We had a wonderful day exploring two amazing islands in the Galapagos: North Seymour and Rabida. Both islands are rich in wildlife and offer stunning views of the volcanic landscape.
We started our morning with a dry landing on North Seymour Island, a small but diverse island that is home to many iconic Galapagos species. As we walked along the trail, we encountered many blue-footed boobies, who were nesting on the ground or perched on the rocks. We were lucky to witness some of their famous courtship dances, where the males show off their bright blue feet to impress the females. We also learned how to distinguish between the two species of frigatebirds that inhabit the island: the magnificent and the great. We even witnessed some male frigatebirds with their gular sacs inflated trying to find mates.
We spotted some Galapagos land iguanas; they were very camouflaged against the arid vegetation and resting under the cactus plants. These reptiles are endemic to the Galapagos, and were introduced to North Seymour from Baltra Island in the 1930s as an experiment in survival. This helped save the population, as they eventually went extinct on Baltra Island after the 1950s.
In the afternoon we headed to Rabida Island, also known as Jervis Island. It is famous for its red sand coloration, which is caused by the high iron oxide content in the volcanic rocks. We had a great snorkeling session around Rabida Island, where we saw large schools of fish, Pacific green sea turtles, Galapagos sea lions, reef sharks, and stingrays.
As the sun dipped into the horizon we visited a brackish lagoon behind the beach, where we observed some American flamingos feeding on brine shrimp. We also saw some pelicans, white-cheeked pintails, and several species of finches.
We ended our day feeling grateful for all the amazing wildlife encounters we had today. We look forward to another adventure as we head to the western realm of the archipelago tomorrow.