Monday, May 25, 2009

Grizz Arrival

Hello Bear Enthusiasts: After a very late spring on the west coast of B.C., the bears have finally arrived. I saw the first grizz on May 4, Bruno, a large male whom we have watched for the last 2 years. He is identified by the large white scar on his right hip, a possible war wound from an encounter with another bear in defense of a mate. Then the evening of May 15 I saw another grizzly. He stayed on the beach for about 45 seconds, just long enough for him to size me up as I was sizing him up. I saw both bears while accompanied by guests on May 19. We had a good look at this new male. He is a large, handsome, golden brown with shaggy dark brown head and legs.
May 20, the first of the females showed up. Lenore with BPII, after it's namesake "Burnt Peanut" who died 2 years ago. Then a sub-adult, possibly Bonnie or Clyde showed up at nursery point. A couple days later, possibly Bella with Casper, a 16 month old cub, arrived. All the bears seem to be very comfortable with us except for the males, which shows me they have been here before.
The birds are very active now too. Pairs of Caspian Terns, loons, and ducks of many varieties are cruising the cove in preparation for mating. The eagle is setting on her nest in the corner of the estuary. The first common merganser has showed us her seven chicks.
The drama continues as I watched an eagle attack a goose. After several dives, the successful eagle splashed into the water and breast-stroked to shore, towing the goose. A few minutes later the better fight occured as this eagle had to defend its supper from attacks by other eagles. I don't know which eagle won the best cuts of goose, but several managed to share.
Pacific white-sided dolphins have been very active throughout the inlet. 50 to 60 dolphins have been seen in several feeding frenzies lately. They are feeding on schools of small fish such as herring and possibly coho smolts, and anchovies. A humpback whale even cruised through the inlet and paid a visit to our cove.
Overall, as the bears arrival was late, other wildlife took up the slack providing us with spectacular sights of the continuing stuggle for survival along Knight Inlet.

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