2023 Quebec – Gaspé Peninsula & Coastal New Brunswick
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Vacation Style Holiday Type
Activity Level Moderate
Group Size Medium Group
Bonaventure Island is the nesting site of more than 100,000 seabirds, including 30,000 pairs of Northern Gannets, plus Black-legged Kittiwakes, Common Murres, and Razorbills. Our visit is timed for the hatching of the Gannet eggs, which adds anticipation and excitement to the spectacle. During our full day on and near Bonaventure we may also see Finback, Humpback, and Minke Whales.
We’ll search mainland forests for boreal nesters: Evening Grosbeak, Black-backed Woodpecker, Spruce Grouse, and Boreal Chickadee, to name a few. The York River marshes may hold American Bittern, Sora, American Woodcock, and Wilson’s Snipe. Additional localities could yield Harlequin Duck, Northern Goshawk, Pine Grosbeak, and White-winged Crossbill. Mammals that we will search for include Moose, Caribou, Black Bear, and Gray Seal.
Our last two nights will be in the Chic-Choc Mountains, the northeastern terminus of the Appalachian Mountains. The food is great and the scenery simply breathtaking.
We will take a maximum of seven participants. On rare occasion we may extend the maximum to ten participants.
Duration: 8 days
Limit: 4 – 8
Date: 10 July – 17 July 2023
Start: Moncton, New Brunswick
End: Moncton, New Brunswick
US$5100 per person sharing assuming 4 – 8 participants
Single supplement: US$650
We can run the same trip at a price similar to the larger group price for 2 tour participants, if they rent their own vehicle and pay for fuel – please e-mail [email protected] for details.
- Guiding fees
- Entrance fees
- All transport while on tour
- Domestic and International flights
- Items of a personal nature, e.g. gifts
- Alcoholic drinks
- Personal insurance
- Laundry Service
Plan to arrive at the Moncton, New Brunswick Airport during the afternoon. As time permits, we’ll bird the vast wetlands and grasslands at the mouth of the Tantramar River, searching for such varied species as Mourning Warbler, Short-eared Owl, and Sora, with a chance for Virginia Rail.
Kouchibouguac National Park
We will spend a good part of the day at Kouchibouguac National Park in coastal New Brunswick. This is a beautiful area that contains varied habitats including ocean, salt and freshwater marshes, bogs, and boreal coniferous forest.
Birds that we may see include Olive-sided Flycatcher, Canada Jay, Boreal Chickadee, Nelson’s Sparrow, and many warblers including Blackburnian and Bay-breasted. There is a small nesting colony of Piping Plovers on the outer beach: on a previous tour we had good looks at several of these diminutive shorebirds. Past visits have also yielded Coyote and Porcupine.
We’ll drive on to Campbellton at the head of Chaleur Bay, on the New Brunswick side, across from the Gaspé Peninsula. This is where we will spend the night.
South Shore of the Gaspé Peninsula
After we enter Quebec (and change our clocks), there is a large tern colony at Carleton that contains Common Terns and often lots of shorebirds and gulls. The south shore of the Gaspé Peninsula abounds with great scenery, an occasional eider, and all three species of scoters. We could easily see a whale or two as we drive along the coast.
We’ll stop to enjoy one of the many crystal clear salmon streams, with a chance for Wilson’s Snipe and Canada Warbler. The view from the overlook above the town of Percé is spectacular! We will spend our next three nights in Percé at the eastern end of the Gaspé Peninsula.
Boat Trip around Percé Rock and Bonaventure Island
An experienced local captain will take us on a morning boat ride around Percé Rock, then sail on to Bonaventure Island where we’ll spend the day. And what a day it will be: Northern Gannets at our feet, Black-legged Kittiwakes overhead, and Common Murres and Razorbills coming and going from the nesting cliffs.
Atlantic Puffin and Harlequin Duck are possible, as are Gray Seal, Finback Whale, and Humpback Whale. Among the songbirds we’ll look for Philadelphia Vireo, Winter Wren, Mourning Warbler, and White-winged Crossbill. Vagrants to Bonaventure are impressive: Dickcissel and Lark Sparrow are just two that have been found here.
Mount Saint Anne and Barachois Marsh - Whale Watching Boat Trip
Areas near Percé contain many wonderful species including Pine Grosbeak, Lincoln’s Sparrow, Fox Sparrow, Boreal Chickadee, and lots of warblers. Bicknell’s Thrush breeds at the top of Mount Saint Anne; we’ll do our best to see and hear one.
Barachois Marsh has winnowing Wilson’s Snipe, and we’ve found as many as three species of whales feeding together at Point Saint Pierre. We will plan on an afternoon whale watch boat trip out of Percé.
Forillon National Park
Additional songbirds to search for include Philadelphia Vireo, Palm Warbler, Cape May Warbler, and Yellow-bellied Flycatcher. As we drive through Forillon National Park we’ll look for a feeder full of Evening Grosbeaks, a female Spruce Grouse with her chicks, or a Merlin strafing a flock of Pine Siskins. The view from the top of Cap des Rosiers is well worth the hike.
We’ll drive west through Murdochville to the Chic-Choc Mountains and spend two luxurious nights at Gite du Mont Albert.
Appalachian Mountains and Lake Paul
We are now at the northeastern terminus of the Appalachian Mountains. Areas above tree line are home to Common Redpoll, American Pipit, Horned Lark, and Woodland Caribou. Lower altitudes are good for Ruffed Grouse, American Three-toed Woodpecker, Canada Jay, and Blackpoll Warbler, with a chance for Boreal Owl. Moose are regular in this area, especially at Lake Paul.
Today is mostly a travel day back to Moncton. Any extra time will be used for birding stops, perhaps at Kouchibouguac or Sackville Water Park. This spectacular tour will end at Moncton Airport for our mid-afternoon flights home.
GASPE PENINSULA of QUEBEC and COASTAL NEW BRUNSWICK TOUR
1-8 July 2009
Top 10 lists are voted upon by the participants at the completion of each tour.
1 – Nelson’s Sparrow – great scope views at 6+ individuals that were singing in the salt marsh at Kouchibouguac National Park.
2 – Tennessee Warbler – Carolyn heard her life bird as we were driving toward Lake Paul in the Chic-Choc Mountains. We had extensive scope views, then found many more.
3 – Northern Gannet – the nesting colony was the highlight of our afternoon on Bonaventure Island. There were numerous chicks and eggs.
4 – Long-tailed Duck – a single drake was a nice surprise from the Darmouth River Bridge at the town of Gaspé.
5 – Pine Grosbeak – we saw one and heard several on Mont St. Anne above Percé.
6 – Philadelphia Vireo – two were found on the grounds of our lodge, Gite du Mont Albert, in the Chic-Chocs.
7 – Fox Sparrow – excellent views of this fine songster.
8 – Common Merganser – a hen with 17 ducklings was also at the Darmouth River Bridge.
9 – Magnolia Warbler – not rare, but incredibly gorgeous.
10 – Razorbill – large numbers nesting at Bonaventure Island, and feeding in nearby waters.
Marine highlights include several Minke Whales and Gray Seals. We saw five Moose, including a cow with two calves. Very nice were two Black Bears. We also found a Coyote, Red Fox, Porcupine, and several Snowshoe Hares.
Will we do any birding the first day?
Yes! We have birding planned if time allows and everything is on schedule.
How should I dress for the tour?
Check the weather for the destination as close to your departure date as possible, and dress accordingly for your comfort level. You can also review our What to Bring page for more information.
Besides clothes, what do I need to bring?
There are many items the will be useful to you while on a Bird Treks tour. We have put together our list of recommendations on the What to Bring page.
What language are tours conducted in?
Our tours are all conducted in English, but we do have some experience working with client that don’t speak English well – Some English would be needed for safety reasons. In locations where another language is predominately spoken, a native guide may accompany the tour.
Can you help me book flights?
Yes, we will always try our best to help with anything at all! We’re here to serve you. However, it is usually easier if you book your flight through your own travel agent as we can’t always get the best deals from your particular country. But we will help whenever needed!
Can you book accommodation for us the night before the tour starts or the night the tour ends?
While Day 1 is usually a travel (arrival) day, and the last day of the tour is usually also a travel day (departure), many people do like to arrive early and/or leave late. We can indeed book extra nights before and after the trip, and we in fact recommend you let us book them, as it avoids confusion and allows us to book the accommodation that is most convenient for the tour.
NOTE: Most often it is the same hotel or lodge that you use on the first night of the tour, but in some instances, it could be an airport hotel or an accommodation establishment where the guide is staying.
Do you provide trip insurance?
No, we do not. We find that it is better for trip participants to purchase their own medical, trip cancellation, and baggage insurance through their own insurance provider in the country they reside in. We expect all tour participants to have comprehensive insurance, and we encourage everyone to send us a copy of their insurance documents.
Are meals included?
For most tours, meals are included in the tour price. This may include a hotel-provided breakfast, or guide-provided box lunches. For dinners, we strive to find interesting and delicious local restaurants – this allows us to give back to the local economy, and find exciting new place to eat.
Will I get seasick on the boat?
Most people will not get sick, although you should take precautions if you are prone to motion sickness, as the weather can dictate how rough the ride will be. There are various remedies sold at local pharmacies which can help relieve motion sickness and will make your trip more enjoyable.