That night, in a storm on an evening rover trip, night rover, everyone’s expectations for polar bear sightings were low. However, luckily a bear at the end of the lodge.The driver was able to able to pull right up next to him. His head was resting on his front paw and his short legs extended out back behind him, laying on his belly.Later he came right up to the vehicle for a visit. Quite a solitary experience.
The next day,the travelers headed out toward Gordon Point and happened upon a couple of young adult males sparring.They put on quite a show for several rovers in the area. Amazing how they can just ignore these massive vehicles and go about their business.Later, traveling down Ptarmigan Alley, the group spotted a few other polar bears walking across the frozen ponds or thermakarsts. Bears can move freely now across the tundra with no open water in their way to divert them. Photographing them moving across these surfaces is optimal.
One of the highlights of the trip came the following day, departure day, exploring along Goose Creek Road. “As we crossed Goose Creek, a guest saw something dark below the bridge,running up the frozen creek. It turned out to be a wolverine! (This was my first wolverine sighting ever!!!).” stated Karen. Further upstream, some other animals were moving around.They turned out to be a cross fox and three river otters! “It was interesting watching all three species of critters encountering each other, but no attack occurred.” she added. ” While this was happening on our left, a beautiful red fox appeared downstream on our right.This fox was much closer, so the guests’ attention was drawn to him. He later made an appearance for us while we were at the marina observation tower.” reported Karen The partially frozen creek with the frost on the trees & the new snow made it into a winter wonderland out there. Wow, what a morning!!!
Four guests also went flightseeing on a helicopter and saw a moose as well as some bears along the coast. Some other travelers went dog sledding with Kelly and Churchill River Mushing and had an amazing time. Back in the warming tent hot cocoa and trail stories warmed the blood. What a trip!
This dramatic weather change proved timely for Natural Habitat photo group and their guide Colby Brokvist. upon arrival the group took some dramatic pics of the stone inukshuk by the Hudson Bay. In addition to the fantastic red light reflecting off the cloud filled sky, the group set up some spotlights for a dramatic affect.
The following day on the tundra, a playful young female polar bear greeted the rover right off. later near Gordon Point revealed some bears up-close and some light sparring activity. The rocky frozen coastline with chunks of tidal ice combined with amazing sunlight made for varied, interesting shots. On the way back to launch,a sow with two cubs set against a background of soft glowing sun and silhouetted stunted spruce trees made for epic photos.
The final two days on the land were highlighted by sparring bears at the tundra lodge and close looks at a snowy owl just near a little esker. Then a bear on the rocks just past the airport. Back out at the lodge three sets of sparring bears kept shutters clicking incessantly . One set, later morning, was only 20 yards off the rover’s side and close in action shots were captured. The ride back provided more chances for snowy owl shots.
In other news, for the second consecutive year, conservation officers and RCMP raided Brian Ladoon’s dog compound at mile 5 and removed six bears lurking around for “dog” rations. His mafiaesque photo nad tour business seems to be doomed at this point.
“Cracker shots throughout town the last two nights. Things are ramping up here!”, reports Colby.