October and the start of polar bear season in Churchill is only a couple of months away and some cool polar bear photos are just what we need to get excited about the season ahead. These fantastic shots are by Natural Habitat Adventures guides and give a sense of the proximity one gets within the bears environment. The upcoming season promises to be one of the beast ever.
With reports coming in rapidly from Natural Habitat Guides in the Churchill area, wildlife sightings are diverse and plentiful all across the tundra.
Guide Rinie Van Meurs sends his first Tundra Lodge report with inspired enthusiasm from what he says is the best trip ever for this time of the year polar bear-wise in nine years of working out in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area.
With a overall count of at least 16 different individual bears, including two different families with two cubs of the year (coys), there was all kinds of varied behavior. Some interesting interaction between sows and other male bears was a thrill to the group as mom made all efforts to avoid the young males with her cubs….sheltering them from potential harm.
Every day there were a few polar bears around the lodge, with times up to four animals at the same time. And as previously reported by Colby some of them sparring in the evening under the stars and lights off the lodge. “There seemed to be a group of buddies which liked hanging out together, hopefully they stay in the area” reported Rinie.
On their first polar rover trip away from the lodge out toward Gordon Point, sparring polar bear juveniles grappled right next to the Rover. Luckily another Natural Habitat group in their rover was in the area as well and quickly maneuvered close to the action. Otherwise, several single bears between the Tundra Lodge and first tower were observed as they meandered across the tundra in stoic fashion.
Bonnie Chartier’s Bird Tracker:
18 Oct, Snow Buntings-10 19 Oct Brant Geese 6, pretty big deal for the province, Black Scoter 6, Gyrfalcon- Gray Phase 1, Ptarmigan mixed flocks- many, Snow Buntings 20+. 21 Oct Long-tailed Duck, Snowy Owl 2 ( didn’t see the snow owl) 22 Oct Churchill- Glaucous Gill 1, Common EiIder 8, Snow Buntings 20+, Common Ravens daily, 6+.
On another rover expedition from the lodge, two regal Golden Eagles flew close to the rover, as well as a fairly rare bald eagle. A snowy owl perched along the coastal plain near the willows and many other bird species. “Every day we saw Arctic Fox and as this was not enough we had an Arctic White Wolf !!!!! This was my first wolf ever!” stated an elated Rinie.