North Seymour Island was our first port of call in the Galapagos Islands, and it set a high standard for the rest – who wouldn’t love the blue footed boobies? Of course, as so often in nature, it was the male who displayed the colours. We observed the blue feet in action as part of the mating ritual. The male moves from one foot to the other, and when their beautiful blueness has attracted a female he uses his beak to give her the first twig to start a nest. Sort of like an engagement ring? One poor little chap was pounding away so much that he had worn a hollow in the sand with not a female in sight. My heart bled for him!
We also saw frigate birds with their massive, blown-out red chests (the male again) and some very chilled sea-lions. It was our first indication of just how close you could get to the birds and animals – they didn’t see humans as a threat at all. I hope that’s still true today after the massive increase in tourism in Galapagos.
I have fewer wildlife photos of Bartolomé Island – this was a snorkelling stop. However, we did get a sighting (I think from the boat) of Galapagos penguins, the only penguins that live north of the equator in the wild. And a rather less laid back sea-lion – this one looks very pleased with himself!
More islands to come next Thursday!