Amidst the magnificent diversity of wildlife viewing this polar bear season, another phenomena has captured the attention of many travelers to the north country. Clearly the highlight of this polar bear season in Churchill has been the fairly consistent northern lights and their multi – colored displays in the northern sky. Polar bear sparring, particularly out around the Tundra Lodge in the Churchill Wildlife management Area, has been steady and exciting over the past couple of weeks. Clear skies have provided the opportunity for northern lights viewing for almost every Natural Habitat Adventures group this season. Incredible night shows!
Northern lights above the confines of the boreal forest in Churchill. Alex De Vries – Magnifico photo.
Over the years, Churchill has revealed some other, less visible wildlife such as moose, wolves, pine martens and perigrine falcons. This image below by Natural Habitat Adventures guide Colby Brokvist of a wolverine is one of the best I’ve ever seen out of Churchill. Colby reported that, “the animal climbed up the tree to try and swat the helicopter out of the air, protecting his ground.” just an amazing shot!
Wolverine climbing tree out on the tundra. Colby Brokvist photo.
These next few polar bear photos by Natural Habitat guide Drew Hamilton are great shots of the relaxation process polar bears go through during this time of walking hibernation. Polar bears do engage in sparring and active walking and hunting if possible though much of their time during the fall is spent conserving energy in the snow, kelp or willows.
Polar bear in a kelp bed. Drew Hamilton photo.
Polar bear sporting a battle scar. Drew Hamilton photo.
Relaxing polar bear in Churchill. Drew Hamilton photo.
This closing shot by Natural Habitat guide Colby Brokvist is typical of what this season has delivered with regards to incredible aurora borealis. This could be the best season for northern lights we have seen in a decade in Churchill…lets hope it continues for the next few weeks.
Magnificent northern lights over the inukshuk by the Hudson Bay in Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.
These recent photos from Natural Habitat Adventures guide Colby Brokvist are some fantastic polar bear shots out in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Polar bear activity has been increasing out in the CWMA with the recent seal – kill out at Gordon Point. Sparring at the Tundra Lodge and around the area has continued to peak as well. Northern lights have been exceptional this season and hopes that the trend will continue through the second half. In fact this evening presents incredible viewing potential even down through some of the United States due to solar storms produced through intensified reactions in the Earth’s atmosphere. Lets hope that the sky is clear in Churchill and wherever the lights might be visible!
Polar bear close – up on the tundra. Colby Brokvist photo.
Sparring polar bears in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Colby Brokvist photo.
Majestic polar bear on a chilly, frosty morning in Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.
Polar bears in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Colby Brokvist photo.
Inaugural Natural Habitat groups in Churchill experienced a rare phenomena this past week. With polar bears being the main attraction in Churchill in October, other wildlife and natural wonders are a bonus. This early season has brought magnificent sights beyond the normal for many travelers.
Natural Habitat Guide Colby and travelers enjoyed incredible happenings to start the season. “We deemed it the “quadfecta”, almost unheard of, consisting of the very best aurora show I’ve ever seen, close-up bear encounters, a polar bear lift, and even Beluga whales still lingering in the Churchill River estuary.” stated Colby. Three of those occurrences are rarities for sure.
Additionally, numerous snowy owls, arctic hare, incredible dog sledding, and intriguing cultural programs in Churchill made this a trip to remember. “Certainly one of the best early season trips I’ve ever had,” added Colby. With the weather being changeable right now, polar bear action varies greatly from day to day. Plenty of patience paid off time and time again. More exciting action to come!
Polar bear emerging from the willows. Colby Brokvist photo.
Snowy owl on the rocks in Churchill. Colby Brokvist photo.
Arctic Hare in the rocks. Colby Brokvist photo.
Northern lights at the Tundra lodge. Drew Hamilton photo.
Natural Habitat group spying beluga whales in the Churchill River. Drew Hamilton photo.