When we left off yesterday, we were just getting ready to set out in the tundra buggy. It soon became very apparent why rule #1 was that everyone must be sitting while we moved. The trails that we drove on had rocks and holes and stretches of water where we could not even see what the ground underneath looked like. The tundra buggy was back and forth and up and down and sometimes pretty violent movements. Some people might end up very stiff and sore after a day on one of these and standing or walking would be impossible. No vehicles other than these tundra buggies would ever be able to get through these trails. When the water is completely frozen it will be much smoother. Up until recently, the water was always frozen by this time of year.
It didn’t take long for our first sighting and it was a good one. A white-morph Gyrfalcon landed in front of a small bush and stayed while we snapped pictures. What a beautiful bird and this would apparently be a lifer for many birders.
You can see larger photos if you click on one and scroll.
Unfortunately I took these pictures of the Gyrfalcon through the window instead of opening it or going out on the platform in the back.
Next sighting was a lone Polar Bear who was hunkered down to get out of the wind and never did raise a head so we could see him/her.
Then it was a Mom and her cub from last winter – so almost a year old. I got quite a few pictures and 1 video of this pair. They just kept moving around and I kept snapping pics.
Next there was another mother Polar Bear with 2 babies, the same age as the one above. These ones were all cuddled up together – so just a few shots when one or more showed a face. These ones were quite a distance away and the snow was coming down a bit harder.
Last sighting was a beautiful Red Fox. These 2 pictures are not great though. I had no time to open a window and the window was wet and foggy. He was moving fast and it was snowing and he was a long way away – but you can tell what he is at least.
We were on our way back when we saw the Fox, so after this, we got back on the green school bus and went into town. We had our dinner at The Seaport Restaurant (I had ribs and they were delicious). After eating we had the option of walking to the shops down the street and being picked up at the last one at 7:30 or waiting at the restaurant for the green bus to take the the non shoppers to that shop to pick up the shoppers and then get all of us back to the airport for the return trip. I waited at the restaurant and used the time to download my pictures to see what I got.
The return trip was fine – although a bit late leaving and we didn’t get back to the city until after 11:00 pm, so it was almost midnight before I got home and fell into bed – where I slept soundly.
I almost forgot – when we were flying above the clouds again, we were able to watch the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). The lights appeared to be just white – but I took a picture and the little bit of light that showed was green. I lightened and cropped the picture and much more green now shows on it and this is what I could see (other than the colour).
I am actually surprised that the camera picked this up at all, since the interior of the plane was light and it was dark outside except for the Northern lights. I am sure the colour was actually there, but because we were in the light, all we could see was white light.
I made a mug at Zazzle with one of the Polar Bear pictures. You can find it here if interested.