Friday, November 25, 2016

Churchill Polar Bears, 11th November 2016

The mother and two cubs were sighted on the beach in Bird Cove, which is the area just to the west of 'buggy land' where the Tundra Buggy tours take place. The mother and single cub resting in the rocks were also photographed in this area. Bear activity during my visit had been rather variable day to day, and they were less frequently than reports from the previous week suggested, but I felt so privileged to observe family groups in relatively intimate circumstances.

Churchill Polar Bears, 10th November 2016

My second and final day on the Tundra Buggy, was marked by sightings of cubs and the sparring of males, when they 'play fight' in order to practice for the more serious contents during mating season. It was spent with my friend and expert photographer Michael Ho, another regular visitor in bear season. Indeed, the Arctic may be regarded as a vast wilderness, but the few human settlements are small, so one of the joys of visiting is reacquainting myself with locals and fellow visitors.

Churchill Polar Bears, 9th November 2016

This was a day of relatively few, but magical sightings of bears. Alas, almost all of the remaining snow had melted, the first time I have experienced such warm conditions in my seven years of travelling to Churchill in November. Polar bears aren't adapted to such warm conditions, and are often less active, resting to conserve their energy.