Espanola Island is a small island in the southernmost tip of the Galapagos Archipelago. As one of the oldest islands, it is estimated to be between two and three million years old, and was where we spent our last full day of the trip. In the morning, on the rocky, windswept Punta Suarez side of the island, we were greeted by nesting seabirds, and fortunate enough to see the courtship rituals of Waved Albatross and to some extent the Blue-Footed Boobies, although most of the latter’s nesting seemed to be over.
If you click on the pictures below you can see some of the “waved” pattern on the Waved Albatross’s breast. The bird in the second photo has a band with a number on it.
Below is one of several videos I took of the courtship behavior. It was impossible to capture any one entire interaction as they seemed to go on and on for a long time!
Some Blue-Footed Boobies were displaying but were too far away to capture on video. I suspect we were several weeks too late.
Nazca Boobies also nest here.
There was a Wandering Tattler in this tidal pool, along with a Sea Lion.
Beautiful Swallow-Tailed Gulls were present too. Below is a close-up of the red skin that forms a ring around the eye.
This was my last opportunity to try and capture a Red-Billed Tropicbird.
And the Galapagos Hawk made an appearance.
Nothing like another Magnificent Frigatebird.
Espanola has its own species of lava lizard.
And the finch find of the day was the Large Cactus Finch.
Also present, the Marine Iguanas, a Hermit Crab and a Yellow-Crowned Night-Heron
In the afternoon we visited the other side of the island, Gardner Bay, which has a wide stretch of beach and a lot of Espanola Mockingbirds begging for water. It was hard to resist them but we were not allowed to give in to their demands. You can see and hear them begging from my roommate in the video below.
A couple more Blue-Footed Boobies.
I love the blue accents on the rest of this bird.
Below, our last dinner sculpture and the final day’s plan to visit Santa Cruz Island in the morning before our flight back to the mainland.
I am going to the Gull Frolic on Saturday and will likely report back from that with some photos. The forecast is for warmer temperatures than last year, but it is always windy and somewhat chilly on the lakefront near the Wisconsin border. I am thankful the forecast for rain has been postponed until Sunday.
I like this post very much! You’ve captured such beautiful birds so well! Thank you Lisa! 🙂
Thanks so much, H.J.! The Galapagos adventure has turned out to be the gift that keeps on giving. 🙂
Smashing post! What an adventure that must have been. Loves all the photos but will wait to watch videos on the desktop with sound. Have a great weekend, Lisa.
Thanks so much Shannon! I am happy to have all these pictures to share, and even taking so long to process them is proving to be a welcome distraction for me. 🙂
A stunning array of pictures and the videos were most enjoyable too.
Thank you, I’m glad you enjoyed the videos and I’m glad I was able to take them. If they weren’t so clumsy to upload I’d share a few more, like the crashing waves that kept hitting the rocks. 🙂
You did see quite the range of wildlife on your visit, and it looks like you had enough time to really observe quite a few. What an adventure!
What an amazing trip! The dancing boobies are a lot of fun to watch. And you got to see so many other fascinating birds.
It’s funny because instead of a usual birding trip where you have a list of maybe 300 species, there were quite fewer on this trip, but to get to know them intimately, along with the incredible terrain, flora and other creatures, it was truly amazing.
Beautiful photos, Lisa! I loved the Waved Albatross video showing their courtship, pretty awesome!
Thanks, Donna! The courtship displays were phenomenal and lengthy, they seemed like they could dance and click bills forever. I chose this take for the vocalizations (more albatross talking than people!).
I like this post in particular! You’ve caught such excellent feathered creatures so well! Much obliged to you Lisa!..