October 23, 2007:
We rose bright and early again this morning and had a delicious cooked breakfast at Duncans Den B&B. After breakfast, we cleared our emails and caught up on a little work before heading out to see the polar bears.
Unfortunately, it hadn't really snowed overnight as hoped only a few flurries which had stopped earlier that morning, but the days and nights are definitely getting colder and it seems to be trying hard to dump a load of snow. As we were heading out a few flurries buffed the windscreen and there were a few patches of settled snow but definitely not enough yet.
Right now the bears are resting to conserve their energy until the arrival of the pack ice in Hudson Bay. We saw a couple of bears curled up, resting on the tundra quite a distance away. They really are not too bothered by the vehicles and only exert enough energy to raise their heads to see what it is before flopping it back down. Besides that they remain almost motionless and are hard to spot since there are whitish coloured rocks on the tundra. There was one young fella who seemed to have stayed in one place for a couple of days.
The picture on this page is the scene as it was today - can you spot the bear? Is it a rock or a bear, or a bear rock?
We stayed out for several hours trying various dirt tracks in search of more bears and stumbled on a small flock of ptarmigans who were pecking at the ground in search of food. These arctic birds have a white winter plumage and brown summer plumage. A few we saw were still in transition while others were already dressed in pure white, ready to blend in to the snow when it finally arrives, but right now they stood out against the brown tundra.
By 4:30pm we started back to town via the back roads still keeping an eye out for more polar bears! On the side of one of the back roads close to town is a downed C-46 plane called Miss Piggy (named for the fact that it could carry an over-bundance of freight). Miss Piggy crash landed at the site in 1979 - luckily with no casualties. It apparently glided in, whipped off a few tree tops in the process before coming to a halt on the smooth rocks. The plane is now beginning to disintegrate with the wing tips falling off and tail leaning further and further over each year, but it still makes for an interesting piece of Churchill history.
Once back in town we headed for the store to pick up some supplies for dinner then settled into our warm accommodations - while a few snow flurries whipped up outside - hopefully that was a sign of things to come!!
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