Fall is an ideal time for viewing migratory and pelagic (water) birds on Beaver Island—the most remote, inhabited island in the continental United States. During the Beaver Island Pelagic Birding Tour with Brian Allen and Darrel Lawson, Sept. 26-27, visitors to the island will have the opportunity to explore the newly developed Beaver Island Birding Trail (BIBT) while in search of Ring-billed and Herring Gulls, cormorants, pelicans and Caspian Terns.
The BIBT encompasses more than 12,000 acres of state and township lands, as well as four Little Traverse Conservancy preserves (including the 28-acre Little Sandy Bay, 230-acre Miller’s Marsh, 28-acre George & Althea Petritz Preserve and the 112-acre Barney’s Lake). A vast diversity of habitats can be found around the island, and in all nearly three dozen birding sites have been identified to provide ideal viewing conditions.
The tour begins Saturday morning in Charlevoix as visitors board The Emerald Isle for the 2.5-hour trip to Beaver Island. As the boat travels out through the Pine River and into Lake Michigan, birdwatchers should be able to view their first birds along the sandy shoreline.
Once on the island, visitors will have an afternoon and evening to explore the island’s natural sites including Little Sand Bay, Keebler’s Trail and Barney’s Lake. Or, by taking a self-guided tour using the Beaver Island Birding Trail map. Early Sunday morning, the group will head out to Gull Harbor for viewing before heading back to the mainland.
Participation in the Beaver Island Pelagic Birding Tour is limited to 30 people, and reservations are required by Sept. 12 by contacting the Beaver Island Birding Trail at the link above.
While there is no charge for the tour activities, each person is responsible for their own round-trip transportation (cost and reservations) aboard the Beaver Island Boat Company, and for lodging and meals while on the island. For a complete ferry schedule and rates, call (888) 446-4095, or log onto www.BIBCO.com. For information on Beaver Island, including lodging properties, visit www.BeaverIsland.org.
Photo Credit: Audubon.org.