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WINGS Birding Tours – Photo Gallery

Ecuador: The Galápagos Islands

We start our visit to the Galapagos in the moist, interior highlands of Santa Cruz, joined by a locally-licensed guide. We have one night in a hotel – comfortable and elegant… …before we meet out crew of six, then our week on the luxury catamaran begins.
Photographic opportunities will abound, even for birds in flight, such as this Red-billed Tropicbird.
Each day will include a land-based activity. Where and when we walk is strictly controlled, however the birds don’t have qualms about nesting next to the trails.
This Swallow-tailed Gull broods its chick next to one of the trails. On one day we’ll look for ‘wild’ Giant Tortoises before visiting a tortoise breeding facility. The Galapagos Mockingbirds are as curious as the birders. We’ll have seven nights aboard the Nemo III… …but as we motor between the islands we’ll probably find ourselves relaxing and watching the sea from the sun deck.
It’s worth staying attentive during our travels between the islands for sea birds. We’ll find that Galapagos Shearwater is an abundant breeder… …but it will pay to keep an eye on the water if you want to spot a scarce Galapagos Petrel. We’ll wander amongst a Waved Albatross breeding colony one day, but they are most impressive when seen in flight. Galapagos Hawks have fun in the onshore breezes. We’ll learn about the amazing radiation of the finches (and why they are actually tanagers). This Common Cactus-Finch is well-named!
A most amazing variation of the finch template is shown by the Gray Warbler-Finch. The ground-finches can be confusing, but the largest-billed Large Ground-Finch should stand out. Even the Lava Lizards have evolved on different islands, this one on Española.
Setting our tour apart from most others, we’ll look at everything in detail. This is one of the endemic grasshoppers, Schistocerca literosa… …and found even amongst smaller insects, such as this Galapagos Bee Fly, are yet more endemic species. Every day will also offer the opportunity to snorkel in these amazingly rich waters – King Angelfish are the most colourful.