Welcome to my blog

This is it! I've given up work -retired from the rat race and am about to start on a 10 year adventure, doing all those things I've been meaning to do but never had the time to do them. I've offloaded my responsibilities and it is now my time. So follow my adventures and see whether I actually manage anything!



Monday, 24 February 2014

The Boobies and the Frigates

Today we were up before dawn as we were going to North Seymour Island, in the Galapagos, to see the nesting sites of the Blue-footed Booby and the Frigate bird.


Before we reached the island the Frigate birds were swooping all around us.


Disembarking from the dinghy was a slow maneuver as the rocks were quite slippy with all the bird droppings.









The first birds we noticed on the ground were the Swallow -Tailed Gulls with their beautiful red ringed eyes. These are the only nocturnal gulls in the world.




But this was the bird we all wanted to see - the Blue Footed Booby. The name comes from the Spanish word, bobo meaning fool or clown.





We were fortunate to watch the mating dance of these birds. Here you can see the female perched aloft on a rock whilst the male dances from one foot to another and displays his wings. It was not a particularly elegant dance and it was clear to see why they were referred to as having clown like movements.











These birds dive into the water at great speed just off the coast. They plunge from a great height in a vertical dive usually in groups. It was a real spectacle to watch but too fast for my camera to ever capture.





Other birds nesting on the island were the Frigate birds. The female has a white chest whereas the male has a bright scarlet throat pouch which he puffs out to attract the female. The pouch is only visible during the breeding season.







Here the male is sitting on the flimsy nest. You can just spot some white beneath him. Only one egg is laid which is incubated by both parents.

T




he young bird may fledge after 90 days but are often dependent upon their parents for much longer.









This looks as though a female is trying to steal a twig from another frigate bird



This male is still displaying his pouch even in flight.

We returned to the boat for breakfast and then said goodbye to half the group who were leaving today. The rest of us were taken to a small beach at Baltra Island which had been used as a military base during WW2. Here we spent time swimming and relaxing whilst the boat was refuelled.


One of the few times we were on dry land relaxing.

28 comments:

  1. You made me laugh at those blue footed booby, they are so funny to see and the way the male tries to impress the female is hilarious! She looks at him like thinking "art normal". Also the red throat pouch is very impressive, those male birds have a lot to do to get a female.

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  2. You saw marvellous things, but it is good to have time to relax.

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  3. I do love those blue feet! I had no idea there was such a thing as a nocturnal gull. So interesting.

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  4. You got some great pictures! You were very fortunate to see that mating dance, I never did, but I also saw the frigate birds with their red pouches. Thanks for taking me back to the islands again. :-)

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  5. I have to admit the the feet on the Blue-footed Booby truly are blue. ;))

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  6. Those birds are amazing! I'm loving the photos and stories from your trip.

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  7. I was hoping you'd have success finding some blue-footed boobies so you could show us some photos. That pouch on the Frigate bird is interesting, too. It's so brilliantly colored.

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  8. These are birds I have never seen ! I like the red eyeliner, have to try it out, lol !

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  9. Wow - what an adventure ~ and absolutely wonderful nature shots ~ thanks,

    artmusedog and carol
    www.acreativeharbor.com

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  10. It looks like a fantastic trip and the birds are wonderful. That pouch on the male is amazing - it doesn't look quite real in the photos!

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  11. Truly amazing pictures of some really unique looking birds. Great stuff.

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  12. what a wonderful expedition!! Great sightings, fabulous photos too

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  13. You've got some great photos. It looks like you had quite the adventure!

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  14. what an awesome place to see birds. I love the blue-footed booby! And the Frigatebirds are cool. Great shots, thanks for sharing your trip!

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  15. that must have been a wonderful experience

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  16. The blue footed dancing bird must have been a delight to see. This is a remarkable place in our world and you are indeed fortunate to be able to visit and soak it all in.

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  17. Wow what an amazing adventure…. I love seeing all of these exotic creatures!

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  18. What a great variety of birds, and an incredible trip.

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  19. So many great sightings and shots! We get the frigates flying high overhead here in the summer but they don't nest here. It's cool to see the babies.

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  20. OMG! This is called getting close to nature. Wonderful captures, real feast to eyes!

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  21. Fabulous bird captures. The blue footed booby is lovely and I like the red ring around the gull's eye. What an experience you are having!!

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  22. Superb photography – great shots!

    Great blog too -will be back soon to read through earlier posts.




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  23. Wow; What an amazing place and pictures of birds. The blue-footed booby is awesomeand never knew about them.
    Thank you very much for sharing with these wonderful pictures with us.

    Love and hugs from Japan, xoxo Miyako*

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  24. Wonderful photographs ... I'm really loving this trip vicariously! The blue-footed booby is wonderful and how perfect to get there for the frigate birds mating season. I love that you are on a small boat ... I would really enjoy that so much more than a big ship cruise.

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  25. Love what I learned from your post. I can't get over the blue feet and the red ringed eyes. They're beautifully fascinating.

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  26. What an amazing array of birds. So interesting.

    Great to have you at Oh, The PLACES I've been!

    - The Tablescaper

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Thank-you for reading my blog. I would love to read your comments.