Turmente Cap | Beyond the Great Snow Goose

Great white geese are sometimes capricious. Their transition to Cap Turmente in spring and autumn can be early or late. One day they can appear en masse, the next – be discreet. Fortunately, there is plenty to do in Cap Tourment, and even if the large snow geese are sometimes a bit shy, the visit remains very enjoyable.

Published on October 10

Mary Tison

Mary Tison
Press

Edouard Plant-Freshette

Edouard Plant-Freshette
Press


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

Cap Turmente National Reserve was created in 1978 to protect the American rock marsh. The Great Goose especially appreciates the root of this plant and therefore often visits this region during the great migration in spring and autumn. The Reserve’s Interpretive Center offers an insight into this remarkable journey between the Arctic and New Jersey.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

Cap Turmente’s richness is not limited to its ecosystem. History is also in focus. This is how the Maison de la Petite-Ferme was built around 1664 on the remains of a building erected by Samuel de Champlain in 1626. Generations of Aboriginal people used to visit this place.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

Several entertainments await the visitors. In particular, in the morning, members of the Tadoussac Bird Observatory continue to ring birds caught in large nets as part of a sparrow migration research project. Laurent Bedard attaches a ring to each bird’s leg and writes a unique code in North America.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

Vincent Moreau introduces visitors to newly ringed birds and explains how to identify and age them. Thus, the younger the bird, the more pointed the feathers on the tail. Not all birds like to be handled, even within the same species, some individuals are more receptive than others, Moreau says.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

More than 180 species of birds, 30 species of mammals and 700 species of plants live in the Cap Turmente Reserve. Not bad for a small area of ​​23 km2. Since the beginning of their project in August, biologists have already ringed 4,618 birds of 74 different species.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

Michel Jouto, a bird enthusiast, observes a bald eagle perched on a promontory at the edge of the reserve.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

It is not easy to identify a predator. Fortunately, a large table next to the bird of prey observatory provides insight into the details to observe for identification. Powerful wings? Flared tail? It could be an eagle. Slightly shorter wings? buzzard.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

Great snow geese stop at Cape Turmente in spring and autumn. The last season has a huge advantage over spring: luxurious colors. If the geese are shy, you can turn towards the cliff and its colorful forests.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

Peregrine falcons nest on large rocks in spring and early summer. The peregrine falcon is one of the species at risk that frequents the reserve, as do the bobolink and short-eared owl. In autumn, the peregrine falcon finishes nesting, but it can still be observed sometimes.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

Cap Turmente Nature Reserve has at least 20 km of hiking trails. Some run through the marshes, where you can watch ducks, others go deeper into the woods. You can meet a black bear there. It is better to make a little noise so as not to surprise him. The bear does not really like surprises.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

The trails give access to beautiful viewing platforms at a height. The more adventurous can follow the famous Kaps trail. But it is not necessary to go that far: a belvedere on the rock allows Natalie Dallaire and Julie Mercier to admire the river and the eastern edge of Orléans Island.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

In the swamps, the paths go along large embankments. One of them, the Bois-saint-bon trail, leads to the banks of the St. Lawrence River. We begin to hear the great snow geese scolding each other. They are not always clearly visible, but of course they are clearly audible.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

At the observation post, telescopes allow for close observation of the birds that frequent this stretch of the St. Lawrence. Today you can see seagulls, a large number of black ducks and finally large geese. They rest between two long stages of migration.


PHOTO BY EDOUARD PLANT-FRESCHETT, THE PRESS

The number of geese changes every day: two days ago – 49.3 thousand, yesterday – 31.5 thousand, today – 17 thousand. Tomorrow? Who knows ? Leaving the Cap Turmente nature reserve, loud cries are heard over the shore: a huge flock of snow geese is making its way, hundreds and hundreds of individuals. fine. Will definitely have to come back.

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