Churchill weather has been a mix of freezing temperatures, mostly cloudy with intermittent sun, occasional snow flurries and gusting wind. Polar bears were spotted all around the tundra out in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Travelers and guides have spotted some curious polar bears near the Tundra Lodge and among the tundra vehicles in the vicinity, particularly younger females. While some bears remained in the willows yesterday, travelers were able to enjoy some more active behavior. A polar bear was seen thermoregulating in the snow, and two large males neared sparring confrontation. Sightings of a snowy owl, rough-legged hawk, gyrfalcon and red fox out on the land spiced up the day’s experience!
Polar bear gnawing on a tasty treat. Jason Luoma photo.
Sun reflecting off a majestic polar bear in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. Jason Luoma photo.
A polar bear in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area conducting morning Polar Rover inspection. Bill McPherson photo.
Polar bear walking along a Polar Rover trail in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. @apalsson photo.
A lone polar bear approaching a Polar Rover in Churchill. Bill McPherson photo.
A polar bear inspects a Polar Rover in Churchill. Bill McPherson photo.
Another great first day for a Natural Habitat Adventures group
of travelers lead by guide Drew Hamilton. While heading out to the Churchill Wildlife Management Area they stopped to admire a rough legged hawk when a guest called out from the back of the polar rover “what’s that running across the ice?” An Arctic fox
was bounding along the tundra and the group was ecstatic to catch what seems to be a rare sighting this season so far.
This incident was a clear reminder that when searching out wildlife always remember to look behind you as never know what you might miss out on the land.
Polar bears sparring in the CWMA. Drew Hamilton photo.
When their polar rover neared the Tundra lodge, bear activity was already heating up. Large males polar bears were sparring
in the willows just off the trail. When there was a break in the action and the males retreated into the willows to cool off, a female polar bear sneaked onto the scene to check out the rover. She seemed a bit nervous due to the presence of all the other bears around and soon departed when the sparring started back up. Quite the action packed scenes amid some drama out on the tundra!
Snowy owl on a rock in the Churchill wildlife Management Area. Drew Hamilton photo.
On the way back to town the travelers were treated to a snowy owl viewing just off the road. A little icing on a fantastic day of wildlife viewing.
Northern lights over the Hudson bay and Churchill inukshuk. Drew Hamilton photo.
In the evening the group had enjoyed a talk by Duane at Parks Canada learning about Pre-dorset art. Leaving the Parks Canada office Drew suggested swinging by the inukshuk at the rear of the town complex to check for northern lights and there they were in all their glory. Travelers spent an hour watching and photographing the aurora capping off an incredible Churchill day.
Natural Habitat Adventures group with the northern lights blazing in the sky. Drew Hamilton photo.
Natural Habitat Adventures guide Elise and her group of travelers had a “great day out on the tundra” as the fierce winds of the past few days subsided. Polar bears came out to play
around the Tundra Lodge, sparring all around the area and then resting at the peninsula to the north.
Later on Polar bears
were leaning on their rover drivers door, peering up under the grate and circling the vehicle multiple times. Exciting action all around the land.
Hopefully this bear activity is a good omen for the rest of the season in the Churchill Wildlife Management Area. A rough – legged hawk hovering overhead, leading the group back to launch was a awesome way to finish up a day on the northern tundra.
Polar bears sparring near the Tundra Lodge. Elise Lockton photo.
Polar bear near the polar rover. Elise Lockton photo.
Polar bear approaching the polar rover. Elise Lockton photo.