Rábida Island is relatively small, with steep rocky cliffs and only one beach where it is possible to land. The distinctive deep red color of its sand is due to the high iron content in the lava. The island is known for these maroon beaches and its abundance of birds. (The small black bird mid-photo above is a penguin!)We were lucky to see this female vermillion flycatcher at all, let alone up close. We searched in vain for her vividly colored mate, who is the only brightly colored land bird in the archipelago. We did not see any flamingos either, although they are known to frequent Rábida’s lagoon.Pelicans were omnipresent, yet we never tired of them. Rábida is a popular nesting spot for the pelicans. They nest in mangroves, which have adapted to thrive in salt water, hence their ubiquity along the coasts.
On an evolutionary note, yellow is the only color of any flower in the Galápagos. This is because it is the preferred color of the only pollinators there. There are six species of Prickly Pear Cactus (Opuntia) in the Galápagos. Depending on the type of predator, their spines are prickly or soft. Their height varies as well for the same reason.Sea Lions a plenty – the back bend is the way they stretch after all their exertions in the water.We were fortunate to be there with many young pups and marveled at their ability to curl up just about anywhere. I guess happiness is a warm rock!
Next up: Santiago Island.