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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Rabida (Jervis) Island and Bachas Beach on Santa Cruz (Indefatigable) Island

August 25th, 2012 · 2 Comments

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Our fifth day exploring the Galapagos Islands started with a dinghy ride to the red beach of Rabida Island, where we made a wet landing.

As we approached this little unpopulated island we saw more members of a species of birds that most everyone loves, the Blue-footed Booby. This one was on the cliff just at the edge of the ocean spray.

A Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) Looks out over the South Pacific Ocean (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO 400)

A Blue-footed Booby (Sula nebouxii) Looks out over the South Pacific Ocean (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/250, ISO 400)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Most of the birds and other wildlife we encountered seemed to be completely oblivious to the strangers who visited them, including Jack, the university professor who by coincidence I had interviewed for an article about Lantus more than 13 years earlier.

Jack Gets Up Close to a Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus wollebacki) (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 100mm, f/8, 1/750, ISO 1600)

Jack Gets Up Close to a Galapagos Sea Lion (Zalophus californianus wollebacki) (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 100mm, f/8, 1/750, ISO 1600)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

A short trail from the beach took us to a brackish lagoon. We knew that on Rabida Island we had a chance to see Greater Flamingos, one of the most beautiful birds in the world. But I wasn’t hopeful, because only 400 to 500 of them remain in the Galapagos Islands and I had read in my travel guide that most of the lagoon’s crustaceans, the flamingoes’ food source, were gone.

But the flamingoes were there! We lucked out again.

These are probably the most skittish birds on the islands, so we approached them slowly and quietly. I was glad to be carrying my telephoto lens, no matter how heavy it is.

A Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) Walks in Water (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 365mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO 800)

A Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) Walks in Water (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 365mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge
A Drop of Water Remains on the Chin of this Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) After It Feeds (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 800)

A Drop of Water Remains on the Chin of this Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) After It Feeds (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/1000, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge
How Dainty This Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) Looks! (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 310mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO 800)

How Dainty This Greater Flamingo (Phoenicopterus ruber) Looks! (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 310mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

That afternoon we made another wet landing. This was at Bachas Beach on the isolated north coast of Santa Cruz Island. In a pond there we saw the only species of duck ever found on the Galapagos, except foe a one-time vagrant.

This White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis, subspecies galapagensis), Is Endemic to these Islands (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO 800)

This White-cheeked Pintail (Anas bahamensis, subspecies galapagensis), Is Endemic to these Islands (Canon 7D with 100-400mm lens at 400mm, f/8, 1/500, ISO 800)

Click on the picture above to enlarge

Now I can’d decide whether my favorite Galapagos photo so far was one of the Greater Flamingoes above or the one that I took of a Galapagos Penguin two days earlier. What a terrible dilemma!

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Posted in: Galapagos

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 winnie // Aug 31, 2012 at 7:14 pm

    My ducks are prettier but the are always so hungry.

  • 2 Fran Stearns // Sep 2, 2012 at 5:59 pm

    How odd to call an island ‘indefatigable’…..

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