Frigates at friggin 6am...

Trip Start Mar 02, 2011
Trip End Nov 20, 2011

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Flag of Ecuador  ,
Thursday, September 15, 2011

The next morning we had a very early start so that we could catch the frigate birds mating. Not something I really needed to see at 6am but it was interesting none the less. These males puff up their red wattles in order to attract the females and they do look rather striking. I may be single but I wasn't tempted mind. There were also a few fathers on paternity leave with their chicks and looking very bored. The Frigate bird produces two eggs and if both survive then the older sibling pushes the younger from the nest that then certainly perishes right under the mother’s beak.

On returning to the boat everyone including Billy left as it was the end of their tour and I waited for my new shipmates. This was the one time I actually got any decent sleep as the noise of the engine had been keeping me awake despite my ear plugs.

In the afternoon, having been introduced to a totally new set of people, Alberto, the younger and somewhat fitter guide, took us on the north east coast of Santa Cruz for our first adventure together. We headed onto Baltra looking for flamingoes and were not disappointed. 5 magnificent birds were feeding on a brackish lagoon just beyond the breakwater. We also passed a number of sea turtle nests that had frigate birds swooping overhead, waiting for the eggs to hatch so they could have a decent dinner. Close by we spied a couple of large turtles in the water which prompted me to don my snorkel equipment and jump in. Unfortunately the visibility was not a good as it had previously been so I didn’t stay in for long.
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