NeilyWorld Birding Ottawa - Northeast - Ottawa River East: Quebec
BAIE NOIRE WEST OVERLOOK
Spring: *** Summer: *** Fall: *** Winter: **
Independent Directions to this Site: Going north on Autoroute de la Gatineau or Highway 5 take Exit # 2, the Autoroute 50 east exit. Follow the long, 1.0 km, ramp over Brewery Creek and onto Autoroute 50 headed north. Proceed 30 km to exit 166 (the final exit on 50 at this time), following the exit ramp 0.6 km as it loops back around to Rue Notre-Dame. Turn left or south and go 0.6 km SSE to where Chemin de Montréal or Highway 148 join Notre-Dame. Continue straight SSE 0.2 km to where Chemin de la Quai splits off to the right. Continue on Chemin de Montréal or Highway 148 by bearing left or ENE and going 19.6 km. Turn right or south into the parking area (marked with a binocular sign) for the Baie Noire West Overlook.
Ottawa River East: Quebec Route Directions: From the Thruso Marsh Overlook, continue east 2.7 km on Chemin de Montréal Ouest or Highway 148. Turn right or south into the parking area (marked with a binocular sign) for the Baie Noire West Overlook.
MS Virtual Earth Satellite Map of the Baie Noire West Overlook Area
Site Description and Birding Information: This spot overlooks Baie Noire Ouest or Black Bay West or, as called here, Baie Noire West. To add to the confusion it is part of the newly created parc national de Plaisance or Plaisance Provincial Park. The area is presently being developed as a new park that extends 22.5 km from Thurso, through the Presqu'îles, to as far east as Île à Roussin. This overlook provides excellent viewing opportunities, which would certainly be enhanced with the use of a spotting scope. The parking area for 8 to 10 cars is adjacent a well-built wildlife viewing platform. An alternate possibility here is to use the former section of Highway 148, which parallels the current road, extending a few hundred metres either side of the platform. It contains the platform and parking area in the crescent it forms with the new roadway. It provides a traffic free roadway a bit closer to the bay/marsh than the platform. A window mounted spotting scope allows use of the car as a blind.
Strangely, unlike Thurso Marsh, Baie Noire West is not a protected area where access to the actual marsh is forbidden. However, with the closure of the road running between Baie Noire West and Baie Noire East to cars, launching a canoe into the bay requires much more work. The road is open to bicycles and foot traffic, and the bike path from Thurso through to the Presqu'îles passes between the bay and the Ottawa River. See the Baie Noire page for more information.
Baie Noire West is the site of a large Black Tern breeding colony. Other breeding birds include Wood Duck, Marsh Wren, Pied-billed Grebe, Common Moorhen, American Coot, Virginia Rail. Along the field edges, shorebirds can sometimes be found in season. In mid-August 2006 numbers of Great Egrets visited here. Up to 12 gathered here on Aug. 13 to 15, 2006; with at least 6 still present on Aug. 17, 2006.
View of the Baie Noire West from the Overlook
Ottawa River East: Quebec Route Directions: From the Baie Noire West Overlook, continue east 1.9 km on Chemin de Montréal Ouest or Highway 148. Turn right or south into the old gravel road, now gated, that used to allow access to fishermen, picnicers, canoeists and birders between the eastern and western parts of Baie Noire. Near the corner with 148, there is a parking area on the right or west side of the road for the next site on this route, Baie Noire.
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Copyright © 2000 - 2011 Larry E. Neily
Last update: May 26, 2011