When we were visiting Isabela Island we were very excited to be heading out to see some Pink Flamingos. I had never seen them in the wild, so the anticipation was high.
One of the things that makes the Galapagos Islands exciting is that even though you are surrounded by animals, your never really know for sure if you will get to see the specific animal you are looking for. Each time you set out, there is a feeling of excitement and wonderment.
Sometimes the animal you wanted to see is right there, like it was waiting for you to arrive, and sometimes you miss it, but you are always happy you tried. The saying “getting there is half the fun” is certainly true while exploring the Galapagos. You may not necessarily get to see that sea turtle you had in mind, but you may be just as thrilled when a playful sea lion swims by directly in front of you.
The Flamingos feed and socialize in an area of mangrove swamp. The water is brackish (fresh water mixed with salt water) and dull colored. I’m sure there are other reasons they like to hang out there, but I also like to think it’s because they feel the color contrast really highlights their beautiful pink feathers.
As we walked along the boardwalk the Naturalist Guide talked to us about the landscape, plants and animals. I liked the way the mangrove plants had grown over the path to form a natural tunnel. The light was shining through the branches, casting little bright spots and shadows all over the path, it was beautiful.
It was really exciting when we reached the flamingos because there was a large group of them. The guide told us that it was a much larger group than normal, so we felt really special. It was peaceful watching them wade through the water feeding, and preening their feathers. The sound they made really surprised me, such an ugly sound out of such a beautiful bird, it was kind of comical. Everything was calm and quiet, and then these loud honking screeches.
I’m so happy the flamingos were there that day. It’s something we will never forget.