Wednesday, 12 June 2013

New Brunswick/Quebec trip summer 2012

Last summer Erica and I took a whirlwind trip to the east coast; I had never been past Montreal so it was pretty exciting for me.  We spent our first night in Quebec city which was really nice, and then we followed the south shore of the St. Lawrence River to the Gaspe Peninsula. We camped for a couple nights in Forillon National Park and then made our way south to meet up with my friend John in central New Brunswick before making our way to Fundy National Park and then finally to Saint Andrews.

We covered a lot of ground but I got a good taste of the east coast.  My favourite spot was definitely Forillon NP and the Quebec part of the Gaspe (we will definitely be back!) but Saint Andrews was also very nice.  Here is a quick summary (with some photos and videos) of the trip.

We left Belleville on  July 15 and stopped for lunch at Erica's brother's house in suburban Montreal before continuing on to Quebec City.  The next day was mostly driving along the St. Lawrence but we stopped briefly at the Riviere-du-loup ferry terminal where we saw our first whales- several Belugas- from shore.  We made another short stop at Parc National du Bic where we saw our first seals and lots of Common Eiders (including some young). It took us a while to figure out but in Quebec the provincial parks are called national parks and the National Parks are called National Parks of Canada...
Seal (sp?) and young Common Eiders at Bic

First good look at Common Eiders along the road.
We arrived in the late evening at Forillon National Park but unfortunately I got pretty sick for the next 24 hours or so, so I didn't take many pictures.  The park is amazing with huge cliffs and seabird colonies.  We were lucky enough to see a distant Humpback Whale from shore with our scope the next evening, plus got a good introduction to some seabirds.

Black Guillemots at Forillon

Small cliff on south side of Forillon

Big cliffs (Black-legged Kittiwake colony) on north side of Forillon

Another view of the north shore of the park - if you look carefully you'll see lots of kittiwakes in the aire

After Forillon we made it to Perce for a boat trip around Bonaventure Island.  We did a quick walk up to the gannet colony on Bonaventure.  For anyone who hasn't been here it is pretty mind-blowing.  The number of birds is just incredible. Bonaventure Island is an Important Bird Area so be sure to check out the Bonaventure Island IBA page for more information about its importance.
Perce Rock from the boat

Razorbills, Common Murres, and Black-legged Kittiwakes

More nesting seabirds on Bonaventure Island
Black Guillemots


Common Murres - can you spot the "bridled" morph?

Grey Seals basking

Northern Gannet

A couple Harlequin Ducks

One-flowered Wintergreen on Bonaventure Island

Part of the huge gannet colony on Bonaventure

A newly hatched gannet chick

A displaying gannet

A gannet coming in for a landing

Black-legged Kittiwake

Great and Double-crested Cormorants

After Perce we headed into New Brunswick and met up with my friend John, who works in New Brunswick now.  We checked out Kouchibougouac National Park briefly before continuing on to Fundy National Park.
Common Terns at Kouchibougouac National Park

We watched a Bald Eagle chase an Osprey until finally stealing the fish

Orchid growing in a large bog at Kougibougouac...haven't looked it up yet.
Nice waterfall in Fundy National Park
Our last stop of the trip was the small town of Saint Andrews. This was a really nice quiet town on the southern NB coast:
The harbour at St. Andrews
We finally both felt well enough to enjoy some seafood!

Delicious lobster and scallops
The next morning we got out on a short whale-watching boat trip on a small zodiac, which got us great looks at lots of stuff.
Manx Shearwaters and a Razorbill


Manx Shearwater

our first Atlantic Puffin!

Fin Whale

Sooty Shearwater

Grey Seal pup

Black-legged Kittiwakes

Black Guillemot

Black Guillemot


  1. I made substantially the same trip several years ago. Pretty amazing huh?

  2. Your orchid is White Fringed Orchid (Platantheris blephariglottis), an S3 species!