We have one last visit before catching our flight back to the mainland. Just north of Baltra is the small island of North Seymore. Due to its proximity to Baltra it is heavily touristed and Sabina tells us that it is not included in the Klein Tours itinerary for the following year. Too bad because it was the only place where we had the opportunity to observe the frigatebirds up close, showing off their brilliant red puffed chests.
Our tour of the island started with a walk along the shore, lots of sea lions and a few small marine iguanas. For some reason the marine iguanas are much smaller on this island.
Near the end of our walk along the shore we stop to watch the sea birds dive into the sea for fish. A pelican teaches a flock of juvenile nazca boobies to fish.
They weave back and forth over the surf before plunging into the water. For a second or two they are completely out of sight. A moment later they bob back up to the surface, fly off and repeat the process.
It’s difficult to tear ourselves away but we still have the frigatebird nesting area to visit. Generally frigatebirds with their iconic red chest mate in March, but a few can be spotted with their chest proudly puffed any time of year. We spot a few nests of large frigratebird chicks waiting for their parents to feed them, another nest with a mama feeding her chick and in the tree behind them a male with his red chest puffed – just as majestic as the photos.
He rolls his head back sticking his trembling chest out further while making a loud clacking sound. Now if that doesn’t attract a female I don’t know what would.
We continue on back to the shore and spot a few land iguanas, the only ones we’ve seen in the wild on this trip. The female with her golden head soaks up the warmth of the sun. She is not as bright as her male counterpart but still makes an impressive image against the red earth.
This visit is again too short and we must leave, but as if on cue, a blue footed booby hops onto a rock near the path to pose for us one last time and say good bye.
Once on board the ship again we finish packing and set our luggage out to be taken to the airport. In this direction it is a short bus ride from the dock to the airport. The crew takes us to the airport, checks our luggage, and gets us our boarding passes. We say good bye and head through security to wait for our flight back to the mainland.
December 14, 2011
For links to all the posts in this series see the Ecuador page.