Bella Coola, Quesnel, Williams Lake, 100 Mile House, Clinton, Lillooet
#47946
I have been wanting to do this trip for quite some time. It is very expensive so I have been saving up for it. I was lucky enough to go this past weekend. I took off to Knight Inlet! Knight Inlet is 125 km long and is about 2.5 km wide. It's on the Cariboo Chilcotin coast of BC on the mainland but best accessed from the North Coast of Vancouver Island.

I hope no one will mind that I am posting bear photos in a birding forum.

I did see a lot of birds on my way to Knight Inlet (which is in The Great Bear Rainforest). I departed from Telegraph Cove on Vancouver Island. I saw Rhinoceros auklets, red-throated loons, bald eagles, common mergansers, common goldeneyes, pigeon guillemots, western tanagers, harlequins, marbled murrelets, rufous hummingbirds, nashville and yellow warblers, among others. The Rufous Hummingbird stayed with me, as if a guide, throughout most of my time in Knight Inlet. It was a strange and beautiful phenomenon.

Off Bere Point in Sointula on Malcolm Island I was lucky enough to see a humpback whale breaching several times.

I was heading to Glendale Cove and there I saw 9 grizzly bears ! I saw 4 cubs and 2 males and 3 females. The bears are thin now they woke up a month ago and are feeding on sedge grass. Their diet is about 80% plant based. I even saw one male grizzly swimming 15 feet from where I stood. I saw him cross the ocean a great distance to the other side. I also got to witness a mother chasing a male bear with her cubs and she had to be running at least 50 km an hour. She was like a bullet after that male and that is why he jumped in the water and swam across.

I also was lucky enough to see 5 black bears including one cute cub.

Thanks for letting me share these non-birds with you.

Many of the grizzly bears here were featured in BBC nature films, Disney and National Geographic. The bears here in Glendale Cove in Knight Inlet are fully protected from Trophy Hunting. In the inlet the bears are given the utmost respect. No one spoke while taking photos and we did not use flash photography, we did not wear any bright clothing, perfumes or eat and we did not have any food with us.

This is the great bear rainforest and we really need to ensure these bears are protected forever because as soon as these bears step out of the inlet they are no longer protected and can be hunted.

Hope you enjoy them as much as I did. It truly was one of the best days of my life! The last time I saw grizzly bears this close was in Alaska, so it was a real thrill.
I was really blessed to see these amazing creatures so close up in their natural habitat. The beautiful area of Knight Inlet is stunning and so peaceful. We really are lucky to share the planet with such amazing creatures.

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Black bear and her cub


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Bella-Female Nursing Grizzly

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Bald Eagle

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Bella with her cubs (They were the second group of grizzlies I saw that day)

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A 1st year cub

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Young Male Grizzly (2 -3 years of age)

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Male Grizzly

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Lenore and her 2 female cubs

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2 female, 2 year old cubs


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This is when Lenore, the most aggressive female grizzly in the inlet began to run after a young male. She was running at least at 50 clicks. Her cubs tried to keep up.

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The male swimming right towards me! This was exceptionally rare to see. The guide said this rarely ever happens. He even started photographing them because he has never seen it before. I think he was even more excited than I.

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closer

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This is the closest he got and he was within 15 feet of me. I thought he may climb on the dock and when we started to back up he veered directions and headed to the open ocean to cross the inlet. It was absolutely thrilling. He swam fast! They are very efficient swimmers.

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Freia-Female Grizzly

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Freia- taking a rest after eating all that sedge grass!

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Freia- She really was a stunner!

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These two deer were very inquisitive but kept their eyes on the grizzlies at all times
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I will close with one of Bella and her babies:
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Thank you for letting me share these with you.
#47954
Wow Birdergirl that's an amazing series you have there. The photos are gorgeous, I would have been mad if you DIDN'T share these with us!
The photos here are top notch!

Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you LOL

Your respect for these bears is evident.

Hopefully through education we can end the disgusting trophy hunting trade. I was sickened to see the provincial government expanded it this year.

Again thanks BG this is like I said thrilling stuff.
#47963
:lol: Thanks Paul! I know it was hard to decide which section to put this in but it's on the south end of the Cariboo Chilcotin coast so I went with this thread.


Thank you Keith. I thought about going to Bute Inlet in September when the salmon run is! I am glad you had an amazing time there! That will be another one for my bucket list! 8)
#47983
Thanks Doug!

Yes when you see the first grizzly you are pretty excited but when she started running at that speed chasing the male (because males eat and kill cubs) my adrenaline kicked up. When the male started swimming and then approached me at about 15 feet from me my adrenaline was through the roof!

Amazing trip got to see tons of beautiful birds and whales and sea lions and the bears were the icing on the cake. The inlet is a fjord and the surrounding mountains and First Nations villages up the coast make it spectacular. The greenery is something else you can see cougars and wolves here too. A guy with me got great wolf shots and another had an awesome cougar shot. It's really lush country and the bears just woke up and are filling up on sedge grass calories until the berries and salmon show up.


Thanks again Doug.

Cheers
#47994
I was looking through some of my photos and forgot to mention I saw some bonaparte's gulls as well on the pillings they were laughing up a storm when the grizzly was swimming under them. The ravens are huge up there as well. In Alert Bay there were at least 30 of the biggest ravens I ever saw on the beach with me. I highly recommend Alert Bay for it's beauty, the largest totem pole in the world, the still standing residential school, the spiritual burial grounds with old and beautiful totems and the amazing U'mista museum.

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Here is a different angle of the beautiful bald eagle. Also some of the scenery I talked about in Knight Inlet (including grizzly viewing platform).

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At high-tide the sedge grass is completely covered!



Cheers
#48020
Not sure why more people haven't posted here as your photos are incredible. It's very interesting to read. I like that last photo with the deer what wonderful country it is up there. The mountains and water really are something else. You have me thinking of taking this trip now.

Thanks Birder Girl.
#48059
Hi BG....

You know I'm in camp right now and am not able to view your pictures because of the time it takes to load them. I could be here for a few days before they show but I did read all of the dialogue and will surely view them when I get home.

I'm glad you had the opportunity to experience them close up and it would be nice if everyone could do that. Maybe... just maybe the trophy hunters would cease and desist with their so called sport. They are an incredible beast and as you know I get to watch their smaller relatives often.
#48070
Hi Mark thanks for your kind comments the deer were really inquisitive and kept walking closer to us. The scenery is really breathtaking up there with its utter stillness.

Doug, yes it was really nice to be with a guide who had so much respect for the animals and I am glad the provincial government has protected them from hunting and disturbance in this area.

Guy, thanks for reading hope you will enjoy the pictures when you get home. Thanks for your kind comments and I hope you are right. At the First Nations reserve near by they are offering hunters a tour of the grizzlies and stay at the lodge no charge as long as they hand over their lottery hunting ticket. Let's hope many take them up on their offer. If they really spend some time with these beautiful animals in their natural habitat with their cubs etc I think many will change their mind.

Thank you, Judy.

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