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The past 3 days have featured relatively big numbers of Monarchs in Norwich.  I was able to get out today in late afternoon and found > 150 in the red clover field that has been a reliable spot all fall.  I tagged 36 individuals (18 of each sex), running out of tags long before I ran out of butterflies.  At one point I scanned the 3-4 acre field and counted 55 Monarchs.  I'd guess there were twice that many present, as butterflies nectaring on clover can be tough to see at a distance.  Between 5:45-6:00 pm I noticed several Monarchs flying towards and into the adjacent hardwoods canopy, probably to spend the night(?), although many were still nectaring in the field. 

If anyone has any extra Monarch tags from the Univ. of Kansas, I would be glad to buy them.  Please send me any that you can spare ASAP to the address below.  I'll reimburse promptly (and get my own next year).  Thanks.

Other than 20+ Clouded Sulphurs and 1 Orange Sulphur today, I also had an unidentified fritillary that I'm fairly sure was a Variegated.  I know that is not a species to be expected here, and I'll have to embarrass myself by admitting that I actually netted it and lost it in the transfer to forceps, so I wasn't able to inspect it closely.  It definitely was not a Speyeria or a crescent, and it didn't fit any of the Boloria that I know, or plates in Glassberg.  What struck me in my brief view (both in hand and through binocs) was a pale wedge-shaped patch on the upper costal margin of the forewing, pale median median band on hindwing, and overall duller orange color above.  I'll never know....

Chris


Chris Rimmer
Vermont Institute of Natural Science
27023 Church Hill Road
Woodstock, VT 05091
802-457-2779 ext. 120
<www.vinsweb.org>