16 Apr 2014

Joey doesn't share food

Okay, his name is not Joey, nor is this photo 'tack sharp', but you get the idea. Last night a new kid was on the block, although we suspect this is a much older male than the regular male Aulis. The previous night an English photographer had heard a fierce confrontation between these two massive males, and as a result the two were not present at the same time in the same place last night.
Aulis let the 'new' male emerge first from the Russian forest and explore the surroundings, he seemed constantly on edge and weary, a sort of confirmation of the the dispute between the two big males. He also appeared quite aggressive which was not the most comfortable emotion for me to see displayed, but fortunately enough he seemed more concerned by the hooded crows than by my awkwardly loud shutter. 

Without coincidence, Aulis moved forward onto his lookout post, whilst other male retreated back towards the trees guarding his carrion. The size difference between the two males was clearly evident; Aulis stood larger at the shoulder, and in muscular proportion the two males couldn't be further apart. He lightly picked his route down the rock face and onto the valley floor, where he began to taste the air. The scent from the older male must have been overwhelming, however, it did not take long before mine too drifted towards him. His gaze slowly fixed onto me and through my binoculars or the 300mm lens, it felt as though he could see right into my pupils. Naturally I hid behind the camera and captured the moment. 

I dusted off my beloved 40D and set up my time-lapse rig. It was around 5pm and I knew that with the added chill in the air, the bears could arrive earlier than expected. This capture was over 2 hours, and shows the males moving through the area and changing light on the Finnish taiga. I have named it 'speedy bears'.