This was probably the best day, photographically, of the trip so far! So much to see and so much to share, so this is going to be a pretty long post today.
We spent the whole day in the pangas as there were no landing spots here. That turned out to be a good thing since we were mobile and could move around to where the action was.
We started out in the mangroves of Elizabeth Bay, cruising around in the bathtub clear water. The masked man paddling the panga, was our guide, Juan. He guided us throughout the whole trip and was fantastic! We all learned so much about the islands, the history and all the wildlife.
We seem to have a knack for interrupting the sea lions at breakfast!
As you can see, it was quite easy to photograph since the water was so clear!
We moved on from Elizabeth Bay to Punta Moreno where we had a display of the best the Galapagos has to offer!
A couple of old friends!
That Iguana just looks like he had a rough night!
An interesting behavior of the Boobies is their feeding. They are a diving bird, starting out way above the water and diving down toward the surface and just before they hit the water they tuck into a streamlined rocket. They will congregate into groups when they spot food and it becomes a frenzy!
The above is a composite of six images showing the windup, the dive and hitting the water – it’s a sight to see, especially when there’s a bunch feeding!
And finally, once they surface, there’s the takeoff. Again, a composite of three images of this bird’s takeoff.
So, what was drawing the boobys in to feed? Penguins! No, they weren’t feeding on the penguins, but the penguins were chasing small baitfish into groups, feeding themselves and that draws everyone else in to see if they can get a piece.
If you look in the background, you’ll see a mass a pelicans and just like the boobies, they too were taking advantage of the baitfish the penguins gathered up.
The Galapagos penguin is the most northerly occurring of the species and is endemic to the Galapagos, also one of the smallest. There are actually a few colonies on the Northern tip of Isabela in the Northern Hemisphere! It’s interesting that the Galapagos Islands is the only place on the planet that you can see a penguin and a tropic bird!