Yesterday afternoon I saw at least 500. Most where feeding on Goldenrod. it was hard to count but I think 500 is minimum. I didn't count the ones I saw in roosts because they were probable the same ones I saw feeding
I was using a counter for most of the time I was walking and counted 466. But stopped counting near the end. So I estimated 500.
There is a boardwalk that runs through an area of dunes and a road that comes back through a similar but different area. Total length about 1,5 miles. The goldenrod is spread out on both sides of the path. In some places you can see a few hundred feet from the path. In others only a few feet. I counted as many as I could see, realizing that some may have been double counted but that there were also others that would be on plants and not visible. If I double back through an area I don't count in that area again.
I walked for about 2 hours between 3:30 and 5:30 and observed the roosts (see other report under Fall Roost) from about 5:30 to sundown about 6:20. I am not permitted to walk out into the dunes to look for other sites or to get a different angle. so those views are limited.
Some of the areas of goldenrod were big patched while others were more interspersed with dune grasses and other plants.
Yesterday (10/10) the butterflies were widely dispersed. There were a few plants that had several butterflies, but I'd say none had more than 4.
BTW I did see a couple that apparently didn't get the memo about diapause.
Fire Island, NY
Latitude: 40.6 Longitude: -73.2
Observed by: Bob
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