Saturday, 18 April 2015

Galápagos Day 2 (evening) - Isla Bartholomé

Isla Bartholomé is a small island a few hundred metres off Sullivan Bay on Isla Santiago (where we were exploring the lava fields this morning). Like this morning's walk, this evening was less about wildlife and more about the landscape.



We first landed in the small cove on the north side of the isthmus (just above the green patch on the map) and walked across to the bay on the south side

Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm, ISO 400, f/2.8 1/5000 (stitched panorama)

where there were Green Turtle nests.

Turtle Tracks, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 10-20mm f/2.8 @ 13mm, ISO 400, f/8 1/800

There were a few wildlife sightings, beginning with this Blue-footed Booby diving for fish only a few metres off the beach. This is not a great shot (technically) but I was very pleased to even get it in the frame and capture it right on the point of entry. It is amazing when you see them like this as they are almost indiscernible as birds.

Blue-footed Booby, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm, ISO 400, f/8 1/1000

The beach was crawling with Sally Lightfoot Crabs,

Sally Lightfoot Crab, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 107.5mm, ISO 400, f/8 1/125

some allowing good close-ups.

Sally Lightfoot Crab, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/8 1/200

This male Santiago Lava Lizard was scuttling around on the beach

Santiago Lava Lizard (male), Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/8 1/500

while this female posed on a nearby rock. In lava lizards, it is the female that is more brightly coloured (usually with bright red face and neck)

Santiago Lava Lizard (female), Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/4 1/200

There were several Great Frigatebirds cruising a few hundred metres above the beach - apparently looking for turtle hatchlings. Only this one came low enough for a reasonable shot, albeit in complete silhouette.

Great Frigatebird, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 170mm, ISO 400, f/4 1/2000

As we were leaving the beach, clouds started to form up in the south west and we all hoped this meant we were in for a spectacular sunset view from the peak (the destination for our next walk).

Late afternoon clouds, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 70mm, ISO 400, f/8 1/1000

As we motored across the cove to the landing site for the walk up to the peak, a pair of Gálapagos Penguins was spotted on the rocks so we moved in for a closer look.

Galápagos Penguin, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 180mm, ISO 800, f/4 1/160

The walk up to the peak is entirely on boardwalk and stairs to protect the fragile environment.

Stairs to the peak, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 10-20mm f/2.8 @ 20mm, ISO 800, f/8 1/60
Scoria gravel slope and peak, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 10-20mm f/2.8 @ 16mm, ISO 800, f/8 1/80
View from stairs to peak, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 10-20mm f/2.8 @ 20mm, ISO 800, f/8 1/100

The view from the peak is spectacular including the classic Galápagos view looking west back to Isla Santiago.

View from the peak, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 @ 16mm, ISO 800, f/5 1/80

While I love this shot, I couldn't resist trying a recrop of this in black & white

View from the peak, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 @ 16mm, ISO 800, f/5 1/80

 and some closer up shots of the sun behind the clouds.

Sun setting behind clouds, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 @ 50mm, ISO 800, f/5.6 1/1600

Sun setting behind clouds, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 180mm, ISO 800, f/5.6 1/1000

As the sun was about to hit the horizon the clouds closed in but the high cloud maintained its orange-yellow glow long enough for me to capture this view of half of our party. It's a National Parks regulation that all visitors are off the islands by sunset so we made a rapid retreat back down the steps as the light and colour faded around us.

View from the peak, Isla Bartholomé, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Pentax 16-50mm f/2.8 @ 18mm, ISO 3200, f/8 1/20

Tomorrow...Isla Genovesa 

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