Monarch PEAK Migration
Sightings report image

Date: 10/11/2023

Number: 582

Arrived at Point Pelee Northwest Beach just before 12 noon. I had texted with a friend who told me that people were seeing a lot of Monarchs in the park. Whenever I drive in to Point Pelee, I always drive around Northwest Beach parking lot first. As I was driving through the parking lot I noticed two Monarchs flying low and south through the parking lot adjacent to the beach. Parked my car at the southern end of the parking lot and started observing more. I texted myself each time I saw some as a way to keep a count. At first it was about two per minute. Using my binoculars and looking further north I was able to observe that many of them seemed to be coming from the north side of the pavilion at the north end of the parking lot. I relocated to that end and that is where the picture I have submitted was taken. Standing just north of the pavilion I was watching them fly out of a roost on the east side of a row of trees on the beach behind the pavilion, flying out of the forest to the east and also flying through the naturalised beach area further north; all heading south west but encountering the southwest wind coming off Lake Erie and being forced south following the contour of the park. The southwest wind kept them along the tree line east of the beach that runs the length of the park. Some were at tree height, others were flying right past my head and all altitudes in between. At times they were coming by in threes and fours interacting with each other. About midway through my count, the sun was behind the clouds and the flow slowed down. As soon as the sun came back out, the flow increased again. It was magical. The weather had been poor, cool, wet, windy in the preceding days, which probably kept these individuals stuck somewhere waiting for improving weather. Today they were clearly on the move. Count observation time from 12 noon until 14:30. They were still flying by when I left to meet my son at his school and bring him in to the park. Driving out of the park I was observing them flying southwest across the park road and also along Point Pelee Drive outside of the park. Once I picked him up and we were headed back in, we were seeing them flowing down Point Pelee Drive all heading southwest. I took him to Northwest Beach where we noticed that the flow was still continuing. We stayed only briefly and then headed further south towards the tip of the park. Driving through the parking lot of West Beach before heading to the shuttle stop we were seeing them flowing through West Beach as well. We headed to the tip by taking the shuttle and were still observing them heading south to the tip when we got off the shuttle. None crossed the lake. We noticed them starting to form roosts on the east side of the tip. Would’ve loved to stay but had parent teacher interviews back at the school. All observations with the naked eye. Environment Canada weather from the Point Pelee reporting station for the time of my count: 15°C at 12 noon dropping to 14°C at 13:00 and back up to 15°C at 14:00 (measurement at 15:00 17°C); relative humidity at 12 noon 59%, 61% at 13:00, 59% at 14:00 (49% at 15:00); dew point at 12 noon 6°C, 7°C at 13:00 until 15:00; barometric pressure at 12 noon 101.1 kPa, at 13:00 101.1 kPa, at 14:00 101.0 kPa (101.0 kPa at 15:00). Point Pelee does not report wind conditions so observations are from the next nearest reporting station at Harrow AAFC: 12:00 WSW 12 km/h, 13:00 SW 12 km/h, 14:00 WSW 13 km/h (15:00 SW 15 km/h). Conditions: partly cloudy changing to cloudy changing to mostly sunny during the time of observation.

Point Pelee National Park, ON

Latitude: 42 Longitude: -82.5

Observed by: Laura
Contact Observer

The observer's e-mail address will not be disclosed.
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