Pointe Saint-Pierre and Île Plate are at the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, between the towns of Percé and Gaspé, Québec. The shore of Pointe St-Pierre is formed of gravelly bays alternating with cliffs of about 30m high. Île Plate lies just 700 m off the point and is relatively flat. The site extends up to 2.3 km offshore.
Large numbers of wintering Oldsquaw are found in the waters in the Pointe Saint-Pierre and Île Plate area. For instance in 1981, about 10,000 Oldsqaw were recorded. Also, significant numbers of the Special Concern eastern population of Barrow’s Goldeneye have been recorded here in the same season with a peak of 125 in 1996. This number represents about 4% of the eastern population. Additionally, numerous Red-breasted Mergansers, Common Goldeneyes, Buffleheads, Red-necked Grebes and Black Guillemots winter here. Purple Sandpipers can be seen along the rocky shorelines and a Gyrfalcon or Snowy Owl can sometimes be seen hunting over the grasslands of the point.
In the spring and fall, small numbers of the nationally endangered Harlequin Duck (eastern population) can be seen. The three scoter species, Oldsqaw, and Common Eider are the main occupants of the open water in spring and fall.
In the summer, Île Plate hosts marine breeding birds such as Herring Gull (210 pairs in 1989), Greater Black-backed Gull (28 pairs in 1989), Great Cormorant, Double-crested Cormorant and Common Eider (102 pairs in 1989), while Black Guillemots (230 pairs in 1989) nest on the mainland cliffs. In May and June, groups of Common Murre, Razorbill, Northern Gannet and Black-legged Kittiwakes are constantly seen flying past.
BirdLife International (2020) Important Bird Areas factsheet: Pointe Saint-Pierre et île Plate. Downloaded from http://www.birdlife.org on 29/11/2020.