A majestic beluga signals the season is upon us. Alex De Vries – Magnifico photo.
Bird species begin arriving in spring and then continue filtering in and out throughout the summer. Over 200 species, including the ultra-rare Ross’s gull named after the British Arctic explorer James Clark Ross converge on this majestic feeding and breeding ground. This elusive gull can be sighted sometimes down by the flats on the Churchill River just south of the Port of Churchill. Famous Churchill birder, Natural Habitat Adventures guide and former Churchill Summer co-guide of mine Bonnie Chartier lead a group to a spot on the river once where we discovered the pinkish – bellied bird.
Ross’s Gull in the shallows near Churchill. Wikimedia Commons photo.
A gorgeous ice-floe rests on the sea bed in Churchill, Manitoba. Great White Bear Tours photo.
The photo opportunities this time of year constantly unveil themselves daily. My favorite time of year is when the ice breaks up and these floes scatter the marine landscape. The colors of the water, rocks and ice all below a brilliant Arctic sky bring new hope and inspiration to Churchillians and those lucky to travel to this wondrous land.
This short video clip outlines how privatization crippled the town of Churchill when the Hudson Bay Line was washed out and the Port was abandoned. The private U.S. company Omnitrax refused to fix the tracks and pulled out of port operation for nearly two years. The good news is that the train has returned to Churchill and the outlook for the future of the port is brighter than it has been for the last few years! This Churchill Summer season should be quite the refreshing breath of fresh air for the people of Churchill!
Until then, stay posted for news and updates from Churchill toward the end of the month. We cannot wait to see what this summer reveals around Churchill! It should be another wild season with unexpected happenings in the far north.
Looking ahead to the new year of 2018. Drew Hamilton photo.
Polar bear on the Precambrian rocks of Churchill. Alex de Vries – Magnifico photo.
Arctic Hare scavenging for a morsel of food on the Churchill tundra. Alex De Vries Magnifico photo.
A cross fox loping along the tundra in search of prey. Colby Brokvist photo.
A polar bear basks in the cold with visions of ice on the Hudson Bay. Bonnie Chartier photo.
Beautiful shot of the Churchill Inukshuk. T Whipple photo.
Polar bears have seemed to adapt in recent years to less “ice time”. Alex De Vries – Magnifico photo.
Polar bear family walking the tundra in Churchill. Katie de Meulles photo.
Birders know Churchill as one of the meccas to check off their life lists for rare and hard to locate avian species. Sparky Stensaas journeyed to Churchill to film this video in 2017 in mid -June and captured 17 bird species for his short film. The species filmed were: Arctic Tern, Tundra Swan, Orange-crowned Warbler, Willow Ptarmigan, Pacific Loon, Bonaparte’s Gull, Blackpoll Warbler, Gray Jay, Nelson’s Sparrow, Parasitic Jaeger, Spruce Grouse, White-crowned Sparrow, Hudsonian Godwit, Whimbrel, Hoary Redpoll, Long-tailed Duck, and Common Eider. A harbor seal and numerous beluga whales were also sighted and also filmed.
Churchill is the hotspot to see over 200 bird species June through August. Consider going to fill your lists and experience an incredible landscape and culture that compliment extraordinary wildlife adventures!