March 21, 2017. Afternoon of dream at the Cape of Bon-Désir, near Les Bergeronnes. A river ever so serene.

As I let my mind sails with the currents and the outgoing tide, I observe a hundred or so harp seals lying on the ice and drifting northeast, at variable distances from shore. And as everything was so wonderfully silent, I could even hear the cries, the grunts, the groans, the barking of a number of these seals.

I had already heard the cries of gray seals, which resemble those of wolves (hence the French nickname “sea wolves”), but as for those of harp seals, it was the first time for me!

I observe a beluga as well gliding between two blocks of ice, also moving northeast.

It’s spring for seabirds with the arrival of the first brant of the season! These harbingers of spring will spend part of the season in our area.

Here is a video that shows the ice drift as viewed from Cap de Bon-Désir, followed by a close-up of some of these harp seals, and lastly, a view of the awesome Tadoussac Bay, invaded by huge chunks of ice.

Field Notes - 22/3/2017

Renaud Pintiaux

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.

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