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Field Stories 1

The season has started very well with daily encounters with various whale species. Finally the Caribe was put in the water and the good weather conditions allowed us to head out to sea for several times.

Over all we surveyed our study area and found minke whales concentrating at the Channel Head south of K54 and between 50 – 100 m along the coast between Bergeronnes and Les Escoumins.

They passed the rocks so close that ORES minke whale adopter Brigitte Zweifel was able to identify Calvin and Cassis! What a wonderful place to sit on the rocks watching minke whales surface feeding.


Special story

Wobbagong performed a very peculiar behaviour as, although in dorsal-ventral plane, her left fluke tip repetitively broke the surface when taking a blow. Never have I seen such behaviour, which definitely wasn’t related to any feeding activity.

Whale sightings (highest # per day)

Minke whales: 20

Identified: Calvin, Coin-Coin, Harrison, Itchy, Badaboum, Crab Claw, Whalerider, Puntini, Chicouté, Wobbegong, Chubby, Boomerang, Ratatouille, Piccola, Kouglof, Ruiquiqui, Ovale, Barbouille, Ohnifin, Senzafin, Fipple, Cleo, Donna Vitale, ‘Top Notch-alike’.

Other species

Finback whales: 6
Belugas: 75+
Harbour porpoise: 6
Grey seals

Field Stories 2

I remember well when we first met the young minke whale with the very tall and pointy dorsal fin. She was surface feeding in the shallow waters of St. Catherine Bay not far from where we saw her a few days ago. Just like back in 2003 she was totally focused on chasing the schooling fish together prior to a feeding strike. Most time she turned upside down to engulf the prey during a manoeuvre we call ventral arc. A fast glimpse on her genital slits revealed her sex; like most others she is a female.



Very unusually for minke whales she flipped her flukes high into the air before disappearing in the brownish water of the Saguenay Fjord. Her upright dorsal fin, reminding of a thorns, gave her her name; Mûre, the french word for blackberry.
The waters between the buoys K51, K54, K55 and La Toupie have been boiling with minke and finback whales feeding at depth. While further to the east groups of beluga whales passed heading downriver.

Whale sightings (highest # per day)

Minke whales: 23

Identified: Badaboum, Boomerang, Chap-Chap, Chicouté, Chubby, Cleo, Coin-Coin, Daks, Daks-alike, Donna Vitale, Falcon, Funambule, Glenfiddich, Heaps’n Heaps, Honeycomb, Lutin, Mamillon, Mûre, Ohnfin, Owl Eyes, Patapouf, Pompon, Puntini, Ratatouille, Senzafin, Slash Eleven, Stubby, Suss, Three Scars, Ticket Punch, Tin Whistle, Trident, Trilignes, Whalerider, Witche’s Hat

Other species

Finbacks: 12
Belugas: 5
Harbour porpoises
Grey seals