The Galapagos Islands!

Completely out of the blue and at the very last minute, I found myself on a plane to Guayaquil, Ecuador, finally heading to a place I’ve wanted to visit for years – the Galapagos islands! A very good friend and “world famous bird photographer”, Arthur Morris has been leading a trip to the Galapagos for many years and with a last minute cancellation, I was able to slide in for what turned out to be a trip of a lifetime!

On Tuesday July 23, we flew from Guayaquil to the airport on the island of Baltra, in the Galapagos. An old U.S. airbase, the new airport is the only “green” ecological airport in the world. From there it was only a short bus ride to the harbor where we boarded our transportation and accommodations for the next two weeks, the Samba.

The Samba

Once aboard the Samba, it was a short navigation to our first landing at North Seymour island, where we got our first taste of the amazing and abundent wildlife found in the islands.

Young sleeping Sea Lion

It’s fitting that the sea lion would be our welcoming commitee since they are everywhere.

Swallow-tailed Gulls

Of course, there are any number of birds that are ever present, whether following us on the boat or on land.

Blue Footed Booby wing stretch

Of course, everyone has heard tell of the blue footed booby, a marine bird that dives and swims to catch its prey. Their only need for land is for breeding and raising their young. We will have many chances to visit with them over the next two weeks.

Frigatebird Chick
Female Frigatebird in flight
Male Frigatebird with inflated gular sack

What you see above is the progression from chick to adult in the frigate bird. Two species in the Galapagos, the Great Frigatebird and the Magnificent Frigatebird. The female in flight and the male above are both Magnificent Frigatebirds. The female has a blue eye ring while the Great female a red eye ring. The male above has a purple cast to his shoulder feathers where the Great has a green cast. As with the boobys we will see much more of these very large prehistoric looking birds in the days to come.

Land Iguana with his captured rock

And lest you think all the wildlife is either air or sea borne, we have several species of Land Iguanas throughout the islands. We will see them sporting different colors, sizes and shapes as well as Marine Iguanas – swimmers!

Sunset on North Seymour island

So our first day in the Galapagos comes to an end with many more incredible sights and experiences to follow.

I hope you’ll follow along over the next couple weeks as I explore one of the most unique and beautiful places on the planet!

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  1. Steven Hirsch August 10, 2019 at 11:45 am #

    Can’t wait to read all these posts

  2. Arrthur Morris August 10, 2019 at 12:35 pm #

    Hey Mark,

    It was great seeing you again. I look forward to reading more about the trip 🙂

    with love, artie

  3. Sherry Macdonald August 10, 2019 at 3:20 pm #

    WOW! These photos are beautiful! I love the white fluffy chick but are are all amazing. I would love to take off and do something like that.
    Can’t wait to see more.

  4. John McCoy August 11, 2019 at 9:32 am #

    Amazing pictures, Mark. I feel as if I am there.

  5. admin August 11, 2019 at 12:02 pm #

    Thanks for all the kind words! An Amazing trip that just gets better as we go!

  6. Deb Keller August 13, 2019 at 7:10 pm #

    Mark, These are all fantastic photos! You are bringing us all along for the ride and an incredible ride it is!

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