There are several good bird-watching sites on the territory of the municipality of l'Étang-du-Nord, all fairly close to one another. The first is Île aux Goélands (Gull Island). It is a little off the shore, opposite Chemin Delaney. The island is home to several colonies of sea birds.
L'Étang à Ben (Ben's Pond), with its population of waterfowl, is another interesting site for bird watchers. Most observation is done on the water, but it is also fascinating to take a close look at the small marshy area at the beginning of the road near the Golf Club.
There are two paths at the end of Chemin Coulombe that lead to the marshes bordering the Havre-aux-Basques lagoon. Most of the species of waterfowl observed on the Islands nest in this marsh.
Several very interesting sites with easy vehicle access. Not much walking to reach observation sites. Use of a telescope strongly recommended.
If you follow Chemin Delaney to its end at the water's edge, with a good pair of field glasses you will be able to observe the sea birds present on and around Île aux Goélands (Gull Island) : Black Guillemot (Cepphus grylle), Razorbill (Alca torda), Black-legged Kittiwake (Rissa tridactyla), Great Cormorant (Phalacrocorax carbo), Double-crested Cormorant (Phalacrocorax auritus), Common Eider (Somateria mollissima) and Bonaparte's Gull (Larus philadelphia). Merganser can also sometimes be spotted here.
On Chemin du Rivage, there are ponds on both sides of the road, including l'Étang à Ben (Ben's Pond). This pond boasts large numbers of birds and is an important staging area for Brant (Branta bernicla) during the spring migration. Many other species can be observed at this site, including Great Blue Heron (Ardea herodias), Pied-billed Grebe (Podilymbus podiceps), Belted Kingfisher (Ceryle alcyon), Bank Swallow (Riparia riparia), Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) and various waterfowl. The Green-backed Heron (Butorides striatus), Little Blue Heron (Egretta caerulea) and Yellow-headed Blackbird (Xanthocephalus xanthocephalus) have also been sighted at this location.
Most of the waterfowl species seen on the Islands nest in the marshes at Havre-aux-Basques. This sector can be reached via Chemin Coulombe. This is a good spot to observe the American Bittern (Botaurus lentiginosus), Sora (Porzana carolina), and Nelson's Sharp-tailed Sparrow (Ammodramus nelsoni). Both the Virginia Rail (Rallus limicola) and the Yellow Rail (Coturnicops noveboracensis) have been heard here several times. The Short-eared Owl (Asio flammeus) and the Snowy Owl (Nyctea scandiaca) can also occasionally be observed here.
To visit all three sites, we suggest you proceed in the following order; it will make it easier for you to find the roads leading to each site. First, to get to Île aux Goélands (Gull Island), from Étang-du-Nord, follow Chemin Boisville Ouest. About 500 metres further on, you turn right on Chemin Delaney. Continue on to the end of the road. To get to l'Étang à Ben (Ben's Pond), continue about another kilometre on Chemin Boisville-Ouest. On the right side of the road, just before the Golf Club, you will see Chemin du Rivage. The important ponds are located at the end of this road, one on each side. From there, to get to Chemin Coulombe, you again take Chemin Boisville-Ouest as far as the intersection with Chemin Chiasson on the right. Turn here, then onto Chemin Coulombe. Then you drive to the end of the road and park your vehicle at the microbrewery. The paths leading to the ponds are just across from the microbrewery.
Cultural landscape Circuit - In French
Cultural journey through no less than 12 iconic landscapes chosen for their photogenic qualities as well as their heritage value. Interpretation modules and downloadable stories.
On this site, you can rely to the stories of Nicolas Landry: Clophas à Célestin à Isaac and Le hareng maître-poisson.