Galapagos 2002 - 10 Feb 02 - Punta Cormorant, Floreana Is.

10 Feb 02
Started the day at 6:00 AM with a pre-breakfast circumnavigation of Champion Islet off Floreana Island. The goal was the Floreana (Hood) Mockingbird, and we saw several. The water was a little rough, and the light was poor, so there weren't many photos.

After breakfast, we did a wet landing on a green sand beach at Punta Cormorant to visit the lagoons in muggy heat. Some of the best trails we've seen in the Galapagos. At the lagoons we saw Greater Flamingos and White-cheeked Pintail ducks. Also Smooth-billed Anis, an introduced species but so far relatively benign.

At a second viewpoint, we could see back to the Flamingo rookery. The nests are mud piles extending up above the surface of the water. There were juveniles there, but much too far away to photograph. As the nearby flamingos worked through the water, they left looping lines in the muddy bottom, in a kind of cursive script.

From there we climbed over a low saddle to a pure, white powder sand beach, the consistency of flour. There were Green Sea Turtle tracks coming down from above tide line, and turtle nests, which look like bomb craters. It's safe to think of nesting sea turtles as a geological force. There were perhaps a dozen turtles in the shallows of the small bay, dark circles visible from the shore.

Still before breakfast, we re-boarded the Samba and motored to Devil's Crown, a drowned volcano summit. Very steep sides on the outside, shallower and with many rocks on the inside. Clear water, thousands of fish and powerful currents. It's clearly a mixing zone; as you swam along you could feel warmer and colder water currents against your skin, quite a dramatic temperature difference. Good views of Hammerhead Sharks, White-tipped Reef Sharks, Galapagos Sharks and Manta and Sting Rays.

And that was just in the morning...

Greater Flamingo, Punta Cormorant
Floreana Island

White-cheeked Pintail Ducks, Punta Cormorant
Floreana Island

Audubon Shearwater
Brown Noddy
Red-necked Phalarope
Brown Pelican
Wedge-rumped Storm Petrel
Swallow-tailed Gull
Ruddy Turnstone
Wandering Tattler
Floreana (Hood) Mockingbird
Yellow Warbler
Lava Heron
Small Ground Finch
Semi-palmated Plover
White-cheeked Pintail
Smooth-billed Ani
Black-necked Stilt
Greater Flamingo
Galapagos Flycatcher
Cattle Egret
Semi-palmated Sandpiper
Least Sandpiper
Galapagos Penguin
Magnificent Frigatebird
Great Frigatebird
Lava Lizard
Green Sea Turtle
Marine Iguana
Land Iguana

Galapagos Sea Lion

Sally Lightfoot Crab
Ghost Crab

Hammerhead Shark
White-tipped Reef Shark
Galapagos Shark

Galapagos Map
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