September 10: this morning, calm conditions seem to be reigning off the coast of Tadoussac. This is but an illusion.
A little west of the Prince Shoal Lighthouse, there is an influx of predators. Over 200 gray seals, almost a dozen minke whales and hundreds of kittiwakes are gathered there. This congregation owes itself to an abundance of prey, specifically small fish that live in shoals. Minke whales are feeding below the water surface. Grey seals are lurking close by. Kittiwakes plunge into the water and they are the ones that tip us off that the prey are small fish, perhaps sand lances, when they bring them back to the surface in their bills.
It’s impressive to see all these predators mingling with each other, all with one common objective: feeding.
Photos: © Renaud Pintiaux
GREMM research assistant from 2003 to 2009 and from 2012 to 2014, Renaud Pintiaux is a passionate observer and photographer. Year round and regardless of whether from shore or on the water, he takes every opportunity to observe the marine mammals and birds of the Saguenay–St. Lawerence Marine Park.