November 3 – Temperatures dropped dramatically, then reached 20°F by mid-day. The weather was overcast with light winds and periodic snow showers. The morning began with some groups encountering a sow and cubs right on the main road a short distance outside of town. Once on the tundra, there was good action at Gordon Point and along the Coast Trail. The highlight was one large male polar bear that made his presence known to a tundra vehicle. Travelers saw many polar bears—between 15 and 20 individuals were reported within the entirety of the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. By early afternoon, the bears were all laying down resting, with many retreating to the thick willows to avoid the wind. The day ended with a quiet tone, and only a few smaller animals were seen.

November 4 – A handful of calm moments were the exception to an otherwise cold and windy day on the tundra. As such, many polar bears found reprieve in the willows. Although most spent a good portion of the day lazing around, there were numerous bear sightings. To start the morning, travelers saw a bear walking across a newly frozen pond. A mother and cub sheltering in the willows were seen near the tundra vehicles, while a large male became rather curious about the vehicles. From a distance, two polar bears took a nap next to each other. On occasion, these two would stand and sniff one another but found themselves too lazy to spar. An Arctic hare hid among the trees, and a red fox was spotted scampering across the tundra. Grease ice, a thin layer of frazil crystals, was observed on Hudson Bay for the first time in a localized area near Gordon Point—the first sign of the bay beginning to freeze.

Arctic Hare in Churchill.

A content Arctic Hare near Cape Merry in Churchill. Alex De Vries Magnifico photo.


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