11 May 2014

The coast is clear

Wild Brown Bear Centre | Kuhmo | Finland

Last evening I thought it was about time I endured another sleepless night, in the quest for the perfect bruin. The weather in the north has finally shifted towards Spring, the days are getting longer, the nights are no longer dark. The rising temperatures show that winters grip will finally be released in the coming weeks. The various lakes around the Centre have begun to thaw, revealing dark, black water, that hasn't seen the light of day since November.

This change has sparked a leap in activity at the hides, with various species of waders and ducks visiting frequently during the evening. Two pairs of Goldeneye where swimming the perimeter of the pond, tirelessly searching for food deep beneath the water. After a day of cloudy, desaturated light, the sky opened up and revealed the brilliance of the Spring sun. The sunset pictured above was one of the nicest since I have been here, the pink clouds seemed to dance across the sky in a stiff breeze, just as the sun was dipping out of sight.   

The coast is clear 

In a sudden rush, two, year-old cubs darted from the edge of the forest. Their cautious mother bounded after them, vocally warning them not to move any further out onto the wetland. After calling them back towards her, she slowly moved forward, tasting the air and scanning the area for dangers. As the wind was blowing towards the hides, our scent took longer to reach her and the cubs, but after about 20 seconds she got wind and moved quickly across the open ground, calling for her cubs to follow. 

Whilst scanning for the large predators I took photographs of some of the bird life. This Wagtail seemed extremely intrigued with its reflection in the water, seeing itself for the first time after the winter perhaps. With such a great abundance of wildlife in the area, an evening spent in the hides is frantic and filled with excitement. With a lone ranger inbound, I will be spending many more nights in the hides in the coming week, and hope to catch up with the cubs and their mother.