Flamingos

Another early start! Most of us are up at 6am for early riser snacks prior to a walk on Floreana Island at Punta Cormorant. We transfer via our “black taxi” zodiacs to a pretty olivine sand beach. From here we walk across to another beach, this one a fine, white, coralline sandy beach and a favourite nesting site for green sea turtles. On route we pass a large, shallow lake of brackish water. Fresh water from the nearby hills mixes with salty water seeping in from the nearby sea. On the lake are brightly coloured Flamingoes, and we spot four flamingo chicks, born quite recently. Our expedition guides are really excited as they haven't seen flamingo chicks for a very long time. Heading back to the landing beach some of us also spot a Galapagos Penguin – a rare sight, especially here at Punta Cormorant!

During breakfast our ship repositions to a small offshore volcanic cone called Champion Islet and mid-morning we all head out for a guided zodiac cruise circumnavigating the islet. We are on the look-out for the third of four mocking birds …. the rare and endangered Floreana Mocking Bird. No longer found on the main island of Floreana, this mocking bird is only to be found on a couple of small islets, and indeed only if we’re lucky. There are only around 400 birds in total but this is obviously a lucky tour … we see quite a few. We also see Red Billed Tropic Birds, Noddy Turns, Nazca and Blue Footed Boobies and numerous Sea Lions.

Snorkellers head out later and we all enjoy lunch on board before our ship sails to visit nearby Post Office Bay. Here a barrel is still used for an old mail swap tradition going back to whaling days. We look at the post cards already in the barrel and find quite a few destined for the UK near to our homes. We will deliver them by hand, no postage stamp necessary! After checking all the post, we add our own cards, addressed to family and friends. Let’s see whether they make it home and how quickly.

Back on the beach, kayakers head off on an expedition around the bay and the rest of us enjoy panga rides with our guides. There is plenty of wildlife activity including sea turtles, sea lions, rays and another penguin!