“Spring’s arrived!” writes in our collaborator from the town of Franquelin, who has finally seen whales in front of her home after a long “dry spell” of observations! Notwithstanding the presence of seals, her most recent whale sighting took place in mid-December, when she spotted two minke whales against an all white backdrop. Early in the morning of May 2, her day starts out with a minke whale in the mist. Later, three fin whales would spend several hours near shore. Relieved to finally catch sight of these long-awaited visiting giants, here she is, already looking forward to sharing her discoveries with us!

For our collaborator Renaud Pintiaux, this week also marks the beginning of a new season at sea. Excursions have begun in the Saguenay-St. Lawrence Marine Park region. Renaud is putting the finishing touches on the season’s first Field Notes, which should appear in the next day or two. For his season debut on the water, he spotted several groups of belugas in Tadoussac and Les Bergeronnes as well as harbour seals in the Saguenay Fjord. Minke whales were also seen by the ferry captains shuttling between Baie-Sainte-Catherine and Tadoussac. Then, during the first weekend of whale-watching excursions out of Tadoussac (April 27-28), other captains reported two large spouts from near Buoy S5 on May 4. Perhaps one of these high, straight columns belonged to the same fin whale as the one sighted on April 29 near Buoy K54.

Speaking of large spouts, one naturalist was lucky enough to spot over a dozen of them at the mouth of Gaspé Bay on April 27 from Pointe-Saint-Pierre. There seemed to be two or three large gatherings. What’s more, flying all around her were gannets, common eiders and surf scoters! An observation season that’s off to a great start!

Observation of the Week - 2/5/2018

Marie-Sophie Giroux

Marie-Sophie Giroux joined the GREMM in 2005 until 2018. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Marine Biology and a diploma in Environmental Consulting. As Lead Naturalist, she oversees and coordinates the team working at the Marine Mammal Interpretation Centre and writes for Whales Online and Whale Portraits. She loves to share “whale stories” with visitors to the CIMM and readers alike.

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