The Bird Telegraph must have Twanged


Jane Bwye

Galapagos Diary 4.

The Guantanamera appeared from nearby Santa Cruz, where she’d gone for refuelling.  It had been a very pleasant couple of hours.  Most of us stayed on board, but four went deep-sea snorkelling near the cliffs of Santa Cruz where shearwaters swooped and circled, the bright green-blue of the sea reflecting their undersides as they turned upwards.  On the boat, as we relaxed on the top deck, the “bird telegraph” must have twanged, as suddenly dozens of frigates swooped in, circling in a mad frenzy and hovering inches from the rails.  Below, half a dozen brown pelicans waited in an expectant group, bobbing in the water.  There was a plop, and a mad scramble of wings and beaks as a victorious pelican swallowed the booty.  Jealous frigates muttered and attacked each other, swooping and gliding above us.  Twice more, Darling, our chef, obliged.  Then as if at a secret…

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