Lonely Planet’s Bailey Freeman explores the beauty of the Churchill River by kayak and meets some friendly beluga whales in this remote region of Canada. Find out more about Manitoba here: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/canada/m…Kayaking with the beluga whales in the Churchill River is such a unique experience that will stay in your memory forever! Come to Churchill and take this one off your list.
These three photos from the far north highlight the vastness and mystery of the Arctic and the smallness of a human within the endless landscape.Solitude and quietness are aspects of this land that endure through the ages. This is what draws so many to this magical place…the feeling of being alone and away from all the distractions of feeling and thought.
Churchill is the gateway to the Arctic with the iconic wildlife symbols of this region in the mighty polar bears and ethereal beluga whales gliding effortlessly through the frigid waters of the Hudson Bay. The empty spaces are highlighted with flashes of other wildlife such as migrating birds and Arctic and Red foxes, insects and boreal chorus frogs all softened with an amazing myriad of wildflowers throughout the short summer season. There truly is no place other like the Arctic and sub – Arctic…another world of treasures to be discovered!
Beluga whales are returning to the Churchill River and the birds are plentiful in the region these days. The short but rejuvenating Churchill summer season is one of the hidden treasures of the north country on the Hudson Bay. Until you’ve experienced all the wonders of this season in Churchill, you cannot appreciate the endless beauty and discoveries to be made each day..which are “literally endless” in the heart of summer.
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.
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.
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!
One of the most spectacular and soulful activities to do in Churchill is kayaking with the thousands of beluga whales that inhabit the Churchill River and surrounding Hudson Bay in the summer months. Seeing the curious belugas from three or four different perspectives rounds out an overall experience with these amazing creatures! Kayaking with belugas in the water is as close as you can get both physically and spiritually. Enjoy!