Sunday, July 1, 2012

St. Lawrence Seaway & Gulf

 As we rounded the bend in the highway along the Saguenay Fjord we saw our second Moose of the trip while traveling to the ferry at St. Simeon to cross the St. Lawrence Seaway.  On the 34 km trip we encountered our first east coast sea birds: Razorbills, Com. Murres, Com. Eiders, Black Guillemots, Gr. Black-backed Gulls and Black-legged Kittiwakes.  After landing we found an overlook and saw a pod of Beluga Whales, at least six; beautiful white in the blue water.  We traveled inland and up the mountains to Reserve Fauneque Duchenier and located two singing Bicknell's Thrushes - a life bird!
 We drove along the entire coastline of the Gaspe' Peninsula of SE Quebec encountering our first of many N. Gannets, their white plumage only rivaled by the hundreds of drake Com. Eiders in nuptial attire, (one pictured at right).  We also saw hundreds of Black-legged Kittiwakes, Thick-billed Murres, Arctic Terns and some Gray Seals.

While watching thousands of birds feeding  from Pointe Ste-Pierre: "Thar she blows" 6-8 Humpback Whales put on quite a show over a 2 hour period - spouting, backs rolling, and tail wags.
Many of the small towns had large, old churches along the water that turned out to be great places to bird from.

Just into New Brunswick, we watched a Fisher cross the road in front of us.   More people speak English here which is a relief to us non-French speaking folk.  We turned our clocks forward again into the Atlantic Time Zone.

We found a small park to stay at Maisonnette Point where we surprisingly found 7 species of shorebirds including nesting Willets and Red Knots in breeding plumage.
We continued along the coastline spending the bulk of the day on Miscou Island.  We walked on elevated boardwalks through a unique bog environment with its complement of heath family acidic adapted plants: the insectivorous pitcher plants, sundew & bladderwort, the bog rosemary, bog laurel, leather leaf and grass-pink orchids.  Interpretive graphics informed us that 40% of this island is peat bog, some as deep as 25 feet, (pictured to right).  We found the peat harvest operation and large (other-worldly looking) vacuum equipment to be most interesting.

Another coastal point of interest included a boardwalk through a short-grass marshland bearing a colony of Nelson's (Sharp-tailed) Sparrows.  Adjacent to the marsh were hundreds of black floats, according to locals, marked the large Oyster "seed beds"
Tomorrow we head south toward Nova Scotia as we continue our Canada journey.
Happy Canada Day & U.S. Independence Day!     Ty & Ida Baumann

1 comment:

  1. Hi Ty & Ida- I am just popping in to say Hi. John says Hello, too. It is fun seeing things through your eyes as you travel along. Blessings- Diana Kosmoski