The first groups of travelers have been experiencing dramatic cold and sensational northern lights in Churchill these last couple of weeks. Here are some pictorial field notes from the far north and northern lights season guru Brad Josephs. So much of what Nat Hab’s aurora borealis trips encompass is more than seeing the northern lights. The amazing train trip north and stops at Pisew Falls and Thompson leading to the journey through boreal forest and taiga coming to rest in Churchill. Dog-sledding, igloo building, curling and various other cultural experiences make this an unforgettable adventure. Northern lights above the vast frozen Hudson Bay is more often than not the proverbial “icing on the cake”! Enjoy
Natural Habitat Adventures group with guide Brad Josephs. Brad Josephs photo.
Dog – sledding in Churchill. Brad Josephs photo.
Moonscape above the boreal forest before the aurora appeared in Churchill. Brad Josephs photo.
Northern lights above Wapusk Adventures tee – pee and boreal forest. Brad Josephs photo.
Northern lights action at the Natural Habitat Aurora Pod. Brad Josephs photo.
Natural Habitat Adventures travelers beneath the northern lights in Churchill. Brad Josephs photo.
A Natural Habitat Adventures group of travelers lead by seasoned guide Brad Josephs had this phenomenal experience of a large male polar bear checking out the groups polar rover out in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Being inches from the Arctic’s king of the food chain is quite the thrilling and life changing moment. Polar bears are naturally inquisitive and are attracted to many different smells. This time of year as they wait for the Hudson Bay to freeze – up so they can replenish their body fat by hunting seals, nearly everything smells appetizing. Good thing those rovers are built high off the tundra! Polar bear season in Churchill is constantly surprising us all.
These amazing photographs by Natural Habitat Adventures guide Brad Josephs in Churchill are diverse in content and exhibit the awesome range of wildlife viewing travelers have been seeing on the tundra of the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. With more than a week to go in this phenomenal polar bear season there’s still much more action to see from Churchill!
Polar bear observing the polar rover. Brad Josephs photo.
Relaxing polar bear in a kelp bed. Brad Josephs photo.
Polar bear awakens to an Arctic fox prowling nearby. Brad Josephs photo.
Two ravens harass a snowy owl on the tundra. Brad Josephs photo.
Snowy owl strikes back at the ravens. Brad Josephs photo.
Polar bears explore a polar rover out in the CWMA. Brad Josephs photo.
These outstanding images from Churchill come from Natural Habitat Adventures guide Brad Josephs. His amazing photography skills bring us the current feel of the tundra with the fresh snow cover. It’s snowing today as well in the region so we should expect more fantastic winter scenes to come. Polar bear season has been filled with incredible wildlife sightings so far. Foxes have been seen all over the tundra and a large number of mother’s and cubs have been appearing over the last week. More to come as the week progresses! Enjoy.
Curious and beautiful red fox. Brad Josephs photo.
Weary mother and cubs on the tundra. Brad Josephs photo.
Silver fox scampering through the snowy tundra. Brad Josephs photo.
Polar bear investigates the humans on a polar rover. Brad Josephs photo.
Gyrfalcon rests on the snowy tundra. Brad Josephs photo.
Polar bear winks at the travelers on a rover. Brad Josephs photo.
Natural Habitat Adventures guide Brad Josephs and his group of travelers were on their way to rover launch last week when they spotted a sight that most on – board the rover had never seen. No, not the iconic “king of the north” the magnificent polar bear, although many of those beautiful creatures were in their future, but a stoic immature snowy owl. An “amazing sighting” according to Brad!
Iconic snowy owl perched on a snow covered rock. Brad Josephs photo.
This was just a preview of what was to come. “We had the most bears I have ever seen at one time on halfway point. They were all over the place!” Brad stated following a sensational day in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area (CWMA). A sow with two cubs of the year (coys) definitely stood out as the highlight of the expedition though numerous polar bears with varied behavior kept the group in awe for hours and hours. This is a good sign for the ongoing season as the polar bear numbers are growing daily.
.”It was so incredible that this female felt so comfortable snuggling her precious little babies just 30 feet from our Rover.” reported Brad regarding the intimate interactions witnessed by the group.
Sow and her two coys approaching a polar rover. Brad Josephs photo.
Sow polar bear and her two coys snuggling in a kelp bed. Brad Josephs photo.
Red poll in a willow tree. Brad Josephs photo.
Polar rovers enjoying polar bears on the tundra. Brad Josephs photo.
Brad’s Natural Habitat Adventures group listening to Churchill River Mushing’s head musher Kelly Turcotte. Brad Josephs photo.
Natural Habitat Adventures band of avid adventurers in Churchill. Brad Josephs photo.
The group rounded out their memorable and exciting time in Churchill with dogsled rides with Churchill River Mushing and owner/musher Kelly Turcotte. Kelly gives a history of mushing in Churchill while the group enjoys bannock and a hot drink after the rides in his authentic trappers tent. As you can see the group bonded well on their amazing adventure in the north!