November 30, 2015: Tadoussac: I’m walking on the beach, from Tadoussac Bay to the dunes. At this time of year for the past ten years or so, I often spot a handful of harbour seals on the rocks at low tide. Today there’s a surprise waiting for me: I count at least 52 harbour seals basking on the rocks in front of the clay cliffs located between Pointe Rouge and the dunes. The first time I’ve ever seen this many!
Some individuals adopt the species’ characteristic arched posture known as the “banana” position, with the head and hind legs raised.
As for birds, I note the recent arrival of purple sandpipers to the Haute-Côte-Nord region. These birds winter here, and are the only shorebirds to so. Brave souls! They are now fairly numerous on the shores: Pointe de L’Islet and Pointe Rouge in Tadoussac, Cap de Bon-Désir in Les Bergeronnes and Les Escoumins. Another bird that is present in large numbers: black guillemots in winter plumage. Striking!
Photos: © Renaud Pintiaux
GREMM research assistant from 2003 to 2009 and from 2012 to 2014, Renaud Pintiaux is a passionate observer and photographer. Year round and regardless of whether from shore or on the water, he takes every opportunity to observe the marine mammals and birds of the Saguenay–St. Lawerence Marine Park.