Monarch Observations and Notes from the Texas Midcoast October 2006 page 1
Port Lavaca, Point Comfort, Lavaca Bay Causeway by Harlen E. and Altus Aschen
... notes from the coast ...
Tues., Sept 26: We drove under a monarch trying to make the 3.1 miles across Lavaca Bay at the narrowest point,
the monarch was facing the SE wind, about 10 mph, 6:30 pm, clear, temp 80 dF.
Sun., Oct 1: Netted first monarch in the backyard, large male (55 mm, slight fade), second flew off to the S.
Mon., Oct 2: Just saw three monarchs, two other side of causeway, on this side near home on false garlic.
Tues., Oct 3: Monarch met me in front of Alcoa on TX35 ... parked out on west side of peninsula ... in next 20
XX minutes, 15 monarchs passed by. Crossing causeway, met four monarchs just outside the rail.
That was 20 monarchs in less than an hour ... pretty good for Oct 3!
Wed., Oct 4: Second day of migration starting across Lavaca Bay! 3 crossing the causeway on first trip.
XXXXX X 12:30 ... 30 in 30 minutes from counting spot near Alcoa and looking over Alcoa lagoon at north end
looking SE to N to 200+'. Light NE wind changing to ENE by 1:00 and picking up. 4 more near end
of peninsula crossing lagoon .... 3 crossing causeway at 1:30. 40 in one hour ... quite good for Oct 4!
Thur., Oct 5: Light NNW wind changed everything. 12:15 ... 35 monarch when crossing the Lavaca Bay Causeway XXXXX XXXXX all flying with a light tail wind ... slow and easy, six to eight feet above the warm concrete. East side of
XXXXX XXXXX peninsula at counting spot, one monarch every two minutes. West side of peninsula, father out into
the bay from point A, ahout five times as many ... three's and five's at a time several times, really
good numbers. Out on west side, they were seldom more than 50' feet behind each other. Still found
none nectaring. Saw one tag. Saw 150 to 200 in less than an hour. Back door cool front coming.
Fri., Oct 6: With the wind very light out of the NNW at noon, almost 200 passed counting spot in less than an hour.
XXXXX XXXXX Crossing the causeway, counted 37 , all making the trip from NE to SW. I just got back at six and they
XXXXX XXXXX were still setting out across the bay on west side the last hour at about one a minute.
Tues., Oct 10: The weather was the news today! Tornado warnings, good amounts of rain, 2.10 inches, rail. Found
XX monarchs trying to nectar on tall seaside goldenrod in 25 mph wind.
Wed., Oct 11: Small but steady stream of monarchs all over town. They are flying across streets and parking lots
XXV in "their more traditional" flight pattern ... not the low, fast, screaming flight we had been seeing. The
very light, almost nonexistent wind that was N and went to the SE made it easier for them, bay was
almost slick. Saw only 3 when crossing causeway. Found at least two dozen for the day, none after
6:15 ... had been 84 dF with clear skies.
Fri., Oct 13: Altus and I went over at 4:30 and observed over thirty monarchs. By 5:15 most were finding a place to
XXX hang out for the night .... seems they were going to use the seaside goldenrod, lee side of the false
approaching willow, and other brushy trees along the high tide line to cluster on. Thru binocs one large monarch
front Fri nite ! had holes near tip of wings almost as if shot by a pellet gun ... could see the gray sky thru holes.
Sat., Oct 14: From 9:30 on, a steady stream from the NE, wind of 20 mph ... until the rains came back at 2:30 ...
XXXXX XXXXX Avg 300 to 500 an hour with brief flurries of one a second for several minutes. At all altitudes, could
XXXXX XXXXX see them from 50' to 300+' , up and over everything, missing the causeway and heading out across
XXXXX XXXXX Lavaca Bay. Was really more fun to watch than to count ... did several 30 minute counts ... There were
some all day that were low and stopping to nectar along the peninsula. Was a really big flight day!!!
(A December thought!!! ... Picked the 300 an hour but there may have some periods of 10 minutes
where there were a thousand or more passing in front of my counting point and I just wasn't ready
for it ... number probably would have been much higher with two or three more weeks of practice!!!)
Sun., Oct 15: Included in Patty B's report from the CC Hawk Watch site near Calallen: "Dane reported 309 monarchs
Big Front were counted moving thru on 10/15/06 (5 hours of counting)". Saw a report on TxButterfly list of
in Cen TX 50 monarchs an hour near Kerrville. Huge flights of Monarchs seen across central Texas from east
Fri-Sat of Austin to Kerrville with the approaching front . Many reports. Pressure 29.54 here/ super cells.
Website by Harlen E. and Altus Aschen Copyright (c) 2006 Port Lavaca Texas May be reproduced for educational purposes.