Monarch PEAK Migration
Sightings report image

Date: 09/21/2021

Number: 24

At Lakeview Park, Manistique: observed 100's of Monarch butterfly adults; counted 24 Monarchs in 15 minutes just after 1:00 p.m., most flying westward along the lakeshore (toward Peninsula Point), some resting in Cedar trees sheltering from stiff NW wind, and a few nectaring on Dandelions.

Also at approximately 8:15 a.m., observed one earlier three miles northwest near County Road 433. The Monarch was flying westward.

[Additional information contributed by observer, added by Journey North, 09/22/21]:

1) Many landing in the white cedar trees also took off again within moments or minutes, 2) Several pairs were observed playfully flying and swirling around each other in the windy eddies, 3) The park is fairly small and most of these trees were only about 100 feet north of the sandy Lake Michigan shore. I was facing north looking at the line of trees. The procession of Monarchs flying in from the east and continuing west was quite regular. (I also remained for a couple hours after my count, and the procession rate seemed to be slowing down around 3 p.m, 4) the vast majority were flying westward rather than resting or nectaring at this location, I assume making their way to Peninsula Point, which is a flight of approximately 30 miles due west and then 17 miles south to the Point.

There was about a quarter inch of rain overnight early a.m. that day, which was the first rain in five days. There had also been a warm and continuous strong south wind for about three days straight prior to the rain and the wind shift from northwest. The daytime high temps were making a sharp turn downward Tuesday late morning (from low to mid-70's, to the mid-60's). I didn't stay late enough to see if a roost formed there in the evening, but that was likely. Many wildflowers are still blooming, some dandelion, and many flower gardens and flower boxes at homes and businesses throughout Manistique.

That morning low was approximately 55°F, the wind shifted from southerly to north-westerly the previous evening as some brief sprinkles and showers began. I believe they were Northern White Cedar trees, and yes, the Monarchs were definitely using them as a wind breaker, and for brief rests at that time. I counted a few that I could see resting in the trees nearby, then counted all that flew past me from right to left as I faced north (westward flight), and flew between me and the line of mostly cedars, which were approximately 60 feet away and also ran east-west.

The morning low of 55°F, I noted before, was a relatively high temperature here for this time of year. Several other days recently had lows in the lower 40's.

Manistique, MI

Latitude: 45.9 Longitude: -86.2

Observed by: James
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