Thursday, October 11, 2012

June 29 - wolf encounter

Gray Wolf surveying his domain

Today was official rope drag day for the second time, after doing it just for fun yesterday. Scott, Laura, and I dragged the 7s today, finding only three phalarope nests, and later I got a Red-throated Loon and Pectoral Sandpiper – but I failed at locating a Semipalmated Sandpiper nest, so my final total stands at 19 days in a row. I guess I should have gone to the 3s where they found four today!

This Freija Frittilary would like to remind you that not all life is birds and mammals up there

The most exciting happening today was while I was going to hatch-check a nest, so I was separated from Laura and Scott by a hundred meters or so. I was walking along and happened to be looking down and checking the nest card for the nest I was checking, when I heard a yell coming from behind me: “Wolf!”

The pinkish tones to the belly and forelegs are blood from feeding on a caribou carcass nearby

In front of me, about 80 meters away, was a Gray Wolf, just looking at me. I dropped to my knees in the hope that I would be less menacing and it would get closer, and right on cue it approached until maybe 15-20 meters before it caught my scent, stopped short, and stared. After a short period of looking at each other, the wolf started calmly loping away, glancing back at me occasionally as it departed the area and was lost to sight over the hill. A truly awesome experience.

So lanky and lean, with a blocky head and build that means business

On a contrasting low note though the nests that we checked today that were supposed to hatch were all predated by a fox overnight, eaten the day before they would have been chicks. Devil fox.

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