Greetings from Knight Inlet BC Whale and Grizzly Bear Watching country!
As our season moves into July we continue to enjoy great wildlife sightings. The Grizzly Bear viewing in Knight Inlet has been very good since we began sighting them in May. There are lots of mother bears with both first and second year cubs feeding on beach and sedge grass in the river estuary. We have also been viewing many sub-adult (teen-age) bears and some mature males. June and early July is mating season for the bears, so many of our guests have been lucky to view some interesting interactions as the big males come down in search of a mate. A big bonus this year has been the increased number of Grizzly Bears sighted outside of the normal river estuary areas. This is likely an indication that the local populations are growing causing some of the bears to move out in search of new feeding grounds. This is good news for both us and the bears. During the early summer season the bears are still feeding heavily on the sedge grasses which are abundant in the estuary areas. At low tide they also head to the rocky beaches were they feed on shore crabs, eels, mussels and barnacles. With the summer sun comes a wide selection of berries which also make up a large portion of their diet. Currently the salmon berries are out in full swing, with huckleberries and elderberries also beginning to ripen. The black bears are enjoying a similar meal plan, although they usually spend less time on the sedge grass as the Grizzly Bears consider that their territory.
On the whale front the big news this week is the return of the resident Orca to Johnstone Strait. The A-30 group was first spotted on the sixth of July and they have been seen several times since. With the salmon migration in full swing I expect that more of these fish eating Orca will begin arriving in the coming days. Although the resident Orca are known to eat all species of salmon the Chinook Salmon is their preferred prey and makes up the majority of their diet at this time of year. Humpback Whales have been abundant throughout our season. Many of the regular whales to our area have been identified as well as a lot of first time visitors. The numbers of Humpback Whales feeding in our area will likely continue to rise throughout the summer. Transient Orca (mammal feeding) have been spotted on a number of occasions both in Johnstone Strait and Knight Inlet. These whales are in our area year-round, but often travel quietly in smaller groups as they are always on the look-out for an unsuspecting seal or dolphin. The pacific white side dolphins are also around and have treated our guests to some wonderful acrobatic shows. Dall’s harbour porpoise, seals, sea lions, eagles and a variety of marine birds have been rounding out our marine tours this season.
So far 2013 looks like another great year for wildlife viewing. The weather has also been co-operating so we are hoping for more of the same to continue into the summer months. By the end of July we should start to see the first salmon entering our local rivers. By August the bears should start to feed on these fish as they struggle up their spawning rivers. More resident Orca should also be entering our waters with the increased number of salmon. For those of you returning to us for a repeat visit the staff will remain that same in 2013. Glen, George and I will be doing the bulk of the guiding. Madeline will be in the kitchen and Clint will be helping out and care taking the lodge over the winter. I look forward to seeing many of you this season.
Angus and Krystle
Call us toll free at: 1-877-764-4286.