“Almost in real time”, emphasizes Robert Michaud as he calls the Whales On Line team on April 8. Indeed, barely an hour earlier, he had spotted a beluga offshore from his home in Les Bergeronnes. The previous week, neighbours had also seen nearly a dozen belugas from this same promontory.
From another house overlooking the Estuary, a resident of Saint-Simon-de-Rimouski in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region sights a scattered group of belugas on March 30. Some of them seem to be darker and smaller in size, probably young individuals. Belugas are brown at birth, turning bluish-gray in their second year. Gray from the age of two, they gradually fade to white when they are around 12 to 16.
On April 4, a collaborator discovers a group of several belugas in the waters opposite his home in Les Escoumins. As he is describing his observation to us, this captain is navigating off the coast of Cap-Chat in the Gaspé Peninsula. In front of him, the St. Lawrence stretches as far as the eye can see, but no whales are spouting. He has yet to see any large rorqual. Having spent the past few months “ice piloting” in the Gulf, a service used primarily by foreign ships whose captains have little experience navigating in such conditions, he’s seen his fair share of ice!
On March 28, our collaborator in Franquelin in the Côte-Nord region is struggling to complete her census of harp seals due to their sheer numbers and the hordes of great black-backed gulls around them. She estimates that some one hundred seals are present.