Early November and Continuing Action off Tadoussac!… by Renaud Pintiaux
The field season is drawing to a close, and for real this time! Nevertheless, whales are still numerous off Tadoussac this year in early November.
Here’s a wrap-up of observations made over the past few days (between October 31 and November 3):
Near the tide rip north of Île Rouge, we’ve been making daily encounters with a group of nearly 150 gray seals. In the vicinity (and often in the middle!) of this group have been nearly a dozen highly active minke whales. Circling above this beautiful scene have been black-legged kittiwakes as well as herring, great black-backed and ring-billed gulls. Also worth mentioning is the arrival of the “winter” gulls: glaucous and Iceland. Harp seals have also been gradually showing up in our area. Between three and six fin whales are still present well off the coast of Tadoussac (with six individuals on November 3), including Zipper, Bp929, Bp913 and probably Bp012 and Bp030 (to be confirmed!). We should also point out the daily presence of a large herd of belugas in the mouth of the Saguenay. Long-tailed ducks line the river, with fabulous flights of thousands of birds opposite the village of Tadoussac.
Below is a selection of photos of these beautiful sights!
And here is a video showing a group of five fin whales on November 2 near Prince Shoal. For a high quality resolution, click on the gear in the bottom right hand corner of the screen and then on 720 HD. We’re able to track these fin whales from just after their first breath until the moment they dive. These fin whales rose from the depths to surface near our stationary boat. What a beautiful moment!
GREMM research assistant from 2003 to 2009 and from 2012 to 2014, Renaud Pintiaux is a passionate observer and photographer. Year round, whether from shore or on the water, he takes every opportunity to observe marine mammals and birds in the Saguenay–St. Lawrence Marine Park.