They are migrating right now,so they expend huge amounts of energy! When I see birds huddled together like this,I shut the engine off up-tide & drift past.
The wind was up again today,so I headed out to the beach. I found only three wind surfers & no Kite surfers tonight.
I was surprised to see “Peggy” out standing on a limb & doing nothing.When I got closer & shut the engine off,I understood why…….I could hear “Piglet” crying away! I couldn’t see “Piglet” but could tell he was up a tree.”Peggy” wanted to go down to the waters edge to eat some barnacles but was hesitant to leave her baby crying so much.It’s “Peggy’s” first cub so she’s overly protective.She doesn’t realize that all cubs cry constantly for several months. “Piglet” changed his crying pitch to a more serious tone & that brought “Peggy” to the base of the tree immediately! When Sows are concerned or worried they do these little grunting noises to reassure. Soon after “Piglet” fell quiet.
“Peggy” finally had some time to go down to the shore & eat those barnacles!
All bears just love “Barnacle on a stick” treats!
I found this good sized female bear north of Peggy & Piglet.She was slowly cruising north along the shore.
As I was getting ready to head out today,I noticed a large expansive cloud system moving in from the west.I had been watching this system since the morning.I was afraid it might move in & snuff the light………….& thats exactly what happened!
For a few moments I considered cancelling the shoot?After all,If I don’t have the light,I don’t have a picture. The shots will be less than what they could be with good light!
Today was going to be the last day out for awhile,so I went out anyways just to see what was going on & very happy that I did too! I came across one of my furry friends along the shore in Fortune Channel & was pleasantly surprised to find that she was a recent mummy!
I was introduced to “Piglet”
“Piglet” has to be the cutest cub I’ve ever seen! “Peggy” must of given birth late in the season? I know very little about cubs age,but would hazard a guess to be a month or so?”Peggy” knows me from previous years,but was still keeping a eye on me.I tried to only move when she wasn’t looking.She felt comfortable enough to nurse “Piglet” with me present.A honour to be sure!
After being with them for over a hour “Peggy” wanted to head back into the forest & so very gently picked up “Piglet” by the scruff of the neck & carried it into the forest.It was the only time “Piglet” stopped crying!
ABOVE – I found this bear on a tip of land in Dawley Pass.Dawley Pass is a narrow opening connecting Fortune Channel & Tofino Inlet.
I wanted to get a different perspective.Normally I’m looking from the water to the land,but wanted to get some reverse shots.From the land looking out to the water. So I beached the boat & walked up on land to try & get a shot looking down Fortune Channel with the bear in the foreground.
This shot could of been much better with some nice bright white clouds & golden sunshine!
I found “Peggy”foraging along the shore in Fortune Channel.I slowly came up & shut the engine off.Thats when I heard the very distinct sound of a baby crying! I knew instantly that “Peggy” was a mother with a new cub!
I had stumbled upon a fantastic opportunity!
I couldn’t believe my good fortune! (pun intended) Coming across a Sow with a new born cub! “Peggy” must of given birth late. The cub (Piglet) seemed not only smaller than normal but very needy …….like all new borns are.
I could feel the love between them both! “Peggy” was a very attentive mother.She knows me from previous years & so felt comfortable with me being there.
“Peggy” felt comfortable enough to nurse “Piglet” with me watching.The problem I had was staying still! A slight current was moving me to the right.I had to put my camera down & use the paddle.In a situation like this,the last thing you want to do is be seen doing is “moving”! It might spook the Sow & make her move into the forest.So I only moved when she looked away & froze when she looked at me. I finally solved the drifting problem by putting my boots over the side onto some shallow rocks to anchour myself.
“Piglet” was constantly crying when not feeding or cuddling.
The love “Peggy” showed towards “Piglet” was very touching & humbling to witness for me.I felt very honoured!
When “Peggy” decided it was time to leave,she very gently grabbed “Piglet” by the back of the neck & carried it away into the forest.
I had been with them for over a hour! I was thrilled to witness such a beautiful scene between mother & baby! As “Peggy” & “Piglet” disappeared into the forest,I yelled out “thank you”!
It was a honour for me to watch this loving interaction between a mother & her baby!
After I left “Peggy” & “Piglet”,I headed south along the shore line looking for other bears.I saw a small bear all by it’s lonesome! (must of been a yearling) I slowed down & pulled the engine up.I knew they were rocks in this area & didn’t want to hit the prop. While I was paying attention to the engine,the small bear must of seen me moving & been spooked,because when I next looked towards the shore again……..I couldn’t find it anywhere? It happens sometimes…….
I stood up to begin paddling back out.I was only in 4 feet of water. When I stood up there was a sudden & violent upwelling of water to my right! Unbeknownst to me,a Harbour Seal had come to check me out & was only a few feet under me! When I stood up I spooked it.They are such curious creatures at times!
I visited the Daredevil & Delilah when I passed through Tsapee Narrows.As I was leaving,I noticed movement on their nest island! Turns out it was a River Otter rolling around spreading it’s scent about. These guys spook real easy,so I made sure not to move when It was watching me! Looked like a male?
I was travelling in Fortune Channel when I saw a bear at a distance.I grabbed my binocs for a closer look.I saw a bear running along the shore! I wondered what it was running from?I looked behind & saw another bear! It would appear that there was a chase going on. By the time I arrived,It was all over.
I shut the engine off & could hear both bears crashing through the bush.The bear being chased poked his head out down the beach. The bear that was the chaser had disappeared.
The chased bear looked like a 3 to 4 year old female?
By this time the light had been snuffed by clouds. I followed this bear for awhile.She seemed to really like the barnacles!
This is the bear that was being chased.She really liked eating the barnacles off of this branch! They eat it like rock candy!
I originally thought this was “Arrow” but have changed my mind! If you look closely at the second last shot you’ll see scaring around the throat.Or at least it looks like scaring to me? When a bear is attacked & wounded,the wounds will heal but hair will not grow in that spot again.Leaving a telltale scar. Btw,how it survived such terrible wounds to the throat region is amazing!
So this is not “Arrow” after all, but a new bear. I already have named a bear “Scar” but she is much younger & a female.So I’m going to call this older male bear “Scar” as well.
I had a few seconds of him in great light (first shot) but he walked into the shade. I saw where he was walking & knew he’d have to cross the creek using the log.So I went down to the creek & waited for him.He took his sweet time too I might add.Plus this spot is in (you guessed it) the shade! Had to put my ISO up to 1600!
After I got the creek shot,I had to leave.Time was getting tight.It was still 45 minutes back to town & I wanted to be back for sunset with Romeo/Juliette.
Was a good shoot today!
Update (April 18th) – A friend believes these are not wounds but simply fur folding lines.When a animal gets large,the fat layer will fold over causing the fur to fold over as well. I’ve seen that before but those lines are always horizontal not vertical.
I need to get a closer shot of him in good light.
When the Bears wake up in the Spring,the first thing they eat is the fresh Spring grass.It gets their digestive system back on line.Once they do a few weeks of that,they can move up to richer foods like Crab.Thats what this bear was doing.It was overturning the rocks to get at the crab.So this bear must of been up for several weeks already?
I came across this eagle lunching away on shore.I was curious who he had invited to lunch? The male eagle flew off to a close by tree & waited for me to leave.(I do not know this eagle)
I had to look this up so am not sure of my conclusion,but I think this may be a
“Starry Flounder” ?
When Eagles & Bears catch a fish they seem to like eating the brains first……….like Zombies! The poor thing was still alive,so I dispatched it.
I added the coin for sizing.
The thing I don’t understand is that this fish usually stays on the bottom.So how did this eagle get at it? (I hope Eagles aren’t using snorkels now?) It was low tide at the time so maybe it was in the shallows?
Update – I originally thought this eagle was a male but now that I look more closely at him I’m changing my mind & saying that he is a she.
The head is too small for a female I thought but when I zoomed in to look closer I realized that the head is completely wet.Making the head appear smaller.Not just the head but the entire body! That can mean only one thing……..this female eagle must of seen the “Starry Flounder” in water deep enough to go for a dive/swim.
When a eagle goes into the water,they become much heavier from the prey weights & the waters weight.So they cannot take to the air.Instead they do the breast stroke to shore. She must of dragged the flounder up onto the rocks.
Would of loved to see this battle!
I’m pretty sure that this is one of the offspring from “Pepper” & “Salty”last litter.Unfortunately I was at a distance & it didn’t hang around for tea & crumpets.