Friday, July 11, 2014

Framing Flamingos

Flamingos are rare in The Galapagos Islands, so when I came across some greater flamingos feeding in a brackish lagoon I felt very privileged.

I spent some time trying to get this shot of an individual feeding when all of a sudden these two males challenged one another.

It was fascinating to watch as each tried to get its head higher than the other.

Then after a flurry of pink it was all over. But not before I managed to capture the magical moment when their necks joined to make a perfect heart shape.

Not far from this lagoon I spotted a great blue heron. It looked fairly similar to our grey heron, only bigger. 

The heron was flying low over a sand bank above the beach. It landed and began stalking around, pausing every so often to look down at the sand inquisitively.

It didn't take me long to work out what it was up to. The sand was pockmarked by craters left by turtles laying their eggs and the heron was listening for the sound of hatched turtles moving under the ground. Every so often it would start stabbing at the sand with its powerful beak. I knelt down to capture some photos of the heron as storm clouds built up behind, complimenting its colours beautifully.

Not long after I noticed some frigate birds circling over head, clearly also looking for baby turtle morsels.

They began to swoop down in relays and grab beak fulls of baby turtles. It was quite horrific to see a baby turtle, its little flippers going like crazy, hanging out of a beak.

Frigate birds are beautiful, but as I watched them bombard this turtle nest they reminded me of pirates, right down to the bandanna-like swathe of red at their necks.

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