Lens-Artists Photo Challenge #144 – Taking Flight

Birds, butterflies, bees and other insects, airplanes, balloons, bubbles, kites….well, this week, Tina invites us to be creative and choose whichever flying objects that catches our imagination and our lens. Go to her amazingly beautiful post to visit Kiawah!

I don’t have a perfect long lens, so I will stick with the Galapagos Islands, where you have no need for a long lens, but get to see and love all wildlife close-up, just by your side. And, they do have one of the funniest birds for taking flight

Also called the waved albatross, the Galapagos albatross (Phoebastria irrorata) is the largest bird in the Galapagos, with a wingspan of up to 250 centimetres (8.2 feet). They breed exclusively on Española Island.

The Galapagos albatross engages in a rather elaborate courtship dance, and as our timing was right, we were lucky enough to see this on our trip to the Galapagos Islands in 2016.
Once an albatross has selected a partner, they mate for life.
Albatrosses live much longer than other birds; they delay breeding for longer and invest more effort into fewer young. Most species survive upwards of 50 years, and the oldest recorded was ringed in 1956 as a mature adult and hatched another chick in February 2021, making her at least 70 years old. In fact she is the oldest confirmed wild bird and the oldest banded bird in the world.
These birds weigh between 2.7 and 4 kilograms (6 – 8.8 pounds) and males are typically quite a lot heavier than females. When taking off, albatrosses need to take a run up to allow enough air to move under the wing to provide a lift. We saw them run up to the edge of the cliff and jump off to propel themselves into the air. I was sitting 5-10 meters from the action.

However, landing is also quite tricky for this large bird. Because the albatross has a high stalling speed, the landing can seem rather clumsy. (Who doesn’t remember that Disney movie with Orville the Albatross…?)
Seeing a waved albatross fly is quite the sight, they are amazing flyers, soaring dynamically. They stay in the air for many hours and they rarely stall. That’s why sailors used to believe these birds were supernatural.
Due to their great wingspan the bird glides gracefully while up in the skies. In fact the wingspans of the largest great albatrosses (genus Diomedea) are the largest of any bird, exceeding 340 cm (11.2 ft),

In nautical lore, albatrosses are a sign of good fortune, and killing one is meant to bring bad luck. As in Coleridge’s The Rime of the Ancient Mariner.

Thank you for your responses to last week’s Colorful April challenge – you shared some amazing examples of April’s incredible beauty. We look forward to seeing your interpretation of this week’s Taking Flight challenge – please remember to link to Tina’s original post and to include the Lens-Artists Tag. We hope you’ll join us again next week when we welcome our Guest Host, Priscilla of Scillagrace . Be sure to check out her ever-thoughtful and interesting blog.

Stay safe and well.

Friendly Friday – Blue

Amanda ask us for a portrait of Blue. Blue is not my favorite colour to wear, but in Nature it is Green and Blue for me. And the image had to come from Iceland this summer.


The ‘Friendly Friday Photo Challenge’ is launched every second Friday here at:

Something to Ponder About, and every other Friday at: The Snow Melts Somewhere.

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Gentle

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Gentle

The birds are here every day – so gentle, so lovely to have and help through the winter.

Tuesday Photo Challenge: Trio…

Tuesday Photo Challenge – Trio

For Dutch goes the Photo – maybe two heads are better than three…?

CFFC: Wildlife

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Wildlife

Wildlife – we will not survive without it. My contribution for Cee is four bird species.

From the Galápagos Islands – a young Red-footed Booby and a yellow warbler.

And, from my winter garden –


a bullfinch and a great tit. Both sitting in my old apple tree.


CFFC: Birds

Who does not love birds?

For Cee this week – a nesting stork on top of an old church ruin in Spain.

Harpy Eagle (Americas)

I love those big birds of prey, like the Harpy. Frightening but beautiful. They call this bird the most cruel bird of prey.

Eagle owls are very big – and beautiful – too. These two shots are from Walsrode bird park, the biggest park in Europe (at least).


Thursday’s Special: Trio

Paula’s Trio! Not half as cute as her puffins…but they inspired me.


Yellow naped Amazon – Walsrode bird park

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Thursday Thoughts – Memories From Last January

Most photos this month were from the Galapagos Islands and our beautiful ship – Cachalote – Here are some of my favorites. In the header, me and my lovely mockingbird!

Volcanic Islands all of them – and here at Sullivan Bay – strikingly beautiful.

My absolute favorites on this trip were the iguanas – especially the land iguanas. We were so lucky to find an iguana up in the cacti – they love eating them, but rarely have any success in climbing them.

I would not mind going back one day – to see the other islands as well. Each island has its own specific flora and fauna. Mostly untouched by humans – and therefore, animal kingdoms.