We'd be getting into Saguenay, Quebec late this morning, so I spent some time during the early morning hours looking for birds from the midship deck. The mountains on either side of the ship meant that we were close to our port. Fall colors were evident along the shoreline, but not quite near peak. We were about a week or two away.
Along the way I spotted several Common Loons flying alongside the boat. I counted 8 in all. Also seen were small flocks of White-winged Scoters. Only by seeing the tiny white teardrop above the eye was I able to differentiate them from Black Guillemots, which show the same white wing patches from this long distance.
As we approached the dock I scoped a few small flocks of Common Goldeneye next to shore. Along the shore were several Canada Geese and a pair of Snow Geese! They were close enough that once the ship docked I'd try to go look for them. In the meantime we watched as the welcoming committee greeted us from the pier. The man w/ the blowhorn kept saying, "Captain, please blow your horn!, Bienvenue!".
Robin and I exited the ship after lunch, and walked around a bit before heading in opposite directions - she toward cafe' shops and me along the Boulevard du Saguenay to look for the Snow Geese.
A gentleman passing by told me that the geese had been there all summer. They were injured and may never migrate again. We chatted a bit, and I was grateful that his english was better than my french.
A Semipalmated Sandpiper was the only other bird in the small mudflat adjacent to to river. The incoming tide flooded his small perch and he was forced to fly to the nearby rocky shoreline. I spent some time scoping it and looking for other birds, but only a passing American Pipit was the only other company. It landed briefly, but moved on before I could get the scope on it.
I then headed back to the ship and started packing away the camera equipment. We'd be heading into Quebec City tomorrow morning, so it was time to start putting stuff away.