Española Island

Jul 14, 2019 - National Geographic Endeavour II


This was the first full day of our exploration in the Galapagos Islands. Today in the morning, we visited the easternmost coast of Española Island, Gardner Bay. After breakfast we snorkeled from the Zodiacs at Gardner Islet coast. The visibility was great, colorful tropical fish were in the shallow waters, young Galapagos Sea lions joined us for an amazing time swimming with us.

Later in the morning, we disembarked at Gardner Beach, an organic material beach. This sunny morning was perfect for a walk along the coast, where we spotted some Galapagos sea lions resting on the beach and some pups nursing from their mothers, as well as some Darwin’s finches species and the Española mockingbird, a very curious land bird kind.

After a delicious lunch, our Capitan repositioned the National Geographic Endeavour II to the western point of the island, Punta Suarez. It is one of most interesting visitor sites of the Galapagos, with so many species of animals, especially birds such as Darwin finches, Española mockingbirds, Galapagos doves, and Nazca boobies in a large number resting on the cliffs while preening their feathers. We saw many waved albatross on the ground during the reproduction season. Waved albatross have been considered endemic to Española Island, even though they are not on the island all year around, because it is the only piece of land where this particular species nests in the entire word. Around 12,000 pairs come back to Española to nest every year.

While walking back along the shoreline, a large number of marine iguanas were already resting on the rocks after their feeding activities. To finish our expedition, we had time to take photos of the blue-footed boobies diving in the bay. We had a great sunset, snacks and cocktail waiting for us when we returned aboard.

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About the Author

Javier Cando

Naturalist

Javier was born on Santa Cruz Island and raised in the cool evergreen highlands where he developed his love and passion for nature and natural sciences. At age 17 he moved to Quito, the capital of Ecuador to attend university and study the English language.

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