Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Galápagos Rails, Media Luna, and Cerro Crocker

Yesterday, we welcomed Marco to the field who joined us from Montreal where he is working on his masters on adaptive landscapes and Darwin's finches. Today, Jaime thought we could go to Media Luna because the storm petrals would be returning to their nest. Unfortunately, nobody bothered to check when the Storm Petral breeding season was. (hint: it's not the end of February). That being said, we spent the morning wandering Media Luna looking for the elusive Galápags Rail, a ground nesting bird that is very quick to run along the ground.
Attempting to find the Galápagos Rail

The microclimate in the highlands is extremely different from the semi-arid area of El Garrapatero where we do our regular mistnetting. We hiked from Media Luna up to Cerro Crocker, which is the highest point on Santa Cruz.

The fog and clouds kept rolling in and out, creating at times a mystical, foggy atmosphere, and then clearing to provide spectacular views of Santa Cruz.

In our attempt to find the Galápagos Rail, we did get a beautiful Warbler Finch

One thing we did manage to get (not the Rails) was a recording of the Galápagos Rail.
Marco recording the Rail
The fog also created a wonderful opportunity for some macro photographs.

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