Churchill Arctic Summer – A View from the Field

Incredible wildlife sightings and bursting wildflowers have made this an awesome Churchill Arctic Summer so far! Moira LaPatourel has been guiding Natural Habitat travelers in the Churchill region and the surprises keep coming for the groups both on the water and out on the tundra.

This magnificent common loon and chick was spotted on a thermokarst pond out by the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. These majestic and haunting birds will often circle their water surroundings and give their haunting call to announce the arrival of their offspring. Always an incredible experience to see these in the sub – Arctic.

common loon in Churchill

Common loon and her chick on the water in Churchill. Moira LaPatourel photo.

With the Cape Merry battery looming in the distance, a beluga sow and calf  frolic in the Churchill River. Whale interaction has been off the charts this season with pods of belugas all over the waters surrounding Churchill. Snorkeling and kayaking have been particular highlights for groups as well this season.

beluga whales in Churchill

Beluga whales in the Churchill River with Cape Merry in the background. Moira LaPatourel photo.

A rarely seen bald eagle made an appearance and perched atop this krumholz spruce on the open tundra. A perfect spot for eyeing lemmings scurrying across the ground.

bald eagle in churchill, Manitoba

A bald eagle perched on a spruce tree in the open tundra of Churchill. Moira LaPatourel photo.

A group of travelers gets more of a birds – eye view from the deck of the Sea North I on the Hudson Bay. This vessel provides more of a view above the beluga whales for slightly better photo opportunities. Venturing over to Button Bay or further into the Hudson Bay is another facet this larger jet propulsion craft provides.

beluga whales in the Churchill river

Viewing beluga whales in the Churchill River from the Sea North I vessel. Moira LaPatourel photo.

Natural Habitat travelers enjoy the versatility of a zodiac excursion on the Churchill River. The small craft often can cruise the coastline and discover a gem like this resting polar bear on the Precambrian shield! Seeing polar bears in Churchill Arctic summer is such an awesome experience and often more of a thrill than seeing the king of the Arctic in polar bear season!

polar bear viewing from zodiac in Churchill, Manitoba

Travelers view a polar bear from a zodiac in the Churchill River. Moira LaPatourel photo.

Fireweed has consumed the landscape at this point of the season. The purple injects a swath of color to the landscape that blends the blues of the water and rocks with the subdued earth colors of the tundra.

wildflowers in Churchill

Fields of wildflowers across the tundra in Churchill. Moira LaPatourel photo.

“In Between” – The World of the Muskoxen

One of the most majestic Arctic animals that rivals the mighty polar bear as king of the Arctic is the muskoxen.

Rolf Steinmann, a German cameraman, has directed In Between, which unveils the sights and sounds of the muskoxen and its unforgiving natural habitat in the far north.

Commitment, patience and hard work combined to produce an amazing look into the isolated life of the muskox. Weeks and even months at a time were spent filming segments of the movie. The majority of the on-site locations were in uninhabited regions of the north where only beings able to cope with the harsh cold conditions have the ability to exist. “By spending lots of time in the field I try to immerse deeply into the animal’s world,” he writes on his website.

Muskoxen are the undisputed king ( move over polar bears) of some of these enchanting yet grueling regions!

In Between from Rolf Steinmann on Vimeo.

Churchill Photos of the Week – Summer Polar Bears

Mother and cub polar bear Churchill, MB

Mother and her cub on the tip of Eskimo Point. Moira Le Patourel photo.

When you think summer in Churchill you usually think beluga whales, tundra wildflowers and amazing numbers of migratory life – list birds. Polar bears are generally not on traveler’s radar though summer bear activity has become more of the norm these days. When I guided Churchill arctic summer trips, polar bear activity usually ramped up in August and it was always an incredible surprise when groups did see the king of the arctic in their natural habitat. These days expectations have grown and polar bears seem to surface or rather emerge from the Hudson Bay on a more regular basis and even in July. Although there’s no guarantee, the chances of venturing to Churchill and seeing polar bears in summer have grown dramatically. Churchill Arctic Summer can be an incredible jackpot of natural wonders!

Polar bear in the Hudson Bay. Churchill.

Polar bear sow and cub in the Hudson Bay. Stephanie Fernandez photo.

Polar bear in the mist.

Curious polar bear checking out travelers. Natural Habitat Adventures photo.

Summer polar bear in Arctic.

Polar bear on the rocks in Churchill. Photo Rhonda Reid.

Polar bear on the rocks at Eskimo Point.

Polar bear on the rocks, Churchill,MB. Natural Habitat Adventures photo.

Churchill polar bear

Older male polar bear. John Lehmann photo.

Pin It on Pinterest