Sunday, 19 April 2015

Galápagos Day 3 (afternoon) - Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa

We landed at the small beach on the north-east 'corner' of Great Darwin Bay with the intention of taking the walking trail inland. However, the extreme high tide covered the entrance to the trail so we opted to stay on the beach and wait the tide out. There was so much wildlife on and around the beach that we remained there until sunset.

Immediately out of the pangas, we were tripping over Swallow-tailed Gulls

Swallow-tailed Gull, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/500


that were oblivious to 15 pairs of human feet wandering around them...they apparently had other things on their mind,

Swallow-tailed Gull, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/4, 1/1250

which was followed by a back massage (the male bird actually marches on the females back for several seconds after copulation).

Swallow-tailed Gull, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/4, 1/1250

Red-footed Boobies and Great Frigatebirds were roosting and nesting in the low vegetation along the edge of the beach.

Red-footed Booby, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 800, f/4, 1/200
Red-footed Booby, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 10-20mm f/4.5-5.6 @ 20mm, ISO 800, f/10, 1/125
Great Frigatebird, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Pentax 16-60mm f/2.8 @ 19mm, ISO 800, f/11, 1/40
Great Frigatebird, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @ 170mm, ISO 800, f/5.6, 1/200
Great Frigatebird (juvenile), Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/100

Frigatebirds were flying close overhead,

Great Frigatebird (male), Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/800
Great Frigatebird (juvenile), Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/400

performing some interesting contortions.

Great Frigatebird (juvenile), Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/400

 Nazca Boobies were also roosting along the beach, one taking advantage of a trail sign.

Nazca Booby, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @ 108mm, ISO 400, f/3.5, 1/160
Nazca Booby, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 800, f/8, 1/400

A Large Ground Finch flitted about in the vegetation

Large Ground Finch, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 @ 200mm, ISO 400, f/2.8, 1/125

Yellow-crowned Night-Herons hung around on the beach,

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/125
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130mm, ISO 400, f/5.6, 1/160

one taking a bath in the shallows.

Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/200
Yellow-crowned Night-Heron, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 130mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/200

This Lava Gull was standing in the dark shade behind a rock outcrop across a channel too deep to wade across so I needed to add the 2x adapter to get 'closer' to the bird.

Me, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Photograph courtesy of Joanne Smissen

The light was very poor but I wanted to capture this nice example of the world's rarest gull so I bumped the ISO up and mounted the camera on a tripod.

Lava Gull, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adapter), ISO 1600, f/7.1, 1/80

This Lava Heron was equally far away but in better light.

Lava Heron, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adapter), ISO 400, f/11, 1/500

 As the tide receded, a couple of wading birds landed and began feeding on the exposed sand flats.

Wandering Tattler, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adapter), ISO 800, f/8, 1/200
Ruddy Turnstone, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Gal´pagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adapter), ISO 1600, f/7.1, 1/1000

This Galápagos Shearwater literally crash-landed in the shallow water right next to us and appeared to be dazed and struggling. Our guide picked it up and placed it gently on the beach. After a few seconds it hobbled back into the water and swam away.

Galápagos Shearwater, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Sigma 300mm f/2.8 (x2 adapter), ISO 1600, f/7.1, 1/400

It wasn't just birds though. Galapagos Sea Lions were lying around the beach and frolicking in the shallows.

Galápagos Sea Lion, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 108mm, ISO 400, f/3.5, 1/250

Of course, there were Sally Lightfoot Crabs all over the rocks

Sally Lightfoot Crab, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 140mm, ISO 400, f/8, 1/400

...and as we left the beach, the gulls were still being affectionate.

Swallowtail Gull, Great Darwin Bay, Isla Genovesa, Galápagos
Pentax K-3, Tamron 70-200mm f/2.8 @ 100mm, ISO 400, f/4, 1/500

Coming up...Puerto Egas, Isla Santiago

1 comment:

  1. What a fabulous trip. I am so envious. All the birds you saw are marvellous and you managed to get some crackers of shots.

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