On the morning of May 29, we observe five fin whales offshore between Tadoussac and Les Bergeronnes. Their huge blasts remain in the air for a few long moments and the calmness of the water is briefly interrupted by the surfacing of these powerful beings.

At least ten minke whales are spotted this morning, including notably one individual surface feeding (see photos below) with its head out of the water. What energy!

Also noteworthy are numerous groups of belugas in the mouth of the Saguenay and, farther offshore, a few gray seals and a herd of harp seals.

While long-tailed ducks are fewer by the day, terns continue to put on quite a display offshore! Several flocks of terns are in search of food, but there are also birds perched, in typical fashion, on buoys or pieces of wood adrift following the high tides.

But the highlight of the day and a great moment for seabird aficionados like myself was this remarkable presence of jaegers! Yesterday morning, I observed no fewer than twelve parasitic jaegers, one pomarine jaeger and two long-tailed jaegers. These fascinating birds are just passing through the Estuary and their presence coincides with that of the terns and Bonaparte’s gulls, as jaegers will harass them until they release or regurgitate their freshly caught fish!

What good fortune to observe and photograph this rare bird, a long-tailed jaeger, sitting on the water and then flying right in front of our boat!

Here are the photos of the day!

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Field Notes - 1/6/2016

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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