Monarch Observations and Notes from the Texas midcoast October 2006 page 2
Port Lavaca, Point Comfort, Lavaca Bay Causeway by Harlen E. and Altus Aschen
.... notes from the coast ....
Tues., Oct 17: From Patty's lab site at Port Aransas: "I've got monarchs at my lab again this morning, along
XXXXX XXXXX with thousands of snouths and two dozen other varieties. ... snip ... I saw a couple dozen
XXXXX monarchs alone go by going in to work, just from the parking lot to my front door (about fifty
feet)." I also early morning monarchs in the heavy fog. Flights of monarchs in heavy fog was
pretty amazing. Probably saw 300 before noon, most 150 an hour. Netted a large male
(56 fw) moderately faded, tattered on the goldenrod after lunch. Monarchs moving all day
across town from NE to SW, made several trips around town, 197 miles total
Fri., Oct 20: Monarchs moving closer E to W at 2:00, bay almost calm. Wound up tagging 15 in an hour.
XXXXX XXXXX They were coming off the lagoon at the rate of about 200 to 300 an hour. Showed more wear,
XXXXX XXXXX fade, and tatter than we expected ... one missing fore wing, split hind wings, chunks missing,
tagged and wished them luck! At 2:00 was 71, almost calm out of NE moved to E by 6:00.
Sat., Oct 21: Good number of monarchs early, 150 to 200 an hour at the most. Wind started to change
XXXXX XXXXX after noon from N to E, bay slick at 1:00, number of monarchs started dropping off drastically.
XXXXX 85 dF, front coming. When Lagoon was slick, watched monarchs coming across just inches
above the water. Still good numbers nectaring.
Mon., Oct 23: Went across and there was small but steady stream of monarch crossing Lavaca Bay
XXXXX X on the west side of the peninsula ... about one a minute, sometimes three and four
side-by-side ... saw four coupled pairs this afternoon, one pair flying. Loose clusters
trying to form.
Tues., Oct 24: Counted starting at 9:30 ... 30 minuted total was 95 ... avg of 190 per hour. This
XXXXX XXXXX countinued most of the morning until the E and SE wind picked up after noon.
Wed., Oct 25: High SE winds since just after noon yesterday have kept flights to a minimum. Saw
XII a max of a dozen early this morning. 20 to 25 mph SE winds with T-storms expected.
Fri., Oct 27: Super strong WNW winds .. 30 to 35 knots. Five observed at causeway today, twelve
VIII yesterday, two flying in town, and one in Victoria. May calm down tomorrow.
Sat., Oct 28: Monarchs began to move from in front of Alcoa, coming generally out of the NE to ENE,
XXXXX XXXXX starting after 8:30 ... 9:30 to 10:00 am ... 30 minute count 297 ... avg of 594 per hour,
XXXXX XXXXX 12:20 to 12:50 ... 30 minute count 84 .... avg of 168 per hour. Drove along roads to
XXXXX XXXXX the NE towards the deep water port and along TX 35 and stream of monarchs was
XXXXX XXXXX pretty constant. Best day so far!!! The wind had calmed down early, was out of N.
XXXXX XXXXX Saw monarchs at all altitudes, but most were 25' to 100'. Good number were stopping
XXXXX XXXX to nectar.
Sun., Oct 29: Good flow early in the morning before the wind picked up from the SE. Started to count at
XXXXX XXXXX 9:00 am, best 30 minute count 153 for an avg of 306 an hour, best 5 minutes was 45.
XXXXX XXXXX Number fell off quickly after 10 when the breeze began to pick up out of the ESE. These
XXXXX XXXXX monarchs fly as early as the dampness is gone, right after sunup. front Wed/Thur.
Mon., Oct 30: From Patty from CC and Port Aransas: "Lots of monarchs mixed with sulphurs, too ...
hard to gauge how many; but there were dozens on dozens on dozens ... all heading
west and south -- most congregating along near-water highways. Thanks for the
update; I'm beginning to think these guys like to migrate in and near water bodies."
Strong SE winds all day, a small flow very early, front expect Thur.
Tues., Oct 31: Small flow this morning, did a 30 minute count 7:50 to 8:20, 155 for an avg of 310 an hour.
XXXXX XXXXX The rate dropped to 4 per minute to 9:00 and continued to drop off to 2 per minute to
XXXXX XXXXX 10:00 as the wind began to pick up from the E. I found several monarchs crossing
XXXXX XXXXX streets, generally E to W, in town. 85 dF this afternoon, wind out of S, front tonight.
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