Today we had our first full day of the expedition on Española Island. One of the oldest islands, it is known for its unique and diverse wildlife. We started our day with water activities at Gardner Beach and Gardner Islet, two places popular for swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing. The beach is home to a variety of wildlife, including sea lions who played with us the entire morning.
In the afternoon, we visited Punta Suarez, home to the waved albatross, found only on Española Island. Unmistakable, even at sea, by its size and extremely slender wings, it is the largest bird in the Galapagos, with a wingspan of up to 7.5 feet. Waved albatrosses mate for life and return to Española Island each year to breed. The best time to see them is from April to December, when they are nesting and raising chicks. Although we were able to visit only one portion of the island, we were lucky to spot dozens of these birds. We saw them courting and nesting and even spotted some eggs.
Overall, Española Island and its surrounding areas offered a fascinating glimpse into the unique and diverse wildlife of the Galapagos Islands.