Beluga season is hitting full-stride up in Churchill, lots of pics being posted on facebook and twitter from the zodiac and snorkelling tours. But, of course, as belugas peak, it also means that the season has just passed its halfway point.
The first beluga whales have shown up near Arviat on their way to northwestern Hudson Bay. The Churchill River is still teeming with whales, of course, but in another three weeks most will be travelling back to their wintering grounds near Repulse Bay and into Hudson Strait
. If a bowhead … Continue Reading ››
After the military started its official withdrawal in 1964, the 'buffer zone' created by the Fort Churchill base was removed. Polar bears soon appeared in the surrounding communities - Churchill, Akudlik and Dene Village. Bears invaded the various garbage dumps and surrounding area. Churchill wasn't really quite sure what to do with them.
It was pretty wild times. Folks would drive out to the dump to watch (and picnic) with the bears. There are more than a few old photos kicking around of a young chap feeding a … Continue Reading ››
Bears are starting to arrive on shore in larger numbers now. This year it looks to be a bit of a split - with significant numbers coming ashore north of the Churchill River and many still riding the ice far to the south.
Here is an excerpt from ChurchillWild's Seal River blog. Feature image is also couresty of Seal River (www.churchillwild.com)
'Six gorgeous bears spent the day sharing a ringed seal one of them had managed to catch. Said seal made the fatal mistake of falling asleep on a nice warm rock on … Continue Reading ››
Snorkelling with beluga whales has fast become one of Churchill’s top attractions. It is a truly amazing experience.
Almost thirty grain ships visit Churchill each year between July and November.
Polar bears are back in the Churchill area by early July, keep your eyes open.
Belugas can be seen swimming in pods of 6-20 animals, often segregated by sex.
Northern lights are so strong in Churchill, they can be seen even in the summer when the sun barely sets.
Beluga whales will swim right along side your zodiac tour.
Fog can roll in quickly where the Churchill River meets the cold waters of Hudson Bay.
An estimated 57,000 beluga whales live in the western Hudson Bay region, spending summers in the Seal, Churchill and Nelson River estuaries.
View from the Churchill River Flats, a recreation retreat for many Churchillians.
Belugas can grow up to 14′ long and maybe weigh around 2000 lbs.
Images courtesy of Alex de Vries - www.alexdevriesphotography.com
Bears are starting to come ashore in Churchill. In early June, sea ice was reaching near record levels in Hudson Bay and Davis Strait. However, a late June heat wave and what looks like a lot of NW winds, have really opened things up along western Hudson Bay. You can see on the June 30 Sea Ice map below that NW Hudson Bay has really opened up even though about half the bay remains ice covered.
So, Churchill … Continue Reading ››
I know that often it seems that the Polar Bear Blog is kind of skeptical about climate change - its not my fault, there is a lot of ice on Hudson Bay this year... - but for the moss-huggers out there, here is a climate change update.
Word on the street is that a black bear was spotted on the ice behind the Town Complex hunting seals. This sounds a bit Churchill rumourish but black bears have actually been venturing out on the sea ice off the coast of Labrador … Continue Reading ››