Monday, October 1, 2012

June 23 - wolf!

The wolf can be seen in the center rear here, stalking the caribou that have started to run

Woke up this morning around 7 per usual, still a nice day besides being a bit colder than the past few days. I’m sitting in the cook eating breakfast a few minutes later, and Alan is outside scoping the flats, just a couple hundred caribou this morning. All of a sudden he yells, just one word: “WOLF!”
Instantly there is a mad scramble for the door, we all pile outside, and are soon looking at a lone Gray Wolf stalking the stragglers of a caribou herd, a mile or so away. We got to watch in the scope as it approached the herd, eventually causing them to gallop away, while it loped along behind the fleeing animals. It never broke into a full sprint, more just a test of the caribou’s endurance, to try to single out the weak or sickly. It stopped following after a few hundred meters after cresting a ridge, and with a brief look around, it disappeared from view, never to be seen by anyone else for the remainder of the day. So cool – thanks Alan! He was definitely the hero of the camp that day. Makes you wonder how many have come by without us seeing up until now..

First fledgling of the year was found today - a Lapland Longspur!

Nothing else today was as interesting, found seven nests which brought me up to an even 50 for the season so far! Most of the way was spent hoping for another wolf, since that is what we were all thinking about!

I did finally manage to get a poor depiction of the crazy display of the Pectoral Sandpiper, where the male inflates a huge air sac on his chest and flies around looking like he is about to split apart down the belly.

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