May, the best birding month of the year is just around the corner and that means it’s time to plan for the annual LWI Pelee Island camping trip! Every spring, a group of LWI members camp out on the island, enjoy the outdoors, take in the island sights, and most importantly enjoy extraordinary birding opportunities. Some of the activities from past years include: Calling in screech owls, evening campfires, participating in the Island birding competition: The Annual Botham Cup Bird Race, attending the Pelee Island Annual Springsong birding celebration evening banquet hosted by author Margaret Atwood.
If camping is not your thing and you still want to participate in the outing, there are numerous Bed and Breakfast places on the island, and you can still connect with the LWI campers for outings and other activities.
To help you plan here are some things you should be aware of: LWI reserves a group camp site, a large open, grassy site with a few picnic tables and no shade. The site doesn’t have hydro or water. Everyone in the group shares the picnic tables and the fire pit, and we pitch our tents in various places around the site and leave our vehicles close to the campground road. It’s a 2-3 minute walk to the washrooms but there are nice hot showers there, and a small campground store too. This LWI event is family friendly and the campground does not permit alcoholic beverages on the premises. The cost is $4/person/night payable to the campground office when you arrive.
The island is only 12.5 kilometers long and 6 kilometers wide, so getting around by bike is possible. The island is very flat, however not all the roads are paved. It takes about 4 hours to bike the perimeter of the island. One of the benefits of being with the LWI group is that many of the campers have good knowledge of the island from previous years and they know the best birding spots. You can join in on the group birding hikes or take off on your own to explore.
The ferry to the island does book up quickly so reserve your trip early, the cost is $16.50/vehicle plus $7.50/person (each way).
The average daily temperatures in May are around 18 degrees, with nighttime lows running around 10 degrees. The island temperatures tend to be a bit cooler than the mainland so pack accordingly.
Hope you can join LWI for all or part of this great weekend of birding!