polar bears in Churchill

Polar bear viewing from Great White Bear’s polar rovers. Jeff Klofft photo.

Under blue skies and perfect Autumn weather, wildlife enthusiasts were out and about in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area(CWMA) on polar rovers. The season has transitioned well from Summer to Fall with crisp cool temperatures and sunny skies enveloping the vibrant colors of the plant life of the tundra. Travelers were presented with a fine day of cruising around the land taking in the vast openness.

Guide Melissa’s group followed the inland trail to the tundra lodge and soon spotted a male polar bear out across from a nearby lake. The group was content with settling in and watching for a good part of the morning. Another bear was also sleeping nearby closer to the lodge as the group moved through and out along the coast road.  Numerous snow geese, both white and blue phase grouped themselves all over the area while ptarmigan were scattered closer to the willows. Another male polar bear was seen farther out on the coastal road lumbering around in and out of the willows.

Guide Sandra’s folks meanwhile were taking in many of the same sights of the day and early afternoon brought a memorable experience for all. A group of caribou seemed to appear out of the land as they seem to often do out in the CWMA. One normally has to have a super keen eye to locate caribou on the tundra as they blend quite nicely. This group came relatively close though and camera shutters went wild. Taking it all in stride the herd lingered a long time for the photo shoot and then vanished back to the land.

Inaugural helicopter journeys by some in Guide Elise’s contingent brought them out to Cape Churchill and out over Wapusk National Park where good numbers of polar bears were all over the land. Many of the bears are still farther North and soon will be making their way into the range of the CWMA.

Nightfall in Churchill brought another first of this very young season as the Aurora Borealis glimmered faintly but visible in the clear, cool sky. This is a good sign for the season ….hopefully more of these displays to follow in the days ahead.

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