Galapagos: ultimate nature adventure, day 8

By Ian Connellan 8 November 2013
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The last day of the trip delivers more spectacular displays of wildlife.

Day 8AG editor Ian Connellan tours the Galápagos Islands, off the coast of South America.

AFTER A LONG MOTOR overnight to North Seymour Island we have a 6 am start to see North Seymour’s breeding colonies of frigatebirds and blue-footed boobies.

The male frigates are flying so close to us – some collecting wood for nests – that it’s disconcerting. No less so is the sight of them puffing their brilliant red pouches out to impress potential mates.

“It’s a trade-off between natural selection and sexual selection, like so many things,” says Roberto. “The male with the biggest pouch will get mates, but if the pouch is too big it gets in the way of him feeding.”

Here we see our only land iguanas (other than those in the captive-breeding program at the Charles Darwin Research Station), more sea lions (of course) a distinctively small sub-species of marine iguana, tiny lava lizards and smaller-than-usual holy stick trees.

We can’t help but notice a lot more dead animals than we’ve seen before – sea lions, various types of birds and iguanas. It’s as if North Seymour is the Galápagos in microcosm: the battle for life and survival writ large, and just a short cruise from Baltra airport. We’re back aboard for an 8 am breakfast and we’ve just enough time for a round of hearty muchas gracias for San Jose’s crew before it’s time to pack, board the pangas for the last time and head ashore for Baltra airport and our flight to the mainland.

Read more blogs in the Galápagos series

Find out more about the next Peregrine/AG trip with Ian Connellan to see Borneo’s orangutans.