Northern lights over Ice lake in Cape Dorset, Nunavut. Manny Noble photo.
Even though polar bear season is just around the corner with the possibility of viewing northern lights on clear nights, we can’t help but look ahead to January when the heart of aurora borealis season begins in Churchill. Once the Hudson Bay is frozen over, northern lights are fairly constant in the night skies of the far north. This recent shot above Ice Lake in Cape Dorset, Nunavut is just a sample of what can be seen in the heart of winter throughout the Arctic and sub – Arctic. What an incredible vista!
Churchill is in full swing with polar bears “high and low” as you can see from these recent field image submissions from the region. Moira Le Patourel leading a group of Natural Habitat Adventures travelers had a spectacular time in Churchill. The snow covered tundra provides an Arctic background for the incredible wildlife sightings in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area (CWMA). What a trip for this fortunate group.
Polar bears scattered on the tundra of the CWMA were the highlight for sure though a bear lift at the holding compound was an event that is hit or miss for travelers to Churchill. It truly is spectacular to watch polar bears be flown northwest along the coast to a safe haven and released to the wild again. Timing is everything in order to catch one of these awesome spectacles! An incredible, unique experience if you can see it.
Group photo with guide Moira in front of a polar rover! Moira Le Patourel photo.
A polar bear wandering between a couple of polar rovers. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Magnificent polar bear in the snow. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Polar bear family walking a trail in the CWMA. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Polar bear sniffing at the falling snow. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Polar bear family posing for a group shot. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Lift off at the Polar Bear Holding Facility. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Up, up and away in the cargo nets for polar bear family. Moira Le Patourel photo.
While the polar bears on the land and in th air were exciting for all travelers, there was other wildlife to see as well. A regal red fox appeared from the willows to catch the eyes and camera lenses of the group. Ptarmigan as well made an appearance seemingly from out of nowhere. Both species reveal the secrets of the sub – Arctic to all those lucky enough to spot them. Magic seems to happen in Churchill especially during polar bear season!
Red fox emerging from the willows. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Willow ptarmigan on the rover trail in the CWMA. moira Le Patourel photo.
Polar bear season in Churchill is officially underway as groups of travelers with Natural Habitat Adventures are returning from the Tundra Lodge out deep in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area (CWMA). We should be getting some detailed field reports in from that groups guides Eric Rock and Colby Brokvist over the weekend. Other groups are arriving in Churchill as well and soon the news will come fast and furious. Polar bears will start to move with more urgency as the season gets going and the snow comes along with cooling air from the north. Stay tuned for posts from the sub -Arctic!
Polar bears at play in Churchill. Rhonda Reid photo.
Majestic polar bear on a chilly, frosty morning in Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.
Poalr bear afraid to look at all the polar rovers. Justin Gibson photo.
Polar bear stretching after a nap in the willows. Natural Habitat Adventures photo.