Wolves on Arctic Canada trip
30th Jul 2017
As we took off from Yellowknife bound for Bathurst Inlet we were talking about whether we would see Arctic Wolf but as it turned out when we landed there we were already in state of exaltation. We had landed half way up to refuel and there, unbelievably, on the edge of the gravel runway was a fabulous Arctic Wolf, pure white, and clearly at the height of its powers. We taxied back and forth in front of it taking photographs.
Another was seen along the eskers that snake through the tundra north of there and also a Grizzly and a Moose! Landing Boyd met us with the news that Arctic Wolves were being seen close to the settlement and that they had a den over the far side of the delta. And it turned out that we saw them more or less every day over the next week. Several times we watched as one waded across the Snye and then walked through the tundra to within a hundred metres or so of the settlement and carefully placed trap cameras took some great pictures out on the sand bar in the Snye! Boyd overflew the den area with his floatplane at one point and could see three Wolves there and our pictures showed at least two individuals over the week. We had a marvellous encounter with male Caribou at close range and Musk Oxen were seen though only in the distance. Grizzly Bear sightings totalled nine during the week with four on one evening around Swan Lake on a boat trip. Other highlights of the week were the incredible colourful Arctic flora and many great close-ups of birds. A Golden Eagle provided memorable moments as he careened into some Canada Geese, trapping one under the water with his talons. The goose, unbelievably, bobbed up a few minutes later a few metres away rather damaged, the eagle stood on the shore, crestfallen. Two days later the same eagle launched a spectacular vertical dive that caused a flying White-winged Scoter to itself dive, gannet-fashion, directly into the water, the eagle pulling back the joystick and narrowly missing the water himself!