Vancouver Island, Canada

7th-25th September 2011

Campbell River

Elk River Falls

I had been intending to spend 3 days camping in Strathcona Provincial Park but due to constant heavy rain and very low cloud levels which would have made going into the mountains both pointless and dangerous, I decided to stay around the Campbell River area instead.  It was good weather for amphibians but utterly useless for photography.

terrestrial stage of Rough-skinned Newt (Taricha granulosa)

Pelagic Cormorant (Phalacrocorax pelagicus)

On my last day, I went on a trip up to the Bute Inlet to see Grizzly Bears on a salmon spawning river.

'Transient' Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)

While going through the Sayward Narrows we encountered a pod of about 10 Transient Killer Whales.  These are the "true" Killer Whales who prey entirely on marine mammals such as Seals and Harbour Porpoises.

'Transient' Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)

'Transient' Killer Whale (Orcinus orca)

The Bute Inlet is one of British Columbia's longest fjords and is only accessible by boat.

Bute Inlet

The Grizzly viewing area is owned and run by the Homalco First Nation people.  Unfortunately, three days of constant heavy rain had caused the river levels to rise dramatically and all the shingle beds that the bears use for fishing and as travel corridors were flooded.

Flooded salmon spawning river

So, instead of photographing Grizzly Bears like I had been hoping, I ended up getting nothing more exciting than a Mew Gull!  Very disappointing!

Mew Gull (Larus brachyrhynchus)

The fast water was causing problems for the salmon too.  If they got their assault on rapids slightly wrong, they ended up being thrown onto the boardwalk where they flapped around helplessly until someone gave it a hand back into the water.

Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

Pink Salmon (Oncorhynchus gorbuscha)

Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Chum Salmon (Oncorhynchus keta)

Forbidden Plateau Back to map