past Marine Iguanas

Group in Panga – this is how we got from the yacht to the various islands. Our yacht – the wonderfully spacious and comfortable Integrity is in the distant upper right of the photo.

Large Cactus-Finch taking advantage of the moisture and protein in a Galapagos Sea Lion placenta

Nazca Booby

Red-billed Tropicbird right over head

Suckling and mother Galapagos Sea Lion

Swallow-tailed Gull

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