The river is calm. The Sun is shining brightly above our heads. A storm looms in the distance, coming from the west. Several minke whales are spotted off the shores of Tadoussac. Over fifteen individuals are gathered in a small area. Some of them are actively feeding near the surface. Their ventral grooves are expanded and are red with exertion. On several occasions, I observe minke whales in pairs. Both individuals follow the same course, probably in pursuit of their prey.
Above the water, flocks of gannets, like the minke whales, are chasing after schools of fish; they, too, are partaking in the feast. Also present are hundreds of kittiwakes and gulls –Bonaparte’s, herring and great black-backed – not to mention several groups of gray seals who seem unfazed by the frenzy of minke whales just a few metres away!
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.