The greatest unexpected excitement on the Quebec trip was caught on La Pointe Saint Pierre, which is 45km
south of Gaspe off Hwy 132 to the east.
While driving along the edge of water, we habitually look out for any island off the shore, as it may be good
shelter for birds from predators. As we drove south toward Perce from Forillon NP, there it is, later from
google map found out to be Plate Island, and is swarmed with birds.
We missed the first turn off, but the second one, just before Motel Suisse, turned out to be the correct one.
About one mile we came to a small parking and a sign, that showed us to be at the right place.
It is not developed, but the bird show we saw was supreme.
Ile Plate is about 1km off shore. It is loaded with birds resting. No nesting were observed on the west side of the
island. Don't know about the east side. The island is not high. There is a light in the center.
The low rocks on the north end have many cormorants, some drying themselves. Northern Gannets and Kittiwakes are
flying or resting on water or shore.
A Razorbill was trying to take off.(above) Below,the Great Black-backed Gulls are here too.
A Northern Gannet is plunge diving into the water for a fish feast. They accelerate when they see fish in the water by
half fold their wings and thrust wings back repeated. Just before entering water surface, they extend their wings back
to reduce the impact while maintain excellent balance, much like a fighter jet.
Let's look at a video I took of this plunge dive feeding frenzy by clicking the following link:
Notice in the video, many low flying Gannets are flying to the right (south), while the new comers, the plungers, are
mostly coming from the south. This lead me believe these Gannets lives on the Perce Rock and Bonaventure Island
about 20km south from here.
The Northern Gannets are white birds with black wing tips( 5-6ft wing span) and head & neck tan in the breeding season.
Scenery around La Pointe Staint Pierre. North:
Seabird feeding frenzy is noticeable. The one-person zodiac came shortly after we arrived. Wonder if he was looking
for whale or just attracted by the birds.
The fish the birds feast on is likely Caplin, which travels in schools of millions and are food for seabirds, seals and
baleen whales(toothless whales). The spawn on beaches early July. The female with roe are delicacies in Japan. We
got some dried ones from the local Poissonnerie, fish store, and enjoyed them very much.
2 female Common Eider.
Many interesting plants on the Pointe: Iris:
While I was walking to the south part of the Point, I stirred up many gulls resting under the cliff. Many of them are juvenile.
A black Guillemot.
Perce Rock is just 20km in the south.
A Black-legged Kittiwake is resting on the beach.
Perce Rock, a scene stirred much of my interest of this trip six months before it happened.
This photo was taken facing 132 and slightly southward at the intersection to the Point. So if you are going south on 132,
turn left before Motel Suisse. The green building is the restaurant of Motel Suisse.
If you are north bound, look for this sign right after Motel Suisse and turn right.