Fall on Knight Inlet’s many rivers is a time of plenty. The salmon start to arrive in mid-August and our lodge is permitted to proceed up the river to the viewing stands after August 25. On this wilflife tour day we have a good view of a “large” grizzly bear enjoying its catch. This bear does not move off the river as some of the small grizzly bears do rather it stays with the salmon. Why leave the good fishing and risk losing your spot on the river?
The lodge’s grizzly bear watching area in Knight Inlet contains a few large grizzlies. Nick-named the “boss bears” as they go were and when the want. Although it is nice to see the larger grizzly it is not always the best thing for long-term viewing. If a large bear is in the area of the lodge viewing stands it is often the only grizzly bear you may see. The best is to have them make and appearance then move off to the surrounding forest.
The whale safari area around Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island contains many strange and interesting sights. Over the years I have watched many sea lions play with the humpback whales, twice saw cougars on the beach, black bears swimming between islands but this was the first for me, a stellar sealion pretending to be a dolphin. It did about fifteen of these “breeches or porpoises” behind the boat while we were following a pod of white side dolphins on the other side of the boat.
The orca in the lodge whale safari area are mostly resident or fish eaters although at times we encounter the transient mammal eaters. The northern resident orca are located in waters north of Campbell River on Vancouver Island and while the transient orca are more often found in BC coastal inlets. This is a female orca as indicated by the shorter dorsal fin. Great shot of the eye patch.
On the lodge wildlife tours during the hot days of July and August we frequently see grizzly bears in the water. The water in the Glendale estuary are a mixture of salt and fresh water which the grizzly bears often drink. That is to say the bears do not end up with a heavy coating of salt when they leave the water. And it is better to have them in the water cooling off than moving into the shade away from our viewing.
The river in this case is the Glendale River, which empties into Knight Inlet. Our lodge’s grizzly bear watching tours run up Knight Inlet to the viewing stands on the river. In spite of all the fish in the river this is not an easy picture to take. Fish do not announce their intentions so it is “snap and hope”. Faithful seagulls are waiting for the remains of a grizzly feed or possibly fish eggs drifting in the current.
This grizzly bear is about thirty feet (ten meters) away. It is not looking at us but is more interested in the activity in the river just beyond the seagulls and whether it is safe to go for lunch. I know it is lunch as our tour viewing time is between ten and noon. OK it could be a late breakfast. The road behind the bear runs between the viewing stands on this section of Knight Inlet’s Glendale River. The viewing stands are used after August 25 until the end of the season.
The stellar sealions pass through the area, between Vancouver Island and mainland British Columbia, to and from Alaska in the spring and fall. They gather on the rocky shore in the area of Telegraph Cove by the hundreds to sun themselves and rest after feeding in our area before continuing their trip. This area of BC’s coast is so rich in food for these marine mammals that several dozen in the past three years have started to stay all summer and not make the journey north.