Thursday, December 2, 2010

11/28/2010 - Isla Isabel - part 2

The water filled crater at the top of Isla Isabel
Today we hiked up to the caldera on Isla Isabel.  It was a very nice hike.  We had a little trouble finding the entrance but we asked one of the local fisherman and they were able to direct us the right way (for those of you coming here, it's to the right of the little lake behind the fishing camp.  You'll know you found it when you see some cement stairs).  It was a little long for Jake but he’s getting to where he really enjoys these hikes.  There was a good bit of climbing and tons of wildlife so he was distracted from the distance enough not to complain.
Taking a rest
On this island there are frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, brown boobies, red-footed boobies, brown pelicans, white tailed tropic birds, Heerman’s gulls, sooty terns, and brown noddies.  There are also some reptiles to include green iguanas and the Mexican milk snake.  We saw tons and tons of frigate birds, blue footed booies, white tailed tropic birds, and green iguanas.  We also got a brief glimpse at the Mexican milk snake.  We don’t have a bird identification book so I can’t really say as to whether we saw some of the others that I’m not so familiar with but I can tell you that this place is covered with birds (and bird poop).  I’ll let Andy’s pictures speak for themselves…

Male frigate bird trying to impress

Blue footed boobie guarding her egg

Jake petting a lizard

Brown boobie bird with her chick

Local fishermen sorting out their sailboat catchers, I mean nets.
Savannah and other boats anchored on the southern side of the island
Jake had a time keeping his hands off these things

After getting back to the boat, Jake and I did a little further research on the frigate bird.  We found out that the male frigate bird puffs up his air sack to look like a giant red balloon.  He does this to attract the females.  They feed on fish but get their fish from robbing gulls, gannets, and terns.  When they steal from the gannet birds they first ask/demand politely for their fish…if they fail to respond, they grab their tails and shake vigorously.  When the gannets drop the fish, the frigate bird swoops down and catches it before it hits the water.  Jake got to see this first hand on the beach with his dad.  Sounds like dinner on our boat when we have sushi.

Just before sundown we hiked the west side of the island to see what we could see.  Not a ton to look at (comparatively speaking) but it was a great place to have a light saber battle.

Jake posing with boobie bird
Trying his best to open this rotten coconut with a stick

Andy was able to make a few dives and produce some pretty decent photos there, too…. Enjoy.

Some sort of blenny
Lots of eels on the east side of the island.

Finally, for those thinking about anchoring here, it's a little rolly but worth the stop.  We thought we were tight with 3 boats in here but by the time we left, there were six all together.  It's a rocky bottom with a few patches of sand.  Andy didn't sleep very good while we were here but we would both stop here again if given the chance.  And if you're wondering, nope, by some sort of miracle, we never got pooped on.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Is that a blue footed boobie bird that Jake is posing with????? Arlie would be totally jealous.... during her extensive ornthology phase in her late twos, she was very interested in the boobie bird. I had a bird magazine that I had to read this boobie article over and over and Little Einsteins had a whole episode on the the blue footed boobie! Very COOL. Tell Jake we love hime and are very impressed! Stay safe and keep in touch. Much love, H

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