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Rich Hoyer reports from Galapagos

July 25: Rich Hoyer reports from Galapagos

A very happy group of participants enjoyed our first Galapagos cruise in six years, and what a marvelous tour it was. Walks on the various islands featured a lengthy mating by two Swallow-tailed Gulls, mating Great Frigatebirds, and our gingerly stepping around nests of Blue-footed Boobies with young, placed right by the trail. We walked past pairs of breeding Waved Albatrosses while a show of flying birds in perfect light were joined by Nazca Boobies and Red-billed Tropicbirds at the cliff edge behind us. We were gobsmacked by Giant Tortoises, tickled by abundant and tame Yellow Warblers, and were intrigued by the stories of human settlement and early scientific explorations on the islands. We snorkeled nearly every day, seeing dozens of fascinating fish while swimming with Marine Iguanas, Green Sea Turtles, and playful Galapagos Sea Lions. We were very fortunate to have worked with the Nemo III staff who applied with the national park for a variance from their usual itinerary to cater to us birders, and we saw 29 of the possible 30 endemics, missing only Large Tree-Finch, which seems to be getting scarcer every year. We saw the elusive Galapagos Rail, the very localized Brujo Flycatcher and Galapagos Martin, and so many other fascinating critters, from the endemic Galapagos Saltbush Moth to a massive school of Common Bottlenose Dolphins around our boat. With an amazingly competent and very helpful boat crew, it was a trip to remember, and I look forward to my next tour in November 2024.

Waved Albatross

Happy crew on the Nemo III

Blue-footed Booby

Marine iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus)

Posted: July 25, 2022