Thursday, August 1, 2013

For The Birds: Gaspe's Bonaventure Island

The stench arrives before you even spot them. Sailing to Bonaventure Island, absorbing the stunning scenery, you realize that you're near the world's second largest Northern Gannet breeding colony when the noxious aroma of pounds of bird poop accosts your nose. But the wonder of the spectacle of hundreds of thousands of birds quickly helps you forget that.

Gazing at them from a distance, they don't even look like birds but blankets of white, covering slabs of rock. Even if I didn't know that these were birds I soon received sticky proof in the form of bird poop dropped on my shoulders from the 250 foot nesting cliffs.

I was glad to arrive on the island and wander the pretty trails lined with lush greenery.

We hiked through the cleared trails that lead to the birds. We hiked up hills. And down hills. And through forests. And we hiked some more.

Finally, there were the birds. Flapping, squawking, flying, everywhere.

Everywhere you turned, the white feathered Gannets perched.

It was an overwhelming experience, being totally surrounded by birds. Bonaventure hosts 293 species but the Gannets are the most visible.

My favorite sight was this mother bird with her baby chick, calmly sheltering the newborn in the midst of a sea of activity.


Andrew Graeme Gould said...

What an amazing sight that blanket of birds is. And that last photos is a truly beautiful shot.

Indrani said...

What an incredible sight! I have never seen something like this.

Fly Girl said...

Andrew, thanks! That's an honor coming from you.

Indrani,it truly was an incredible experience.

SandyCarlson said...

Beautiful birds! What an incredible place.

Kalyan Panja said...

simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!

Fly Girl said...

Sandy, thanks!

Kalyan, it was really amazing up close.

TexWisGirl said...

that would be amazing! maybe worth the stench. :)

Fly Girl said...

Tex, I think it was!