That’s a Wrap 2019

Well 2019 is in the rear view mirror and I am already looking forward to the opportunities of 2020. But I decided I should take a few minutes to reflect on 2019 and share some of my favourite moments.

 

Let Me See!

My 2019 tour season started with me visiting the Khutzeymateen Grizzly Bear Sanctuary, and there was certainly no shortage of Grizzly Bears to photograph during the nine days.  This included mothers with cubs, and some bears enjoying the estuary on their own.  While we were provided with many great photo opportunities, I think one of the top moments was when a mother and cub both stood up to look over a little hill in order to check out a bear that was on the other side.  It was certainly a jaw dropping moment.  Also a moment that was truly amazing, is seeing one of the oldest bears in the estuary, who was presumed to be dead making his way at a decent pace up the inlet. While you could definitely see that he was aged, at over 30 years old, it was pretty amazing.  If you are interested in seeing all the photos from my Khutzeymateen trips, those can be found in my Khutzeymateen portfolio, or you can read about my blog post here.

 

From the Khuzeymateen I headed to a new area, Gwaii Haanas, a National Park Reserve and Marine Conservation Area.  While we explored the area we had the opportunity to photograph a number of sea and shore birds, and even a few mammals such as Sitka Deer and Black Bears.   It was a great to get a chance to explore a new part of the coast of British Columbia, you can read the blog post here.

 

Crab Dinner

I started August with one of my favourite trips, Marine Mammals, where we explore the coast off the north and west part of Vancouver Island looking for Orcas, Humpback Whales, Steller Sea Lions, Sea Otters and more.  In 2019 we were treated to all our targeted species, with the Sea Otters stealing the show (but not to be outdone by a Humpback Whale which breached for us on our last day).  We had the opportunity to photograph Sea Otters eating a number of things that they brought up from the ocean floor, including urchins, clams, and even crabs, like the one captured in the Sea Otter image to the left.  More photos from my previous Marine Mammals trips can be found in the Marine Mammals portfolio, and the blog post from 2019 can be found here.

 

Launched

My official tours of 2019 ended with me leading two trips in the Great Bear Rainforest, while they only had one week in between them, they both had different highlights.  We had the opportunity on both trips to photograph Grizzly Bears, Black Bears and Bald Eagles which all gather to eat the salmon in the rivers and streams.  We also had the opportunity on to witness some bubble feeding by a lone Humpback Whale. I think the ultimate moment of 2019, watching transient Killer Whales attacking and killing a large male Steller Sea Lion, I don’t think I will ever get an opportunity quite like this again. My photos from the Great Bear Rainforest trips can be found in my portfolio, and you can read more about my first trip and second trip in the links.

 

Elk Expanse

And I ended 2019 with a quick trip to Yellowstone National Park.  While I always hope to get a chance to see wolves, this year I wasn’t so lucky.  I did however get a couple of opportunities to photograph River Otters while they fished and rolled around in the snow, and some beautiful male Elk posed in front of the Yellowstone landscapes.

 

In 2020, most of our trips are sold out, however there are still a few spaces available, and our 2021 trip dates will be released soon, so if you would like to join us on one of these tours, contact me for more details contact@wildelements.ca.