Monarch PEAK Migration

Date: 09/16/2021

Number: 275

At 8:20 AM I arrived at the spot on the Leamington Greenway where I have been observing Monarchs every school day since September 7. Temperature was 18C, sky was bright blue, no clouds and there was a light North-east wind. Checked the favourite English Beech tree first and found 11 there, including one on an adjacent pine tree. All located on the east side of the trees. Some were starting to open their wings to warm themselves. While I was checking other adjacent trees, six were observed flying east to the clover field near the southwest corner of Sherk and Oak Streets. Counted 84 on the Red Clover in this field. Watched 2 leave the clover field separately and both behaved identically. Each flew South-west and as they passed over the running track for Leamington District Secondary School they started to kettle like a turkey vulture does. Using my binoculars I was able to watch them ascend and then glide southwest out of sight. I then observed other monarchs in Southwest directional flight at this altitude out of sight of the naked eye. I returned to my car parked on the north side of Oak street and started seeing more Monarchs leaving the clover field headed southwest and then other Monarchs overhead flying just above the electric wires on Oak Street. They were coming into view overhead in small groups of up to five, as well as singly. I observed and counted them passing at the rate of nine per minute for 20 minutes. There were more than the number reported as my timed count was done without binoculars and many were invisible to the naked eye. Unfortunately, I had to leave. I could have stayed there all day watching them fly. It should be noted that the ones at altitude were gliding and riding thermals, possibly using the high-pressure system to take a free ride. (Barometric pressure 102.1 kPa/h at 9 AM according to Environment Canada.) The ones visible to the naked eye were doing the traditional flap, flap, glide. Additionally, on my way back to Maidstone where I live, I observed many monarchs flying through Leamington and also along Highway 3 all headed south west. It is a great day for Monarchs in Essex County!

Leamington, ON

Latitude: 42 Longitude: -82.6

Observed by: Laura
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