Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Brown Bears- Day Three...

Last night as I was saving to my hard drives the elusive brown bear mom and three cubs that the guides keep talking about walked through the yard of the lodge with a quick stop off to roll in the ashes of the camp fire. 

This morning our group of wildlife photographers made it about 100 yards down the bushline when we saw the brown bear cubs in the trees. Eventually they came down and we spent a couple hours with them. From there they crossed a little creek that was too much for us to cross, so we went out to the ocean to see if we could find some Alaskan brown bears looking for clams at low tide. We walked about a kilometer out to a mom and two cubs and were photographing them for a while. When we looked back we noticed that the mother and triplets were headed toward us. That was nice, so we took more pictures of bears for a while. By the time they left, it was time for lunch. After lunch we caught up with a brown bear mom and two cubs in a field. A couple hours later that same brown bear mom and triplets came toward us, so we photographed the mother bear and triplets again. It was fantastic as we got footage of them playing and nursing. By the end of the day, we photographed them in trees, long grass, on the beach and in the field. It kind of made us really particular as what we would stop for to take pictures of after that. In fact we were so spoiled that when we came home there was a mom and two cubs in the yard of the lodge and I was the only wildlife photographer who stopped to photograph them. The light was good, but everyone was tired so they just went to their cabins. The twins played a bit, nursed a bit then took off. 

Today we walked a couple miles which doesn't sound like much, but when you add the camera gear and walking through mud and swamp it definitely wears on you. Between the walking and waiting, wildlife photography can be difficult at times. That being said, the guides are terrific and among the hardest working guides that I have ever worked with. They are up early and with the guests until 9:30 at night. 

It is midnight as I am writing this and my guide just informed me that he found another mom and two really small cubs. That brings the number of bears that are being viewed in the immediate vicinity to 21. Their record is 25 so it looks like they are on track for a great bear viewing year.

The picture count is great. The first day I took about 2700 pictures of brown bears and somewhere near that on day two as well. In the next couple days they are supposed to take a boatload of nature photographers to an island to photograph puffins. I am really looking forward to it. I have never seen puffins in the wild before and as much as I love the grizzly bears, I am ready for some variety. Another small facebook gallery to wet your appetite. More pictures are coming. In the meantime, feel free to visit our gallery...