Last August, my partner and I went to spend a week on the Southeast Alaskan coast in Hyder. The main purpose of the trip was to watch the bears fishing on salmon in Fish Creek and maybe if we are lucky enough have a glimpse of the coastal wolf. It took us almost two days to drive down there by the Stewart-Cassiar Highway from Whitehorse, including all the breaks along the way to capture some memories.
Silhouette of a Grizzly Bear catching a salmon at twilight. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM
Our week spent in Hyder (Alaska) and Stewart (British Columbia) was pretty good, we had a bit of cloud cover and sprinkles but not the usual rain of Southeast Alaska. A third of our time was consumed at the Fish Creek Wildlife Observation Site waiting for a bear to show up. The facilities in place are managed by the US Forest Service and consist of a long viewing deck overlooking a part of Fish Creek. Having the habit of usually be just by myself when out in the wild photographing the wildlife, there was no other choices than to be part of the crowd this time. So, not the best experience of my life, but at least now I know that I won’t go back there for bear watching. Finally, we didn’t see many bears, just four in five days, and most of them late in the evening when the light was gone. Fortunately, the sceneries of the surrounding area were fantastic, we enjoyed the rest of our time photographing the landscape, specially mountains and glaciers.
Grizzly Bear fishing on salmon at twilight. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM
Grizzly bear feasting on salmon. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM
Grizzly Bear shaking water off in the blue lagoon. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM
After some hours waiting on the site, we finally got the chance to see a coastal wolf visiting briefly the creek to fish on salmon before heading back into the coastal forest.
Coastal Wolf in Fish Creek. Canon EOS 5D MK II + Canon 500mm f/4 IS USM + Canon Extender 1.4x
I’ve just got back from a weekend in Alaska and went through my emails to find out that my shot “Canadian Dollar Store” of a Glaucous Gull wrapped with a plastic bag around it’s foot won the 1st prize of the category “The Man and the Bird” in the AVES Emotion’Ailes photo contest. Congratulations to all the other awarded photographers, especially my friend Christophe Salin!
“Canadian Dollar Store” – 1er prix catégorie “L’Homme et l’Oiseau”, Matane, Québec, Canada
I am pleased to announce that one of my image of a Yukon Black Wolf has just been nominated in the 2014 International Wildlife and Nature Photography Festival of Montier-en-Der (France). Final results of the photo competition will be announced next November during the festival.
See the results on the festival’s website: www.festiphoto-montier.org
I’ve been working on the final design and image selection for my 2015 Yukon wall calendar which I just sent to the press. The summer tourist season is starting slowly this month in the Yukon, the 2015 Calendar should hit the retail stores by the end of the month. You can also hit the Buy button below to order online using the secure PayPal payment system.
11 x 14 inch, 12 Months Wall Calendar with monthly calendar grid and image. Price: $25.
The Fortymile Caribou Herd hasn’t been seen in its past stomping grounds of the Yukon Territory for decades. Seeing them this winter in the Tombstone Territorial Park was a very encouraging news for the herd. Historically, the Fortymile Caribou Herd is most noted for its extreme decline in numbers. The estimated herd numbers declined from about 260,000 caribou in the early 1920s to 6,000 in 1973. The herd now reaches about 50,000 members again and continues to expand into the Yukon.
Here are a selection of pictures of the Fortymile Caribou Herd grazing in the Tombstone Territorial Park from this past winter:
Forty Mile Caribou Herd grazing in the Tombstone Territorial Park
A scenic view of Tombstone Territorial Park in winter
A Barren-ground bull caribou walking ahead of the rest of the group in the subarctic tundra.
When caribou are moving along and one is alarmed, it rears up on its hind feet, whirls about, and dashes off. When a caribou does this, scent from the interdigital gland is deposited on the ground. Every caribou that comes to the spot will sniff the scent and then became excited and alarmed.
Barren-ground Caribou from the Forty Mile Herd
Forty Mile Caribou Herd in the Tombstone mountain range
Forty Mile Caribou Herd in the wide open valley of the Blackstone River
A young bull caribou walking on the blue ice of a frozen lake
Caribou in the sunset light