People have moved to certain regions just to get a license plate from that place. Would you move to Nunavut to get one of these? Let us know? Gasoline prices might be a factor in that decision! Churchill prices have been near $10/gallon at times.
Polar bear season in officially begins in October though recent Churchill summers have seen increased numbers in polar bear activity…or “inactivity” as polar bears at this time of year are pretty lethargic in nature. This family of three polar bears was spotted by Churchill local photographer and guide Alex De Vries – Magnifico yesterday while fighting off some pesky bulldog flies. These insects last for about two weeks and then are gone. Sometimes they are chased away inexplicably by a thunder storm.
Unofficially these are the first photos of polar bears in the area since last polar bear season in Churchill this past November. These bears are looking very healthy and ready to withstand the summer and early fall prior to the pack ice forming on the Hudson Bay. This is a good sign for the polar bears of the region!
We hope you all enjoy our first guest blog report from Churchill and Natural Habitat Adventures guide Moira Le Patourel. Her group of travelers experienced a classic and exciting week in Churchill and the photos and report below give a feel of the adventure experienced!
“The first trip of the summer is always an exciting one in Churchill.
Vast Ice floes are visible out in the bay, seemingly close to shore, but just slightly too far away to use the spotting scope to search for polar bears still out on the ice. Bears had already been spotted close to town and our first group of the summer was lucky enough to spot a resting polar bear on the beach, while out on the tundra on their first evening in Churchill.
Things were in full bloom on the tundra in a spectacular array of colours; snow-white from the White Mountain Avens, with their buttercup-yellow center, a carpet of brilliant green from the Sea Purslane, and a vibrant mat of magenta from the Purple Hedysarum. It was certainly a feast for the eyes!
Sea pursalane inhabits the beach areas in Churchill. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Beluga sightings were excellent
throughout the trip, with several young calves spotted swimming with their mothers. During our final morning on the zodiacs, the river was all a-splash with beluga activity – pods of feeding-frenzied belugas, young and old, cavorted around the boats in pursuit of their fast-moving prey – capelin. Arctic terns plummeted into the water from the surface, with the white whales pushing the capelin up from below. Quite the sight to behold!
Beluga whales in the Churchill River with excited Nat Hab travelers. Moira Le Patourel photo.
A visit with local sled dogs and their owner was an interesting way for our visitors to learn about what life is like for a musher and his team in the remote sub-Arctic town of Churchill.
With the train to Churchill not running at the moment, the logistics have become more complicated over the past month, and the cost of living has significantly gone up for the residents of Churchill. Our group learned about what those changes meant for mushers and dog teams in the area.
Churchill sled dogs are alaways a popular attraction. Moira Le Patourel photo.
Walks in both tundra and taiga habitat allowed us to spot many different bird species; some of the favourites were nesting/dive-bombing Arctic terns, red-necked phalaropes, lesser yellowlegs, Pacific loons and tundra swans with young. Churchill certainly is the place to be in the summer
, especially for those visitors in search of feathered friends. Many guests on this trip were able to add several species to their life lists.
Many laughs, smiles, hugs and songs (you can’t leave without singing Baby Beluga at least once!) were shared by all for our first adventure in Churchill this summer. Looking forward to what the coming days will bring!”
Enjoy this awesome short video from National Geographic with interesting facts about majestic Beluga Whales and their environment. Churchill Summer travelers are currently experiencing these magnificent animals right now in the Churchill River and Hudson Bay. We will be posting updates, photos and videos from Churchill periodically as the summer progresses. Stay tuned for all the exciting news from the “beluga capital of the world”!
The Photo of the Week comes from Rankin Inlet, Nunavut taken by Dustin IInik. The magnificence of the northern caribou herd is striking when viewed across the wide open tundra of northern Canada. I personally, at some point, would like to try and film footage from within the migration itself by possibly rigging a fixed camera in a position where it wouldn’t get destroyed. Churchill summer and Arctic summer on the whole reveal incredible wildlife experiences that show themselves when you least expect them to. Enjoy!