Monday, 11 January 2010

Charles Robert Darwin 1809 - 1882

Between getting up and breakfast I mooched along the harbour side, watching Hudsonian Whimbrel catch and dispatch Sally Lightfoot Crabs, which is the name of the one I posted yesterday but failed to name it, and noted how many species of bird I recorded in the 'town square'. Both Small and Medium Ground Finch were present, along with Groove-billed Ani, Turnstone, Semipalmated Plover, Lava Heron, Galapagos Mockingbird and Yellow Warbler, the latter being the most common bird here outside of the Darwin Finches.

After a bite to eat, which has much improved since the last visit, it was again along the waterfront (now being waved at by every Copper that I pass) to visit the Charles Darwin Center. There, all sorts of conservation work is on going not least of which is the Giant Tortoise reintroduction programme and Finch monitoring. Human activity has certainly been detrimental in many ways, but as far as the 2 Finches mentioned above are concerned, they seem to be thriving on the 'left overs'. What was a surprise, it seems even though the Galapagos National Park has an exclusion zone of only 40 miles all round (not a lot considering the mighty Pacific) still commercial fishermen are illegally plundering the area. A World Wide sore subject as far as I'm concerned, as I have rubbed shoulders with this fraternity for 47 years, and have never met one yet who doesn't consider GREED a Profession. Just listen to them whinge when sensibility call for quotas or there is a suggestion of extending net size. No, in my book a Charlatan each and every one.

Anyway, a most interesting and informative day, with just a sprinkle of rain, otherwise warm and humid. Tomorrow, I should set sail for the island of Bartolome with 2 'target birds' in mind. One, an important recoup from my bag being stollen in La Paz on my last trip, and loosing my films while the other is a 'lifer'. Let's see how I get on!

The Natural History of these Islands is eminently curious, and well deserves attention!
Charles Darwin 1845

Lava Gull, adult

Couldn't resist a couple more shots of these little beauties.

A few images from around the Darwin Center

Yellow Warbler

Galapagos Lizard


Marine Iguana

Ditto, head shot

Sign at the Harbour Entrance

SS Evolution

A fine 3 mast'er

Galapagos Land Iguana

Ditto, head shot

Galapagos Flycatcher

Giant Tortoise - Santa Cruz Sub-Species

Galapagos (Lava) Heron

Not sure if this is officially split from Striated Heron?

Giant Tortoise - Rabida Island Sub-Species