My journey in Gaspésie: An introduction to bird watching in Gaspésie
I am in Coin-du-Banc, a little village located 15 minutes west of Percé. I am meeting with Camille, a biologist for Nature Conservancy of Canada, who will tell me all about birds that stay in the long barachois between Saint-Georges-de-Malbaie and Coin-du-Banc.
A barachois is a bay protected from the sea by a sand bar. The name comes from a contraction of an old French term, “barre à échoir”. The sand bar is usually formed by the tides and the current of rivers that flow into it. Lagoons and marshes form all around it, attracting wildlife, including many bird species. There are three types of marshes: freshwater marshes, brackish marshes and saltwater marshes. Each type attracts different bird species. Over 200 bird species have been listed in the Barachois de Malbaie alone! A trail allows visitors to walk through the barachois to watch wildlife in the marshes.
Today, in the barachois, I can see different species of ducks. Along the sea, I glimpse at a solitary northern gannet, fishing among common guillemots and black guillemots. Camille tells me that migration periods in the spring and in the fall are good times to watch a wider variety of birds.
Early morning is great also because the birds sing, making them easier to locate in the barachois.
For more details, please visit Percé’s web site.