Churchill Arctic summer is one of the most magical times on the planet Earth. When the belugas return to the Churchill River it signals the new season and the bloom of life all over the region on tundra and water. Looking forward to another few months of exciting news and images from the heart of the action in Churchill!
Polar bear season is coming up in about a month in Churchill and polar bears have been gathering in the area over the course of the summer. This past unpredictable Churchill Arctic summer was one of the best in recent history for bear sightings. These images are some classics from past exciting polar bear seasons. Enjoy!
Natural Habitat Adventure’s Churchill Arctic summer trips are winding down and guide Moira LaPatourel submitted these images from the last trip. Looks like a group of happy travelers experienced all kinds of northern fun in Churchill! While polar bear activity has calmed down some from a couple of weeks ago, the tundra still reveals all the treasures of late summer as berries and other wildflowers are squeezing all they can out of the short growth season. Beluga whales in record high numbers have been all throughout the estuaries this summer. Last year some belugas were still present at the start of polar bear season in October and by the looks of this summer we may have a repeat of that this year.
This has been one of the most successful Churchill Arctic summer seasons on record with bears and belugas in prolific numbers. With all the supporting scenery and wildlife, this Churchill Arctic summer will be etched in many traveler’s memories!
Churchill photographer and guide Alex De Vries – Magnifico captured this rare shot of a polar bear and beluga whales in the same frame. As a Churchill Arctic Summer guide for Natural Habitat Adventures for over a decade, I only encountered a polar bear in the water a few times. Of those amazing encounters I never was able to frame a photo with both animals in the shot.
This sequence is rare since polar bears have little chance of catching a beluga whale in the open water. There have been some reports of polar bears nabbing a whale in the shallows when unsuspecting belugas venture too close to the shoreline. Most of the whale carcasses with polar bears scavenging seen in photos are whales that have beached from sickness resulting in death.
Alex, working as a guide for Sea North Tours, has access to incredible interactions while driving a zodiac on whale watching groups on the Churchill River and out in the Hudson Bay. When something as rare as this occurs very few have the ability to get the shot. Alex reacted and definitely nailed an fantastic image. Enjoy!
Kayaking with the beluga whales in Churchill’s Arctic Summer is one of the most incredible experiences one can have. I have done this numerous times and each one is a different experience though all are surreal and awesome! If you ever get the chance to make a journey to Churchill, this is a must do activity for all!