Day 12 – West side of Isabela Island

Today, we visit Punta Moreno (Link to the National Park’s site) on the west side of Isabela Island. We started our day in the Zodiacs looking for rays and other wildlife. Later on, we had a fantastic time snorkeling. After lunch, we motored on to Elizabeth Bay and toured a mangrove-banked inlets there from the zodiacs. We saw lots of fishes and turtles from the boats.

We started the day observing wildlife along the shores of Punta Moreno.
Here is our schedule for today.
It was amazing to get so close to the birds along the shore.
Flightless Cormorants
Penguins and Flightless Cormorants
The coastline was pretty jagged here.  We could observe our travel companions too.
A photogenic penquin
Penquin
Cormorants
Our group coming ashore.
A_view of the terrain of Punta Moreno.
A_view of the terrain of Punta Moreno.
Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii)
Blue-footed booby
Blue-footed booby
A view of a distant coast.
Entering the mangroves
A heron in the mangroves
A pelican in the mangrove branches.
A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves
A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves
A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves
A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves
A sea turtle swimming by the dingy.
The deck of our boat.
A sign posted on our boat.
A sign posted on our boat.
A sign posted on our boat.
A sign posted on our boat.
A spectacular sunset

We started the day observing wildlife along the shores of Punta Moreno.

Here is our schedule for today.

It was amazing to get so close to the birds along the shore.

Flightless Cormorants

From the Wiki page:

"The flightless cormorant (Phalacrocorax harrisi), also known as the Galapagos cormorant, is a cormorant native to the Galapagos Islands, and an example of the highly unusual fauna there. It is unique in that it is the only cormorant that has lost the ability to fly. Once it was placed in its own genus, Nannopterum or Compsohalieus, although current taxonomy places it in the genus with most of the other cormorants, Phalacrocorax."

"This unique cormorant is endemic to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, where it has a very restricted range. It is found on just two islands; Fernandina, where it is found mainly on the east coast, as well as on the northern and western coasts of Isabela."

"Like other cormorants, this bird's feathers are not waterproof, and they spend time after each dive drying their small wings in the sunlight."

"It was formerly classified as Endangered by the IUCN, but recent research shows that it is not as rare as previously believed and that its population has stabilized. Consequently, it was downlisted to Vulnerable in 2011."

See source the Wiki page for the flightless cormorant: link

Penguins and Flightless Cormorants

The coastline was pretty jagged here. We could observe our travel companions too.

Surprisingly, there we saw no other groups while we were out in the dingies. Ecuador seems to do a great job of restricting access to the areas we visited. It was rare to see other people when not in the towns of the Galápagos.

A photogenic penquin

See also the Wiki page for the Galapagos penguin: link

Penquin

Cormorants

Our group coming ashore.

A_view of the terrain of Punta Moreno.

A_view of the terrain of Punta Moreno.

Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii)

Here a link for more information about the Blue-footed booby: link

Blue-footed booby

Blue-footed booby

A view of a distant coast.

Entering the mangroves

A heron in the mangroves

A pelican in the mangrove branches.

A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves

Here are a couple of links for more information ablout the coastal birds: link link

A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves

A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves

A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves

A sea turtle swimming by the dingy.

The deck of our boat.

A sign posted on our boat.

A sign posted on our boat.

A sign posted on our boat.

A sign posted on our boat.

A spectacular sunset

Too bad the picture was taken with an iPhone....

We started the day observing wildlife along the shores of Punta Moreno. thumbnail
Here is our schedule for today. thumbnail
It was amazing to get so close to the birds along the shore. thumbnail
Flightless Cormorants thumbnail
Penguins and Flightless Cormorants thumbnail
The coastline was pretty jagged here.  We could observe our travel companions too. thumbnail
A photogenic penquin thumbnail
Penquin thumbnail
Cormorants thumbnail
Our group coming ashore. thumbnail
A_view of the terrain of Punta Moreno. thumbnail
A_view of the terrain of Punta Moreno. thumbnail
Blue-footed booby (Sula nebouxii) thumbnail
Blue-footed booby thumbnail
Blue-footed booby thumbnail
A view of a distant coast. thumbnail
Entering the mangroves thumbnail
A heron in the mangroves thumbnail
A pelican in the mangrove branches. thumbnail
A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves thumbnail
A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves thumbnail
A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves thumbnail
A Great Blue Heron in the mangroves thumbnail
A sea turtle swimming by the dingy. thumbnail
The deck of our boat. thumbnail
A sign posted on our boat. thumbnail
A sign posted on our boat. thumbnail
A sign posted on our boat. thumbnail
A sign posted on our boat. thumbnail
A spectacular sunset thumbnail