As the date of the 2107 Pelee Island camping trip approached, all the poor weather forecasts suddenly changed to show pleasant conditions for the entire duration of the trip! A wonderful group of 20 LWI campers began arriving on Thursday for a great weekend of birding. Lake Erie was smooth for the 1.5 hour long ferry ride aboard the SS Jiiman from Leamington.
Many of the campers had been to the island in previous years and some were visiting the island for the first time.
As a group, we moved around the island to observe the migrating birds, with an occasional detour to the bakery for vital nourishment (see earlier post photo). High water and waves kept us away from Lighthouse Point (on the northeast corner of the island) for the first two days, but by Saturday the winds had shifted and we made it to the point to see some interesting birds. Some of the best birding of the weekend came on the beach at Fish Point early on Friday evening, with numerous warblers hungrily eating up insects that were being warmed by the sun right along the edge of the beach. A great looking Lake Erie sunset on the same beach capped off a perfect day.
Migrating shorebirds were also located in some farm fields where large pools of water had accumulated. The group was thrilled to get quite close to a large flock of Black-bellied Plovers, with Ruddy Turnstones and Dunlins mixed in.
Such were the abundance of birds on the island that we even observed warblers from the comfort of the campsite, including Yellow-rumped, Black & white and Northern Parulas. Other notable birds observed included Summer Tanager, Night Hawk, Red-throated Loon, Indigo Bunting, Red-headed Woodpecker, and we even heard a “Whip-poor-will”!
The time seemed to go by quickly with each day’s activities beginning at 7:00 AM, and when it was time to pack up and catch the next departing ferry it seemed like the excursion had been too short. Well, there is always next year!