December 9, 2015: from the rocks of Cap de Bon-Desir, I spotted five fin whales with my binoculars and took a few photos. Among them, one individual with a notch in its dorsal fin and a double white spot near the blowhole on the right side. GREMM researchers were able to identify this individual: Bp929, a female that has been known since 1994.
Just over ten months later, in late October, I rediscover this individual off Les Bergeronnes, accompanied by two other well-known fin whales: Trou and Zipper (see Field Notes of October 20, 2016).
The next day, Bp929 is there once again, paired up with Zipper, well offshore of Tadoussac. The lighting is perfect for taking quality photos for identification. In the photos below, one can see Bp929’s double white spot clearly visible near the blowhole, and Zipper’s scar on her right side, which is striking in this autumn light…
Ten or so fin whales are still present offshore, notably six or seven nautical miles from Les Bergeronnes and Cap de Bon-Désir: Trou, Zipper, Bp929 and other individuals that I will attempt to photograph and identify before the season ends!
On October 26, two more fin whales are present near Île Rouge: Zipper and another individual at her side, seen for the first time this year…
Here are a few photos of these beautiful creatures (identified individuals and strangers… for now!):
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.